Tuesday 19 February 2013

Making Connections


In my grade one class we have been doing a lot of work on making "connections" when reading.  I read them the heartwarming Melanie Watt story Augustine.  In it, a little penguin moves with her family from the South Pole to the North Pole.  She misses her friends and grandparents and is nervous about starting a new school.   All the while Augustine has her art supplies and stuffie named Picasso to help her along.  It touches on familiar themes such as feeling left out and making friends. I thought this was a perfect book as we have been discussing families, changes in our lives, and friendship this term. 

I also love that each page parodies a famous art work with Augustine in mind - a few of my really sharp cookies managed to make one or two connections there!

To do this lesson we drew our sketch of Augustine onto lilac construction paper.  I did give them a tracer template for the head so that they had a good starting point and reference as to how big I wanted the drawing.  They then followed a step by step drawing, following my instructions on how to complete the rest of the body.  Basically, Augustine is shaped much like a snowman, with each lower section slightly bigger than the last.  We then adjusted the midsection to create flippers.  Next we drew the beak and all the other facial features and finally the feet.

We used white pastel to outline our drawings and colour in the face.  Orange and black pastels were also used where needed.  We actually used a grey crayon for the body and not pastel.  We did this for 2 reasons.  First, I only have 5 grey pastels.  Most standard sets of 8 or 12 do not contain grey.  Second, I kind of wanted the lilac paper to show through the grey a bit as Augustines fur is like this in the illustrations.

We then cut out our penguins and glued them to a green sheet of construction paper with a strip of magenta for the floor.  Simple, but super cute.  If I had more time for this lesson I would have added her red backpack and maybe even her suitcase, as seen on the cover of the book.

The one above is one of my favorites!  Why so sad, Augustine??

I love the way this one looks a bit like it is dancing!!!

We also wrote out one of our connections to add to our bulletin board.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Primary Colours and Piet Mondrian

I have 2 Mondrain activities to share with you.  I love to use the works of Piet Mondrian to introduce primary colours to my students.

 I did the following Mondrian inspired art with my class last year.  Students used pencils and rulers to draw 5 vertical lines and 4 horizontal lines.  I then asked them to erase a few of the smaller lines created when lines crossed each other.  Using a black pastel the students traced over their lines.  We then used red, blue and yellow tempera block paints to colour in a few of the shapes... They probably coloured in too many but kids love colour and it was hard to keep them from painting in the whole page!


This second version I tried this year.  We integrated computers with art. 

Kids used the program KidPix to create their grid lines.  They had to use the pencil tool to draw straight vertical and horizontal lines from one edge to the other.  Then using the eraser they had to erase a few of the small lines.  Any erasing that took away too much black was later corrected with a black marker.
We then used broad tip markers to colour in the rectangular shapes.  It was a great opportunity to teach them proper colouring techniques using markers. 

I love how bold the lines turned out using the computer program.  Ideally we would have used the paint bucket feature to fill in the colour but our school's computer lab printer only prints in black and white.


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