Thursday, October 23, 2014
First Grade Mondrian Inspired Fish
First grade. Whoa. Sometimes I feel less like a teacher and more like a ringmaster. It's incredible how much they grow up throughout the year. For me, first grade is all about skill building and getting the basics down. For example, this particular project is all about primary colors. It is also an introduction to painting with tempera paints. It's a whole new world for many students.
This lesson is so simple that I don't think I really need to post an official plan. We start out by describing the characteristics of Piet Mondrian's work. We also discuss why he paints like he does as opposed to creating realistic work. Students then draw a large fish on 12x18 paper and draw shapes with horizontal and vertical lines. On day two, they paint primary colors. I encourage them to leave some white spaces, but many are too psyched about painting and they paint the whole fish. On day three, students cut out their fish, glue it to a black piece of construction paper, then cut the black paper to create a border for the fish. Some students then finish a bit of painting and the others work on a Mondrian vocab word search I made. Overall, I'm really happy with the results of this project. Of course my first graders love it as well. I think some of them would paint all day every day if they were allowed.