Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Op Art

My 5th grade enjoyed looking at and creating Optical Illusion Art.  We first looked at the art of Bridget Riley.  I loved this project because it was so fun, but also because it introduced basic shading skills to my younger students.  We used black sharpie first on the circles to make a checker board pattern, then on the background sections doing every other one.  We left shading with colored pencil for last.

Before using the colored pencils, we discussed how the parts that are closer are lighter, and the parts farther away are darker.  I demonstrated using various pressures to create lights and darks.  We also talked about if the sections were just flat like the black and not shaded, the optical illusion wouldn't work.  I let students choose 1 color for the circle/spheres, and 2 colors for the background.

Most of my students finished without any  struggle for time, but with Christmas break fast approaching, I had a few who struggled because they  had been sick or are slower than most.  I believe we took 4 weeks to do this project.

These are just a few of the best results:

Tint and Shade Animal Paintings

My high school kids ventured into the painting world.  Many loved it, some hated it, but most results turned out pretty well.  Since this is my first year, I am still testing to see what kinds of skills my students have.  I have noticed that my older students lack some basic skills.  I wanted to take it back a little and do basic painting ideas using color mixing and value. 

I had each student choose an animal.  I had many old Zoobooks magazines, a variety of old clip art, and we did some searching on the internet for a few specific animals I didn't have.  I had the students sketch it out on scratch paper, filling the space.  We transferred the animal twice using light boxes.  On the first painting, students chose 1 color plus white.  On the second painting, 1 color plus black. 

Many students said they  never wanted to paint again.  Well of course we will!  :)
Next semester I want to try a color matching painting where students choose a color photo and they match the colors as close as possible.  I think those results will be interesting!

The tint and shade painting results surprised me.  I had these hung up in the commons area and received many compliments on them.  It was really something for the students to be proud of.  I wish I had take a picture of them all together because it looked pretty cool to see them all on the same wall.

Christmas "Palm" Trees

I got this lesson idea from the KAEA conference I attended in October.  I was debating whether to do it or not, but decided I could handle a huge mess for just one class.  My Kindergarten got to use paint and glitter…oh what fun! 

We started out by putting our hands in green to make our tree.  We added a brown square for the base, white for snow, and different colors for ornaments.  I precut stars for all of my students and at the end, we glued them on and added glitter.  How awesome was that! 

After I got over the fact that we would create a large, crazy mess, we had so much fun!  While following my step by step instructions on which colors to do when, students discovered they could mix the colors.  What an awesome thing this was!  Except that the colors we used created some yucky colors, but they didn’t care.  Most of the color mixing was on the paint trays, but some did it on the paper.  At that point I didn’t even try to stop it because they didn’t care.  They just enjoyed the experience.

Here are some results:

Weaving Cup

I found this lesson on a blog, I can’t remember which.  My 3rd grade students enjoyed this project and it was good practice on basic weaving techniques.  We used small plastic cups and cut from the top down into 7 sections.  Any odd number will do but I thought 7 would be a good number for 3rd grade.  Most of them struggled at first but got it after a few times around.  A few still had big problems and needed a lot of help.  Overall, they look pretty cool.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Group Project Mystery

My JH students were in for a surprise when I gave them few directions and wouldn't answer any questions.  With little guidance they had freedom which can be exciting and scary for some.

In preparation for this assignment, I drew our mascot on large poster paper after I projected the image onto the wall.  I traced the image then created a 12X12 inch square grid over it.  I then separated each square and numbered them so they were in order.

I transfered each square image onto a higher quality paper so it could withstand a variety of mediums.

My directions were to leave the pencil lines and somehow distinguish a difference between lines.  My students had the option of using a combination of oil pastels, markers, colored pencils, and watercolor paint to complete their squares.  I happened to have 13 students in my class and my original image was 24 squares.  I added another column of 4 so that each student could have 2 squares and I joined in the fun by completeing the 2 leftover squares.  I tried to make the squares random so the students could have a variety of blank squares and ones with the pencil drawing on them.  This also kept them guessing.

The color was applied to all squares in 1 50 minute class period.  The next class period we put it all together.  Many had figured out the previous day that we were going to assemble it together but nobody guessed what it was going to be.  I have 4 large tables in my room so I had students divide the numbers by row and put them in number order.  We taped each row together on the back then combined the 4 rows together to create the whole thing.  "AH HA...I get it now!"  Well that was the response from some.  Others needed further explanation.  We talked about it visually and decided it needed some black outlines to tie it all together.  We then ventured into the hallway to tape it up on the wall.  I decided a great location would be near the gym since it is the beginning of basketball season.

Go Big Buffs! :)

This was a fun, quick project that turned out pretty well!  I've had many comments on how it was really cool once they figured out what it was...ha!  I may try this again using a different subject.  Because there are few "rules" it could work for many grade levels.