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!