My 1st grade students began this lesson by reading Good-Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins. We zoomed in on my document camera to take a closer look at the patterns Hutchins uses to illustrate her owl. Students were eager to share some of their own pattern ideas as they had been learning about patterns in their classroom. They practiced drawing their owls using a step-by-step drawing sheet I had created.
Sidenote: The use of these drawing sheets have worked wonders in helping my kiddos find success in art. Previously during drawing lessons, my students would become frustrated when it came time for them to draw on their own. I would clearly demonstrate beforehand, but many students would forgot by the time they started drawing. Since most of my students have not had any art experience outside of school, they need extra encouragement and guidance. I was amazed the first time I used these how confident my students became while drawing. The best part is that each student’s drawing always has its own unique look even though they had the same directions.
Back to the project–after drawing their owls with a black crayon, they filled them in with different patterns and painted over them with brown, earthy owl colors. The next class, students drew stars on their blue papers for nighttime and made a bright, collage full moon for the sky. They also created a texture rubbing on brown paper and cut it into a branch shape. Lastly, their owls were cut out and glued onto the branch. They sure loved making their owls!
My 4th and 5th grade students created a freedom quilt square for their class quilts last year during Black History Month. We started out the project by reading The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud, a powerful story of a girl and her father escaping slavery to freedom on the Underground Railroad. The designs on the freedom quilts were said to have secret messages, helping to guide and protect the slaves on their way to freedom. I gave each student a printout with some of the designs and their meanings and they chose their favorite to recreate as a paper collage. We discovered that the designs were very precise, using mostly squares and triangles that had to be laid out just right. It was a good way for the students to incorporate some of their math skills into the art room.
After they completed their quilt squares, each student wrote a poem or short descriptive story imagining what it would be like escaping to freedom. I wish I would have made some copies because some students truly had some thoughtful, beautiful words to share.
For this Kindergarten lesson, I introduced it pretty much the same as this Charley Harper inspired cardinal project my 2nd graders just did. The birds were simplified a bit differently, and the Kinders had to use their folding, cutting, and direction-following skills to turn their circles into a cardinal in flight. We viewed photos of actual birch bark, noticing how the texture was made up of many lines and was black and white in color. They used recycled cardboard pieces to print their birch texture paper. After cutting their paper into strips to create a forest, assembling their birds, and adding some snow dots, their bright and cheery cardinals were finished.
These are right outside the art room and I love looking at them each day! My little ones really worked hard on these.
Inspired by this project found on ARTASTIC! and an awesome art project seen at our annual district art show from my art teacher friend Julia’s talented kiddos.
My first grade students viewed some youtube videos showing real ice crystal images. They had to be convinced they truly were real because they just couldn’t believe a tiny snowflake looked like that up close. So many “oohs!” and “ahhs!”. We printed our radial design snowflakes using cardboard and old marker caps. The next class we read the classic The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats to inspire our mitten collage. Students used colors, shapes, and designs found in the story to create a colorful pattern on their mittens out of paper scraps.
Inspired by this art project at North Art Alert.
2nd grade students read No Two Alike by Keith Baker, about two cardinals at play on a winter’s day. We studied each snowflake illustration in the story and noticed how they all had 6 points. Students then created a background paper using cool colored tissue squares and stamped snowflakes on top. Next class, we viewed the graphic birds of Charley Harper, discussing how he simplified their forms using shapes. Some students discovered his bird prints resembled Angry Birds–so we had a lively discussion about pop culture and art. The students were excited to learn how to create their own shape birds from a circle. We folded the circle into fourths, cut out a triangle, and used fancy scrap paper to assemble our birds and add details.
Inspired by this project on Artsonia.