Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In the Art Room: Second Grade Collage Landscapes Inspired by Chilean Arpilleras

Hey, guys! I'm excited to share with y'all the finished product of many an art class: Second Grade's Landscape Collages!
Here's some things we learned along the way (with more detail in a hot minute):

* How to create textured papers. I borrowed heavily from my buddy Laura's blog Painted Paper because Laura is my art teacher super hero. Suriously. Her students work is amazin'. 

* How to create a landscape with a fore-, middle- and background. 

* How to create an origami house. Some kids got really into this, creating multiple houses for their landscape.

* How to embellish with puffy paint...selectively. Oh, lawd, y'all. You've heard of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, right? Well, If You Give a Second Grader Puffy Paint was not about to be the sequel in my art room. I was the Puffy Paint Nazi. One false move and it was NO PUFFY PAINT FOR YOU!
* How to create a whip-stitched boarder. So I thought this would be totes elementary for these guys. Turns out kids don't know how to sew anymore and this was ROCKET SCIENCE. Note to self: Have more stitched projects...for the sub to do (haha, I kid. Kinda.)
Now that you know the gist, lemme back up a lil bit and give you the full story. The lessons started with an intro to Mexico and Latin America. You can find my prezi (remember my prezi addiction?) here

After that prezi and a quick chat, we spent our first 30 minutes (my first and second grade have 30 minutes of art, twice every six days) creating textured paper with a sponge and tan paint. We chatted about the texture of the Andes mountains in Chile and used that as our inspiration. 

The following 30 minutes were spent learning more painting techniques. We learned how to use cardboard to print flowers or plants, use a texture comb to create textured papers (see the sun below) and how to create a plaid pattern with a dry brush technique. Yes, all that in 30. Sometimes I question my sanity.
The following class, we chatted about arpilleras. You can see my prezi on those lovelies here. After that, we began tearing our textured papers and gluing them to a 12" X 12" construction paper background of our choosing. The key to doing this without having gaps in the landscape is to have the kids begin with the background piece and proceed gluing pieces toward the foreground.  
The next art class, I had the kids immediately grab a piece of origami paper as they entered and meet me on the floor for a origami house demo on the document camera. Before I had a doc camera, I would have simply done an origami demo on a GIANT sheet of paper so they could see all of the steps. With the cam, we all worked together. If time allowed, the kids created more houses or used thin Sharpies to decorate their homes. Initials were written on the back and these wee ones were saved for the following art class.
The next day, I told the kids that they had four goals to reach BEFORE they entered Puffy Paint Town: glue houses to landscape keeping perspective in mind (or not), add clouds/stars/whateverness to the sky, create a sun or moon and add their name at the bottom. If all of these goals were met, they could begin to add puffy paint in dots only on their land. 
I actually have a couple of these beauties that I've found at the thrift store over the years. I love having the real thing to share with the kids instead of just a photo from the 'net. 

Many of the kids didn't reach their goals all in 30 minutes so they needed an extra day to puffy paint. The deal with puffy paint is that it has this habit of sneezing all over art work. So I had the kids use a piece of practice paper to practice dot making before doing it on their masterpiece. The deal with kids is that they get carried away on their practice paper (really? You needed to fill the whole paper with dots? Because now the bottle is empty, dude.) so I started to limit them to 3 practice dots. 

Next up was the stitching. Oh boy. I did go ahead and hole punch the sides of their artwork for them prior to art class. Hate me if you wanna but I just didn't want to spend an additional 30 minutes watching the kids struggle and possibly tear their work as they punched through (sometimes) 3 pieces of construction paper. Added bonus: I now have super big muscles in the right hand. Just what I've always wanted!
Once the stitching was complete, so was the masterpiece! I absolutely love how these beauties turned out and the kids are just as thrilled. I decided to hang them in the hall by paper clipping them together because it's my new fave way to display
Speaking of faves, collage landscapes are also my favorite means of teaching about landscapes. For more lessons, you can check out these Collaged Parisian Pictures, Egyptian Landscape Pieces,
and these Tube Castle Landscapes. What's your fave landscape lesson? I needs to know! Until next time, y'all, use that puffy paint the way your art teacher done showed ya!

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26 comments:

  1. Anonymous10/28/2014

    Absolutely wonderful, so colorful. Your blog never fails to amaze me ( with your creativity) and also to make me smile.

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  2. I love how individual these all turned out. Same concept, lesson, same instructions... but very different results. Nice work Cassie!

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    1. Thanks, Nic! I'll tell the kids that a Super Awesome and Amazing Art Teacher said so :)

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  3. They look fabulous. Thank you for all the links and instructions.

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  4. Anonymous10/28/2014

    I love this! We are finishing arpilleras right now, but I'm totally bookmarking this to add ideas for next year. I'll update you when I post pics of our arpilleras too :) We have tissue paper and pipe cleaner dolls in ours.

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    1. Oh, that sounds adorable!! I so wanted the kids to add more to theirs but I just couldn't think of how. I can't wait to see what your kids created!

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    2. Anonymous11/05/2014

      Ok here ya go, I finally wrote about them. :) http://artlittlebennett.wordpress.com/ One of my classes did a mix of our project with a splash of yours! ;)

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  5. SOOOOO loving these! Really love the layering! Stealing!!!! oh I mean Pinning! :)

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    1. Oh, gurl, steal away. Thank YOU for all the unless inspiration!

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  6. I'd love to try thi with my kiddos. May I?

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  7. Aaaaaaaaaaand this is why I've heard so much about origami lately ;)

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  8. My favorite kind of lesson!

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  9. Love! Love! I think I need to add these to my 3rd grade art around the world curriculum. You asked about favorite landscape projects...I am having kids doing folk art inspired by Karla Gerard and Heather Galler. I am super excited to see the end results.

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  10. These are so gorgeous. I'm going to do a very similar activity with a college level art class I teach making a texture, landscape collage. (might have also seen it on painted paper)

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  11. hot damn, lady! those suckas is GORGEOUS! btw, keep an eye out for my "what some lazy art teacher wore" posts;)

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  12. This is so beautiful! Do you have an email address? I'm a homeschool mom of three and have some questions (I'm lost when it comes to how to have structured art classes) and would love some ideas on how to do things better than "Here are some supplies..now..go!" lol

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    1. Hi Meg! Sure, feel free to email me at cassieart75@gmail.com. Thanks :)

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  13. Cassie, try using a 3-hole punch. Remove the paper guide at the bottom, punch once then move the paper and punch again. No more aching muscles!! :)

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  14. You have a great personality! Because now the bottle is empty, dude. Love it. Cheers to you, my fellow art teacher, and thanks for sharing.

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  15. awesome multimedia lesson! but i can't seem to figure out... how did you print the plants/flowers using cardboard?

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  16. These are great, and I love the stitched detail. :D

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  17. Anonymous12/08/2015

    I like the way you transferred the idea of texture from the fabric assemblages of the Arpilleras to textured hand-made papers, but I don't see a need for the Nazi reference from above when you speak about puffy paint. You may want to edit that out. In peace.

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  18. I LOVE this lesson and my second graders are currently working on them. I was wondering how you teach your students to glue the landscape together. My kids are having trouble and are gluing the landscape layers upside down, or with the foreground first (covering up the layer behind it instead of going back to front). If that made sense at all, I would love to know your best practices! Thanks:)

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    1. same! Please add some assistance on this. I have taught it three different ways, trying to correct each classes mistake. But it is really difficult for them to envision what each piece is ...they are also insisting on cutting everything really small and then the pieces all look like floating or flying islands, Any advice?

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)