Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2nd Grade Printmaking - Wild Things!

This project is a great one, but I can't take credit for it. Mr. Drew Jones, a colleague of mine, came up with this one a few years ago. Back in the days before we had kids to pick up right after school, a few of the younger art teachers in my district would get together once a month after school to share lesson plans and talk about what we were working on. I highly recommend doing this if you have the chance. It was like real-life Pinterest.

As you might imagine, this project is based on the fantastic book by Maurice Sendak. Where the Wild Things Are is one of those books that still totally holds up with students today. Each student comes up with several original sketches of their own versions of a "Wild Thing" before eventually transferring one of them to printing foam.

Kids love the process of printmaking. I really like the printing part of this project because it allows my students to be up and active around my room. I set up six stations with different ink colors. I have my students get two good prints the first day, then two additional on the second day of the project. That allows for plenty of time to have helpers clean up all of the printmaking supplies. The last step of the project is to cut out the prints, glue them to a piece of black construction paper, and write out the words "Wild Things" with construction paper crayons. If you haven't used construction paper crayons, they are pretty awesome. The are super bright on even dark paper and, get this, are ERASABLE! 

Check out the lesson plan here!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

3rd Grade Self Portraits in Time

This is another project that I had my sub run part of while I was out on paternity leave. It is pretty straightforward and my students really seemed to enjoy it. 

We started out by talking about what a self portrait is and comparing several famous examples. After doing a demo on the chalk board (yeah, they do still exist), I had my 3rd graders start working on drawing themselves. I have these cool double-sided mirrors that my students used in order to draw directly from life. After a day of practice, they drew their final portrait. They were allowed to draw themselves in any time period, including the present. The portraits were then painted with tempera paint. I think I ended up with pretty good results overall. 

Here is a link to the handout I drew up for my students to work from. Feel free to use it in your classroom if you'd like!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

4th Grade Comic Strips

Detail from the comic above. This guy
has such a cool, dry sense of humor.
Let me start by saying that this project took forever. Since I took a couple weeks of paternity leave a while back, I thought that comics would be a good project for my students to work on while the sub was here. I had visions of being able to finish it in a week or two after I got back. Those visions were apparently more like hallucinations!

My students were so into this project that some wanted to spend months on it! I ended up calling it last week. The projects that are still unfinished will go into student folders to be worked on whenever they have free time. I had so many kids that really got into the writing and drawing for this project that they weren't even able to have time to add color even though we spent six 45 minute classes on the project. So many of the comics are extremely clever and quite funny.  

I'm not going to post a full lesson plan here because this is pretty basic. I had kids brainstorm story and character ideas before doing some sketches of their character. They then drew out their comic, using the first panel for the title. They then went over their drawing with a small sharpie before adding color with colored pencils. Pretty simple and a lot of fun!

Friday, February 1, 2013

5th Grade Stop Motion Progress

Animating gummy bears who come out of a
lake and build a village out of dominos. 
This groups is animating lego people on a moon base.
The background is made from a cardboard box and construction paper.
New year, new way of doing a stop motion animation project. This is the fourth year I've undertaken this project with my 5th graders. It is the project that all other kids in the school look at in awe and can't wait to do. In the past, I've just had one digital camera, so I was somewhat limited as to my options for filming. I split the class up into different job groups and they all worked together to make one animation. The work always came out great, but I felt like there wasn't enough freedom. 

This year, I spent a chunk of my budget to get three more cameras and tripods. Each of my 5th grade classes broke up into four groups. Each group gets to write, design, and animate their own stop motion project. Since modeling clay for 100 kids could get out of control cost-wise, all of the animations are being done with other materials this year. I have groups animating with legos, candy, paper, etc. The pictures above were taken during the first day of filming this week. 

I'll post the finished animation in a few weeks. We still have a couple more weeks of filming along with editing in iMovie. That is another change for this year. In the past, I've always edited the whole project myself. I'm nervous/hopeful/excited about the potential results. I can't wait to show them off.