Thursday, April 28, 2011

no nakie art!

Hum....we are almost done with our middle ages unit and are ready to look at the art of the Renaissance. As I am collecting images to share with the kids I am struck by how few works I can show because I can not show any type of nudity in any form.
can't show Birth of Venus...

or David....

or the most famous part of the Sistine Chapel

or da Vinci's Vitruvian man

That's just a few really important pieces of art that I'm not allowed to show....am I really going to have to photo shop fig leafs onto all of these works of art...and a coconut shell bra on the Venus?

Any ideas on how to deal with the issue of not showing any nudity but still sharing great art?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Illuminated Letters

Here are some more of our Illuminated Letters. These are the ones that took longer and are done by my higher level students so they show a higher quality of work. Enjoy!
amazing detail in the wings:)

good use of gray scale

can you see the soccer field



he goes a little detail crazy but loves his work ;)

"It's like the inside of my head all over the metal"

v is for vines

He felt like the parts of the S looked like crescent moons so he added the two stars

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The figure 5 in gold


I stole my husbands nice camera and took it to school to take some photos...he wasn't super happy but I got some new photos to post;)
A while back I had the 2nd and 3rd graders look at the work I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold and read and listen to the poem that goes with the painting The Great Figure.

I put a picture of the original painting, a copy of the poem and a explanation of the project up on the bulletin board. No school staff or admin seemed to notice the display but a few parents read the poem and some kinder, 4th and 5th graders spent time looking at it so that is something.

When looking at the original painting I had students look for shapes, colors and lines. We found the hidden fire truck and talked about how the artist used diagonal lines to make it look like the fire truck was moving fast. Next we brainstormed our favorite number and drew it LARGE on 8"x 14" paper. Students could color in their number with oil pastel or wait to paint it with watercolor.

Next we talked about repetition and unity. We drew our favorite number small three or 5 more times around the paper and then added three circles in various sizes. I had students color their circles in with oil pastel. Then we used DIAGONAL lines to dived our paper into smaller spaces.

The next class we re-read the poem and reviewed the elements of art we found in the painting. Then I had students use watercolor to paint their background spaces. They could choose one area on the paper that I would paint with my forbidden 1970's gold powdered tempera paint that I keep hidden in the back of my cabinet.

The project was perfect for both 2nd and 3rd grade but the paper was too large for the 2nd graders. Next time I will use standard letter size paper for 2nd grade and the larger paper only for 3rd grade.
click to enlarge

I think this lesson is a great way to combine art, math and literacy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Medieval illuminated letters in foil



Before spring break I was asked to do units on Medieval and Renaissance Art with my 6-8th grade students.Of course the first lesson that came to mind were Illuminated Letters. However, I had students make colored pencil illuminated letters 3 years ago (and remember I have to go 3 FULL years before I can repeat a lesson).

After some pondering I decided to have students make their illuminated letters on tooling foil and use sharpies to add color. Wow they are turning out cool! The reflection of the metal, the raised lines and the pop of the sharpie color and even my lackluster kiddos work is turning out hall worthy.

The photos are not doing them justice.
In an effort to get my unmotivated students to do some work I put very loose guidelines on the content. Each one has to have a letter and either that letter needs to be made "fancy," or needs to have images that correlate to that letter, or needs to be first initial of the student's name and include images of things that illustrate their likes and dislikes.

Granted I have everything from PS3 controllers to a tribute to Halloween. But consistently the kids are liking their work and are happy to have it in the hall.

More importantly random parents are coming into my room to ask what we used...one family actually went to the store and bought some tooling foil and sharpies to make their own at home with their younger students. This kind of parent interest is UNHEARD of at my school. I wish I had the money to do a family art night were the kids and parents from the younger grades could make their own. That's a grant for another year though.

Our next project is pure Medieval fantasy and we are doing watercolor dragons...a creature that is proving very hard for my students to draw even with step by step directions from my favorite book! A good drawing challenge is always good for us though.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

daffodils, digital cameras and ditching


Today's post is brought to you by the letter D.
D is for digital camera battery charger....as in I have lost mine. My husband and I have taken the house apart looking for it with no luck. Hence the lack of posts lately. Part of me wants to hold all the kids art to photograph when I get a new charger but my classroom is tinny so I just keep handing everything back without photograph evidence. I really hope a few teachers put their students art in the hall so I can go take photos later.

D is for daffodils the flower that pops up to show it is spring in Oregon and the daffodils are out in full force around the school. Kinder - 2nd will do daffodil projects this week. Its so crafty but the kinders make daffodils with construction paper and egg carton cups painted yellow...much like this one from notes to emily


For 1st grade I dig up one daffodil per table so the kids can see the bulb and roots attached and we do an above and below ground observational drawing with oil pastel and label the part of the plant then add watercolor and some yellow and orange tissue paper to be the sticking out center of the flower.

2nd grade does a similar lesson but is required to draw 3 daffodils, each one from a different angle. I admit I use a starter sheet (cheat sheet) for the 2nd grade lesson. I give the kids drawing paper with 3 dots or U shapes that show where the daffodils should be on the paper. From there we do step by step drawing each view of the daffodils. Side, front and bottom. Inspiration comes from this sketch at C knotes ... we add color with watercolor/oil pastels


D is for ditching. Teaching middle school in the spring is not for the faint of heart. Well teaching middle school is never for the faint of heart but spring can be extra painful. I'm not sure if this was possible before texting and facebook...but our students can mobilize a grade wide ditch day in under 24 hours now. On Friday when only 10 of my 27 1st period students showed up I knew ditching season had hit in full force. The kids who bothered to come confirmed that yes it was a 7-8th ditch day due to it being April 1st. They will all ditch again on the 20th of this month and most will not bother to come the first 2 hours of the school day during the week that 6th graders are at outdoor school. Although our school auto dials home as soon as I take attendance saying a student is absent, still some of my students ditch one or more days a week.
Not only should the kids be in school to learn, but having kids constantly ditching makes it impossible to get classes working at a similar speed and schedule. Very annoying.