I read Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou this winter with both the Kindergarteners and LE. The poem was illustrated with paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat. We talked about Basquiat’s style and used oil pastel, chalk pastel, and bold paint to create scary and not-so-scary creatures. You can listen to Angelou read the poem here.
Here’s some documentation of a LE winter project. We read “The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Pinkwater – a story about expressing individuality and a diverse community – and made dream houses inspired by the story.
The kindergarteners learned about Cezanne and how much he loved to paint apples. They made apple compositions by printing with actual apples and apple- shaped foam plates. One thing the students noticed is that apples are not just one solid color. They found several colors and patterns in the skin of each apple they observed.
Upper Elementary has been doing some printmaking over the past two weeks. We began by talking about the element of line and how expressive various lines can be. After looking at a few examples the students pulled some adjectives out of a “hat” and created a line that represented that word. However, they also had to make sure the beginning and end of their line connected with the lines of their peers. If you haven’t already, you can check out the UE line in the hallway across from the classroom.
After our line exercise we went outside to do some observational line drawing. The students had the option of adding some imaginary elements after they drew from life. Theses line drawings were used the following class to make printing plates. Students traced their drawings on top of foam and rolled black acrylic paint (in place of ink) onto the foam plate. They could then print multiples of their image. Some students chose to add color pencil at the end to give their prints extra pop. Look for a display later this week! – Anne
After reading Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni, the kindergarteners and I talked about primary and secondary colors. The children paired primary construction paper squares and added the secondary color they make when mixed together. Then they put their mixing skills in action and made these paintings.
A few fall leaves made during Encore by Gala, Taran and Nolan. Inspired by the view during my drive from Providence to Quest. -Anne
I’ve been spending the fall with LE sharing artists that use walls to communicate ideas with the world. Half of LE began with Sol Lewitt a couple weeks ago. We began by making various kinds of lines on the whiteboard together, then looked at how Lewitt used all kinds of lines in his work. We also looked at pictures of his large wall paintings at MASS MoCA. You can learn more about Sol Lewitt here.
When Lewitt’s work is installed in museums and galleries it often comes with a set of instructions. We talked about the word “interpret,” and then I read a set of instructions I made up while students drew what they heard.
Here’s a picture of Lou and Kiki taking the direction “Draw a sleepy line” VERY literally:
Afterwards we came back to the circle and looked at everyone’s drawings together. Even though everyone had the same directions, the drawings were all different!
For the next activity, students drew lines with charcoal while I played different kinds of music to make these Lewitt-inspired drawings:
Here are just a few of the self-portraits made in art class the first couple weeks of school. From left to right: Greer (CH), Lily (CH), Lou (LE), Abby (LE), Nolan (UE), and Adrian (LE). More to come!
I’ve begun hanging the originals in the hall to the left of the toddler room, so next time you’re at school be sure to check them out! I’m hoping to display them all soon. Each one really reflects the student’s unique and special personality. It’s been a really fun project.
On Monday the kindergarteners and I talked about cave art and how stone-age artists used their artwork to communicate messages to others. Here are a few things they noticed and learned about cave art:
-Cave artists may have used art to communicate messages or stories to others.
- They painted animals they probably hunted or saw every day.
-The colors they used were black, brown, red, and yellow because those were the colors they could make from the earth.
-Cave artists usually signed their work with their hand print.
Then the group made their own cave art:
From left to right: Calei, Greer, Koray, Lily, and Thomas. PS: Calei said the message she is trying to communicate to others is “I love my dog at home.”