All I can say is...never underestimate the creative ability of a child! Our lesson on Georgia O'Keefe's style of painting magnified views of flowers, was a simple and easy concept for 2nd graders, one that I thought would be more challenging. I thought it would be more challenging because children have a difficult time with drawing and thinking big. This is a concept that I am constantly reinforcing in my lessons.
We not only looked at O'Keefe's paintings of flowers, but also looked at real photographs of flowers (laminated calendar pages) to get our inspiration. I demonstrated examples of how to draw the simple lines and shape of the flower and stressed that they must take their petals off the edge of the paper, just like Georgia did. I also showed them what I did not want to see them do, by drawing a small flower in the middle of a large square of paper. They really understood and it was immediately apparent in their drawings.
We used 10" x 10" squares of white posterboard (yes, I sacrificed my posterboard for this- I wanted them to have a sturdy surface on which they could build their paintings on). We used tempera cakes to paint with. I told them to choose one or two colors for their flowers, that I did not want to see rainbow flowers- with each petal being a different color. That there are no flowers that actually grow like that (at least not to my knowledge!). We talked about either filling their space with all petals, or leaving some room between the petals for green leaves. Also, I showed them how to add white to their paint to make tints of the color they chose.
They totally amazed me, as usual, with their art work! And inspired me. I love my job!