Showing posts with label kindergarten art projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kindergarten art projects. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Painting

 Hello, friends! If you saw my post earlier this week, I said I'd be sharing a follow-up lesson to our Jasper Johns-inspired alphabet paintings. Here's a peak at that project:
 And the video lesson!
I see my kindergarteners for 40 minutes, once a week. I knew they'd zip through the alphabet I shared with them a super fun Chicka Chicka Boom Boom video from YouTube and challenged them to make a painting of upper and lower case letters. This resulted in beautiful black and white paintings of letters. We piled them on to the drying rack and were done for the day...two masterpieces complete!
 Once the ink is dry from the bingo daubers, my students are going to "hug" their letters with water soluble markers. Then they'll add just water right over their marker lines for this fabulous result!
 Another alternative to having them paint over their lines is simply spray them with water! Once class only had moments left so we did this trick and, while I like the other result better, these still look great. Just a tip: when spraying with water, less is best. The colors will bleed if given time.
And there you have it, two great literacy projects for kindergarten in one! 

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 23 KINDERGARTENLAND

Ah, yes. Kindergarten. If it's one group of people that have my complete respect, it's the kindergarten teacherin' crowd. K-town comes to us all over the place: some have been in school, others have not; some know how to follow directions, others would rather roll around the floor (I mean, who wouldn't). You get the idea, it's a Big Ole Mixed Bag o' Fun. Ish. Ness. So I thought we could talk about that herd of cats we call Kindergarten in this week's 101. AND I thought I'd give you a sneak peak into a 5 minute chat with a group of 'em: 
What works the best for me: Call and Response. I use that trick with EVERY grade level, kindergarten up to fourth. It really works wonders for grabbing attention and getting kids to remember vocabulary, directions and steps to follow. Here's how I introduce it to the kids:
With kindergarten, I really like the happy/sad board. It's an instant visual and it's something easy I can keep up with. Again, I use it with everyone...but I notice I reference it most with the littles. By the time they are older, I hardly use it unless one of them reminds me. And then I'm all, "sure, would you mind keeping track of it for me?" I'm all about the distribution of power (aka, getting someone else to do my job). Here are the deets on that:
Another method I use with the wee ones is palming. I mention this in the video but you can see it in action here: 
Because we're chatting about kindergarten in this here post, I thought I'd share my most favorite lessons as well. If you've been around here long enough, you've heard my Larry the Line poem that I start my kindergarten school year with:
Larry the Lines leads us to our very first art project: Line Sculptures. From there we continue with a unit on line. You can find that entire unit here
I love using books with kindergarten, as I know many of us do, and one of my favorites is Mouse Paint. It's a great way to introduce color theory...and review lines to create shapes like these sweet mice! 
I love to introduce a unit on shape as you can see here. One of my favorite self portrait projects come from the artists in kindergarten land and you can see more of that here. I almost always do a variation of this landscape lesson each year
When it comes to clay, I LOVE introducing textures into clay creating. Check out these fun birds! We also had a lot of fun creating these clay butterflies

I'd love to hear what some of your favorite kindie lessons are. They are a group that is NEVER short on excitement...and if you can harness that, you've got gold. By the way, I often update my YouTube account before I share here so if you subscribe, you can get the latest, if you like! 
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Friday, February 7, 2014

In the Art Room: Winter Collage Landscapes by Kindergarten

Alright, to those of you in the Midwest, this looks awfully familiar, amirite?! I have buddies in Indiana whose children have missed so many days due to snow that they'll be in school until the end of June. THE END OF JUNE, PEOPLE! Meanwhile, in Tennessee, we've not had one single snow day. Like not even a speck o' snow. So it's a good thing my friends in kindergarten-land created these masterpieces as it seems this is the only snow we're gonna get.
Now, lemme give you the run down on my schedule with kindergarten. I see them for 45 minutes at a time every 6 days. And on that day, I have three classes of 'em back-to-back-to-Ima-bout-to-lose-my-mind-back. This project took us three of those art classes. Here's what each of those days looked like in brief:

