Monday, June 25, 2012

First Grade Klimt Trees

 I originally found this lesson in the November 2010 issue of Arts and Activities magazine. It was written for upper elementary students and I adapted it to work for my first graders.

We started out by creating our background paper, using a wet-on-wet technique with liquid watercolors. The students chose whether they wanted warm or cool colors. They used spray bottles to spray their papers with water and then dipped their brushes into the paint and dab it onto their paper.

Then we looked at Klimt's "Tree of Life" and discussed the different lines and patterns that the students saw. I gave each child a 6 x 8 piece of Styrofoam and had them draw a tree on it. They started with their trunk and then I demonstrated how they could build their branches using spiral lines. I asked them to make sure their branches touched the top and both sides so that they had
 a full tree, not a tree that just went straight up into the air. Then I had them fill in their trunk with a pattern of their choice.

Then I set up a printing station. While students were working on their Styrofoam, I had those that were finished, come over to me and they rolled black ink onto their Styrofoam, making sure to cover the entire piece.

Then they placed it in the middle of their painted background and used a clean brayer to press the Styrofoam and ink onto the paper.
 I love the contrast of the black ink against the painted backgrounds!

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