For my Grade 5 students, we did Colonial Houses with our air dry clay. Typically, I have done these as a watercolor project but because we were doing clay this year. I felt that it would be a good tie in to their Social Studies Curriculum.
We used bamboo skewers, pencils, plastic forks, and plastic knives as our tools. I do have a few clay tools but not a class set so using these inexpensive tools worked just fine. I put several examples of Colonial Houses from Williamsburg up on our screen in the classroom so that they had references.
We discussed what the houses might be made from: brick or wood. We talked about all the things they needed to include in the buildings such as windows, doors, siding, chimneys, steps. etc. We also talk about the Salt Box house with its 2 story front, pitched roof and one story back.
I pretty much let them go off on their own after we talked about the buildings, things they might want to include and the characteristics of the air dry clay. I always like to see what creative things they come up with.
I had to push in to several classrooms during testing so I wanted a no mess lesson to make that easier.
I have a box of paper strips that were donated to me via our district’s publishing department. They are the perfect length and width for kids to eave with.
For this lesson, we used white or black paper and they folded that in half, made a bumper and cut an odd number of lines onto their paper.
They opened the paper out and then did their weaving. When it was finished, they glued a heart onto the weaving to add a border.
A lesson like this on perspective with tulips has been around for eons. The students draw a line across the top of their paper, choose a spot for the vanishing point then draw a series of lines that from the vanishing point off the page.
I like to link this lesson to Vincent Van Gogh and our local flower fields. I tell the students a little about Van Gogh, we look at some of his art and then I tell them the history of the flower fields and we look at pictures of the flower fields.
Then they create their own version and try their hand at the perspective. I do this with first grade. This year, we did this with oil pastel and tempera cake. For some reason, we are just about out of blue pastel and I wanted them to be able to have a blue sky if they wanted to. I did order more blue pastels after this lesson.
My after school students just love making marbled paper! We started with starch and watered down tempera paint. We poured a layer of starch in the tray then dripped small spots of paint with a spoon.
Then they used shaving cream and liquid watercolor. We put these long thin pipettes I got from a lab that closed years ago into the bottles so they could better control the amount.
We also made our own comb to drag through the colors with a chunk of cardboard and toothpicks. Such a fun afternoon. I think they would make great images for note cards or ATC’s.
Ever since my trek to the NAEA conference, I have been thinking a lot about how we have students create art. In a couple of the workshops I went to, there was a lot of discussion about how most students create teacher directed art lessons. When every child makes the exact same thing as their peers, many people considered that a successful art project. I have always enjoyed allowing my students freedom to create while having their projects be cohesive enough that they can be hung together in a grouping.
When one of the third grade teachers came to me and asked me for art that she could take over to our local Trader Joe’s for display., I again was thinking about my time at NAEA.
For this lesson, I gave my students the direction that we needed to create pieces that looked like they were part of a collection. We talked about what types of things Trader Joe’s sells and what would look nice on display and landed on plants and flowers.
They all drew a plant in sharpie, put it in a container, painted it with watercolor, leaving white space around it. They were free to draw any type of plant that they wanted to and put it in a container of their choosing. I pulled up reference pictures and projected them onto our screen for them to look at.