Thursday, January 28, 2010

Art History Biopix

Fifth graders are working on entries in their sketchbooks. We call them Art History Biopix. Above is one of my examples. The assignment is to show the artist and what his or her art looked like. It's okay to translate these masterpieces into cartoony or "kid-style" images. Then we write two or three (or more) facts about the artist.

Everybody gets a different book about an artist. We signed out all the artist biographies from the library, which has about 40 excellent books about artists. The assignment is not to read the whole book, but to use them for research. We find the facts we need for our posters.

Find something interesting and put it in your own words! Ethan has done a great job with this Andy Warhol. Check out some of the other great artists from history -- as seen through the eyes of fifth graders!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pennsylvania Pinch Bugs

This is second grade's first sculpture project this year. We are working our way up to a dinosaur clay sculpture, but this is a fun introduction. The product we're using is called Super-Dough. Everyone is making a sculpture of an insect. We start with a glob of clay, then shape it into a cylinder. Next we pinch the clay until the shape resembles a bowling pin. We add creative details with pipe cleaners. Of course, insects have six legs and antennae.
Some of the details are a little less realistic, but very creative!
When finished, everyone wrote a little story about their bug.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

American Flamingo by John James Audobon

Kindergarten and first graders are learning about the artist John James Audobon. Many artists have a favorite thing to draw -- his was birds. His life work was to create life-sized engravings of 500 species of North American birds.

There are two books in our library that helped us understand this artist more. From The Boy who Drew Birds we learned the scientists of his time didn't know much about birds. For instance, to answer the question of where birds went for the winter, some believed that birds transformed themselves from one species of bird to anther. Others claimed that they hybernated underwater all winter. One scientist even claimed that birds traveled to the moon each fall and returned in the spring. He claimed the trip took 60 days! Do you see why it was so important for an artist/scientist to study birds and learn the truth?

From Into the Woods, we learned about Audobon's methods for observing, studying and painting birds.

After learning about the artist and painting, students learned which shapes and colors can be used to draw flamingos.

Below are some finished drawings by kindergarteners.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Comics about Bullying

Fifth graders are finishing up their comic strips in pen and ink. Each student created original cartoon characters and wrote a comic about bullying. The story might show how bullying makes us feel, or it might show how a bully has learned from the consequences of his or her actions.

Here is one of the first completed comics. I thought it was very clever how the artist used names from common texting messages like BRB, LOL and TTYL. There are also very clever puns related to how each character is a nose, mouth, or eye (who are part of the Senses Bureau!). Click on the comic to see a larger view.

Making "Friends" in the Art Room

Fourth graders are "making friends" in the art room. They are sewing pieces of felt together to make soft sculptures. The images above are examples from previous years.

We use darning needles because they're a little bit easier for kids to use. Some students have chosen to take theirs home to do a little sewing at home. It's also okay to get a little help from home, if they like.

Some kids are finished and starting to stuff it with cotton batting. We use the paint brush to make sure the batting gets into the legs and arms of the figure.