Saturday, March 30, 2013

More books off the shelf

This is the second post of my list of books used in classroom lessons.  Seasonally, I begin with this group of books when school begins after the winter holidays.

"Snowballs" by Lois Ehert is a creative collage book.  Students love to pick out the various details.  I often use this with Kinders.  They sponge paint circles for snowmen on blue construction paper and buttons, felt, googly eyes and various other objects are used to embellish the snowmen.

"Dave the Potter" by Laban Hill.  I use this book to introduce students to a historical value of pottery prior to beginning the winter clay unit.  I typically read it to 1st graders prior to their beginning to construct ugly cups.

Product Details"The Little Indian Pottery Maker" by Ann Nolan Clark is a very old book that I use with my Kinders.  It tells the story of the significance of pottery making to native American families.  It is a cultural passing on of skills.  I am not 100% happy with this narrative because it presents the pottery maker as a women's job and seems a bit gender bias but it is a cute little story and also represents the importance of pottery making in history.  The book is out of print but copies can be obtained on Amazon.
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"The Valentine Bears" by Eve Bunting.  Hibernating bears generally miss out on celebrating valentine's day with their significant others but in this story,  Mrs. Bear plans a surprise for Mr. Bear.  I use this book with Kinders the week of Valentines Day each year.  I have them cut out hearts to work on cutting skills that I have run off on Red and Pink construction paper.  Bear puppets are assembled using paper bags using the hearts.  I think my original copy master for this project was for a Koala bear.

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Product Details"One Fish, Two Fish" by Dr. Seuss is the source for a Project with Kinders using watercolor and step by step fish drawing.    I previously posted this project in February 25, 2013 as Dr. Seuss fish by Kinders.

"The Crayon Box that Talked" by Shane DeRolf.  This project is a based on a cooperative lesson about working together which is the theme of the book.  I previously posted that lesson early in the month as Wacky Bird Mural.

Product Details"Flotsam" by Dave Wiesner.  Wiesner's books are full of fabulous illustrations and lack words.  They are always terrific to use if you are trying to teach the concept of a picture telling a story.  I generally use his books with Kinders or 1st graders when I am striving for an illustrative narrative with their work.

Product DetailsProduct Details"The Circus is Coming" by Hilary Knight is a fun book with colorful engaging illustrations.  I posted this lesson recently as Literacy in Art.
I also use "Toulouse Lautrecs The Circus" from Dover Printing and "Circus: Looking at Painting" by Peggy Roalf to accompany this lesson for the visuals.

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I've seen numerous post with some fantastic ideas for using Leo Lionni "Swimmy".  I recently used this one with first graders for a lesson on creating space in a composition.  I needed visuals of the ocean and fish for the students to draw from.  It is also a terrific little story about working together cooperatively.

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Fourth graders learn about more current artist for a project incorporating shapes to help them to familiarize with 3D shapes prior to MCAS.  One of those artist is Keith Haring and I love the book I wish I didn't have to sleep  It is a fun interactive experience with Haring's works along with a brief historical biography.  The lesson can be found on my blog as Keith Haring Cubes.
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With kinders creating circus projects in March, I also bring in A Color Clown Comes to Town by Jane Belk Moncure.  This book is a bit juvenile but the Kinders seem to enjoy it anyway for the predictable outcomes. It's good for color mixing reinforcement.  As I read along, students predict the part of the story where the colors are mixed.  Using shapes, the lesson is about drawing a portrait of a clown.

The list continues but I will do that with another post.  Happy reading, I hope some of these literacy/art connection lesson ideas are helpful to your planning.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's Art Time

I picked up this really cool wall clock at 5 Below for, of course, just $5.00 the other weekend.  My clock in my classroom quit working a while ago and this seemed perfect for my room.  It did not come this way.  It is a whiteboard clock.   It is metal and you write on it with a whiteboard marker.  I used a sharpie for the numbers and these words so that they wouldn't easily erase.  But, I did read on Pinterest that you can erase marker by using a whiteboard marker.  The original suggestion involved writing students names directly on their desk and erasing them at the end of the year by going over them with a whiteboard marker.   It does work, I messed up on the placement of the numbers and grabbed a whiteboard marker.  In no time, I was able to clean off the mistake and begin again.  I think the clock looks great in my room and the kids like it too.  Most of them have to be convinced that it is real.  My thoughts, what better way to remind them that in the art room it is always "Art Time"!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Art on my hands, I mean hooves

My daughter, who is in college by the way, is totally into My Little Pony and has set out to create our entire family as ponies.   This is her latest endeavor for me.  This is my little "Art on my hooves" pony that was specially created to grace my blog.  My cutie mark is two little hooves throwing a pot due to my love of pottery and I believe the palette and paint brush represent me as a face painter.  Of course the laptop is visible with Art on my hooves on the screen since I spend more time working on my blog that anything else these days!  Wanted to share the works of my talented kid!

Texture Notan Designs

Every year 2nd grade students go on a Texture Safari.  We first define safari and then talk about texture to make sure there is a clear understanding of our goal.  Students then use 12' x 18' paper and square crayons in a variety of colors to search for textures in the classroom. These are crayon texture rubbings that have been incorporated into art for ages.   The student's goal  is to completely cover the paper with texture from side to side allowing for overlap and not allowing for white spaces. I usually gather a few items up to supplement what I know is readily available in the room to make certain students understand the concept of texture.  The class is filled with many exclamations of "wow, look at this one" and "where did you find that texture" during the class time.  I usually have students complete two papers.  This does take a full class period.  Week two, students select one of their papers for part two of the lesson.  Inspired by Notan Designs, the students turned their papers over and drew lines that originated from one side of the paper and ended on the same side of the paper near to the origin.  They were encouraged to draw one line on each for the short sides of the paper and at least two on each of the longer sides of the paper.   These shapes were cut away and everything was glued on a larger piece of paper, student choice of color.

