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

Monday, January 16, 2017

PTA Reflections Arts Program

Our school is participating in the PTA Reflections Arts Program PreK-12th grade at West Central. When creating art at home, think about the 2016-17 theme: What Is Your Story? The PTA wants to know who you are and how you see the world around you.

Get Creative and express yourself through one of the following mediums:
  • Dance Choreography 
  • Film Production 
  • Literature 
  • Music Composition 
  • Photography 
  • Visual Arts 
Your work will be reviewed by experienced arts and education volunteers from our community. Judges will look for the following:
  • Interpretation: How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the artwork itself and the artist statement. 
  • Creativity: How creative and original the piece is in its conception of the theme and its presentation. 
  • Technique: The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles/techniques of the arts area. 
In your artist statement, tell about your art work and what it means to you.
  • How does your work relate to the theme? 
  • What is your personal connection to the theme? 
  • What did you use to create your work (e.g. supplies, technology, instrumentation, props, etc.)? 
  • What/Who was your inspiration?

By entering, you may win awards and prizes as determined by our local PTA. Deadline for this contest is January 23rd. Please, submit completed art and registration forms to Pam Holloway, 1st grade teacher at West Central Hartford Elementary or the Art Instructor assigned to your building; Brenda Sosa, K-2 Art Teacher at WC Hartford Elementary, Jo McCarthy at WC Humboldt Elementary, and David Tuch at WC High School and Middle School. Registration forms may be picked up from each building or print the registration form by clicking here. For more information and examples of previous art submissions, visit the National PTA Reflections website.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Returning from Winter break

Two simple drawings from memory I consistently assign after break include student's favorite Christmas gift and favorite Winter break activity. These drawings give us an opportunity to practice grabbing art supplies using our Art Supply Inspectors, placing unfinished projects in our colored table drawers (Drawer Inspectors), putting supplies away at the end of class, quietly working without talking during "Quiet Working Time" and sharing our art during "Share Time" at the end of class. 

We also practice art room procedures like how to ask to use the bathroom, ask a question, inform the teacher when you are done (thumbs up), and how to earn rainbow club points by following the art room rules.

Another key word/concept that is emphasized during the drawing activity is "details". Students are encouraged to use details to help develop the visual story of their Winter break memory. Examples of details are discussed at the start of class and brainstormed together as a whole group on a sample drawing on the marker board.

This assignment is completed by all grades K-2.
This activity usually takes two 30 minute art periods and finished drawings will be placed in our "End of Year" Portfolio. Even though we are drawing from memory now, by the end of the year we may forget what this drawing was all about, so, I use Avery Address Labels to stick to one corner of the paper describing the front and back drawings. This makes it easy to remember the drawing assignment and easy for students to describe it to parents at the end of the year. If the child has forgotten the drawing assignment, they need to only read the label in the corner. I also use this same address sticker to label our baseline portfolio drawings completed at the start of the year (same label size, different description).
Avery Address Label 5260

Winter Projects

Winter projects bring lots of excitement, chaos, and mess to the art room, but students have so much fun creating with new materials. Kindergarteners created snowmen from circular sponge stamps and white tempera paint on 4"x4" blue paper. Then, they built houses for their snowmen to live from popsicle sticks, wood glue and a splash of color using tempera paint. 

We also experimented with mini winter landscapes by tearing small 5"x6" drawing paper into three strips to create our foreground, middle ground, and background. One edge of each torn strip was traced with blue or purple chalk pastels, and then, smeared to give it a hazy look. Students overlapped the torn strips to create the illusion of hills and glued the strips in place to blue construction paper.

Second and first graders learned special tricks used by artists to create the illusion of space in their own winter landscapes such as overlapping, changing the size of objects (smaller objects in background, larger objects in foreground) as well as the placement of objects on the paper (Lower objects in foreground, higher objects in background), and changing the value of objects so it appears lighter and hazier as it recedes into the background.

Second graders used double loaded and dry brush techniques to create their trees, while first graders cut their trees for their winter landscapes from green construction paper.

Recycled Snowmen are a tradition in second grade as a winter project. It gives second grade students the opportunity to use glue guns safely and choose materials that would be most appropriate to use with glue guns or craft glue such as buttons, pom pom, fleece, sequins, scrap paper, etc.