from Ms. Mary
It looks like winter has been kind to us in Kentucky so far, so I have fewer snowmen and snowwomen to brighten up the walls. We had a marvelous experience integrating our art and music and theater through our Christmas program.Now we continue moving our way thru a wide variety of media and techniques as well as some of the "Old Masters.
It looks like this year we will have close to 20 Hall of Famer awards through Artsonia. Congrats for all the family support that qualified your children for this. It means that our sharing of almost 1400 pieces of kid art so far this school year is reaching more and more families!
The autumn saw these little ones produce an elaborate scarecrow project that began to put together some of those discreet skills mentioned last fall. Then a beautiful redbird. One of the good books to read and build a project upon this year was Rainbow Fish...a gorgeous fish with a bit too much ego. We applied our new term texture and created a foot-sized fish in our own little oceans. Some were hidden in seaweed and had friends like coral, crabs and lobsters.
Our kinders drew The Cat in the Hat recently in celebration of Read across America Week.We used a guided drawing technique which can be a real confidence booster. We painting owls and some made 3/D rainbows.Sculpture (form) is coming soon, as are Picasso spring flowers and a few more surprises. Most of these boys and girls are learning to stay in their seats, listen and encourage one another....all important milestones in the art room!
My 1st grade is my largest class. Among their unique events each year is the Silver Needle Award which is based on good craftsmanship in the faux "stitching" on the organic quilts. The 2nd graders vote for our winner to be announced on awards day. And we have made dynamic clay animals ranging from dogs to elephants. Happy hippos resulted from reading about the remarkable friendship between a baby hippo, Owen, and an old land tortoise named Mzee. Our paintings show translucent, underwater sections beside the clear open air. The connection between literature and art is strong. Arlo Needs Glasses led us to create a wardrobe of glasses for a near-sighted dog named Arlo.
The 2nd grade just completed a beautiful watercolor project that was fast and free. It was nice to do after a long, but exacting, look at dinosaurs. We also made some cool fossil medallions to tie into science. This year has been a huge leap for these guys in terms of art skills, listening behaviors and excitement about learning. They bring in more contributions to the Something Extra gallery that any other grade level. Now we begin our Monsters in the Closet. Watch for the voting of our "scariest" and our "people's choice" selections at the last PTO meeting!
It has been a challenge for us all, but the drawings/paintings of our famous St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral have just been posted! Architecture's use of math shapes was emphasized in our process and they are amazing. This year our parish will select a new one to use as an official greeting card from their office. I'm glad I don't have to make that decision.
Now we begin our study of Native American art....symbolic identity shields in the tradition of indigenous people.
My favorite 4th grade unit of study is Appalachian weaving because I get to share the story of my family's history in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Our students traveled an imaginary path back 100 years to investigate how self-sufficient people used natural resources to meet the needs of daily life...including clothing. We followed the fiber process from sheep (or cotton boll) to garment and made a beautiful pouch. They realized their laborious process of creating a sweater would take too much time. Their teachers think they are "unbeweavable"!
Now they are creating and painting trucks to carry them over to the 5th grade. (Watch the wall on the 2nd floor!)
Pottery clay bowls made using the coil process have now been glazed, fired and sent home to use for breakfast cereal. We used the printmaking process to create African adinkra "cloth" on traditional green yellow and orange backgrounds. After looking at the amazing artist M.C. Escher, the 5th grade is now working on some serious techniques for shading. We realized as we looked at his work how shading (value) can create powerful realism. However, we are using imagination to transform these same, plain 3-D forms into something REAL! And I have at least one more painting project before these guys move on.