Day #1: We looked at Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night. We chatted about the time of day he portrayed, what season it might be, how the elements of a landscape are background, middleground and foreground and the back story of the painting. In kinder-friendly terms. Then I asked them what his painting might look like if it were winter? From there, each kiddo was given a 9" X 12" piece of white paper and a paint brush. They were to paint any kind of line near the middle of their paper with turquoise for the background. This was then mixed with white to create a snowy tint. They continued to paint down their paper with a line for middle and foreground. Once those were on the drying rack, we met again on the floor to read a book about van Gogh.
Day #2: I showed up wearing my Starry Night Light Up dress! This got a lot of cheers (and even an applause when I turned the lights on) from my wee friends. This time, we shifted our focus from the elements of a landscape to the sky van Gogh portrayed. We discussed how he loved to use bold lines and shape in his work to convey movement. We talked about how we can create our skies anyway we like...but sometimes it's okay to be inspired by other artists. After all, van Gogh was inspired by Japanese prints! Students were instructed to pick a sky color from an assortment of blues, black and violets. From there, they cut their land from their white paper, glued it to their chosen background paper and created their sky with oil pastels. I encouraged the little artists to practice sketching their moon and stars on the back before tackling the front.

Day #3: On this final day, we covered so freakin' much. Because the students would be using shapes to construct their houses, I did a little pre-assessment at the door. As the students entered, I showed them a colored-in shape. They were to tell me the name of the shape and color. This proved to be a wake-up call to me. Some of them didn't know their simple shapes! Review to do!

Once we were seated on the floor, we did a vocabulary review with a technique I learned a long time ago from my amazing Aunt Kimmy. She's a teacher and when I was a kid, she taught us something called the Number Game (was that what it was called, Kimmy?). I changed it up a bit...and I call it The Clap and Slap. For this, we review vocabulary, read vocabulary and count the syllables in our vocabulary words. It goes like this:

Sitting criss-cross (applesauce, because, after all, this is kindergarten), gently tap your legs twice, clap your hands twice and alternate snapping your fingers. Those alternating snaps will be used to count the syllables in the vocabulary words. For example, we slapped, clapped and snapped out the syllables of: land(snap)-scape(snap), back(snap)-ground(snap), middle(snap)-ground(snap), fore(snap)-ground(snap). After each clap/slap/snap, the children were to hold up the number of syllables we just counted with their fingers. We did this with all our vocabulary: Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, collage, scissors, paper, glue, square, rectangle, triangle.
With the review behind us, I introduced the kids to bit of math with their house collages. On their tables were tin trays filled with leftover painted paper scraps (ooooh, pretty! Thanks for the idea, Painted Paper!) I had cut the papers into three different sized squares: 3" X 3", 2" X 2" and 1" X 1". I held up a square and we chatted about how many sides it had, how many angles, etc...and then I asked, how could I turn this into a house? The first response was that it needed a roof. I had them tell me all the ways I could create a roof and then I presented them with this: I want to make a triangle roof but I only want to cut my square one time. Who can I do that?
One genius always guesses: by cutting it from one corner to the other! And, viola! I have a square cut in half! And a roof for me and a friend.

We did the same routine when cutting out a rectangle for our door. Some kids decided to use the other half of the rectangle for a chimney. Then I touched for just a moment on little details like door knobs or window panes...or anything else they came up with. 

Once the details of house making were discussed, we talked a bit about the placement of our houses. What sizes will the ones in the foreground be? How would that compare to the houses in the middle and back ground? The kids quickly picked up on the idea of creating houses in varying sizes. I asked them to create at least three houses in any size they liked.
"All of my houses are teeny tiny because they are in the far away background!" Making houses THAT small takes skill, people! I love this mini-villlage in the distance!
A whole lotta foreground houses.
When I asked this artist why there was a tiny house in the foreground, she said, "That's not a tiny house, that's the DOG'S house!"  Silly me.
I love everything about this whimsical piece, especially that hill and the big starry sky.
AND NOW FOR ONE LAST ANNOYING ATTEMPT AT SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: I'm so thrilled to be nominated for Art Ed Blog of the Year...and I'd be super honored to have your vote. But you don't have to JUST vote for me, you can vote for multiple art blogs. If you've not checked out the line-up, there are some incredible blogs on the list! If you'd consider a vote for mine, I'd be just so super happy. 


