Friday, January 19, 2018

Observational Fish Drawings: Artists as Scientists with 4th Graders

  We began a lesson in observational drawing, being sci/artists.  We looked at a slide show of the Swiss 16th century artist/ scientist/ scholar/ physican/ naturalist,  Conrad Gesner.  We learned that he wrote and published a 4,500 page book of the animals of the world that included both mythical creatures, actual creatures and creatures that were described by sea captains but perhaps never documented in any other way.  He was considered the father of modern zoology.

We used wood cuts of his fish as inspiration for our fish drawings.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Collaborative Design Challenge with Fourth Graders

Four grade artists have been working hard on individual projects such as their Zentangle leaves and experimenting on  color mixing.  Due to the unusual schedule of the wind storm disruptions some classes were able to jump ahead to a collaborative design lesson, versions of which I give students throughout the grades and years.

Part of the art curriculum calls for creative collaboration  and work to instill a growth mindset. I have found that students work very well if the groups are random, there is a set time in which to create and there are limited resources and a non-competitive environment ( i.e. we don't judge the creations).  I try to impress on the students that these are conditions that they may find themselves in later in life, real life work conditions where we work with co-workers ( not necessarily friends), have a time line to complete a job, and have a budget to stay within and are asked to suggest or draft different solutions to one problem.

A key concept of this activity was collaborative cooperation. At our end of class group reflection with Mrs. Winton's class these are some of the things kids had to say:
We tried really hard
• We combined ideas
• We added ideas to ideas to make a better idea.
• We made new ideas from mistakes and failures ( collapsed blocks)
• We worked with people we hadn't before and it was fun.
• We had different job descriptions; we each did a different part, one was the idea person, one did the backdrop, one of us did the building. 

Below are images of the collaborative artists and their creations from Mrs. Winton's Class.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Collaged Paper Puppets

Second grade artists are starting off November with some fabulous collaged paper puppets inspired by Rebecca and Ed Emberley's book  If you are a Monster and You Know it....   . Below are images of completed paper puppets by Ms. Davis' class and is a slide show of collages, in process by Mrs. Moll's class.
Completed monster puppets by Ms. Davis' class 

Students were challenged not only to transform pieces of paper into an imaginary critter, but also were challenged to only ' draw with their scissors', no pencils or markers were used for this lesson so artists had to think in shapes and colors.  While at first some students were apprehensive, once they got into the cutting and gluing no one seemed to even notice that they were not using a drawing tool.

This is a make and take lesson so second grade families should see these puppets home soon.