Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2-D to 3-D lesson Ideas part 2

Onward with our exploration of 2-D to 3-D

I want students to explore organic and geometric shapes in a united composition.
I would start with my watercolor shape/composition triptych (that still needs some work)

So to make this 3-D I want each student to enlarge the shapes they have chosen and draw them on light cardboard. I would like students to then cut out the shapes and paint each shape, on each side with different patterns and a unified color plan. Then I would like to see students use slits in the cardboard to join the cardboard together to make a 3-D sculpture.
Inspiration and photo taken from Phyl at There's a dragon in my art room!
Even though she did this lesson with 1st graders I think we can bump it up a little to older kid level
think this... mixed with this one done by a 9th grader

An simple idea for fall and beginning clay students is to have students either bring from home, go outside and sketch or look at photos of different types of leafs that grow in our area and create a watercolor composition with three of these leaves. I will then have students do the french curves around the leaves like from this lesson

Then I want students to use those same three leaf shapes to create a clay slab bowl or dish. You know the one, roll the clay slab, lay the leafs on the clay, roll again, cut out and drape over a upside down cereal bowl. But to push the older kids a bit further I want them to have the three (or it may take more) leaves touching, just overlapping, to create a hybrid between these two images
makes leaf bowl babies with this

I think this one will be reserved for the 7th grade only classes working on the major art movements of the 18th, 19th and 20th century...but if they don't snag it then the 2 to 3-D class can have it and who doesn't love Pop Art food! Our 2-D lesson, that I've done several times now, requires students to enlarge using a grid, create a background using a simple pattern AND benday dots and then paint the food object and the background.
(no not everyone did ice cream)
So then in true Claes Oldenburg style (who the kids LOVE) we should then make a large 3-D version of our food item. We could attempt to sew soft sculptures (very hard) we could have to translate our food into a clay boxes using slab and coil methods (medium hard...and what we will most likely do) or we can just make our food out of newspaper/paper machie/model magic (easier but not appealing to me right now)
how cool is this Oldenburg inspired bed! (OOAK made in 2009)

Now I've done a similar project with the 2-D part before where students have done a detailed pen and ink drawing of their shoe and done the pop art background in monochromatic colors. They also look great (I'll have to dig for photos) and then we tried to build our shoe out of clay. Building shoes out of clay is frustrating business. I would leave that to a high school class or kids with a LOT of clay experience.

Still have more ideas coming. Look for part 3 coming soon!

2-D to 3-D lesson ideas round 1

It looks like one of my classes this year is going to be a 6-7th blend class that runs for half the year instead of for a quarter at a time. I got to thinking that this would be the better class to do clay projects with because we would have more time for clay to dry (which takes a looonnnggg time in Oregon).

I don't want to do an only clay class or even an only 3-D class. I think that working 3-D really pushes kids problem solving skills and I've found if we can plan in 2-D and then execute in 3-D then we tend to have more success on the 3-D project. I'm sure this also takes the highest level of Blooms to a whole new level and allows me to call some lessons TAG lessons.
So I have been trying to think of good projects that produce both a 2-D project and a 3-D project.

Of course we know I love Illuminated letters.
I think designing a printer paper sized Illuminated Letter that uses your initial and a minimum of five images or symbols that tell about you is a great back to school lesson. Students can use a variety of media from marker to colored pencil to collage. You can get a good sense of where a students artistic level is from open ended projects like these. How are they doing with composition? With proportion? Using a chosen material. What is their grasp of color theory or shading

I love to show my students these high school Illuminated letters from Ken Schwab not only because they are well designed but they are done in crayon! I feel they show the kids that if you take your time and use your materials correctly ANY material can produce great results. I am tempted to order a few of his lesson PDF's but he doesn't have any samples to let you see what the lesson you are ordering looks like. Big turn off for me.

On the 3-D side you can then make a tooled Illuminated letter to teach low relief

or you could make one of these large letters that I found while searching for student examples of illuminated letters.

They come from Wilmington Middle School and there are only 3 photo examples. It took me a while to figure out how to make them with 30 kids at a time but once I got the three steps figured out I realized they are easy to make out of cracker boxes/tagboard and masking tape. I'll post detailed instructions for this lesson later. We used these as a Pop Art lesson last spring.

Or we could translate our illuminated letters into clay slabs like they did here
these are done by 6th graders at North Port Middle School

Of course we can always have fun learning to draw people in proportion like we did with our disco rooms

and then make a great plaster or paper machie figure in motion sculpture...there are so many great lessons about how to approach this. Some of us make wire armatures or tin foil armatures, you can cover in plaster strips or if you are broke like we were school paper towels and glue paste and tissue paper. No matter what, these figure seem to turn out better AFTER some drawing work with proportion

Any lesson were students research masks, design a mask on paper and then create that mask in clay or paper machie are great. I'm loving the work that Mary Making and others are doing with the work of Kimmy Cantrell
I see great opportunities to talk about African masks and how artist like Picasso and Matisse were also inspired by these masks. I also think the kids would love incorporating the hardware and keys and such. Mary's idea of using salt dough is really appealing to me as you don't have to put the hardware in the Kiln or pre or post drill the holes.

I love the idea of having all the raw ingredients out for each table group, giving them a recipe for one student, have them do the math to make the recipe enough for their entire table group then go measure the ingredients and make the clay themselves. I feel 6th and 7th graders can pull this off. AND my new school still has the 1970's home ec room completely set up so I can send each group to their own "cooking" station.

