Monday, February 20, 2017

Landscape Newscasts

I finally finished loading all the green screen landscape news reports to four movies, one movie for each 2nd grade section. Students are so excited to finally have their videos on YouTube. For this project, students were divided into groups of four to five students, together they were assigned one landscape from two artists; Grant Wood or Peiter Bruegel the Elder, and wrote a script before recording their video. Their script needed to include the following descriptions; horizon line, foreground, middle ground, background, overlapping, placement, size, and value. See my previous post explaining this project.

2A Landscape News

2B Landscape News

2C Landscape News

2D Landscape News

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


First graders are experimenting with a variety of materials to create their own cityscapes. After examining a slideshow of various examples of cityscapes created from different materials and brainstorming many objects or items we would see in a city, students are using the following materials at stations to develop their own unique cityscapes.

Newspapers: We discussed how columns of text, headlines, or even rectangular ads can appear like buildings in our mixed media cityscape.
Scrap Paper: Students have a large selection of colored and textured paper to choose from and even wall paper samples to create buildings, windows, or other elements within our cityscape.
Magazines: As students are looking through the magazines, we discuss proportion and how some images such as people may be too large for our cityscape and appear like giants next to our buildings. So, students are looking for images to cut out that would fit within our cityscape theme proportionately.
Chalk and Oil Pastels: Details can be added by drawing with the chalk and oil pastels. I am noticing most students are using these two materials to create their sky or enhance their newspaper or scrap paper buildings.
Cardboard Printing: Scraps of cardboard cut in various sizes can create the straight lines that we would see on buildings and skyscrapers within a cityscape. Students tap one side of the cardboard in black paint and stamp the cardboard on their paper to create rectangles, squares, and triangles for buildings, windows and doors within their cityscape. The goal is to create lines with cardboard not to paint and fill inside the buildings like a brush.
As students are working at each station to build their cityscape, we discuss how materials such as newspaper and magazines can overlap to create various areas of space within our mixed media art. By overlapping newspaper on top of our cardboard printing, some areas of our cityscape will appear up close while other areas will recede into the background.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Balanced" Hearts

Students in Kindergarten are creating a heart project that reinforces the vocabulary word balance and mosaic. We likened balance (symmetry) in art to a scale. When a piece of art is “heavy” on one side we feel that the art is out of balance, but when we find shapes to match the other half, it gives a feeling of balance. 

Once the concept of balance and symmetry was introduced, students created their own symmetrical balanced heart that has matching rather than lopsided halves. We first practiced on small 4"x4" red paper and then moved onto larger 12"x18" tag board. The first step was to fold our paper in half vertically (hamburger style). As a class, we discussed how our paper now has an open and closed side. On the closed side, students placed their five fingers (2 fingers for the smaller paper) pinkie at the top of the paper and made a dot below their thumb on the folded edge (closed side). 

Students drew half a heart starting with the dot along the edge and continued drawing their line to the top of the paper, to the far side, and back down to the bottom corner on the fold side. For students who had difficulty with this step, dots were drawn by the teacher and connected by the students (see photo below).

Once all papers were checked by the teacher for correctly starting and finishing on the fold side, students were able to cut on the heart line, cutting two papers at the same time, while the paper remained folded. If cutting and drawing were completed correctly, a symmetrical whole heart could be found when the students opened their papers. Sometimes, If I don't keep my eyes open, we could find two half hearts instead of one whole heart. This is what happens when students work on the open side instead of the fold side.
After creating our balanced and symmetrical heart shape, students then divided one half of their heart into sections by drawing straight lines from one side of their heart to the other side or from one black line to another black line with a black oil pastel to create a mosaic. The paper heart is then folded in half and rubbed with an old gift card to transfer symmetrical lines to the other half of the heart, ending with a mosaic effect. At the end of this week and next week, everyone will have the opportunity to paint inside each shape using tints and shades of one color (monochromatic color scheme). To make the paint values balanced and matching on both halves of the heart, students close their heart shape along the fold line after painting a shape. Students then rub to transfer the painted values to the opposite side of the heart making a "balanced" symmetrical shape.

When I purchase paint for my classroom, I rarely purchase secondary colors like orange, purple and green. I love color theory and really encourage my students to mix their own secondary colors, as well as any tints and shades they may need, even at the kindergarten level. For example, the heart below uses only purple and its tints and shades. To make purple, students must use the two primary colors red and blue in the right ratios to make purple. To keep it simple, students will only be working with a light, medium and dark value of one color. To use purple, it must be mixed from the primary colors, because I do not have any purple paint in my art room.
Crayola is not a sponsor of Art Teacher 101, but I really do like their paint! After the hearts are painted and dry, we will add them to a colored piece of construction paper matching the color used on the heart.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Breaking News: It's all in the Landscape!

Second graders are using DoInk's Green Screen iPad app to create a news report on art vocabulary relating to space (the design element in art not the physical universe beyond the earth's atmosphere). Students examined landscapes from two artists; Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlands) and Grant Wood (Iowa). Students are working in small groups to create their news report. 

First step, examine a landscape painted by Grant Wood or Pieter Bruegel from one of the landscapes below. Step two, develop a skit and designate speaking parts as they would see in Reader's Theatre by writing Character’s Name, then colon or dash and finally speaking part. In the script, students must include the following art vocabulary; foreground, middle ground, background, overlapping, value, size, placement, and horizon line. Students must include the artist's name and year painted. 
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap 1565
Grant Wood, Young Corn 1931
Grant Wood, New Road 1939
Grant Wood, Fall Plowing 1931
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Harvesters 1565
We also discussed how every great story needs a beginning, middle and end. Once groups have completed their scripts and assigned a camera person, their group may begin filming with the iPad using the DoInk Green Screen App. The landscape assigned to that group will be displayed behind the "Newscasters" onto the green screen as they point out the important information and vocabulary the group discovered while writing their script.
Script Checklist