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After practicing making all different types of lines, I challenged kindergarteners to develop strong printmaking and coloring skills by making colorful Mandala Line Prints.

First, k’s reviewed different types of lines and drew them onto a triangle piece of Styrofoam using a magic marker. Next, they carved their lines using a wooden carving tool.

At the beginning of the next class, I demonstrated how to print with the ink. Students watched how to use the rollers to put ink onto the Styrofoam, line up their triangle on their paper (so the long side touched the edge) and then print their design with a clean roller. K’s watched as the ink came off the Styrofoam and onto the paper and learned that each time they wanted to print, they needed to reink their piece of Styrofoam.

After the demo, students who were ready to go began printing. I put out piles of paper on the rug and set up the tables in my room so that there were different ink colors at each table. Students chose which table they wanted to go to to do their printing. Each student printed their triangle into their paper four times.

Each student made two “final prints” so that they could try out different colored inks on different colored papers. If a student didn’t use enough ink or didn’t press hard enough with the roller, their print didn’t show up. When this happened, I had students reink their triangle and try printing on the back of their paper.

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The last step was to color in their lines with colored pencils. I talk about choosing colors that are different then their ink color so that their lines “stand out.” Sometimes I hold up their papers from across the room and ask them if they can still see their colors… and sometimes they ask a friend to hold up their work while they walk across the room to check out their work from “far away.” ūüôā

 

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Kindergartners started a line unit a few weeks ago. For the first lesson of this unit, I taught students different types of lines (straight, thick, thin, wavy, etc.) First I said the name of the line and drew it in the air with a “paintbrush” (my finger) as students repeated the words and gesture after me.

After learning each line, I told students that they would be creating a BIG drawing together. To do this, students needed to take turns drawing lines, so we practiced how to do this on the rug first. We talked about some of the skills we would be practicing–like collaboration, compromise and cooperation. As one student put it, “compromise means you take part of what one person wants and part of what the other person wants and put it together.” Once I felt students understood the rules of this drawing “game,” I split them into small groups and each child got a pencil.

Then I played a song from the Broken Flowers soundtrack and the first student in the group began to draw. When I stopped the music, the first person stopped. When the next group member was ready, I began the music again. Students had to start their line where the last person left off and try to fill the entire page without overlapping. I continued the rotation so that each student had about 3-4 turns and then I gave the next direction. Students also had reference pages at their tables with the different types of lines on them.

 

 

I passed out markers and told students that next they needed to trace their pencil lines with marker. This time they could work at the same time, but had to talk to each other so that everybody could participate.

 

 

The next day, when students got to class I told them that I had cut up their big drawing! Some students were shocked at first, but then got interested when I told them their next step… to choose one of the pieces and add to it. I put different materials at each table I told students that they could choose the materials they wanted to use today by going to different “stations.” We took a “field trip” around the room and¬†I demonstrated how to use the materials at each station. After giving the instructions, students went to the rug to select a part of the drawing to add to.

 

 

Students could change stations as they worked, the only rule was that they couldn’t use Sharpie on top of the watercolors.

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The following day, students began class with a pop quiz! I reviewed the different types of lines that students could use on the white board and students practiced drawing them one at a time. Then students got their artwork back and continued working. Check out some of the amazing results!

 

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The inspiration for my line handout came from Art is Basic.

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!

Yesterday I went to visit The Magical World of Art (the school where I did my student teaching). It was great visiting and seeing all of the exciting things happening! I can’t believe that it’s been seven years since I worked there! Here’s what students were up to…

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1st graders were painting colorful line landscapes. They had already painted their landscape with black lines and tempera paint. When I visited, they were making edits and adding details with Playcolor Tempera Paint Sticks*. I have never seen these before. They looked like a lot of fun! I’m going to order some and try them out with my students.

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In¬†The Magical World of Art, Mr. D talks a lot about Habits of Mind. He¬†has created a character for each of the 8 Studio Habits of Mind. These kid-friendly characters help students learn how to think about art and express their ideas using age-appropriate art vocabulary. Throughout the year, students can earn habit of mind badges. In order to earn one, another student must nominate you. Here, the Super Storyteller telling his story to the class, “The sun rolled on the ground and made the mountains yellow. And there was cotton candy in the sky.” Does it get any better than that??

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2nd graders reviewed what it means to be an architect and some basic architectural forms. In their sketchbook, students sketched their Dream House or Dream School.

4th graders talked about abstract art. First, Mr. D read My Name is Georgia: A Portrait, by Jeanette Winter. Then students went outside and zoomed in on what they saw in nature. Students drew close-up sketches of leaves, trees, and rocks.

*Here is a review of the paint sticks on The Artful Parent.

IMG_9952Kindergarteners are working together to create Line Sculptures! As inspiration, I showed students a Power Point of sculptures* that have lines and we discussed the various colors and materials the sculptures are made out of. Students worked in pairs to create their sculptures. They¬†began by cutting tabs into a cardboard tube and attaching it to a cardboard base with tape.¬†Then¬†created lines by twisting, bending, folding, and curling¬†paper and wire and attaching it with tape. I planned two days for this project, but the students are so excited about it that I’m giving them an extra day to work on it.¬†

*I found a great list of contemporary sculptors that use lines on this blog.

IMG_9778On the first day of their line unit, I taught kindergarteners some different types of lines. Then they used this printout to create pieces of a line puzzle. As students finished, I had them bring their pieces to the rug and start to assemble it into a temporary collaborative line puzzle. When I did this the second time, I trimmed the printout so students just had the square with four boxes on it. This made it easier to understand how to cut out the individual boxes.

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