 Visit here to check out those blogs and cast your vote.
Thanks, kids! Chat with you soon!
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In the Art Room: A Unit on Line for Kindergarten

Completed kindergarten masterpieces. That's right, I said kindergarten. The under-6 set is knockin' it outta the park, er, art room so far this year and I couldn't be more thrilled.
What I'm about to present to you right here is one Big Fat Hairy kindergarten unit on line. And color. Oh, and shape, sculpture and good craftsmanship, i.e. how-not-to-drive-the-art-teacher-crazy(-er)-by-not-grinding-your-paintbrush-into-the-paper. Because she no like-y. And, in my art room, keeping me sane-ish is at the top of my Learning Targets. Which is way harder than you could ever imagine. Just ask the kids.
Do you recall those wild and wacky paintings created on the first days of school in this post? Those large paintings have come in very handy as backdrops for our displays as you can see here.
Without getting into all of that, let's chat about the aforementioned Line Unit, shall we? I'm not gonna lie, I do this same ole project with kindergarten at the beginning of every year. Which is unusual for me because with all the other grade levels, I love to change things up. Not so with kinder'town for a coupla reasons: A. they love it; B. it covers a whole batch o' skills/techniques/vocabulary/routines and C. let's be honest, coming up with projects that the little ones can master is not my forte. So when I find something that works, I stick with it.
So on our very first day of art, after introducing ourselves to one another and an abbreviated discussion of rules and consequences (because, after all, these kids are five. They still have baby fluff, suck their thumbs and wet their pants routinely. Rules and consequences mean nada. A wicked stare and a "we don't do that in kindergarten" usually does the trick), I like to dive head first into the art-making swimmin' hole. Which means we create our very first sculpture.
Now if you're an old warhorse at this art teacher game, this lesson is nothing new to you. You might wanna skip on down to the bottom where I discuss such things as pinwheel portrait painting and bottomless basket weaving (don't worry newbies, they'll be gone a while. I don't even know what that stuff is!). For the rest of ya, lemme tell you how I go about teaching this line sculpture lesson: 
  • First of all, we have a little chat about the difference between flat two-dimensional artwork and sculptures. After looking at some images of sculptures, we chat about the ones we are familiar with (ole Lady Liberty almost always comes up) and discuss how a sculpture is something we can see (rotating body at waist for emphasis) all...the way...around.
  • I then tell 'em that we are going to create a sculpture with a bunch of straight lines (strips of paper cut 1" X 9" but sizes can vary). I ask them how to make a flat piece of paper pop out of their sculpture base (aka the bottom paper) to which they usually answer "glue!" It's at this point that I tell 'em that if they want their sculpture to stand, just like us, it must have feet.
  • I demonstrate creating a small fold at the ends of the strip of paper thus creating feet. It's there that glue is applied (to which the strip of paper always responds, "oohh, that tickles my feet! Ohhh, that glue is soo cold!" Yes, the paper talks to us. It's kindergarten, people. They eat this stuff up). Once the glue is applied, I show the kids how to hold the paper in place on the base for about 10 seconds. 
  • From there, I demonstrate adding more paper strips to the sculpture base on top, below, behind or beside the first strip. Then I turn the kids loose on their on sculptures. 
  • The following art class, I introduce more lines. I demonstrate folding a zigzag line, wrapping a strip of paper around my pencil to create a spiral and creating a loop de loop. 
  • I also chat about how lines create shapes and demonstrate creating a circle by gluing one end of the strip to the other. With that circle, so many other shapes can be created with a pinch. Pinch the circle once and you have a teardrop! Pinch it again and you have an ellipse! One more time, it's a triangle! Anther pinch and you have a square.
  • From there, the kids go nuts on their sculptures creating lines, shapes and whatever else they can dream up.
Here! Lemme walk you through it.
On the third day of art class, I get real serious about the whole line thing. We look at each of these snake-y lines on the poster I created way back in first-year-art-teacher-land and then locate them on works of art. Any ole Kandinsky works great for this. It's at this point I introduce to the kids a lil poem I wrote some years ago about a snake named Larry that can morph his body into any line he likes. It goes a lil sumpin like this (complete with hand motions, you better believe it!):
