Friday, July 1, 2011

Third Grade Mosaic

This was a collaborative project that I had about 10 of my third graders work on after school for about a month.

The company Charming Charlies donated a huge boxes of damaged and discarded jewelry to the Spark Park organization in Houston. From there, Spark Park asked Houston art teachers to use the discards to create a "Fun in the Park" themed mosaic. They provided us with a white, foam board that measured about 3' x 5', gave us a box of jewelry and we were off!

I invited 2 students from each of my third grade classes to stay after school with me for about a month. We started the project by working on organization. The box of jewelry was a huge, tangled, chaotic nightmare! The kids and I had scissors, wire cutters and pliers and we cut, twisted and broke up anything that we could and sorted everything into color coordinated tubs. The first day, we did this in the art room. Huge mistake!!! There were beads flying EVERYWHERE!!! The next day, I wised up, and we moved the entire production out onto the patio area right outside of my room- so much better!

It took us about a week just to get everything organized. By this time, the kids and I were all tired of this part! We were ready to get going on the actual mosaic!

We talked about the theme and brainstormed ideas for what activities they do in the park- I noticed a central theme, everything required the use of a ball. So we went with that- I did the drawing for them so that I could guarantee that it would be big enough.

Then I had the students paint the entire board so that when we finished gluing all of the pieces on, the paint would help add to the color (I didn't intend on grouting, since I was afraid the board wasn't sturdy enough).

Once it was painted, the fun really began! I had the students start with the balls. The beads were sorted by color, so they could pull out the tub that corresponded with each one and glue the pieces right onto the board. I used craft glue and painted it onto the board with a brush. The students followed behind me, adding the mosaic pieces.

When we finished the mosaic, the Spark Park committee came and picked it up. It will now be used in an auction to help raise funds for their program. It was really hard for the students to say goodbye to this piece. They loved it- and so did everyone who saw it. I propped it against the wall outside of the art room for about a week and everyone was amazed that 3rd graders had created it! Pin It

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Third Grade Miro Drawings

 My third graders had a blast with this project! They usually have a very difficult time working on anything that doesn't look "real", which is why I specifically chose Joan Miro as the artist that we were going to study for this project.

We started out by looking at a video that I had found on YouTube which showed a wide variety of his artwork, but was fairly short (only about 2 minutes).
Before watching the video, I told them that I wanted them to look for the following things:
1) lines that Miro used in his paintings
2) shapes that he used
3) colors that he used
4) are there any recognizable figures in the paintings

When the video was finished, we brainstormed a list for each of these items.

Then I demonstrated how they could use shapes- circle, squares, triangles, ovals and add very basic lines- straight, wavy, curved, zigzag to create an artwork that looked amazingly similar to that of Joan Miro.

I had them practice in their sketchbooks first (for my 2-5th grade students, I usually spend the 1st day of a project planning out what they are going to do in their sketchbooks).

They had to choose if they wanted their project to be warm or cool (they used crayons in their sketchbooks, but oil pastels would be pulled out for the actual project).

For the next class, I pulled out black construction paper. Here's where I learned my lesson! I had a stack of random black construction paper. I also had the beautiful no-fade black construction paper. The projects that were done on the regular construction paper looked very washed out. I would highly recommend using the no-fade paper. It might be a little more expensive, but the end results are so much better!!!

The students then recreated their sketchbook design onto the black paper, using oil pastels in their chosen color scheme.

I pointed out to them that Miro did not color in every shape that he painted, so they left some sections outlined and colored in others.

For the finishing touch, I gave them a little cup of white tempera paint and a paintbrush and they painted a variety of lines onto their paper.

I would change the size of the paintbrush that I give them next time and give them a smaller brush, but other than that, I was very happy with how these turned out.
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