To begin this lesson, Ms. Nemes read the book Rulers of the Playground, by Joseph Kuefler, about kids who imagine the playground as their own kingdom. The book features great illustrations of slides, tunnels, swings, maps, and other play equipment.
Next kindergarteners were asked, “If you could create your own kingdom, what would it look like?” and students sketched their ideas.
After creating a sketch, students used recycled materials, paper, tape and drawing materials to create a 3D version of their kingdom. Their first step was to create a base for their kingdom by covering a piece of cardboard with paper to mimic sand, water, grass, dirt or whatever students wanted on the ground of their kingdom. Ms. Nemes demonstrated how to measure paper with pencil and then cut with scissors so that it was the right size.
Next, students transformed recycled materials into buildings, towers, trees and more! They also added details like windows, waves, and animals to make their sculpture more interesting. Students had a blast with this project and I’m so impressed with the results!
For this lesson, Ms. Nemes taught students about the game Exquisite Corpse. After showing students a few examples of this drawing game, students created their own Exquisite Monsters by drawing the head of their creature and then switching papers to draw the body and the bottom (legs, tail, tentacles, etc.).
On the second day, students were allowed to edit their drawing by making minor changes like adding texture, drawing extra arms, or changing the feet of their monster.
After drawing with pencil, students colored their monster and then created a background using their choice of materials.
I have enjoyed many of the Making Faces prompts so far. They are introducing me to new ways of sequencing steps. Lesson three is called “Facing Backwards” and provides multiple prompts for creating backgrounds and layering faces on top of them. Lesson four is all about collaging. Some of these are made by cutting up and rearranging other portraits that I didn’t like as much. I’m really excited to try something similar with some of my classes next year. I’m not sure if all of these are “done” yet, but I’ve really enjoyed the process so far which is the whole point. 🙂
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?
I teach a “Not-a-Box” project to my 2nd graders, so I was super excited when one of my colleagues shared this “Not-a-Stick” lesson, inspired by the book Not a Stick, by Antoinette Portis. This lesson is fun, engaging and students come up with a huge variety of creative solutions. Also it only takes about 2-3 classes. Stay tuned for some finished samples!
I took a break from blogging last year to focus on setting up my Twitter and Instagram accounts. Another reason I took a break is that my district has not been able to successfully negotiate a contract for over two years. During negotiations, one of our district-wide union actions was to limit our communication with parents. While we still don’t have a contract, I find that in addition to helping communicate with families, blogging helps me on a personal level. It provides a chance to take time to look at what my students are making (and thinking! and feeling!) and reflect on my practice. Blogging also helps me connect with other teachers and dissever new ways of making and thinking about art.
Because of this, I’m going to start blogging again this year. I hope that our action team continues its hard work and that our contract is negotiated soon. We deserve a fair contract. In the mean time, here is a look at a few of my favorite memories from last year…
See more pictures and updates @artwithmsem (on Twitter & Instagram). 🙂
Students are finishing up their Bird Pun Drawings in 4th grade. Coloring this the night sky of this “Tiger Parrot” drawing requires many hands. 🙂
“Manners do matter, but I’d prefer that she not be too sophisticated at a young age. When we’re making art, I try not to show her any techniques. If she wants to draw a purple frog with curly legs, I don’t correct her. That’s her imagination and I don’t want to damage that part of her nature.”
reblogged from: Humans of New York
6th Graders were challenged to draw a landscape in one-point perspective that shows a severe or unusual weather condition. This lesson was inspired by a former colleague of mine.
Third graders made Name Creature puppets. M says, “[My monster] lives in a place called Volcano Land. It lives in a volcano and if a human comes along, then the monster will eat it up!”