What better way to engage your students in the art room that through the use of clay?!? Third grade studies and observes frogs and their metamorphosis from a tadpole into an adult frog. To reinforce their learning in science I thought it would be a great way to explore clay and sculpture in the art room. Students learn how to score, slip, and hand-build a clay from multiple pieces of clay. Students also learn about basic glazing techniques once their frog is fired in the kiln. To create the clay frog, students begin with a ball of clay, roughly the size of their fist. They then pinch it in half, setting one piece aside. They take the other half and roll it into a ball to create a basic pinch pot. This is to draw from their prior knowledge of clay from previous years in art, and create confidence/make them more comfortable with the medium. Students then take the other piece and pinch it in half again. Students create the “eye sockets” and eyes and attach them to the pinch pot. Then, students create coils and attach them to the sides for the legs and feet. I constantly remind them of the “Four S” rule – Score, Slip, Squish, and Smooth. Once they combine all the parts they check and make sure everything is attached securely and demonstrates craftsmanship. I write their names and their class label (ex. M3 for Monday, third grade) and then when they dry they are fired. Students then glaze their frogs and they are fired again. My students always come up with fantastic frogs!
What’s a great way to merge science connections into art? Plant life. In the early spring, my second grade students explore the characteristics of plants and flowers and the importance of photosynthesis. Students refine their manipulative skills as they create petals using brightly colored paper to create the petals. To kick it up a notch, students use gel markers to invent patterns onto their petals. I encourage the students to used analogous colors. Students then glue their petals in a radial fashion to the center of another piece of brightly colored construction paper. Next, student use orange or yellow paper to tear or cut and implement basic quilling techniques to curl and create the part of the flower integral for pollination. Students also add leaves by created a football shape and creasing the center. They glue three under the flower. Finally, student quill and curl the ends of the petals to create depth.
This project is a great way to introduce the principle of design, movement, to First Grade students. The students first observed and explored the art of Vincent van Gogh. A great resource is BrainPOP, Jr. I use it as motivation to engage and introduce van Gogh and his style of art. Next, it’s time to create! They then increased their manipulative skills using tempera paint for the stars combining circles and short, curved lines. The students created shades and tints of blue to build up the sky background. After finishing and letting the painting dry, students used a continuous line that employed vertical, horizontal, and diagonal straight lines to create the silhouette of the city onto a black piece of construction paper and then collage it onto their painting.
Here are some student examples from my fabulous first graders.
Every school year it is my goal to hang each students art once. At our school we have six art shows to display and honor their hard work and creativity in the art room. Twice a year our students have their artwork showcased at the local Art Gallery for a district-wide art show. The reception for the Spring Art Show was held Thursday, March 8th. Here are some snapshots of the show, where close to a hundred works of art were on display among the thousands from the elementary schools in the district.
When students first walk into the art room, I always have the lesson objectives on the board. Since I have grades K-5 every day, I have all grade level objectives posted. Some of the information is also mirrored on the projection screen as a non-verbal cue as well as an aid for students who may not as easily see the board.
Over the period of a lesson, I have several items that are posted to remind the students (and me!) what we will be covering that day – especially since a project can last several days. Each lesson plan has a title, vocabulary terms, assessment targets/benchmarks, a finished project example, and the content standard associated with the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy that will be covered that day.
Sometimes, students will be expected to create graphic organizers that highlight important information about a specific artist, style of art, or art media.
At our school we employ the Daily 5 as one of many literacy strategies. My students are expected to document their Word Work
onto their Knowledge Rating Charts, which are located on the front of their portfolios. This activity gets them to self-assess and prepare for the new project, as well as ignite any prior knowledge of the project they are about to explore. Occasionally, students will also
Read to Self from the Art text and have a small group discussion. This information is documented on the board as well.
Some more detailing the board objective organization I used in the art room are highlighted here.
This project is a great way to introduce the element of art, line, to Kindergarten students. Students use their kinesthetic intelligence to experience lines through movement – imitating the movement (or lack of movement) with the use of their arms. Students compare and contrast a variety of relevant images of objects, buildings, and logos that illustrate different line expressions as well as works of art by artists such as Kandinsky and Miro. Students develop their manipulative skills to draw curved, straight, wavy, and a multitude of other lines using oil pastels. Then, with watercolor paints, students add color and fill in the spaces between the lines. As an enrichment activity (especially for early finishers), students are encouraged to invent other lines and implement patterns on top of their dry painting using oil pastels.
Art: 117.2.b.1.B; 2.A-C; 3.A-C; 4.A-B