Friday, May 30, 2014

Georgia O'Keefe Skulls with a Navajo blanket background

Here are some pictures of one of the last projects completed at Saint Aloysius this year. It was my first time teaching this project and the kids and I loved it! We first learned about the "four corner" states and the Native American tribes who originally lived there. We focused on the art of the Navajo, which are beautiful weavings.

  • We discussed the weaving process, shapes, symbols, and colors most common in the art, as well as the uses for the blankets. Students viewed many examples of authentic weavings. 
  • Students then designed their own blankets with pencil and rulers. They then outlined their pencil lines with sharpie. This took us about 2 art periods. 
  • Next, students colored them in with good old Crayola markers. This took us another 2-3 art periods.
  • Finally, we talked about Georgia O'Keefe and her bone drawings. A great book to go along with this unit is Georgia's Bones by Jen Bryant. 
  • Students then looked at pictures of different animal skulls (cow, horse, deer, and other animals that might be found in New Mexico) and did their best to draw their own skull on white paper. We discussed the elements of Line, shape, and especially value during this portion. We used a Kleenex to "blend" the values. 
  • We finished up by cutting out the drawing and gluing it in the center of the blanket. I had the students punch holes and use yarn to add fringes to the bottom of the blanket.
Check out some of the examples below!






Now all the kids want to do is an actual weaving. I promised we would get around to it next year. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mosaic Flowers


This is one of our BIGGEST projects if the year in the primary grades. Students learn about mosaic art and make a giant mosaic flower. I teach them how to draw different types of flowers first. Then, they being outlining with "tiles" cut from scrap pieces of paper. Then we cut out our flower and glue it to the stem and leaves, which we create using a wavy, curved, or zig-zag line. It takes them about 4-5 art periods to finish the entire project, but is well worth the wait. We finished them just in time for Mother's Day this year!
This year we read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, to learn the life cycle of the flower. It was the perfect book, because in the story the "tiny seed" grows to be a giant flower. 
Click here to see some mosaics we did last year!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jackson Pollock Butterflies


Here I am in front of one of the many displays at the Saint Aloysius Art Show. The Jackson Pollock Butterflies was a new lesson I came up with this year. The book I used to introduce Jackson Pollock to my students was "Action Jackson" by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. The students enjoyed the story and looking at his many splatter paintings. There is also a really great youtube video that shows many of his paintings in a slideshow here: 
 Action Jackson
Students seems to be amazed that they could easily make their own small-scale splatter painting. 
video

We didn't stop there. The next week, I had the 1st graders tell me what they had learned about butterflies in their science lesson that week. Some questions I asked were:

What are the parts of a butterfly? 
Where do they come from?
When and where do we see butterflies?

We then used our Jackson Pollock paper to make symmetrical wings for our butterfly. Students cut out their own butterfly body, eyes, and antennas.

They turned out super cute and perfect for spring. Hope you enjoy.... and Happy Spring!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Self Portraits

Just a few of this year's 4th grade self portraits! Click here to see the original post from last year!






Mini Mondrians

This was a new project this year. 1st grade loved it! I think their favorite part was pulling off the painters tape and seeing what it looked like after painting! Great opportunity to teach shapes and the complimentary colors.  


Eric Carle Animals

Some of this years Eric Carle animals. Here is the original post from last year. You have to scroll down to the dragon.... it's the best!



Simple Color Scheme Vases

With these vases we discussed symmetry, color schemes (monochromatic and complementary), organic shapes, and lines. The process is pretty self-explanatory. This was a project we did for art to remember!