Wednesday, July 9, 2014

First Grade Rousseau Jungles

 First grade looked at a variety of prints by Henri Rousseau. They focused on how the animals seemed to be hidden in the foliage of the jungle.

Then we read the book, Who's the Beast by Keith Baker.

I put out a variety of old calendar pages with animals on them and asked them to practice drawing just the head of the animal. We talked about making the drawing bigger than our hand, so that it would fill up the space.

Once they had the head drawn, I showed them how to draw different plants to make it look like their animal was hiding in the jungle. The plants had to touch the edge of the paper, as well as touch the head of the animal. I also showed them how to draw plants all around the page (top, bottom, and both sides).

 When they had their drawing the way they wanted it, I showed them the 3 choices that they would have for their project:
1.  black glue with liquid watercolor
2.  muslin, glue and liquid watercolor
3.  marker

Black glue with liquid watercolor
I gave the students a piece of watercolor paper (9x12). They drew their jungle scene with pencil first.

Then they traced all of the lines with black glue (school glue mixed with black acrylic paint).

Once the glue was dry, I put out trays of liquid watercolor. We started with the plants first, so I gave them a 3-4 different shades of green to use. The black glue helped stop the paint from bleeding.

We then moved on to our animals. I told them that since they were the artist, they did not have to paint their animal using realistic colors. If they wanted a pink giraffe, they could make a pink giraffe.

The last step was painting the background (all of the space that was left over). My one qualification for this was that I didn't want them to use a color that had been previously used.

 Muslin, glue and liquid watercolor
For this project, I had pre-cut the muslin into 9x12 pieces.

The students used a pencil to draw their picture onto the muslin first.

Then they traced over the lines with white school glue.

When the glue was dry, they used the same watercolor procedure as the black glue project.

Once the entire project was dry, the glue was peeled off of the muslin.

***This is where we had technical difficulties. The glue was very difficult to peel. I ended up having to peel the majority of it. I tried washing the muslin under water to loosen the glue, but that DID NOT WORK! The glue got very sticky and all of the color washed out of the muslin. Ugh!!

Any suggestions on how to fix this?????????

I gave the students a 9x12 piece of drawing paper. Again, they drew their image with pencil first.

They traced over the pencil with black marker and used an eraser to erase the stray pencil lines.

In my room, I have all of my markers sorted into stackable plastic tubs by color, so for this part, I pulled out the green marker tub. They used any other the green markers that they wanted to color their plants.

 The animals were colored with any colors that the children wanted.

The sky was filled in with a color that they had not previously used.

Overall, I was very pleased with how these turned out. The students did a really good job overlapping their plants and animal and we are finally getting the concept of drawing big!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kindergarten Rattles

For our Native American Rattle project, we started out by looking at a variety of rattles:

I gave the student 3 choices for their rattles:
1.  small water bottles
2.  toilet paper roll
3.  2 small containers

Water Bottle Rattles
The students began by adding small beads (leftover Mardi Gras beads that I had cut up) to their bottles. paper mache paste. Once they were dry, I used an exacto knife to cut a small slit in the side of the bottle. The children wrapped a tongue depressor with colored tape and inserted this into the bottle.

They put the cap on and then we taped it (so that they wouldn't be tempted to open them). They covered the bottles with tissue paper and

 Toilet Paper Rolls
I gave each student 2 circle with slits cut around the outside. They taped one of these on one end. Beads were added and then the 2nd circle was added and taped to the other end. Once both ends were taped. The students used permanent markers to color their rattles. I used the exacto knife to cut a small slit and they added the tape covered handle.

 2 Small Containers
Each student was given 2 matching containers (yogurt or jello worked best). Beads were added to one and then the containers were taped together. The containers were painted with acrylic paint. The tape covered handles were added at the end.

For all 3 rattles, the students decorated them with sequins to give them some sparkle. Pin It

Kindergarten Eric Carle

To begin this project, I showed the students the following YouTube video:

As the video was playing, I had the students focus their attention on how he was painting his tissue papers.

