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Monday, November 8, 2010

Wind Spinners

    We read the book "Like A Windy Day" in first grade art class today.  Their teacher and I both told funny stories about times when the wind took things out of our hands and blew them far away, sending us on a wild goose chase to get them back!  I asked them if they remembered the scene in The Polar Express when the little girls' golden ticket got lost and was swept away by the wind- they finished the story.  I asked them to tell me what can be blown away by the wind and what can't.  They understood that the wind moves things and can sometimes be very powerful.  Then, we made Wind Spinners; our very own art that can be twisted and turned in the wind.  This was a one part lesson, and the students loved making these. They were so excited to be able to take them home and share them with their families.

Kindergarten Miro's

Kindergarteners learned about the art of Joan Miro.  His work lends itself so well to elementary art and children seem to really respond to Miro's style.  We talked about the way Miro used symbols instead of making his work look "real".  Each student saw something different in his work, but, to my surprise, there was always one student in each class who thought the above picture looked like a bumble bee!  I gave each of them a sheet of 12" x 18" tan construction paper and a big, fat, black crayon.  I told them to stretch their arms out so that their drawing hands rested at the top of their papers.  Then, with their eyes closed, to draw a big circle.  I didn't want them to look at their papers, because it seems when they do, they think so hard about making the "perfect" circle, their circles come out tight and small.  I wanted them to be very organic shapes, like Miro's.  Next, they were instructed to draw a shape for their body and then add arms and legs- as many as they wanted.  Some students did more than one figure on their paper.  We observed the various lines and shapes Miro made in his work, and I instructed the students to decorate their papers with these symbols, or to make up their own.  Students then painted inside their figures with black tempera paint.  In our next art class, students added details on top of their figures with white crayons, and further embellished their art work with chalk pastels and a few spritz's of watercolor spray.  I told the students I thought Miro was smiling on us and that he would be really proud of their work!