Recently, I had the chance to collaborate with the fabulous 8th Grade Social Studies team at my school. As part of their curriculum, they discovered the significance of the landscape artists of the Hudson River School. After a brief art history presentation of the hidden qualities of these paintings, students ventured across the country into the pop-up mini galleries. Using iPads to access QR codes, students compared and contrasted selected works of the portfolios Hudson River School artists and journeyed along the path in which an artist made their plein-air sketches before returning to their studio to paint. Students then used formative and extended their knowledge with a S’More.
Finally, students were challenged to take a photograph that illustrates the style of the Hudson River School artists over their Spring Break.
Since we meet for just a handful of times during the year, I like to make sure each lesson is jam-packed with different techniques and media. One of my favorite lessons to teach to Kindergarten is on robots. We discuss robots and their purposes and function in society. This project is great for exploring collage, texture, printmaking, and splatter painting.
When creating their robots, students first use metallic paint to imitate the texture of metal. They organize and lay out their pieces to form their robot. On the second day, students assemble and glue their robot to a brightly colored pieced of construction paper. Then they add more texture, using splattered paint. Then, they use small pieces of cardboard, wood, and marker lids to add details like they eyes, buttons, mouth, and other details.
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.
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.