Classes have been busy this spring exploring our IB units in depth. 4th graders were learning about animals’ use of mimicry and camouflage as a means of survival in their homerooms. To begin our unit, we watched this great video about animal camo. We viewed different animal patterns up close and students had to choose an animal with a distinctive design or texture for their projects. After printing off reference photos, students got busy on their practice drawings, trying to make their animals as realistic as possible. Once confident they had their best, students transferred their drawings onto the scratch art paper. We learned different scratching techniques with the stylus tool to help represent the texture of the animal’s fur or skin. For the finishing touch, students recreated their animal’s pattern with oil pastels for a border, again trying to use blending and coloring techniques to represent that texture. Students were very focused and engaged while working the entire quarter on this project! The results are absolutely amazing.
For our 1st Grade African Unit lesson, students studied the lion and created these magnificent mixed-media collages. To begin, we read What the Animals Were Waiting For by Johnathan London, which tells the story of the dramatic cycles of life on the Masai Mara range in Africa. Many different African animals are depicted in rich, oil painted illustrations. On our document camera, we zoomed in on the lion illustration so we could see how the artist carefully blended monochromatic earth tones to give texture and depth to the fur. We also studied real lion photographs to become familiar with their features. Students then were ready to draw their lion faces, blending and mixing earth tones using oil pastels for the fur.
The next class, we reviewed photos of crazy lion manes and students folded strips of earth toned paper to create a wild mane around their drawings. Lastly, students used texture rubbing plates to create interest in the background. They sure brightened up the halls!
Inspired by these awesome lions on Artsonia.
I love the message one of my 3rd grade students drew across the top of his painting–it goes so well with the history of Vincent Van Gogh.
In my 5th year of teaching art, this was actually the first time I did a Starry Night painting project. They turned out so well. I used Google Art Project to introduce my students to Van Gogh’s most famous painting. It was helpful to be able to zoom in up close and see Van Gogh’s thick, painterly brushstrokes. We also viewed this mesmerizing video of the Starry Night in motion, which once again highlighted his many pronounced brushstrokes. Apparently it’s also interactive on an ipad, something I’d love to have my students play with for a future lesson. Students practiced making small lines with their oil pastels in Van Gogh’s style. The starry background was created this first class.
The second class, we read The Starry Night, by Neil Waldman, a book about a young boy going on a painting adventure through modern day New York City with Van Gogh. All illustrations are done in his style and it fit in great for the lesson. Students then painted a watercolor resist over their backgrounds.
The last class, I read The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, a Caldecott Medal-winning book. It was the perfect intro to adding our village silhouette details, as the illustrations are simple black and white textured silhouettes with bright golden light details. There’s even a painting of the Starry Night in the girl’s bedroom, a nice surprise pointed out by one of my observant students! After adding their villages, the maserpieces were complete! They are all so great.
Inspired by this beautiful art project on Artsonia.