Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Children's Books for Color Lessons

Looking for some great books for Kinder and First Grade that have to do with basic color?!
 I'm sure you have Little Blue and Little Yellow in your repertoire but
check these out:
 by Hannah Rainforth & Ali Teo
(Good for second also)

 By Greg Foley

 By Eric Carle

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Getting ready for winter - round up of past projects!

(image courtesy of bomobob.etsy.com)

Since the winter season is quickly nearing and I'm sure most of you are lesson planning I thought it would be a great help to post a recap of some of my past winter-themed lessons before I delve into this years. You can also click on the "winter" label and get more details. 



Model magic over wine corks, and cut straw beaks.

Penguin portraits.


Snowflakes printed with cardboard scraps and white tempera.

Snowy self-portraits.

pattern mittens and hot cocoa.

Collaged mittens and hat. Great way to use up scraps of random materials
and a very tactile experience for Pre-K, K, and 1st. 

Stars - Snowflakes - Landscapes !

Tissue paper collage, model magic border, crayon/watercolor resist.

Cityscape Snowglobe

Snowman paper collage.

Snowman painting and oil pastel.

Near and far winter landscapes- white conte over gray paper.

Collaborative installation: torn paper snowman, intro to snowflake cutting,
cut out hands for the trees.

Collage winter trees and watercolor stars.

Long Night Moon book, night time landscape with chalk.

Winter birch trees and snowy owls.


For some pins I've had my eye for inspiration this coming winter season click here!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Autumn tree collages

First graders did texture rubbing with black chunk crayons on cut up craft paper. 
Then we made trees (a la the strategy I have used for other projects see here and here).
I like using this strategy with kinder and first grade because it really makes a difference when they go to draw trees and they feel comfortable adding on branches rather than resorting to "lollipop trees".

Going on, 
The next class we took a look at Amate Barkcloth Painting. 
The kids drew birds, nest, and brightly colored eggs using colored pencil on scraps of craft paper, cut them out and glued them on to the trees. 
*They are a little hard to spot on the pictures, I"ll take a few details more tomorrow. 

*The color came out kind of funky on a few of these photos for some reason, I apologize.

 Lastly, using long cotton swabs (one of my favorite items ever!, especially for plates of elmers glue)
we dotted on yellow, orange, and red tempera for the leaves. 

They have been added to my autumn leaf color wheel bulletin board. 

 This idea was actually my principal's! I took it and ran with it and it is really cool!
Kids can bring in leaves and pin them up.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

tooling foil- questions answered!

Some of you may have inherited a roll of metal tooling foil or seen some of these beautiful metal projects on blogs and pinterest and not known what the material is. 

It is metal tooling foil. It can be bought cut down already or in a roll (and comes in silver, gold, copper).
For an example from Dick Blick click here.

Here are the tricks to using it!

First of all you can cut it down on the paper cutter! Woo!
It can also be cut with scissors if you want to alter the shape.
(I would only let students fourth grade and older do this though.)
As I explain to my students, you need a "cushion" underneath the metal when you draw on it so that there is some give for the metal and place for it to be pushed to. I use the metaphor of what it feels like to jump on a hard floor versus a gym mat. For the cushion I fold up newspaper, works great. 

I also make my students use the fat pencils (the kinder ones) which have a fatter softer point so they won't make a hole and the point won't break as easily. 
The cool thing is that you can draw on both sides so that the design both gets incised/engraved
and also can pop out. We really focus on texture during this process.
You can't erase any lines so we do a lot of rough drafts. 
I used to have the kids tape and trace their rough draft designs but I aborted that a while ago. 

For coloring, this is tricky to get across- I really emphasize coloring in the negative spaces and letting the silver pencil lines show (like a coloring book) but there are always one or two that sneak past me and just go ahead and trace their lines. 
Colored sharpies (or liquid metal markers) work best for coloring. Sharpies are actually transparent and not opaque- so the color looks metallic which the kids love. 

I did a patina experiment this fall- where we covered the metal with black tempera, let it set up for 1 minute, then rubbed away the paint. I think they came out cool. It was fun to try something different.

Bonus- you can punch a hole in the metal as well. 
Last year I cut down 2" squares and punched a hole in the corner.
The students made snowflake designs and strung yarn through the hole to hang them. 

If you want them "framed" you can staple it right to posterboard.

Frida-inspired Portraits with First Grade

 First of all, this book is SO fantastic!
Frida by Jonah Winter
I would read it to elementary or even middle school students because the pictures are beautiful and the text is concise and well written, quickly hitting the big ideas students should be taking from Frida's life and work.

Moving on, following the reading self-portraits I decided while
we were in the groove to do self-portraits of the students whole faces too.
I took it as an opportunity to tie in an artist and have been itching to get to Frida!
The children get so invested when they learn about an artist's life it is truly worth the time to share the information. The kids were so invested in their pictures AND Frida. 

I approached her work as an artist this way:
Frida Kahlo was a sad person because she was in pain. She really enjoyed art so she painted to make herself feel better. She painted many self-portraits that included things that made her happy using her imagination since she often could not leave her bedroom or house. This is why we see animals, flowers, and vegetation in her images. 
What makes you happy?

Students drew self-portraits, used their appropriate skin color crayon, and added in things, places, and people that make them happy. These included many animals, pictures of family member, Six Flags (of course), flowers, and bright colors.

Did you know she had a pet deer?