One of my fourth graders emailed me this stop motion video he made to ring in 2018! I love getting emails like this and am so impressed with how it turned out! Happy New Year everyone! 🙂
After learning about blind contour and contour drawing, students used their drawing skills to create an abstract self-portrait. Ms. Nemes taught students about abstract art and students discussed some of the reasons an artist might choose to make something abstract. After looking at images of abstract portraits as a group, students brainstormed ideas for their own Abstract Feeling Self-Portrait. During this unit, students thought about what colors, lines, shapes and features would describe their feeling best. I am so impressed with all of the portraits that students created!
The first lesson that my student teacher, Ms. Nemes taught students was a logo lesson. This was a bit similar to the name design, but this time students had to create an original ATC logo.
Students had to merge an: 1. Image & Font; 2. Two Images; or 3. Two Fonts. Fourth graders were really excited about this lesson and came up with some really interesting designs!
Ms. Nemes and I co-taught a fourth grade weaving lesson. When students finished their Name Design, I taught them how to weave paper strips to create a mini ATC weaving. Once most students finished their name design, Ms. Nemes reviewed the weaving process and students finished their weavings.
Another colleague taught this lesson when I student taught. I have taught it a few times over the years, and am always impressed with students’ creativity. It’s a fun lesson with a lot of possibilities and allows students to bring humor into their work.
I introduce the lesson by having students close their eyes and listen to me read a few names from the list and try to imagine a picture of what they hear in their head. Then, students open their eyes and I tell them that the names I read were real bird names. I defined the word pun and challenge students to create a visual pun by drawing one of the birds the way it might look based on it’s name.
I photocopied a list of bird names for each table and cut it into three strips (so students could share easily). Students went to their seats and created a sketch of one of the birds form the list. Some students made one sketch; some made many. Then, students traced a 1″ boarder onto a piece of 12″x18″ paper paper using a cardboard template, enlarged their drawing and traced it with permanent marker. (Tracing with Sharpie was optional.) Students were also required to draw a real or imaginary background to help describe their bird. Next, I showed students how to blend colors. Students had a choice of using oil pastels, crayons, colored pencils, or a combination of materials to color their picture. Students really enjoy this lesson and I love seeing all of the different results!
How do you include humor in your classroom?
One of the things that makes New England so special is fall. I love the harvest season and have been working on 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.) As part of this curriculum, fourth graders observe and paint local leaves.
For homework, students were assigned to collect and bring in a leaf that had 3-4 colors in it. Students found the most beautiful leaves! When students came to class, I showed them a PowerPoint about Georgia O’Keeffe and the leaf paintings that she created on her trips to Lake George. Then students had to observe their own leave and write down some of the facts they noticed about it–including colors, shapes and types of margins and veins. Students also planned their composition (square or vertical) by sketching their leaf. After class, I pressed each student’s leaf under a stack of magazines for two days and then laminated them. (I used stickies to mark each group of leaves so that I didn’t get them mixed up!) Next, they enlarged their leaf onto a 12″x12″ or 6″x12″ piece of drawing paper and then traced their lines with a thin Sharpie.
After carefully drawing their leaf, students began painting. I reminded them to reference the color wheel they made prior to the assignment and to try and match the size of their brush to the space they were trying to paint (small brushes for small spaces and larger brushes for larger spaces).
Students worked so hard on these paintings! I love the variety of ways students chose to paint their backgrounds.
4th Graders are literally printing up a STORM in art class! 🙂 After drawing and carving a spring-time image, students printed their picture two ways. First they printed with a water/marker technique.
After the prints dried, students experimented by printing a layer of black ink on top of their image.
The fourth graders have finished creating their clay spoons, so we took a little time during class today to reflect on the process:
1. Explain what a symbol is in your own words.
S: Something that represents someone or something.
L: Something that represents your favorite hobby.
2. What symbols did you include on your spoon?
F: A basketball, a football, and a monkey
Sh: A neuron, a fish, a bowl of rice, and a book
B: A snowman, a smiling face (to represent that I like comedy), an ambered colored book (to represent my favorite history book)
T (4S): Lollipop, paintball pellet, ipad
B (4S): I included a lego brick, a marker, scientific beaker, a piece of quantum foam
G(4S): I have a cupcake, an Iviva shopping bag, a music note, and a soccer ball.
H (4S): Belgian flag, a tiger, a basketball, a soccer ball, and skis.
A (4S): A music note, a Hersey’s Kiss, a turtle, and theatre masks.
D (4Ge): A paintbrush and an art palette, an ice skate, a tiger, and an ice cream cone.
T (4Ge): A watercolor case and brush, a cupcake, and a math equation.
A (4Ge): A soccer ball, a dog’s paw print, and a sun.
3. What is one thing you learned about the clay process?
N: There are lots of steps. One of them is shaping the clay.
K: I learned that when you want to make a bowl or something round, you can make a pinch pot first.
M: You have to be patient and let the clay dry before you glaze it.
D (4S): Clay is messy.
S (4S): When you don’t want your clay to dry, put it in a plastic bag.
G (4S): You need to smooth the clay, so that when you paint it it looks nice.
4. What is one thing you learned about glazing?
Na: If you want the glaze to be dark (without white spots), use three layers of glaze.
E: Most of the time the colors look different after they come out of the kiln (because the glaze melts).
T (4S): The chemicals get heated by the kiln and change.
A (4Ge): You don’t put glaze on the bottom of the spoon. Because otherwise it will stick when you put it in the kiln.
5. Imagine your friend wants to make a clay spoon. What tips/advice would you give him/her?
J: Don’t be surprise if your glaze looks different because after it goes in the kiln it might change colors.
V: Paint three layers (or more) of glaze so the colors show up better.
A: Look at the samples to match the glaze colors you want.
G (4S): Smooth your clay so you don’t see any cracks.
D (4S): Don’t glaze the bottom of your spoon, otherwise it will get stuck to the kiln.