So I feel like I’ve been slacking on showing you what my littles have been making! Such a shame because no one has been slacking in the art room. These kids have been working so hard, and are really into the spring time projects we’ve been working on, not to mention the artists we’ve been studying. Here’s a look at the projects we’ve been creating:
In the classroom, my kids are hard at work studying plants to prepare their garden. I love that they have the opportunity to grow their own food and watch this whole process take place. While we wait to ready the gardens outside, they’ve already planted beans and sunflowers inside. For this project we discussed root vegetables. What is a root? What parts of this type of plant do we see? What part do we eat? What kinds of vegetables are root vegetables? I’ve found that my littles love oil pastels most of all, so using them as our drawing tool is always fun.
On Wednesdays, we usually discuss a new famous artist. This week I chose Vincent Van Gogh- the perfect artist to introduce en plein air painting, landscape art, and still life painting. We chose Van Gogh’s Sunflower’s as our particular inspiration. I urged the children to really look at the sunflowers, copy the shapes of each petal, show me what kind of colors we see inside the center. Again, we used oil pastel and watercolor.
Did you celebrate Earth Day? We sure did! Our part in the art room was spent sifting through our recycling tubs and creating bugs out of all that junk. This was really fun to watch. Every child had a vision and used various parts of cardboard and plastic to create a cool bug. I need to research a bit more on how I can facilitate better construction for the kids. At some point, masking tape and elmer’s glue doesn’t cut it. But how to give them safe construction tools that are stronger? I’m just not sure yet.
A running project we started last month are these art field journals. My littles LOVE this. We made simple, folded paper books with brown paper covers and leaf shaped name tags. They were simple enough for my littlest artists to create and easy to add pages to. I created a big slide show of field journal inspiration and showed it to them on my iPad. We talked about what types of things we might like to put in our journals, and why journals are an important tool for artists. They ask me every day if we can take our art journals outside! We create Andy Goldsworthy inspired sculptures and draw them, we create crayon rubbings, we paint, draw, write- whatever they want to do, we do it.
We did a few different projects for Mother’s Day. This was one of them. Recycled baby food jars were perfect tea light holders. We had a discussion about stained glass (I was surprised that many of the students felt like this was a brand new thing to them) and looked at some pictures. Then we created our own “stain glass” inspired tea lights with tissue paper and glue. My little classroom was SILENT for this project. Every child was carefully tearing little pieces of paper and even more carefully applying glue. There’s something about making presents for Mom that brings out the serious concentration. I love it.
On another Wednesday, we studied Georgia O’Keeffe. This was a fun project for me because I really gave no direction. All I specifically instructed was that we were using colored construction paper and chalk pastels. Based off of our GO inspiration slide show and discussion, this is what the kids made:
They loved the bold stripes of color in her flower paintings and were intrigued with the chalk. Some students like rubbing it all around their paper, others tried hard not to smudge or smear it at all. It’s funny because there are some students who I thought for sure would love to get messy and rub the chalk who kept it really neat and controlled and vice versa.
To prepare for next week, we painted some huge sheets of tissue paper a la Eric Carle. This was incredibly tricky. Much harder than I anticipated. The kids were really hesitant, and despite the effort they were putting into being careful, the paper still tore and ripped when it got too wet. We might try again with some different techniques. But this will be the paper we use to create our own Eric Carle inspired insects in the next few weeks. They’ve been reading all of Eric Carle’s bug books during their insect unit and I think it would be really fun to put all of our pictures together into our own book. We’ll see!
If you loved this project be sure to check out these easy crafts for kids! We all need a few more of these in the idea bank, right?!