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.
I have always been inspired by the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Even more, still, in the illustrations of Sir John Tenniel within this whimsical tale. This inspiration led me to the whimsy of another great artist, Pablo Picasso. After seeing the Picasso Monsters created in Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room, I jumped on the opportunity with my fourth grade students. BrainPOP, as I have mentioned a few times, is a great resource to introduce an artist, art technique, or even make an interdisciplinary connection. These fabulous people have created a short video on Cubism and its origins.
After my students explore Cubism, they compare, contrast, and analyze the work of Picasso and Tenniel. We also discuss distortion, point of view, proportion, analogous colors, and portraiture. The students begin their collage by creating the cat face. We chose a set of analogous colors, and start on our way. The majority of the first day is spent on the construction of the head. On day two and three we create the body and tail, and add details (eyes, nose, etc). Finally, students use similar colors of gel markers to add patterns onto their collage. The last day is when they students weave paper to create their background and assemble their collage. To add a bit of “flash” I have students weave using metallic paper. This project is a wonderful chance to delve into literature and math through the lens of the visual arts.
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.