In previous years these papers have been used to create a tangram based project.   Shapes were drawn on the back of the papers and once the shapes were cut out then configured into a composition.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Positive and negative space

This is a lesson I tried for the first time with 5 th grade students this year.  First they painted values of white and green to create the sky and ground.  Week two students cut the paper to create a tree.  The paper was cut from top to bottom and using one side of the paper at a time, branches were cut for the tree.  As the cutting occurred, students glued down the painted paper onto a brown background leaving a gap to expose the background paper which would become the tree.  For some students this was an easy project for others the concept was a bit challenging.  Once all the tree had been exposed, extra painted paper was trimmed away and a black sharpie was used to add texture to,the tree.  Here are examples of student work.

Here are some more photos from my other school where the trees were created on a white background and made to look like Birch Trees.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Off my bookshelf and into my lessons

The following is a beginning list of books that I use for my lessons.  This year I started shelving them in the order I use them so my bookshelf is very organized!   This beginning list takes us through the end of December.   I will follow up with another post later on to complete the list.

"The Dot" by Peter Reynolds
I love the catch phrase about just making your mark.  I usually start the year by reading this to Kinders and often re-reading to the older grades.

"Art" by Patrick McDonnell is the story of a little boy who makes art and Mom loves Art (and his art)

"Dem Bones" by Barner.  I use this one with a 3rd grade project for Day of the Dead.   Students learn about the bone structure of the body and create a skeleton using craft straws.  After the bones of the skeleton are completed, students collage dress them using wall paper clothes.

"Free Fall" by David Wiesner.  This book is great if you are trying to have students recognized the power of the illustration in telling a story.  There are no words in the book just beautiful illustrations.

"The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle.  This books is terrific as a read before a line project with Kinders that turns into a web with spider.

"Jeremy Draws a Monster" by Peter McCarty.  I love this one with third grade students.  It is a funny little story about a boy who is not very social but loves to draw and creates a monster who turns out to not be a very good friend.   It ends happily ever after.  Third grade students create their own imaginary monsters with an emphasis on shapes.

"I Spy Shapes in Art" and "I Spy Colors in Art" by Lucy Micklethwait.  These are must haves on the bookshelf.   Students enjoy searching for shapes and colors in famous works of art.

"The Mitten" by Jan Brett.  All of Jan Brett's books are wonderful for the art room.  I generally use this one with Kindergarten.

All the Snowmen books by Caralyn Buehner and her husband, Mark.  These are wonderful for a multitude of grade levels but I generally use them with 1st grade to investigate Space.  The illustrations are wonderful examples of defining near and far.

"The Trees of the Dancing Goats" by Patricia Polaco.  This is another book I use with the Kinders.  I like to use this one at the holiday time.  It is the story of families who celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas and honor and support each other's beliefs.    For the project, students create little model magic goats.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Literacy in Art

I had the pleasure of attending a Professional Day at the Williams College Museum of Art yesterday where we viewed an exhibit on literacy integration into Art.  I always enjoy the opportunities at WCMA and walk out with something to incorporate into my teaching after every PD opportunity.  
With yesterday reflecting on my mind, I opened a blog post today from a fellow blogger at Teach Kids Art who has shared links to popular children's books that might be incorporated into lesson plans in the art room.  I am inspired to think more deeply about what I am already doing and how I might further incorporate literacy into my lessons.  I recently ordered a new book by Barney Salzberg "Andrew Drew and Drew" that will definitely be the delight of my Kindergarten classes.  I already share "Beautiful Opps" with them.  Check that one out as well if you are not familiar with it.  I try to begin every session with the Kindergarten classes with a children's book.  I don't necessarily use the book to create the lesson every time but it might some how connect.  
For instance, Kinders are currently learning about the circus and drawing animals using shapes.  I read the book "The Circus is Coming" by Hilary Knight before we begin drawing.  My focus is really on shapes and how they can combine in drawing but the circus is a great way to pull the students in prior to the drawing.  Most of my focus with Kindergarten is on the mechanics of tool use and shapes.  They learn to color "slow, slow, slow around the edges" so they obtain the mastery to stay in the lines and to visualize how every thing can be created if they can identify what shapes are used.  My purpose is to lay a foundation for less structured drawing in the later grades. 
 I hope to create an addition to this blog over the next few days/weeks showing my favorite books that I currently used in my teaching.  Check back, okay?!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wacky Bird Mural - A study in Cooperative Art Making

stock vector : seamless vector pattern with birds and treesThis image was the inspiration for a 1st grade cooperative project this past week.  I generally have first grade students work in cooperative groups at this time of the year and have approached the lesson in a number of different ways over the years.   I think this one ranks high on the success factor.  I begin the lesson by reading the book "The Crayon Box that Talked" by Shane Derolf.

Stress is given to the importance of cooperation and the success that is achieve through kind words and support for others.  Students then work together to create a mural on a common subject.  This year the subject in one of my buildings was birds in a tree.   I used this fun handout from Expressive Monkey to assist students in creating their own wacky bird.   They colored with markers, cut them out as skillfully as possible to remove all white borders and glued them on the tree in their place of choice.
1st grade Wacky Birds Mural