Inspired by Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout by Shel Silverstein, first graders illustrated their family responsibilities. We brainstormed a list of chores and other helpful things students do at home that help their families. I modeled drawing a figure from head to toe, then students were encouraged to add details that showed what chore they do in their own homes. Students completed their drawings the following wee by adding additional details and coloring the background.
Here are my fifth grade students finishing up their global influences self-portrait drawings. On the last day of this unit, some students are working to complete their self portrait drawings, while others who have already finished using iPads to photograph their finished work and upload to Google Drive, while others are logging into Google Classroom via laptop to submit their completed work and complete their artist statements.
I originally saw this idea on NCHS Art-Elmore,Ms. Brown’s Art, Lessons from the K-12 Art Room. I thought this would be a great fit for my fifth graders as an introduction to our grade level big idea of Globalization. We spent some time talking about where artists get their inspiration, and how artists symbolize these influences in their work. We viewed and discussed artwork by Giuseppe Arcimboldo and Octavio Ocampo, as well as contemporary artists Nikki Rosatto, and Pat Perry. Students brainstormed categories of influence, selected five categories that were relevant to themselves, then sketched objects or ideas that fit into each of their personally selected categories.Next I photographed students in profile so that they could trace their basic profile outline from a photograph printed in black and white on 11×17 paper on the copier. I also demonstrate a variety of marker drawing techniques including layering colors, hatching, crosshatching, and stippling to create value.Students worked on their drawings for three one-hour class periods. Some of my favorite solutions to this artmaking challenge included students who chose an original profile pose that added to the expressive quality of their drawing, revealing even more about their personalities than the more traditional silhouette poses. I love that this lesson gives students the framework and confidence to create a self portrait drawing while leaving room for students to express themselves in original ways. Each of the drawings turns out unique and is a great illustration of the student who created it.
As you can probably tell from the time without posts, it has been a busy winter. With winter break, many snow days, and two winter colds behind me, I think it is time to get back to the work of blogging my artventures. I thought a monthly challenge might be a good idea to help keep me motivated, so this month I will be posting at least one art project or tip per grade level that I teach. I will be starting with sixth grade and working my way backwards. Hopefully this will make up for my inactive blog for the past month or two.
Closer to the beginning of this last semester my sixth graders embarked on our annual yearbook cover design competition. Each year our yearbook editor selects a theme and my sixth graders are challenged to create a cover design that incorporates the theme. This is their first and sometimes only drawing project during sixth grade, and the pressure is on, as every drawing is entered in the final competition. Students have two full weeks to complete their drawings, and the drawings are submitted to the yearbook editor for judging. In years past our editor has even taken these cover designs to her graphic design company and asked her coworkers to judge the work and select the finalists, which is very exciting for my students. Each finalist gets a ribbon, and the winner receives their yearbook for free, paid for by our PTA. I make predictions regarding which will make it into the top ten, but I never know who the winner will be and it is especially exciting project for my students.
This year’s theme was “Building the Future”, as our school is currently in the middle of a major rennovation. Students were allowed to choose from the following media: colored pencil, marker, crayon, watercolor, and one student even chose to use photoshop to create his artwork. Students were graded on neatness and control of whatever media they chose, as well as their ability to incorporate the theme in their design. I was excited to see the designs roll in, and I have to say, these are the best designs I have seen since I started teaching here three years ago. Below are photos of the finalists’ designs.