Class Intro: Art Class Beginnings
DAY ONE: No David
During this class, we introduced class norms and studio habits in the classroom. We talked about No David and how to have good classroom actions while doing art. We discussed what might be a bad versus a good action. To get to know their names they made name tags with No David heads on them. As an exit slip, we wrote on the back of our No David heads one good action we have made in class and one bad action.
DAY TWO: Contour Beginning Drawings
This day was to get a hold on baseline of where the students were in their drawing skills. We were looking at Henri Matisse and his style to drawing contour lines. We talked about how Matisse holds his charcoal at an arms length because it forced him to draw slowly and closely at what he was looking at. For studio time, we looked at bugs and they practiced drawing the different creatures. They progressed from drawing large shapes to looking at the details. Most of the students did well with this exercise once they started. Julia did this with her other classes and I thought it was a good way to first, get a baseline of where they are and second, to make them feel successful as artists. The class then drew their bugs on ShrinkyDinks. This was just a fun way to continue their drawings practice and have something that they can keep. One things that surprised me about this was how the students struggled with understanding how to make their larger drawings fit on their smaller pieces of ShrinkyDink paper. It just made me remember how literal students at this age can be.
Lesson: A Monster A Day Keeps the Doctor Away
DAY ONE: The Daily Monster
Today we watched the video of the artist that draws one monster a day by experimenting with ink. On the SmartBoard we discussed the difference between planning (purpose/intent) and experimentation. The kids seemed to understand the concepts and we came to the conclusion that experimentation might be more for the beginning and planning more towards the end. I have really found that the students respond to doing things on the Smartboard especially when they are the ones that get to write. However, I might need to think more specifically about times for that because I am forgetting that sometimes, they don’t quite know how to write yet! Then I demonstrated how to blow the ink and they got ink and time to blow and create their monsters. In the past lesson with the first rotations the students got to pick up to three colors but we found their monsters to be harder to create so this time we just did one color that then they can add background and features to.
DAY FOUR: Tim Burton Texture
On this day, students discussed texture by looking at Tim Burton, Maurice Sendack (from Where the Wild Things Are) and the cover illustrations of Harry Potter. Then they explored feeling different types of texture and drawing monsters with names about them. The kids really responded to this lesson and the kinetic interaction. I had engaging types of texture (sandpaper, goo, pinecones, fluff) and made them move at a face pace. The fast timing go from station to station helped because it made them focus on drawing and kept their attention. I had them name them more by accident than anything and was surprised by how into they got (Super Sandman, Fluffy McFlufferson, Googoogoop). I think this also helped them connect the abstract idea of texture to something more concrete. As an assessment I had them add texture to a monster and then answer what texture is. After doing, this some of them still struggled with how to explain it so I think we will go back next time and in a different color add to what we learned from the next lesson. This also makes sense for assessment to show that it is ongoing and a process of re-thinking.
DAY FIVE/SIX: Finishing Monster A Day
On this day we reviewed, the concepts of texture, monsters, experimentation and planning. With the schedule that is at Grant Ranch I have been realizing how important it is to review subjects everyday because you lose so much time with your students. The students were given time to add details to their monsters going back to the elements that they needed to have: Move, See Hear, Smell. I found that it was easy to differentiation for those students that understood this concept of transferring characteristics to their art by having them share among themselves. By taking the sheets with them that had their characteristics on them, students could share them with a friend pointing out the elements. I noticed that this encouraged creativity because many times students then added to their sheet with other ideas. These sheets will serve as part of my assessment.
DAY SEVEN: Monsters, Environments and Safaris
On the last day of this lesson, the class finished up any lingering parts of their monsters that needed to be finished. After looking at them before class, I realized a few of the lower-achieving students need some additional help with their rubrics. So I also used this time to go over the questions with them. Although, their artwork was comprehensive, some of their content language needed to be addressed further. Students that had finished already were encouraged to draw a postcard of were their animal might live. I found that this forced students to transfer the skills of the what they had created to then put that monster (and draw it again) in an environment. In the last portion of the class, we went on a safari to see the monsters the other class had previously created in the same lesson. Students in groups of 5-6 talked about similarities and differences between a monster of the other class and their own.