This was one of my favorite projects created by my Kindergarten students last Spring. To start out the lesson, we watched this short Sesame Street counting video featuring Andy Warhol’s flower prints. Students also viewed more of his flower prints, noticing how the prints were very similar except for the colors. This led us into a discussion on printmaking, a process that allows the artist to create many pictures out of just one, using a stamp, screen, or printing plate.
Students first stamped the grass using recycled cardboard. Next, they drew and cut out a flower shape from craft foam, gluing it onto a cardboard backing. The next class, after the stamps were dry, students printed their flowers onto pink and yellow construction paper. They really loved discovering how many flowers they could make from their one stamp! Each artwork turned out bold and vibrant, just like Warhol’s originals.
1st grade students read two books to get us ready for our rainy day collages: Rain Rain Rivers by Uri Shulevitz and vintage children’s book The Wet Walk by Carol Woodard. Students used their pattern skills to create designs for their U-shaped umbrellas using a black crayon. Bleeding tissue paper was placed over their umbrellas and painted over with water to create a watercolor effect.
The next class, students cut out their umbrellas and made a handle. We assembled our umbrellas upside down to catch the rain! For the finishing touch, students painted raindrops using shiny, metallic paint. A great project for the start of spring!
My youngest students always find our color mixing unit so magical. My favorite book to introduce the concept is Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. They love guessing what colors the mice will mix up next and I find many of my students I had previously in PreK will actually remember the formula for creating new colors! They are amazed that you can create so many new colors out of the three primaries.
After talking about the primary colors, I showed them a Powerpoint of Mondrian paintings, where we noticed that he used lots of rectangles and squares as well as the primary colors. They made a collage with black paper strips, creating different sized rectangles and squares.
The next class we went over the color mixing formulas. I worked with the students in small groups, making sure to only keep two primary colors at each table. So, I had an orange table, a green table, and a purple table. This really helped to give them the full color mixing experience rather than ending up with brown paint all over their papers. They mixed the colors inside each square or rectangle. They all had such a blast and were thrilled to discover they really could make a new color just by mixing two primary colors. Success!
Inspired by this project found on Artsonia.
Last spring my 1st graders had the chance to learn about the importance of cherry blossoms in Japanese culture. They viewed a National Geographic video telling the history of the cherry trees and saw how picnics are still held during the short blooming season to honor the beauty and wonder of the pink and white blossoms. Students also had the chance to see a Powerpoint showing examples of both painted and printed cherry blossoms. We talked about the shape of the branches and flowers to get them ready for their own prints.
Students used recycled cardboard to print the branches and a q-tip for the blossoms. They all turned out so unique and cheery.
3rd grade students enjoyed exploring the relationship between color and emotion for this project. To introduce the lesson, I read My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. The vibrant oil painted illustrations related beautifully to the emotions being described by color. Students then chose the emotion they wanted to represent and picked the color that went best with it. They learned how to create tints and shades of one color using white and black tempera paint. They were amazed to find how many different versions of their color they were able to mix.
The second class, we read Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberely. We noticed how each monster’s features were made up of simple shapes and different shades of a similar color. Students were challenged to create their emotion monster only using the colors found in their paintings completed the previous class. We talked about facial expressions and how you can tell how someone is feeling by observing their face. The students did a great job at representing their monsters’ emotions using color and facial features. To wrap up the lesson, each student filled out a bio sheet with their monster’s name, emotion, and a few fun facts about him or her. They loved it! Such personality…
My 5th grade students studied the vibrant, stylized landscape paintings of Canadian artist Ted Harrison. They discovered he fell in love with the sweeping, layered vistas in the Canadian Yukon and made it his life’s work to capture their majesty in his bold paintings. After viewing a Powerpoint showing examples of his work, learning about his life, and studying real photographs of the Yukon landscape, students were ready to get to work.
We imagined how it would feel looking out across the mountains, noticing how the layers in each painting help to give each work depth and show perspective. They also saw how Harrison used stylized wavy lines to give the illusion of space.
Students used pencils to sketch out their wavy landscape designs, which were then traced over with white glue and left to dry. The next class, chalk pastels were dipped into starch to give a brighter look and cut down on the dust. The students were very proud of their bright, bold landscapes and their success at using varied lines to create depth. Check out some more colorful examples!
Inspired by this lesson from the Crayola website.
My PreK students were learning about the different types of shapes. To introduce circles, we read The Dot by Peter Reynolds and students used their cutting skills to trim multi-colored squares into small, medium, and large circle shapes. After pasting the circles down, recycled paper tubes and corks were used to print large and small circles or dots all around their papers. I like how some of the kids figured out they could print a small dot inside a large one.
This simple project gave my preschoolers a chance to continue to hone their fine motor skills while also creating a bright, bold work of art!
Inspired by this art project on Art is Basic.