At the end of the year, I often have loads of scrap paper. All shapes and sizes. This project was a perfect way to use up the scrap and introduce my second graders to the Gees Bend Quilters.
We looked at several examples around the web of the Gees Bend quilts. Souls Grown Deep has some good information and images as does the the Smithsonian Museum.
There are a lot of books about quilts and great picture books. You can turn them into arty “mathterpieces” adding all those cool fractions like whole, half, and quarters, eights, etc.
Here we just talked about pattern, symmetry and color.
We of course talked about how these quilters used whatever fabrics were available to them just as we were using the paper available.
So fun to see what creativity can be had when resources are limited. I let the kids just take this where ever they wanted to.
Who doesn’t love a gigantic flower in the style of O’Keefe?
For this lesson, Pre-k and TK students learned about Georgia O’Keefe. We looked at samples of her work as well as flowers. They used oil pastel to draw centers.
They could do dots or circles or however they saw the flower centers then they drew wiggly lines off the page for the petals.
They used liquid water color to paint them. Such an easy lesson with great results for all artists.
I have a group of second graders who are the quickest artists in the entire school. They zip through every lesson I throw at them and always do a great job. They are also the first group I see for that grade level and are a great barometer for new lessons.
I know if they struggle, I need to change things up. I also know if they blast through something I need to find ways to slow them down. One afternoon, they zipped through a lesson really quickly.
I needed something for them to do so I just had them paint some paper. They used oil pastel and liquid watercolor and did it however they wanted to.
I told them we’d decide what to do later. The next time they finished fast, we added city silhouettes and air balloons to those backgrounds. I think they turned out pretty nice.
Not long before school ends. I begin to look in the cabinets for stuff I just need to get rid of or pare down. This lesson came from that idea.
Students used cardboard tubes, donated paper and bling-sequins I found in a box- to created these images of themselves as Kings and Queens.
I really like the work of Alma Thomas. Her art is cheerful and fun with lots of color.
“Thomas became an important role model for women, African Americans, and older artists. She was the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and she exhibited her paintings at the White House three times.”
Doing a lesson based on the work of Alma Thomas is a great choice for February and March when we study Black History Month then Women’s History Month.
It was a great project to supplement the Kindergarten classroom lessons about weather and rainbows.
We did these with my clothespin and sponge paint daubers that I made after seeing them in a preschool classroom.
The San Diego Art Educator’s Association, of which I am a member, held its second annual art show for students in grades k-8.
The art went on display in the lobby of the San Diego County Office of Education in early April and stayed up until May 31 at the closing reception.
It was advertised as “juried” but there were no awards. Students received a certificate for participating which was nice. It was great to see so many student art pieces from all over the county.
Teachers could only submit eight pieces from their schools. Because I had two sites this year, I entered fifteen pieces: eight from one site and seven from the other.
As Tim the SDAEA President says, art teachers do not get compensated for entering art shows for their students. They do it because they know the value of having artists and audiences interact with art.
It was a lot of extra work for me. I spent two entire afternoons tracking down the mat board then a whole day mounting and cutting and labeling. entire afternoon but it always makes me smile to see student art displayed and that is why I keep doing it even though so few students ever attend these events.
I love Mandalas, I think they are just stunning.
I was recently gifted a mandala coloring book and thought my grade 5’s could easily do some mandalas.
We looked at traditional mandala images, learned about radial design and talked about pattern and shape.
We thought about easy ways we could get everything to look the same. I had them trace a plate for their circle. They then folded the paper so that they had “lines” for each section. I had items they could trace like blocks, cut paper, cups, plastic lids, and various found objects.
Once they completed the design, they colored it and cut it out and mounted it on paper.