Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eric Carle-Mr. Seahorse

Timeframe: Four-45 minute sessions
Grade Level: 3rd
Materials: 11x14 medium weight/white tag board, 11x14 sheet orange construction paper, 11x14 sheet blue construction paper, liquid watercolors- blue and fluorescent blue, white tempera paint, warm and cool colors of tempera paint, scissors, glue, pencil

I read Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle to my 3rd graders. This project is based on both his artistic style and the book.


Here's what we did:

On the 11x14 orange construction paper, students used warm colors (red, orange, yellow- sometimes we include pink in our warm colors, but not for this project) of liquid tempera to "free paint" the entire sheet. I instructed them to fold the sheet in half and concentrate on yellow on one half and orange on the other. It didn't matter which direction they folded the paper. I did this to make sure that the whole thing didn't end up looking like the goop on a fast food hamburger (mustard and ketchup mixed together). They were free to add whatever designs they chose to the paper. I played music so that they could paint to the rhythm. 

They did basically the same thing on the 11x14 blue construction paper, except this time they did not fold the paper. They also used white with their cool colors. 

Painting the orange and the blue construction paper with warm and cool colors took about one-45 minute session. Of course there are always those careful workers who need more time. 

Next, the students used a spray bottle filled with blue liquid watercolor and water to spray an 11x14 sheet of white tagboard. The objective to using the spray bottle is to make the background look like splatter paint, not to completely cover it. I told them to spray about 8 times in 8 different places. This seemed to help them spray the paper evenly.
They used blue and fluorescent blue liquid watercolors combined with water in a small cup to paint large polka dots over the wet spray background. Then they used white tempera to paint smaller dots overlapping the blue. They did not have to wait on one step to dry before continuing to the next step. They were able to finish the background in about one-45 minute session.

After the blue and orange construction paper was dry and about two weeks after beginning the project, students cut out the coral, the school of fish, and the sea horse. They turned to the back of the paper to draw with a pencil. Some students had a very hard time drawing the coral. So, I let them trace their hands, making the fingers long and wavy. This took another 45 minute session.

The final step was to glue. This took about one-45 minute session. I had to store their cutouts in a zipper bag after they cut out and before they glued. They just didn't have time to do both in one session.

This project was time consuming but easy. It was mildly challenging to my lower students who had difficulty with drawing and cutting such small items as the fish. However, they all turned out well. I wish I had taken pictures of the wall display that their teacher did! I will have to remember to do that in the future! This method could easily be used for any Eric Carle book. In fact, each of my third grade classes did a different book. I will post more on those later.

 Copyright 2012 Amanda Koonlaba-There's a Party in the Art Room

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Paul Klee-Landscape

Timeframe:Three-45 minute sessions
Grade Level: 3rd
Materials: 11X14 white med. weight tag board, black acrylic paint, cardboard scraps (about 1 inch long), liquid condensed watercolors (looks like this), salt, green acrylic paint, other assorted acrylic paint-floral colors, small wads of scrap paper

I absolutely love Denise M. Logan's Dynamic Art Projects for Children. I refer to it often, and that is where this lesson originated.

I  modeled all steps for the students for this project. They drew the scene with the cardboard scraps dipped in black acrylic onto the 11x14 white medium weight tag board. I did not let them draw with a pencil first. However, they did practice on a basic sheet of drawing paper with the cardboard and acrylic until they were comfortable using these new drawing tools.  They drew the mountains, hills, horizon line, sun, and stems to the flowers. This took some students longer than others. I encouraged them to take as long as they needed. Practicing and drawing on the tag board took about one-45 minute session.

Then they painted with liquid condensed watercolors diluted with water. I showed them how to get a blended effect using warm and cool colors. For instance, the hill in the bottom right corner is orange, red, and yellow liquid watercolors blended together. The hill in the middle has more red than the others and some magenta. As they painted, they carefully sprinkled salt onto the wet watercolor. That gives the great effect that is so beautiful on the blue mountain in the picture above. This took about one-45 minute session.

The students touched up any liquid watercolor that needed to be brighter. They just washed over their previous work with the liquid watercolor and a brush to get a more vibrant color. Finally, they took the small wads of scrap paper and used it as a stamp. They stamped the floral colored acrylic onto the black acrylic stems to create flowers.

My favorite part of this project is using scraps as painting and drawing tools. My students were amazed that they could draw and paint with almost anything. This was a very engaging project for every single one of them! 

One mistake that I made, and that I plan to rectify if I ever get the chance to teach this project again, is that I didn't focus enough on Paul Klee. If I find a really great video or a really great digital presentation on him, I will share. If you know of one or have made one, please share also! Thanks!
 Copyright 2012 Amanda Koonlaba-There's a Party in the Art Room

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Watercolors- Hundertwasser Lesson

Timeframe: Four-45 minute sessions
Grade Level: 5th

Another of  my favorite artists is Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He did these really cool paintings with concentric circles for flowers and trees. This lesson is based on (what I call) Hundertwasser's flowers. He used this concept in many of his works. This project was my most successful 5th grade project of this school year. The 5th graders come in combined classes. So there are usually about 25-30 students in each session. They are VERY social. In other words, they don't do well with a lot of oral instructions. That is why I think this project was so successful. It is self-explanatory. I really didn't have to give many oral instructions. It was something that they could do easily as they talked with their friends and still do a great job. Every single piece that was created was frameable, and that almost never happens!

Here's what we did:
The students drew circles of varying sizes across their 11x14 white tagboard. I instructed them to visualize their work before they drew, and to draw the circles so that the flowers would be different heights. Then they drew the stems using wavy lines and added leaves. I also asked them to make sure they varied where the leaves were placed on the stems of their flowers, so that each flower would look different.

After they finished drawing, they outlined the flowers with a black oil pastel. They added three dots to the flowers to make their lines more interesting to look at. I didn't tell them where to put the dots, just that each flower could only have one set of 3 dots. We usually use black permanent markers for outlining, but we were running low and out of funds to purchase more. So, we used oil pastels instead. I made sure to warn the students about accidentally smearing the oil pastel.  They were also warned to take their time and cover the pencil marks with the black oil pastel. I let them know ahead of time that they wouldn't be able to do much erasing after they finished with the oil pastel.

This took about one-45 minute session.

They chose either warm or cool colors for the flowers. Then they used the opposite for the background. So some students had blue and purple flowers with an orange background. They used different shades of green for the stems and leaves. We talked about value.
This took some students one-45 minute session, but most students took two sessions.

They used Yasutomo Niji pearlescent watercolor sets. I LOVE these. The students LOVE these. They get so engaged in their work and learning when they get to use fun art supplies. They also used watercolor wheels. They love those too because they stack and screw together for storage. They think that is awesome! Kids are amazed by the simplest things. Anyway, my students and I highly recommend these two products and this project. If not this project, try something else based on Hundertwasser's work. I will post more of our (different) Hundertwasser projects soon!

 Copyright 2012 Amanda Koonlaba-There's a Party in the Art Room

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