Friday, September 30, 2011

Second Grade Day of the Dead Calaveras

 Second grade is traveling to Mexico, Central America and South America in the art room this year. For our first project, they created their very own Day of the Dead (Dia de los muertos) Calaveras (skulls).

This worked out well for my 98% Hispanic school. The students were actually able to give me information about the holiday that I didn't know.

We started out by looking at a variety of calaveras to get their creativity flowing. They made a quick drawing in their sketchbook to show what they wanted it to look like.

Then came the fun part. If you have never worked with Claycrete before- I highly recommend it! I order mine from Sax 
and a 20 lb box is usually enough to get me through an entire grade level. I give each student their own individual bowl with a heaping 
handful of Claycrete. I pour about 3/4-1 cup of water into it and about 3 tbsp. of glue. They use their hands to mix it up really well. I go around with a pitcher of water and add water to the bowls that are too dry. It should not be dripping wet, but the entire mixture should be moist.

Once it is completely mixed, pass out a skull pattern to each student. This is just a basic shape that I drew and xeroxed. I also give each student a piece of wax paper with a small piece of masking tape on it (to write their names on).

The wax paper goes on top of the pattern (you can see the pattern through the wax paper, without getting Claycrete all over it). The students put the Claycrete onto the wax paper and begin forming their skull. It should be about 1/2"-3/4" thick and smooth.
By the next week, the skulls are dry and we choose 1 color to paint the entire surface. I use acrylic paint for this (I'm not sure if
 tempera would work or not). Then they add facial features and designs with other colors.

The last step is to use beads, sequins, and broken pieces of jewelry (I have tubs of discarded jewelry that were donated by a local store- Charming Charlie's That was a HUGE hit!!!) I had them glue these on with craft glue, instead of school glue and that seemed to hold the pieces on a lot better.

I have been putting all of the finished projects into a display case in our main entryway. There are still 2 classes that need to finish this week, but I will add pictures of the finished display once they are complete.

Pin It

First Grade Picasso's

My first graders are going to be learning about European artists this year and the first one to kick off the new year- Pablo Picasso. They loved looking at his portraits and how he made the eyes look like they were looking out at you and also like they were looking off to the side (the profile). They thought it was very silly that the eyes were not aligned in many of the portraits and how he made many facial features different sizes. They noticed that he didn't always use realistic colors to paint his portraits.
We started our portraits by drawing the head. I let them decide what shape they wanted to use. They could use the standard oval shape or be creative and use a non-standard shape. I had some use triangles, rectangles, squares, etc. Then I had them draw a neck and add 2 lines going out from the neck to create the shoulders. I then had them add hair and told them to make it big and wild.                                                                                     They drew a line down the middle of the face to create the nose and then traced everything with a black marker.
We did a quick review of warm and cool colors (something that we had done previously in Kindergarten) and then they used liquid watercolors (I have pretty much given up on using the regular watercolors. The liquid have a much nicer color and I don't have to replace them every day!) to paint their face with either warm or cool colors.                                                                 They drew the eyes and nose on a separate sheet of paper, drawing 1 eye facing forward and the other in profile and then I had them draw a BIG mouth. Again, they traced them with black marker and painted. Except this time, they painted with the opposite color scheme.
They cut out the heads and glued them onto a piece of construction paper, remembering to use dots of glue to keep it neat and then cut out the eyes and mouth. We reviewed the placement of the eyes in Picasso's paintings and they set to work gluing the facial features on their portraits.
There were lots of giggles as they were assembling their projects. They thought they were really silly!!!

Pin It