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.
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.