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 K/1 Combo class did this lesson. They painted the background first doing the sky white then adding blue, they then painted the ocean with blue, green, and white. We did not rinse between colors so that was one less clean up step. I had them wipe their brushes on scrap paper or their placemats.
While that was drying, I showed them our “magic square” trick. A square can be cut into 2 triangles or 2 rectangles.
They then made boats with the squares of painted paper. I often use my old demo lessons chopped up for things like this. I also have some art room helpers who will take the paint leftovers from a paint day and paint on “oops” papers.
That paper is made by my upper grade student helpers. While I am pretty conservative in pouring paint, there is always a bit of leftover paint on the supply plates and it is a good way to use that up. (Reduce, reuse recycle: it’s good for the budget)
They then cut and assembled the boats however they wanted to.
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.
I did this lesson with 5th grade. I wanted something winter and something fun.
They created a background of their choosing then added a snowman collage to the top.
I like all the colors and layers to this.
They had lots of fun creating.
Grade 1 studies owls in the fall. The classroom teachers do a large unit on owls which culminates in an owl visitor coming to our school through a wildlife rescue organization.
For this lesson, students chose their owl (body) paper-I had two shades of brown and white pre-cut into rectangles for them. They then drew an owl shape-basically an oval or an oval with a squashy “U” if they wanted the eared variety. They cut it out, glued it onto black paper and added a branch.
They decorated the owl however they decided it should be. It could be realistic or imaginary. Once their owls were complete, they added wings cut from painted paper. I did most of the wing attachment as most do not have enough dexterity yet to push the brads through the paper and bend then back without difficulty.
If behavior is any indicator, I think that this lesson was a hit. We had many owls “flying” in the art room today as they made their way to the drying rack.