Wednesday, December 18, 2013

1st Grade Tigers

During my color unit with 1st grade, I do a painting with each of the secondary colors. This year, I did tigers for orange. In the past, I've done pumpkins for a fall painting; but I switched it up this year, and was really delighted with the results!

The first day of painting tigers, the students mixed the red and yellow paint. Then, I guided them through the basic shape of a tiger; they had very few choices, besides the size of the tiger, its location on the page, and how its tail was positioned. 

The following week, the students got a plethora of choices; I first showed them how to draw a tiger's face, and then demonstrated how the stripes could look (sometimes the tip of the tail is black; sometimes not. Often tigers have no stripes on their stomach. Some tigers have skinny stripes, and others have stripes shaped like a long, skinny triangle).

Then, the students chose where their tiger would be. In the forest, in the mountains, in a circus? Endless possibilities!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Primary and Secondary Colors with Kindergarten

I love teaching about color theory. In kindergarten, my students recently learned about primary and secondary colors. We began my making a gumball machine, based on Wayne Thiebaud's painting Three Machines. The students traced a paint tray for the top part with pencil; then they traced over the pencil circle with a black crayon, and drew the bottom part of the machine with black crayon. I gave them a choice on their gumballs' price. Then, with watercolor sets, the students painted. I gave them 8-color Prang watercolor sets to assess if they could find the primaries. Most of the students really understood well, and used only the primary colors as I instructed.

Then, the students learned about the secondary colors. I showed Henri Matisse's The Purple Robe, and selected students to come up front and point to secondary colors they could find in the painting. Then, the students painted a flower vase, loosely based on the vase in the painting. The students mixed one color each day; first orange, then green, and lastly purple. Each day one part of the painting was completed, using this example as a guideline:

Here are a few of the students' finished pieces:

Throughout this unit, I used colored stars for assessments. I punches them with a die cut, painted them, had them laminated, and attached magnets to the back. Then, I would give each student in a row (my tables are in the three rows) a star, and they would go put it on the blackboard, either on the side labeled "primary" or the side labeled "secondary". Then, the next row would get a turn, etc. Due to a small kindergarten class this year, I have only 6 students per row in most classes. It works out perfectly!

Up next in my color unit is the importance of color, with Audubon cardinals. But, I'm not going to post pictures of this year's cardinals because I did last year, and you can see them here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

3rd Grade Watercolor Christmas Ornaments with Value

My 3rd grade students learned to show different values with watercolors, by varying the amount of water with their paint. The lesson went extremely well!

The first day, the students traced yogurt cups to make several circles on their paper. I told them to make at least four, in case they messed up on one.

Then, the students painted a pale oval on one edge of a circle, without filling it in. A medium hue was used in the middle of the ornaments, and a dark value was used in a crescent-moon shape on the other end. The students tested their values out on the edge of the paper; it takes practice to get just the right shade!

The second day, the students cut out their three best ornaments, and glued them on a black paper. They used construction paper crayons for the evergreen branches, and metallic crayons for the ornaments' hanging mechanism.

It was a very successful lesson; I think all of them turned out beautifully! The photos are a bit washed out, though, and don't show the vivid colors very well.