Sunday, June 17, 2012

3rd Grade - Georia O'Keeffe Flowers

I love Georgia O'Keeffe's large flower paintings.  They are great for teaching ANALOGOUS COLORS and VALUE.  I have the students start with a white 18x18 square. We draw the flower as big as the paper. We start with a circle close to the center, and three petals that stretch towards the corners or side... they have to be spaced apart, not touching. Then we draw a couple more, starting the petals off the sides of the others.

I have 4 classes, so each class works with one analogous color group.  We start with first outlining the pencil lines. Next, mixing the colors three more times and outlining inward until the flower is fully painted.

Next, we paint some leaves by outlining leaf shapes with India ink on green construction or green painted paper.  Also... we give a black outline to the flower.

Lastly, we cut everything out and arrange it on a 18x18 colored background.  We added a little chalk to the background for an added texture. 

This makes for a beautiful display!!!

4th Grade - Sugar Skulls

Dia de los Muertos is a time to remember and honor family members who have passed.  In Mexico it is a national holiday.  Families participate in parades and set up their own offerendas, (offering tables) with food and wine which are adorned with sugar skulls and calacas, (skeletons dressed as loved ones).  All to take time to honor loved ones who have passed.  Here in the states, we do not take time as a nation to stop and remember all family members who have passed.  It is something we do within our own families.  Instead... this time of year we dress up in costumes and play tricks and collect treats.  Still fun and festive.

I love teaching my students about Day of the Dead.  It is one of my favorite times of the year.  Halloween... Day of the Dead... I love October! We spend some time comparing and contrasting the two holidays.  I made these Sugar Skulls from molds I purchased from... yes...! The molds are worth the money.  The skulls made with my students were created with Amaco's Cloud Clay. We powdered the molds with a little baby powder first, pressed in the white Cloud Clay.  Every student made their own skull, (I bought one mold for each table).  Then we used the Cloud Clay in colors to decorate the skulls.  I showed my classes many examples of authentic sugar skulls and how they look sitting on offering tables. There are lots of photos on Flickr to borrow for the Smartboard. In fact, I am a member of the group Dia de los Muertos.  LOTS of great ideas for Day of the Dead.

Additionally, we painted colorful backgrounds on cardboard, attached a square piece of scrap painted paper in the center with some marigold like flowers cut from more scrap painted paper.  Jewels were glued in the eyes for a little sparkle and then the skulls were glued on the cardboard backgrounds with tacky glue.  I must do these again this next year. I loved teaching it! Look this fall for a new approach to this favorite!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

5th Grade - The Year of the Dragon

 My fifth graders loved this project this year.  Depending when their birthdays fell,
many of them are dragons according to the Chinese Zodiac. I found some great photos on Flickr of real Chinese New Year celebrations around the world for a Smartboard presentation.  The colors and textures of the REAL Dragon Dances in China were very motivating to my students!
The heads and feet were drawn first with pencil and outlined with black tempera. Then colored with oil pastels.  I encouraged their own COLOR SCHEME and demonstrated BLENDING ANALOGOUS COLORS.  The bodies were made with banner papers painted weeks before to use up some old paint.  I cut them into 9x12 inch pieces.  Students added some swirls of color if desired and painted black fish like scales. Heads and feet were cut out carefully and glued to the bodies.  The final touch was to add some texture with the tissue paper strips.  I displayed these with some 2nd grade Chinese lanterns.  A crowd pleaser!!!