I always like to teach my students about other cultures and celebrations. I think learning about other cultures helps us to create better relationships and allows us to understand others better.
At my school, we have a yearly Heritage Night and last year, we had a great Chinese New Year celebration. This year, is the Year of the Dog.
I showed the students images of dogs and we talked about how all breeds look pretty similar with their snout, their eyes and their nose. We also talked about their differences-coat textures, colors, size, and breed.
I showed students how to make a basic dog face and then left them to create their own dog their own way. Amazing what they came up with!
The Grade Three team shared their curriculum map with me which makes my job oh so easy! I knew whales would be part of their curriculum for November and December.
I found some beautiful images on Etsy that I loved. Enormous whales, a lot of ocean and tiny ships or boats. The work is by Rachel Blyer of the Colorful Cat Studio. Her work is done in watercolor.
For this lesson, I had my students create these in a mixed media format. We did these in just under an hour.
They started by drawing the image of their boat and sky. Then they did some scrubby paint with a cardboard scrap and some “ocean” colors which I tossed in some blue glitter glue for fun. They used pre-painted gray paper for the whales. I put out lots of images of whales for them to use as reference. I think they came out pretty amazing.
My students and parents LOVE this lesson. I do this one with First Grade. This year, I did the lesson with Grade 1 and the Grade 1 and Grade 2 Combo classes.
I think it always turns out great. The nice thing about this is if they make a mark they do not like, they can just color over it and it becomes a bigger boat or another sail. It also reinforces how to draw basic shapes.
This year, I had extra wide sharpies which made it easier for my students to color in large sails or large boats.
I think one key to success is to make sure the students go slowly around the outside and then they can move quickly when they are in the middle of the image.
The 1/2 Combo teachers told me they were studying the seasons.
The students did a Styrofoam printing plate of a tree. They printed it four times.
Once finished, they used dots to paint the different seasons. Nice lesson that brought together Pop Art-Andy Warhol, Pointillism-Georges Seurat, and classroom curriculum.
I was asked to teach a step by step painting class at our Girl Scout Service Unit Encampment. The theme was Amazing Race so the girls went to different locations all over camp and did activities from different countries-things like making sushi in Japan, playing Futbol in Spain, and painting with me in France.
It was for our Juniors (grades 4, 5, 6) and Cadettes (grades 7, 8).
We set up on the porch of one of the cabins and it was a bit breezy and cool but we sure had a great time.
Can you believe we only had 40 minutes? Well, we did! I think they did an amazing job! I showed them my tricks for “speed” painting like basing in the sky using a thin coat of paint and a sponge.
They did these on 8×10 canvas board. I love that they all came out so differently.
For this lesson for my Transitional Kindergarten students, I had them do a directed drawing of a frog on a lily pad.
I often do directed drawings with my youngest students. I think it gives them a good foundation of how to draw.
After we drew the frogs, we talked about how to make green, how to mix paint and to add some water to thin out the paint a bit so we could still see the black crayon.
I did these apples with my K/1 combo class.
I showed them how to draw apples in a bowl, on a table, in a footed bowl and they could do them however they chose to.
We drew them with black crayon and filled in with paint.
One mom told me her child loved it so much he kept drawing apples in bowls.
I think they are a lot of fun.
My 1/2 combo students read a book called “Those Shoes”.
One of the teachers asked if we could draw or paint shoes.
Since we were doing Still Life this month, I brought in several pairs of sneakers (mostly Converse High Tops).
I set them in the middle of the tables for the students to draw from.
We did a lot of Still Life images this month.For Kindergarten, we did cupcakes. I use Staonal marking crayons for K’s instead of sharpies.
Staonal chunky black crayons are great for little hands and of course, hold up far better than a sharpie when used on a wet painting.
I demoed how to draw cupcakes and the different types of frosting tops. Then they chose to draw and paint one or more.
I like to show my youngest students how to draw something but leave up the composition and images up to them. For me, this allows them to learn how to draw while giving them the freedom to create an image as they see it.
I feel that this approach allows more creativity. I always tell them that they can follow along and draw what I draw or watch me first and then create their own.