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.

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