Monthly Archives: October 2017

Miner 49er Self Portraits

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Our fourth grade students just went on a field trip to Rendezvous in Poway It is a yearly event where they have living history encampments showing how people lived and worked during the the civil war era and around California’s turn of the 20th century.

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For this lesson, I showed the students my collection of tin types and ambrotypes.

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I also showed them some information about the Gold Rush and talked about the tools miners used to find gold.

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They then created a self portrait in colored pencil. They created a rounded or decorative edge on the paper and mounted it to black then embellished with metallic paints.

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Fish like Sandra Silberzweig

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If you have not seen the work of contemporary artist Sandra Silberzweig, I recommend you stop right now and go to her site. Her art is colorful, dynamic and beautiful and much of it is perfect for students to imitate. She also does some fantastic faces that are reminiscent of Picasso.

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My Grade 4 students needed something fun and colorful (or maybe it was me) so we looked at Sandra’s work. We learned that she has synesthesia which is a┬ácondition where one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another an example would be when a synesthist hears a sound, it also produces a visualization of a color.

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We discussed color theory: primary, secondary, complimentary, and analogous color and created these images in her style.

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The students told me there is a book many of them have read called A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass and some of them have also read Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper both books have characters with synesthesia.

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I think these fish came out beautifully. One of the teachers told me she is saving them to put up when the students study biomes.

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