There is 3 ideas to start...more coming soon! What is your favorite way to go from 2-D to 3-D?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

un-gracefully crashing through art history- part one

Part 1: The background/motivation. This post will talk about the background of this lesson. The next one will show samples and the third post will talk about what worked well and what needs to be changed.

At end of the spring semester, as the middle school students were done with their Middle ages and Renaissance unit I was having trouble figuring out what to do with the last three weeks of classes. I had originally planed to spend just a few weeks on the Middle ages and Renaissance and spend the rest of term doing a overview of some major art moments from the 1880's onward. I bit of an ISMS thing if you please.

But each lesson was talking way longer than I planed, my kids had spring fever and first period attendance was AWFUL. I was tired of hearing...."I don't have a project to work on...I haven't been here for days I don't know what we are doing", or seeing projects half done and abandoned and wasting materials.

So I started thinking of lessons that could be done in one, maybe two, class period so that students who hadn't shown up for days still could/had to participate. And I still wanted to do something with the ISMS. And I was really low on supplies...Then I remembered seeing this on Artsonia and saving this one photo but not noting who the lesson came from. Can anyone claim it or help me ID the original teacher?
So obviously each rectangle features the fruit in a different style of art or artist. Rectangles that could be small...and quick...and done in ONE DAY!

I thought this type of lesson would work well for my situation but we would do six mini lessons on six artists so even if students missed a few days we could have a finished work of art at the end. Basically we could crash though art history in 6 or 7 days. Why not...we had nothing to loose.

In the end I made six power points looking at six isms or periods in art from the Renaissance till modern art. I made sure each power point would take about 20-30min to go through, would show at least five artists from that ism or time period, could have a student response guide to fill out as we went though the PowerPoint and then a short mini lesson to demonstrate that style of art.

We ended up doing 7 min lessons a rectangle each of:
*Value/shading with pencil to show from and lights and dark (Renaissance)
* A dot and dash combo for impressionism with oil pastel (Monet, Van Gogh (yes, I know he was a post impressionist) and others from that movement)
*"Broken glass" style cubism with crayon (Picasso others)
*Bold line, shape and color patterns with marker (Matisse)
* Complementary color sets with tint and shade for the Fauvists with paint (Thumbs down on this one)
*Warhol pop-art repeating images with markers
* Marble paint and splatter paint "action painting" paper that was then cut into the shape of the object (for Jackson and non-objective art)
*In the future I would use up scratch foam scraps and do a little print of the image

Saturday, July 16, 2011

up and running again

Ok blogger and I have made a truce and it is time to start posting again. It's been over a month and big changes have occurred in my work life since I last posted.

Last time I wrote I was trying to transfer schools to a part time, middle school only, position at a much nicer school in my district. My admin was being very unpleasant about my desire to move and I was worried that the new school would not want someone who is going to have a baby in early November.

However, to my great surprise, and relief, I revived the job and have been transferred to a new school. Best yet they hired me full knowing that I will be going on maternity leave over the winter quarter.

I could write a novel about how happy I am to be heading to a new school. How relived I am to only be working part time next year, how I NEVER want to plan 9 grade levels of curriculum a week ever again. How my new school has a actually art room, full of supplies, money to buy more supplies, a school community that gives a crap about the arts. How I'm going from a 92% free and reduced lunch school to a 32% FRL school and from the 4 highest ESL population to the 7th lowest in the district. How the weapons expulsions at my new school total ZERO so I doubt I will have to see a knife, brass knuckles or homemade explosive again for a long time. I don't think my new school tolerates students shoving, hitting, sexually harassing or calling their teachers stupid fucking bitches the way my old school did. I hear they don't have problems with the kids dealing and using pot during the day or bringing water bottles of vodka to school.

Or let's consider the fact that as a middle school teachers, instead of a K-8 teacher, my NEW contract says I get prep time during the day and there is a limit on the number of classes they can ask me to teach and how long they will run (no more 9 classes a day that run 22min long for me!)

Granted I know a higher SES school brings its own challenges. Students that feel they are entitled to things and parents that hover and make heavy demands. However, the school I'm moving to has always supported the arts and has an excellent reputation for supporting their teachers. And I'm no pushover by this point.

I feel I have a strong base curriculum for 6-8th graders and now I can dedicate my time and energy to improving my curriculum instead of trying to spread myself over 9 grade levels. So for you, loyal and newer readers alike...the days of k-5th lessons are over. Sorry. However, I feel most art curriculum can be simplified or enhanced to match the grade you work with. So it is not all a loss.

It will be very interesting to take in the 6th graders who all come from true elementary schools (a rare-er thing in my district) and unless a visiting artist has come in or a student has taken art after-school or during the summer, will have NO previous art instruction. I'll be looking into lessons that build skills, build them fast and do it in non intimidating but age appropriate ways. In that regard I bet I will draw on many of my 3rd-5th lessons and tweek how I present them.

What my new students will think when I waddle my 8 month pregnant, 5ft tall, self into the classroom the first day? I'm sure it will be very interesting and I'm sure ammusing. I'm predicting I will be asked what happens if I start to have the baby during class;) Get the health teacher I guess;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

let's try this again

Oh blogger...you and I are not getting along lately are we. The last five posts I've tried to publish have never gone though. After a bit of research I think I have fixed the problem but lets try this once again and see if I can get a post to work.