27 February 2013

Wednesday Works - Jim Dine Hearts with 4th grade

With Valentine's Day approaching, I asked my 4th grade class what kind of project they might be interested in working on next.   I received a few answers at once, "hearts!"  "Painting!"  "Something messy"

To go along with our goal of 5 new lessons in each grade level, I took their requests and did a little research into Jim Dine, an American Artist, at times associated with the Pop-Art movement but only because of his focus on everyday items. 

We looked at his group of paintings and prints that had a heart for a main focus.   Without making the artworks be "valentines" as such, I introduced several steps of layering different materials to try and create some depth in these little works.  

Our first step was colored paper.   Students could choose to work on their heart feature as a positive or negative space element.

 Either filling in the background areas around the heart....

Or working with the heart as a positive space.

The goal here was not so much in the colors they chose, but in the texture they were trying to create as a base layer.

For an additional element before painting began, students were instructed to use crayons, colored pencils, and both washable and permanent markers to bring out different parts of their project.   They weren't sure what would happen when we painted over marker or colored pencils, but they do know about wax-resist using crayons and paint from a previous lesson. 

Then the painting.   My kids and I are really happy with using the tempera cake paints this year.  That is definitely something we will be using again next year.

After these have a chance to dry, we'll look at them one more time to see if we need to pull out some detail with colored pencils or markers but I am very happy with the results so far!  

22 February 2013

20 February 2013

Bonus content for 3rd grade - coloring page links

school subject coloring pages

Challenging coloring pages

Here are just 2 links to some free printable coloring pages I put in the free-time bin in my room.

As I find a few more, I'll update the page.

Wednesday Works - Ceramic Fish in 4th grade

Having our school right on the river gives us a very close up view of the wildlife native to our area.   For my ceramic lesson with 4th grade, we decided to make fish.   Kids were able to make actual species or an amalgamation of fish parts to create on of their own. 

 Rolling slabs about 1/4-1/2  inch thick

 Sketching shape then cutting out the fish.

I use only AMACO White Art Clay No. 25 in my classroom.  I get it in moist form so I don't have to worry about mixing and the dust. 

 I nice selection of clay tools helps create fin and scale textures.  

 Plastic, wooden, or wire trimming tools work well.   Some students used pencils or marker caps, even tapping fingernails into the wet clay.

Adding spikes to a blow fish.

And the final step for this one, adding glaze colors of their choice.   Again, I only use AMACO lead-free, low fire glazes.  I feel comfortable sticking with one company to lesson the chances of any materials in the clay bodies or glaze mixes we really wouldn't want to be using in an elementary school. 

I do individual test strips for each bottle so the kids know exactly what the results would be.  My glaze chart has 90 some glaze colors at any one time.

Some students like to layer glaze colors to create new combinations.   This one was layered and then polka-dotted as well. 

19 February 2013

2nd grade bonus content - the riddle of the Honkabeast

Can you solve the riddle of the HONKABEAST??

         What has - 

      • 2 fiery yellow eyes?
      • a body with a hump?
      • a big row of silvery teeth?
      • 4 round feet?
      • a tail of fog?

                                                     Don't panic!  Just use your imagination!

18 February 2013

13 February 2013

Wednesday works - Pinch Pot Monsters - 2nd grade


An introduction to pinch pots was the basis for this fun lesson with my 2nd grade classes.

Once I demonstrated the pinch pot methods, students placed their pots on the side for the mouth of their monster.    Other than a little information about slipping and scoring to keeps parts together, the kids were on their own imaginations for this one!  Anything goes!  (anything went?  since we're finished?)

Here's a photo wall for you.

 Can you see the little red rectangle on these two photos?   This is how I keep the classes separated in the kiln when I fire them.   I have tabs for each day of the week, and several for grade level sections as well, all in different colors.   Students place projects on a large piece of paper in circles where they write their names.    I use a needle tool to scratch names into the bottom of each project.   Then the entire class of projects go to one shelf in the kiln with it's teacher/day/section tabs.  They've been fired many times and I haven't noticed a change in the colors, they just go into the kiln just as they are now.

After firing we painted them with tempera cakes which the kids have all unanimously agreed they like much better than the wet tempera in cups.  They like the colors and the easy way to use them.

 (this tray has a yellow "day 3" tab)

A quick shot of clear sealant (which I apply outside) to give them a little shine and projects will be coming home this week :) 

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