Larry the Line
Is a friend of mine
(creating a snake by opening the fingers of your hand, puppet style and there's your snake!)
He can make three
(hold up a three with your fingers)
Straight lines for me!
(create a vertical line with your forearm)
Diagonal and horizontal!
(pantomime each)
Any curve, he can learn
With a twist and a turn.
When he's out of his tangle
he makes a great...angle.
(created by placing your hand on your hip and pointing to your elbow)
Any line, he can make
After all, he's a snake!
After learning the Larry the Line poem, I bust out this huge cheesey carnival snake I got years ago that happens to have a little rattle in his tail. I convince the kids that he's real (they're kindergarten so they totally buy it) and maneuver him around to create a variety of lines. If the kids guess the name of the line correctly, I let them "rattle" Larry's tail. They eat it up and learn the names of lines to boot.
After that, I give a little demo on painting. If you've read this blog for five minutes, you know that when painting, I liken the bristles of the paint brush to a ballerina: It always dances on it's toes, it never scoots around on it's bottom. After I demonstrate painting each of Larry's lines, the kids go to their seats and we do a little guided painting. Meaning, I paint and they follow along.
This school year, I have my kindergarten for 45 minutes every six days (which is different than my usual 30 minute classes, twice every six days...confused yet? That makes two of us). That slightly longer block of time makes a world of a difference in that we can accomplish so much! On the fourth day of this unit, we examine Kandinsky again and this time chat about how influenced he was by music. The kids were told that they were going to be painting a nonobjective picture of lines while listening to Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. If you're not familiar, this piece of music introduces each character of Peter and the Wolf with a different instrument. Each character really comes to life with the music and makes for great line paintings.
On that day, the children were only given black paint. As they painted to the music, you could see them trying to capture each character in line. Once a painting was finished, I'd take it from them and hand them a new sheet of white paper. By the end of art class, each child had painted about three black and white line pictures.
The following art class, I introduced the kids to tempra cakes which you can see best a coupla photos ago. My focus was on using the art materials properly and exploration of color. I wrote about this particular painting lesson pretty extensively last year in this blog post. In that lesson, we didn't paint to music and we focused some on pattern in a follow up lesson.
Here's a collection of their finished pieces. I love how wild, bright and unique each one is, just like the artists themselves.
On the sixth and final day of this unit, the kids were introduced to Roy G. Biv and watercolor paint. Since the last lesson had just been about exploring with color and proper use of painting supplies, I really wanted to focus on the order of the colors in the rainbow. My hat helped them remember the order (even if it is missing the "B" in Roy G. Biv) as did the large rainbow I have mounted on my easel. And in case you're dying to get a rainbow hat of your own, mine is from amazon. Yes, really.
Have you read this book? I picked it up years ago at the thrift store and it's pretty cute. As you turn each page, an additional color of ribbon is added to the ribbon rainbow in the book, hence the "Magic Ribbon Book" label at the bottom.

After that chat, I demonstrate to the children how to use watercolor paints. This is an easy transition from the tempra cakes as the cleaning-your-brush-before-getting-another-color is exactly the same. We do chat about the differences between the two mediums (you know, watercolor being more translucent) and also discuss painting in Roy G. Biv order. After that demo, the kids returned to their seats with their paintings created on that third day of art class and rainbow-ize the thing. This is the first year I've added this portion to the line unit and I love the result.

And there you have it. One Big Fat Hairy line/shape/color/RoyG.Biv/sculpture/abstract Unit for the wee ones. I know these lessons are nothing I'd love to hear how you approach teaching line. Also, for the sake of space, I may have not answered all of your how-you-teach-that questions, so feel free to email me or leave a comment. I may or may not get back to you. Just sayin'.

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