I set up painting stations at the tables. Each table had 1 plate of paint with 1 color of tempera. On the plate, I placed 2 textured rollers that I had purchased from School Specialty:
Textured Rollers 1
Textured Rollers 2
Textured Rollers 3

Each student got 1 piece of tissue paper that I had cut in half (more manageable for little hands). I showed them how to place this onto a piece of construction paper and hold it with their hands on the side (like they hold their cafeteria trays).

 Each student started at a table. They were allowed to roll the brayer 2 times in the paint (I showed them how to count out loud and pointed out that if they rolled more than 2 times, that the paint would run out and there was NO MORE paint!). Then they rolled 2 times onto their tissue paper. The brayers were placed back onto the paint plates.
 They picked up their construction paper/tissue paper, remembering to carry it like their cafeteria tray, and moved to another table. The process was repeated.
 Once they had used all of the colors, they brought their papers to me at the drying rack. Then they were allowed to wash their hands and sit on the carpet.
 As more students finished, I chose students who had finished to help pick up plates and brayers and start the cleaning process.

For the second day, I had cut the dried tissue paper into smaller pieces and sorted them into color tubs.

 Each table had a variety of shape tracers (ovals, circles, squares, rectangles, etc). After reading a few different Eric Carle books, the students chose an insect that they wanted to build using the collage method.
They chose the colored tissue paper that they wanted, traced the appropriate shape and glued the pieces onto a piece of white paper.
 Once their insect was finished, they used the paper to add details: flowers, sun, grass, etc.
 I have these stored for the summer and they will be put on display at the beginning of next year, when the students start first grade.

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Kindergarten Calder Sculptures

This project started out with a presentation that I put together about Alexander Calder. The students really enjoyed looking at his art and learning about mobiles. This was something completely different than what they had done in the past.

All of the students started out by tracing basic shape tracers onto construction paper. They cut these out and placed them into an envelope that we had created out of a piece of newsprint.

The next week, the student took markers and decorated all of their shapes with patterns. They used a hole punch to punch a hole in each shape.

Then they chose which project they wanted to build: a hanging mobile or a free-standing sculpture.

For the mobile, the children got a wire hanger. I showed them how to bend the hanger into a fun shape. This was not as easy as it sounds. Some of the children had a difficult time manipulating the thick wire.
They tied pre-cut yarn onto their shapes and then tied the shapes onto the hanger. Before we did this, we had a quick lesson on how to tie a knot.

For the sculptures, I had ordered Foam Carving Blocks from School Specialty. I cut them in half and gave each child 1 piece. Then they were allowed to get 2 pieces of Sculpture Wire. I showed them how to add the shapes to the wire first. Then they twisted the wire to make interesting designs. Each end was poked into the foam block.

Once the wire was in the block, they manipulated it and twisted it more to make it stand up the way they wanted it.

Some issues that I had with this project and which I will need to fix for next time:

1.  The hangers were difficult for little hands to bend.
2.  The shapes that the students used were too big. We will need to use smaller shapes.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

PreKinder Monoprint Flowers

The last project that PreK did for the year, was a monoprint project.

I gave each child a 12x18 piece of white paper and asked them to fold it in half.

They used squeeze bottles of paint (red, yellow, blue) and squirted paint on 1 side of the paper, near the fold. I demonstrated how to squirt a SMALL amount of paint and made a big deal about how they shouldn't use too much. After the demonstration, I only had 1 student who went overboard on the paint. Yea!!!

The refolded the paper and rubbed all over with their hands, spreading the paint out from the middle. When they opened the papers up, the "oohs", "wows", "awesomes", and "cools" were music to my ears!

We left these on the drying rack and cleaned up. End of day 1.

The next class, they came back and cut around their paint design. I gave each student a 18x24 piece of construction paper and they glued their "flower" at the top of the paper. Now on to the stem and leaves. I had pre-cut strips of green paper that only needed to be glued on to the paper. For the leaves, I made tracers (not my favorite thing in the world, but I needed to make sure that their leave were large enough for these big flowers). They traced 2 leaves, cut them out and glued them onto their flower.

I have these stored and ready to hang up in August when we go back to school.

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