Monday, February 13, 2017

Winter Shape Architecture (2016)

Focusing on shapes while teaching architecture to K&1 seem to be a perfect fit. Around Christmas and during winter adds a whole other creative layer for students!
I Can identify the shapes in my artwork.
I Can tell you what an architect does.

Day 1: Intro to Architecture and Building
If you want a great story for introducing architecture read Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty it is easy to understand and just the right amount of silly.
I started our lesson with that story and then had them watch this StoryBots video to reinforce.
We talked about all the different kinds of buildings they saw in the book and video and afterwards I had them think-pair-share about what they were going to build using shapes. We did this before they saw my example and my demo video so they wouldn't be set on building a house like mine. 
Because identifying and not creating the shapes was the goal of the lesson I provided cardboard tracers of the basic shapes in all different sizes. If they wanted to draw shapes other than those basic ones they were encouraged to do so. They used glue sponges to assemble their buildings.
Day 2: Shape Graphing and Details.
To put the focus back on the shapes, we started this second day with the book Shape Shift by Joyce Hesselberth.
Then using my artwork as an example, together we graphed out on a basic bar graph, the shapes I used to build with.
They were then asked to do the same with their artwork. We did this before adding details with construction paper crayons to avoid the confusion of graphing any shapes they might draw. They could have included those shapes when graphing, but I wanted to keep it consistent and make sure I knew what they were looking at when I graded.
After they finished graphing we met back on the carpet and they watched my demo of adding details with construction paper crayons and brainstormed all the different details they could add. It was close to Christmas when we worked on these so there was a lot of Christmas related ideas. Pokemon is the big thing right now so that inspired a lot of kiddos too. Some decided on a combo of both!
Day 3: Snow and Architecture Centers.
To wrap up this lesson and unit we started with the book Snow by Uri Shulevitz. It has great pictures of a city (architecture!) during a snowfall which was perfect segway into the snow part of the project.
They watched my demo video of adding snow with a small paintbrush and Q-tips and were sent to explore the different architecture centers I had set up for them. Many were building toys like blocks, legos, straws and connectors, and also coloring sheets of different types of buildings. While they were exploring the centers I called them back in small groups to add snow if they wanted to add it. They did not have to.

Just LOVE this lesson and how they put all their awesome individual ideas into them. They are now on display at our district office because I loved them so much :)
                        

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Color Mixing Cookies

 Back in December I posted about how I was incorporating more play into my art room especially with K and 1 students, you can read it here.  This lesson with K&1 was another where I loaded on the play. So much so, my students thought I was crazy.
I Can mix primary colors to get secondary colors.
I Can identify primary colors.

Day 1: Baking Cookies
If you aren't ready to make a fool out of yourself then you might not be ready for this. Let me set the stage...Before my students came in, I took flour I brought from home and put smudges of it all over me. As they walked in the room, I had a picture of a kitchen on the SMART board and had an empty mixing bowl that I was stirring with a spatula. Behind me "in my kitchen", a toy oven borrowed from a Kindergarten room. We didn't start with our regular routine as I was too busy mixing my cookies. They thought I was bonkers but the laugher and excitement was contagious.

Once the initial shock was over and they settled, I asked each student to go their table spot with a real rolling pin (that we use for clay) and wait for me to bring them dough. This dough was totally imaginary that I plopped in front of them out of my big mixing bowl. As they were rolling out the imaginary dough, I quickly had their dough "appear" by putting a piece of heavy weight manilla tag at their spot as if the dough became visible when rolled flat.
At this time I fessed up that we were pretending and they came up to the carpet to watch my demo of tracing cookie cutters and cutting them out. Cookie cutters can be a bit tough to trace so I put emphasis on the idea that cookies in real life don't turn out perfect either. This alleviated some of the pressure. And, I told them they didn't need to use the cookie cutters at all if they didn't want to. They were asked to make 4 cookies to make sure they were able to do all the "frosting" next art time. They also watched my demo of decorating a plate and gluing my cookies on it. I showed them some festive plates for inspiration but encouraged them to decorate however they wanted.
When they were done tracing and cutting their cookies out they had an opportunity, if they wanted it, to "bake" their cookies in our play oven on pans I created out of cardboard and tinfoil. I really played into it by making sure they wore my oven mitts from home when taking the pans out because they were "hot". Yes, there were some students who did not want to use the oven but I would say 95% percent did and loved it.
 In my 8 total classes of K& 1 not one section asked to do free art this day.

Day 2: Frosting with Primary Colors
We kicked off the day by reading the beautiful story, Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Then we got to talking about the color wheel and primary colors and I used these two videos to help out the lesson. The favorite OK GO's Sesame Street primary colors song...
And this claymation (with the sound turned down-not great music) to predict the mixing...
When it was time to paint, to help with the success of the color mixing I printed 24 of the document below in color and had them laminated. Students did their color mixing right on these papers, I did one mix at a time going around the room squeezing out the colors onto their papers. They were asked to use each of their new colors on their cookies and to experiment with the paint for whatever cookies they had left. When they finished they gave the sheets a "shower" (under the running water) in the sink--not a "bath" (submerged) or the sheets don't last as long. The sheets made it through all 8 classes. You would have to reprint and laminate each year but its worth it, they really worked.


Now we did this project/lesson as if they were Christmas cookies but there is no reason you couldn't do it for any other time of year and just switch cookie cutters or do without the cutters. Valentine's Day would be fun!