Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2nd Grade Paper Weaving Inspired by Jackson Pollock

I have done some form of Jackson Pollock's action painting every year since I started teaching. Usually, it's a one-day lesson, and the students love it, but there's no more to it than just splattering the paint! I saw this lesson on another blog, and decided to try it with my 2nd graders! The lesson is for 4th grade, so of course I had to be extremely organized to keep the action painting under control with 2nd grade.

The students had very recently learned about warm and cool colors, so I had them make one warm color action painting, and one cool color action painting. The warm color paper was smaller, 9"x12", whereas the cool color paper was a 12"x12" square. I set up 6 stations: red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple. Each color was a cup of watered-down tempera with a large brush, set on top of a spread out sheet of newspaper. The students stood in line for each color, action painted just a little bit (I was very firm with only a little bit of each color), and then switched to another line. They used only warm colors on the warm colored paper, and only cool colors on the cool colored paper.

The following week, we began weaving. First, the students folded their large paper in half with the action painting on the inside. Then, they drew a line with a ruler on the open edge (as opposed to the folded edge), by lining the ruler up with the edge of the page, and drawing along the other side of it. Next, we pretended our scissors were a car, and the line was a stop sign! Cut, cut, cut....stop! They could not cut past the stop line.

On the back of the warm colored paper, the students drew lines with the ruler, about an inch apart. I checked to make sure the lines were drawn the "tall" way, instead of across the paper. Then, the students cut their strips, and the weaving began! Here are some results:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

6th Grade Insect Drawings

Purdue University's entomology department puts on a festival called Bug Bowl every spring. One of the events is a student art contest. This year, I assigned my 6th grade students an insect drawing, and they are all entering the contest. All of their artwork will be on display at Bug Bowl during the weekend of April 12-13! Here are some of their drawings:

Monday, March 31, 2014

5th Grade Clay Picture Frames

Last year, my 5th grade students created picture frames from clay. I had some great results, so I did the lesson again this year, but with a few minor adjustments. First, I printed the students' photos from Harmony and laminated them, rather than asking students to bring in their school photo. So many students forgot, or didn't order school photos, that I had to do that with many students last year, anyway! Then, since all the photos came from me, they were the same size. I made paper templates to cut the frame from a slab, which was much easier than having the students create their own template (I'm always surprised at how hard it is for students to use a ruler!)

Here are a few examples of student work:

Here is the back of a frame. After using masking tape to place the photo in the frame, I hot-glued a rectangle of cardboard (from a cereal box) to the back. The stand is a folded triangle of the same cardboard, which I also attached with my glue gun, holding it still while squirting glue on both sides.