I recently came across the book, Kindness Grows by Britta Teckentrup and just fell in love with it. Then another art teacher posted a project of a tree inspired by Gustav Klimt and I decided I must bring these two things together for one of my grades. That grade is third grade and we will be creating these beautiful trees inspired by two other beautiful trees!
Kinders started working on some Spring-inspired pictures this week. We looked at some of Henri Rousseau’s artwork and lots of pictures of beautiful flowers. We also discussed our favorite bugs/spiders/snakes. We talked about how to completely fill our paper with objects, even if that meant that some of the object wouldn’t be seen. This week we are drawing the plants and flowers. Next week we will add the magnifying glass with our favorite bug. We used construction paper crayons for this project, with some help from regular crayons inside the magnifying glass.
After attending the Art of Ed online conference, I was again inspired to step out of my comfort zone and let the kids go crazy, making some Valentines. I have always loved the IDEA of putting out a bunch of stuff and letting the kids just have a ball with it in their own, different, personalized ways. But in real life, I am not entertaining 12-14 perfect angels in my own classroom with an endless (or even reasonable) amount of time to play. In REAL life, I am educating 18-21 sweet and well-meaning first graders in 40 minutes on a cart. I have to get things set up and then cleaned up and put away within those 40 minutes because I have another class waiting on me up two flights of stairs. The stairs are not the problem. And I can be the most prepared and organized person in the world but I will never be a magic genie that can wiggle my nose and make everything clean and tidy (no matter how many times or how hard I’ve tried!!!)
With that said, I attempted this last week. It was crazy but great! I couldn’t have asked for a better, more patient set of students. Some of them didn’t even get to touch paint until 5 minutes before I had to start cleaning up. But no one complained and they were all pleased with their artwork. It was so bright and colorful and heartfelt, you just have to love it. It made them feel like real artists and that is what I strive for in EVERY class.
So, here’s to choice-based art and dirty tables…
(For real this time!)
So, I know I joked on our pitiful snow day but it did actually snow that night! We had a great time waiting and watching. I had just as much fun with the first graders, drawing self portraits in the snow!
Originally I had planned for this to be a directed drawing. But after the art conference I attended, I decided to have a go with asking the kids a question and their response is the artwork. After discussing self portraits with them, I asked them, “if you drew a self portrait in the snow, what would it look like?” They did such a great job with this! There were kids making snow angels, some having snowball fights, some riding sleds, and some up close and personal portraits of sweet smiles and ear muffs.
We used construction paper crayons on black paper.
We also took time at the end of class to point out some great things about each others artwork. The kids had some very thoughtful points to make and they all enjoyed it.
And check out some real snow pictures!
This is another lesson that I’ve been doing for years but have never documented.
Second grade discusses Henri Rousseau and how we can use a combination of our imaginations and real life to put together a composition of something or some place that we’ve never seen before.
Everything is made from cut paper and they always turn out so colorful.
Oh my goodness. This is not a project for those with limited patience. Still not sure that I’ll survive it myself and I feel like I have a pretty good supply.
I found this project and thought it looked nice. It’s definitely not something I’ve ever attempted before and I have the largest classes i have ever had. I printed the lines on the construction paper with the copier and it was great scissor-using practice. But then we had to start weaving… Whew! A few kids picked it up right away. I’m hoping that next week, after round two, I can get them all on board.
This week, fourth grade started work on their “Magic Carpets” by painting some of the paper they will use for it. We will probably spend another class painting paper, another class typing up some lines about ourselves to weave into the carpets and then the final class will be spent doing the actual weaving. This might take two classes – we’ll see! I’ll share pictures as we progress through the project, so check back in later. For now, this is my sample:
All the finished Weavings can be found in this post: