Friday, June 10, 2011

Kindergarten Bluebonnets

 This was the project that I used for our annual Houston Livestock and Rodeo Art Show this year. I originally found the activity in the December 2009 issue of Arts and Activities.

Before class, I had some of my older students help me thread plastic tapestry needles with green yarn. They tied a knot in the end and used masking tape to tape the yarn so that when the kindergartners were sewing, the yarn would not come unthreaded.

Each kindergarten student had a 12 x 18 piece of burlap. I ordered the variety pack, so that each student could choose different colors.

I had them draw a vertical line with a crayon in the middle of the burlap. This was for the stem of their bluebonnet.

I demonstrated how to sew the stem, going front to back and then
passed out the needles.

For some of the students, the sewing was pretty easy. However, for many of my students, this was a difficult task. We spent the majority of class sewing the stem of our flower.

I had some pre-cut pieces of green felt out so that when students were finished sewing, they could glue their leaves onto their bluebonnets.

I gave them a green marker and they added small stems/branches radiating out from the central stem.
 During the last class, I had a tray on each table with a blue tempera cake on it. I showed the students how to dip their thumb into a tub of water and then rub it in the paint. They then made 3 prints and repeated the process.

Once they had finished the blue, I went around and switched out the blue tempera cakes and gave each table white tempera cakes.

They repeated the same process, however this time they used their index finger and made a print right over the top of the blue thumbprints.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

PreKinder Ceramic Hearts

This year's clay project was a project that I found in the February 2010 SchoolArts magazine.

This was our last project for the year and I was very happy with how they turned out!

I started out by cutting transparencies in half and tracing a heart onto each one with a permanent black marker. I used the transparencies for 2 reasons- 1) the clay would come off of it easier and 2) I can wash them and reuse them again without having to make new templates every time.

When the students came in, I had divided the clay up so that each student got a piece.

 I showed them how to make a coil and use it to trace around the outside of the heart.

Then I showed them how to pinch off pieces of clay and roll them in their hands. They used these pieces to fill in the inside of their heart.

When they had filled it in, the PK teacher, assistant and myself went around making sure the entire heart was filled in.

I used the handle of a paintbrush to make a hole at the top and wrote their initials on them with a paperclip.

After I had fired them, I gave each table an egg carton with 6 different glazes in it.

They were allowed to glaze their hearts however they wanted.
 I fired the hearts one more time and then tied a ribbon through the hole.

The PreK teachers sent these home with the students as an end of the year gift to the parents.

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PreKinder Ocean Collages

 The ocean collages that my PreK students did took quite awhile to complete and a lot of patience for little students!

We started the process by covering a piece of drawing paper with pieces of tissue paper. We brushed them onto the paper using a paintbrush and water.

Important note!!!! Make sure when you buy your tissue paper that you get the tissue paper that bleeds. The first time I tried this, I bought the bleedless kind- that doesn't work at all for this type of project.
 After covering the entire paper, we put them on the drying rack and let them dry.

When they came to see me the next time, I had them peel all of the tissue paper off, so that they could see the "magic" transformation of their paper. The excitement is well worth the hundreds of pieces of wadded up tissue paper that were flying all over the place.

We made a game out of picking up the trash and had it cleaned up in no time!
I had the students do 2 steps during this session (I am lucky enough to have the PK teacher and their assistant come with them, so I can have a couple of different activities going at one time).

I had the students finger paint 2-3 pieces of paper and then use a variety of combs, kush balls, sponges, etc to create textures on these papers. These papers were then put to the side to dry to be used later for our fish.

While the students were finger painting, I had a group come to me and we used sponges to paint our ocean floor (brown) and seaweed (fluorescent green).

For the last step of this project, once everything had been painted and was dry, I showed the students how to cut a fish (oval body, triangle tail) and had them cut 2-3 fish. Then they used glue dots to put them into their collage. Pin It

PreKinder Shape Printing

When I do printing with my PreKinder students, my favorite resource to use is the book Thinking With a Line by Cathy Topal. The book has some fantastic printing ideas for early childhood, which can easily be adapted for older students as well.

Before I am ready to start this project, I start collecting. I collect: tape rolls, plastic caps (milk, soda bottles, water bottles, etc), corrugated cardboard (I cut this into pieces that are small enough for the students to hold them in their hands), and any other objects that would make an interesting line or shape when printed.

I divide everything up and make a separate basket of "tools" for each table. I put a tray of tempera paint on each table (only 1 color) and then I demonstrate how to dip the tools into the color using an up and down motion. I then show them how to do the same up/down on their paper to create a nice crisp print.

The first week, I let them free explore and print anything they wanted.

The next week, I showed them how they could use the tools to create shapes.

The third week, we used tempera cakes (my personal preference for the younger students) and painted the shapes.
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PreKinder Where the Wild Things Are

 This is one of the first projects that I did with my PreKindergarten students at the beginning of the year.

For this project, I glued 2 "googly eyes" onto a piece of paper for each of my 4 year olds.
Then I read them the book, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. 
Our main focus with this very simple project was SHAPES. Triangles, squares, circles, ovals, rectangles, etc.  We looked at the wild things in the book and tried to figure out what shapes were used to draw them.

Then, the fun part- I put a box of markers on each table, gave each student their paper with 2 googly eyes and told them to create their own Wild Thing!

 Markers and 4 year olds- irresistible! They went to town!

I used basic school glue to glue the eyes on and found that many of the eyes fell off. Next year, I think that I might try using a craft glue and see if that works better.

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