First Graders viewed a series of Picasso artworks that have musicians and instruments as the subject. After doing an online image search of different guitars, students created their own artwork. Since Earth Day was being celebrated during this lesson, it made sense to re-purpose cardboard that had been used for the art show displays as well as use up scraps the Kindergarteners had left over from their butterfly projects.
This was a very polarizing lesson. Students either LOVED making silly abstracted faces, or they HATED being asked to draw something that was so unrealistic. In either case, students were introduced to the father of Cubism and were able to recognize the significance of his artwork. It became a learning moment as students began to express their preferences for artistic styles.
The only drawing requirement for the face was that students were to draw a "double" face that appears to be from two points of view (straight forward and profile). Students chose to use either drawing chalk, oil pastel, or construction paper crayons to fill their portraits with color. They then used a thick black oil pastel or white crayon to trace over their lines and clean up the drawing.
My 4th grade class has brought the Wayne Thiebaud unit to a close this year! His work is so much fun to show in the classroom. I try to involve every grade level in this unit because of that.
We took 2 weeks to build and paper mache these ice cream cones. It then took another 2 weeks to paint and decorate them.
I am posting the next couple pics as a very proud mother! My oldest daughter has shown definite signs of progressing from the "scribble" stage to the "pre-schematic" stage of drawing in the last couple of weeks. I was amazed to see her paint her favorite princess with arms, legs, hair, a skirt, and a head! Of course, there is no body! :)
Also, while watching her work so confidently on these paintings, I thought a lot about my job. For my daughter's age group, the process of painting is so much more rewarding than the product could ever be. It is a bit of a different experience than working with my "schematic" and "young adolescent" students at school. The students who I teach are old enough that they have become more critical of their art and have learned how to work through "problems" with their drawings. Although I have the blessing of working with children young enough to still be excited to create art, I sometimes get sad about what I know is ahead. By the time these students reach their teen years, a lot of them will no longer have enthusiasm for drawing, because they will lack confidence in their ability. This usually stems from their desire to create ultra-realistic pictures. This is a normal developmental stage, but it still can be very sad to witness as an art teacher. It is literally my job to set my students up with the best drawing skills possible, so that they move on from the confidence crisis in their teen years and continue to confidently make art (just like they did during the "pre-schematic" stage). :)
This is one of my favorite projects to teach. Kindergarteners used the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" as inspiration for this project. On the first week, students created large abstract paintings by using many different tools and gadgets. The color and texture on these are very neat when you get to look at them in person. Once the paper was dried, I cut it down in size and it became community paper for the collage the following week. "Symmetry" was highlighted as students cut and glued shapes together to make their very own butterflies.
During the Wayne Thiebaud unit in art, 1st graders made lollipops out of model magic clay. They were also exposed to the art of advertising as they had to "brand" their lollipop and make it "stand above the rest" in their own poster. The ideas the children came up with were very creative!
I am a K - 5th grade art teacher at Wilson Creek Elementary and Anna McDonald School in Manhattan, IL. I am also a mother of two little girls (who share my love of art)!