Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Let's get Radial!

Ok-Radial Weaving, what can I say that hasn't already been said? It is in the curriculum for 2nd quarter so I teach it but paper plate weavings get old after a few dozen years…ugh…what's and art teacher to do?

I decided to make it a review by comparing three different kinds of balance, line symmetry (regular same-on-both-sides symmetry), asymmetry and introducing radial symmetry! Scaffolding-woowhoo!

This is the first slide on the PowerPoint and at the end there is a visual quiz that the students look at images and determine what kind of balance was used. It worked great! 
Afterwards we looked at several different types of looms used around the world and examples of woven materials. We read the Spider Weaver, Legend of the Kente Cloth by Margaret Mustgrove. and create our paper plate weavings.

But wait…there's more!!

Then we embellished them with paper to continue the radial designs. I was amazed how different the paper made them look. I could easily see who understood the concept and who was still struggling to assimilate the new data. Paper and tape can make such a difference!

These are slated to go up at the movie theater for the 3rd Grade Art Show in December. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Visiting Rockwell at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

The first five to six weeks of school were dedicated to Norman Rockwell, our Arts-tober artist this year chosen by the district. The displays have to be up in October so I always try to start with that artist if I can. In 4th grade we created portraits and looked at the Four Freedom Posters. Students create symbols that represented one of the four freedoms (Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear) that was most important to them, personally. Then they had to incorporate the symbols into the portraits they created. The unit was long but it obviously made and impression. It was six weeks after it was complete that the Rockwell exhibit opened and we were able to visit. Students were so excited to see the real works of art. Here are a few shots that show the concentration!!
Working in the ArtQuest Gallery.

Experimenting at the animation station.

Enthralled in the Gallery!

The comments and questions by students were really thoughtful. "I was really surprised that there were so many pictures that I had seen before (in the show)."  "Mrs. A, I would say that the picture of Ruby Bridges (The Problem We All Face) shows Freedom from Fear." "I really liked how you could make up a story about each painting, like in Coming and Going, he showed the beginning and the end and you had to guess what happened in the middle!" The classroom teachers and docents were so complementary and impressed by their thoughtfulness. One classroom teacher said the docent asked how they could describe Ruby Bridges' feelings in the The Problem We All Face and the student replied that she looked proud and excited. Another group was asked why the marshall's heads were cropped in the same image, to which the students responded with, "Because they are not as important as her", "To make Ruby the focal point" and "To add suspense to the picture"

What can I say…I am so proud!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Painted houses

This was on my wish list to teach for some time and today was the day!!

I put together a little PowerPoint to show images of the actual houses in Botswana, South Africa. Then I read Elsina's Clouds by Jeanette Winter. The Basotho women traditionally care for home and crops while the men care for the animals. The women  speak to the ancestors and forces of nature by painting on their houses. Each color and pattern is meaningful, but I didn't get in to the symbolic side with Kindergarten. The paintings are prayers or wishes for safety, prosperity and rain most often.

The students added doors and windows to their paper and then started their designs. The patterns and images were delightful. A great follow up activity to this would be to have them write a wish/prayer. Just one sentence to display with the houses would cement the idea that the images on the house have meaning to those who paint them.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kindergarten Art Show Time!

Here are the Nighttime Pumpkins on display at the Regal Cinema 16 in Green Hills (Nashville, TN). We opened the show the first week of November with a reception of popcorn and pink lemonade which was donated by the theater! I just LOVE seeing all the pieces from a whole grade level up at the same time. AMAZING!!