Second graders had so much fun experimenting with different ways to print leaves. First, students went outside to create texture rubbings around school. Students made rubbings of bricks, the sidewalk, grass, trees, benches and more! Then, students collected 2 leaves and brought them inside to create a second layer of crayon rubbing.
On the second day of this lesson, students learned how to paint with watercolors over the crayon rubbings they had made. Students were also given the option of creating rubbings on tracing paper. On day three, students learned how to print leaves using ink. Students loved experimenting with the different techniques. Students’ finished prints needed to include at least two layers or techniques.
As part of a fall drawing unit, I want to share three drawing prompts I use with 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders. I love teaching these lessons in the beginning of the year! It’s a great way to build students’ drawing skills, practice routines and build students’ drawing skills from year to year.
1st Grade Apples Drawings: I put one fake apple on each table before students arrive. On the first day, I walk through a few steps of how students might approach the drawing and give them a few tips along the way (like sketching lightly before pressing harder). After drawing for about 5-10 minutes, I do another short demo explaining how to blend colors. Then students have the rest of class and another two classes to finish their drawing.
2nd Grade Pumpkin Drawings: This lesson is similar to the first grade lesson. Before students arrive, I put one mini pumpkin on each table. On the first day, I walk through a few steps of how students might approach the drawing and give them a few tips along the way (sketch lightly before pressing harder). After drawing for about 5-10 minutes, I do another short demo explaining how to blend colors. Then students have another two classes to finish drawing their pumpkin and creating a background from observation or memory. This lesson usually falls around Halloween, and students love adding spider webs, ghosts, vampires, and other Halloween-themed ideas to their picture.
Third graders have been talking about how scientists and artists are similar. For this unit, students chose a colorful autumn leaf to observe carefully. Students made sketches of their leaf and labeled it with observations and questions they had. After reading the book My Name is Georgia and learning about how Georgia O’Keeffe made paintings large, so that viewers, “[would] be surprised into taking time to look at it,” students enlarged their scientific sketch onto a new piece of paper. Ms. Nemes taught students how to blend colors used colored pencils or mix colors using watercolors. Then, students colored or painted their drawing and created a background to unify their image.
For their first Artist Trading Card assignment of the year, second graders focused on line. I showed students three different materials/techniques they could use to create lines. The first station had different types of paper and edger scissors that students could use to make a line collage.
The second station had lined paper, pencils and Sharpies to make a line design or pattern.
The third station had ink, toothpicks, q-tips and calligraphy pens to experiment with creating lines with different tools.
The fourth station had colored glue. Students had a blast with this one, although a lot of the designs ended up being more about color and shape, but sometimes that’s what happens when students experiment!
This is one of my all-time favorite projects. I love watching students problem solve the challenges that arise with 3D paper construction. Here’s a sampling of this year’s results. 🙂
I love celebrating fall in New England with fresh apples, beautiful leaves, and pumpkin flavored everything. Drawing pumpkins has also become one of my favorite fall lessons. This lesson is part of a vertically aligned drawing curriculum using elements of fall to teach observation skills to Kindergarteners-4th graders. (The entire curriculum is still a work in process.)
I teach this lesson to my second graders in October. Students are usually really excited to draw the pumpkins and learn a few tips for making their drawings better. I also like teaching an observational drawing lesson early in the year to build student’s confidence.
I buy 6-7 mini pumpkins (each under a $1) and put one on each table. The most important part is finding pumpkins with interesting/unusual stems so that they are more interesting to draw. Before the first class, I put a small piece of colored tape on the bottom of each pumpkin so that I remember which pumpkin I put on each table.
This year, I created a step-by-step visual giving students a way to breakdown all of the steps into smaller parts. After demonstrating how to use the handout, students get to work. Some students follow the steps one-by-one and some students work more independently. I like that I can use it at the end of the lesson as check list to encourage students to include as many details as possible.
How do you teach drawing?
Second graders were challenged to create an Underwater Story Collage. As inspiration, we looked at finished stories that past students (current 4th graders!) made. I love how action-packed each one is!
Then students created a setting and character for their story. Students looked used books, pictures and their imaginations to create each part of their picture. They also learned about special collage tools, materials and techniques like edger scissors, different types of paper, and overlapping. After finishing their collage, students wrote a story to describe their picture.
This is one of my favorite 2nd grade lessons. I was inspired by a lesson my teacher mentor did when I was a student teacher and have since changed some parts of the lesson. First, students drew a dinosaur. Students looked at real dinosaurs for inspiration and gave their dino some kind of texture. Next, they created a habitat that matched the type of dinosaur they made.
I asked, “Can your dinosaur fly, walk, or swim? Students used tissue paper and water to create a background. The tissue paper came off easily once it was try, and the color of the ink was left on the paper (like using watercolors). Last, students used collage papers to add details to their habitat. We looked at my dino book again for ideas. Details might include mountains, trees, volcanos, fish, clouds, dinosaur eggs, etc. Some kids love this project so much that they end up creating multiple puppets to go with their background. I also thing it would be cool to do this project as a diorama.
I haven’t seen my second graders in a month due to all of the snow and school closings. When students return to school after the vacation, they will finish their self-portrait paintings. Here is an in-process painting that one of the students in 2L is working on.
2nd graders started an observational painting unit this week! They were so excited to paint the plants that I bought earlier this year.
I got the idea for this project from a colleague in my district. On the first day, I read Not-A-Box, by Antoinette Portis and students thought of different ways they could transform an ordinary box into something new. On the first day, students covered the background sides of their pop-up with paper. On the second and third day, students used paper to transform their box into something new and add details. I showed students how to make and attach tabs and many of them used tabs to add more 3D elements to their collage.