Thursday, September 8, 2011

the bucket day 4 - Eat your fruit! and my new job

Two years of blogging (can you believe it!) has taught me lesson first then ramble. So let's get back into the bucket for another lesson.

Today I bring you what I feel is another classic lesson but one that I haven't seen posted recently. Lets call it, "Eat your fruit." Eat your fruit is a classic observational drawing lesson with a twist and a eat your subject matter. I feel Eat your fruit could be used from K-12. Seriously. This is a great way to examine sequencing with younger students. I think it would make a nice tie-in to K-2nd students who are talking about tracking the series of events in a story. You could do only three drawings. One with the fruit at the start, one with the fruit with a bite or two gone and one with the leftovers of the fruit.

At the middle and high level it is also a reminder that there are smaller steps that happen between the beginning the middle and the end of a story. The drawing above actually goes with a claymation unit I do. Before I let the kids start with the claymation I ask them to really think about story sequencing and how with any form of animation you must use many frames with only small changes to create a story.

After doing this lesson several times I think 6 "cells" is the best # for a middle school attention span and class length. I also favor colored pencil, watercolor pencil or crayon as the media for coloring. When doing this lesson you need to eat and draw on day one. You WILL run out of time if you eat, draw and color (unless you have a double block period). So there is an issue of when you go to add color the next class your fruit is no longer around. I have found three possible solutions for this issue.
1. Have a new piece of fruit for the student to look at for color
2. Have the student photograph their fruit before they start to eat it and once when you can see the inside colors
3. Make the students make notes to themselves about what colors they observe while doing the day one drawing. Have them lightly mark highlights and shadows. Basically artist journal approach.
I use this lesson to really push for shadow, highlight and shading to show form.

OH YEAH! Beware if you use grapes...the kids will take FOREVER to draw them. Also drawing the skin texture of oranges can drive a lot of students to the breaking point.... if you want an interesting internal texture I suggest a kiwi instead.

Of course if you have some students who need a challenge break out the watercolor or acrylic paints. I had these two young ladies work in acrylic paint last spring and they made some nice fruits.
(7th grade student who really "gets it")
(6th grade student who wanted a challenge)

As for my new job...knock on wood, don't want to jinx anything but it is 100000000x times better than my old position. The fact that I only have to prep for three grade levels is making a huge difference in my ability to focus, get work done, keep track of what I am doing, what I have taught and plan better instruction. The fact that I'm only teaching 1/2 time is a huge relief on my 32 week pregnant body. The students are way nicer and more focused and so far I have had very little behavior issues. Granted it was just the first week of school but hopefully they will be engaged enough in the lessons to keep from having any major behavior issues. I also laid down the law early on and have not let anything slide. The only thing I am not a huge fan of is the school policy that no student is allowed to go to the bathroom during class. They are supposed to bathroom during their 4 min passing period....but the school is 4 floors high and it takes all 4 min to get from one place to another. I feel telling a student they can't bathroom when they naturally need to is borderline abusive. Until I see students abusing the privilege I am allowing them to the bathroom across the hall from my room.

As for my baby is getting pretty big but I still feel like I have good balance and am able to sleep at night as long as I don't nap during the day. While my belly measures on track and the baby is gaining weight as he should, I personally am struggling to gain any weight. I now have to eat two tablespoons of peanut butter a day on top of my other calories in an effort to up my protein intake and put on a few pounds. Otherwise I have to start drinking supplement shakes like Ensure. Ick. Squirmy, as we call him, makes me NOT want to eat sugar or junk food. I have zero cravings other than fruit. I think he takes after his vegetarian father and I hope he keeps up the healthy eating habits when he is outside of the womb....I doubt I will be able to!
(sigh, no I am not naming his Clay or Art...its getting old people)


  1. I love your eaten fruit lesson -- I haven't seen it in recent postings! So glad to hear you are happy in your new job!!

  2. I have been searching your blog for a way to contact you so thought I'd comment here. Was wondering if you have more detailed directions for what you did with Matthew's Dream and Mouse Shapes. Did you have shapes pre-cut for this Kinder collage? Also do you have a template that you used for Matthew's Dream? I love your blog and your Kinder lessons are great!

  3. I love this lesson! Observational drawing is so important in Art and this is a fun way to get the kids engaged.