Closing out our African Art Unit, PreK students helped to make these giant collaborative Kente Cloths over four 30 minute class periods. First, students used their fine motor skills to practice cutting strips of paper in some of the traditional Kente cloth colors. The next class, students took turns gluing the strips to large butcher block sheets of black paper. The third class, they tried out some color mixing on oversized paper. For the grand finale, we watched this great video showing examples of the Kente cloth and artisans weaving them skillfully on large looms. We learned when you weave you have to go over and under like a pattern. Ahead of time I folded and cut the black collaged paper into a huge warp and the painted paper into strips for the weft. Students took turns weaving carefully until each Kente cloth was complete. What a statement they made!
Inspired by this project found on Artsonia.
We recently held our all school Spring Art Show for students and their families. I displayed our latest projects plus a sampling of the wonderful artwork created throughout the year. Every child had at least one piece of artwork on display. The PTA and many of my awesome colleagues helped with an Ice Cream Social that night as well, which really seemed to bring in tons of families. My principal has been really trying to get our families more involved in the school and it was great to see such a huge turnout for our art night. Enjoy some more photos from the big night!
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.
Last winter my preK students worked on these fabulous snowy day tree collages to use their cutting, gluing, printing, and listening skills. We read three great winter books throughout this project to inspire our artworks: It’s Winter by Linda Glaser, Winter Trees by Carole Gerber, and Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams & Jean Stoick.
Students first used pine branches to stamp snowflakes onto their blue papers using white paint. The next class, we studied pictures of evergreen trees in the books and noticed how they had sharp, pointy edges similar to a zig zag. They used green and white crayons to give texture to their two green paper squares, then were amazed to find you can create two triangle shapes just by cutting a square on the diagonal! This part was a little tricky for some of the kids, but their assistant and I helped them to draw a line for a cutting guide if they needed. Lastly they glued down a brown rectangle for the trunk and arranged their snowy green triangles on top of each other to create their evergreen trees. Beautiful!
To introduce this lesson, we read Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, which tells about all the animals that live under the snow and ice during the winter. I cut small pine branches from our Christmas tree at home before we put it on the curb and brought them to school. My students dipped these branches in white paint and stamped them all over their papers to create snowflake shapes. My art room smelled so good that day and the kids really enjoyed using real branches.
The second day we read Snowballs by my favorite local author, Lois Ehlert. We noticed all the colorful additions Ehlert used to add details to her snow family. We also noticed how snowmen bodies are made up of large, medium, and small circles that are placed on top of one another. Students arranged their paper doilies from biggest to smallest to create their snow person. They had the most fun using their fine motor skills to glue on foam shapes for the details. Don’t you love how the arms on the snow people make them dance??
Inspired by these snowmen over at a Faithful Attempt.
My favorite days at school are when I get to teach the 3 and 4 year olds. They are always filled with so much joy + enthusiasm toward art. My focus on these young students is to design lessons that help them to gain experience and skills in art. Cutting, tearing, gluing. On top, underneath, next to. Simplicity is key for the little ones. They learn so much as the year goes on.
For this project, I had my four preK classes create two murals for the winter school concert. Each mural is about 3×5 feet. The first day, we read Snow by Cinthia Rylant. 3 year olds helped me rip white paper and glue it to the mural. 4 year olds practiced their cutting skills on white paper strips. The second class, 3 year olds studied beautiful images of real snowflake crystals and read The Snow Tree by Caroline Repchuk, a gorgeous book with embossed illustrations of a winter forest and the animals that live there. Then they stamped snowflakes onto the sky of the mural using tints of blue. 4 year olds read Little Tree by e.e. cummings, noticing how the tree in the story was a triangle shape. Each student then had a chance to create their own triangle trees for our mural. I love how much character each tree has–especially the topsy turvy ones!