|Teaching creative thinking and problem solving.||
Students use creativity and problem solving to design their own animal transformer monster! Students need to create a creature in profile, and make sure the mouth line is on the fold, Then when the paper is opened, a different version of the animal appears, students creatively design a monster on the inside.Students did a great job thinking creatively to design their own animal!
The students created this project with a substitute teacher on a day I was gone. I had drawn the "wave" line on the paper and copied a bunch on the copier. The students were challenged to make the "wave" line into a whole new picture. This was a great exercise in teaching creativity, and thinking outside the box. You can see this student turned her line into a mantle and fireplace.
I must say this has been my favorite project so far! We all collected as many leafs as we could find and pressed them and dried them in the art room. The students had some examples to base their designs from, but overall were very creative with their planning and assembly of leaf creatures. Students demonstrated awesome problem solving skills and creativity, while using things from the environment to create art!
This is a very easy project to do with elementary students. Each student had a cereal sized paper bowl and approximately 1-2 pounds of clay. The students rolled small balls of clay (bigger than a marble, smaller than a golf ball) and pressed the balls into the paper bowl. Students smeared the clay balls together on the inside creating a smooth surface. When construction of the bowl is finished, students peel away the paper bowl support and they have their own clay bowl that when dried will be fired and glazed.
Students drew the outline of simple ornament shapes, then used sharpie markers to make patterns in their ornaments. We then erased the pencil lines around the ornaments. The students noticed that even with out the outline, they could recognize the whole shape of the ornament. We learned this is a principle of gestalt called closure
As a part of a fall project, students learned how to make a 3-D tree. We used thicker poster board paper. The paper was folded in half and the students drew a tree on one side. Again, the simplified way to draw a tree is to draw the branches as letter "Y's" connected to the branches. Students then cut out their tree with the paper folded, so as to create two identical tree shapes. Then students made a vertical cut along one tree stump, making a split. This split intersects and slides over the other tree to make it stand upright. The bottoms were then glued to a piece of cardboard. Students had the option of decorating their tree with fall leaves we found outside, or leaving them plain.
Students work on their shading skills by creating a simple image of their favorite thing! Then the students divide their picture into pieces, and begin shading by pressing the pencil on the paper with a variety of pressure. This is an essential skill to learn early on, enabling students to start transforming their artwork from flat to three dimensional and full!
Students learned about the Mexican cutting technique called Papel Picado, which means punched paper. We started off the lesson by viewing a video with a demonstration of how to complete the project. Even though the video was in Spanish, the students were able to follow along and learn about their culture, the project and the Spanish language. The students did a great job!
You can really begin to see the progress in the portraits from year to year by the time students are in third grade. Again on the portrait unit, students worked on polishing their observation skills of facial features and positioning of eyes, and ears. The students work on adding details often forgotten in the younger years, like eyebrows and eyelashes. The students blend colors to match hair and skin tones.
Students learned about the proportions of the face. We learned about the shape of the eyes, nose, and lips as well as their placement in relation to other parts of the face. We talked about the symmetry of our face and each of our facial parts. Students learned how to make hair that has texture with construction paper.
Students rolled out a slab of clay and pressed maple leaves collected from the school grounds on their slab. The students cut out the leaf on their clay and made sure the veins of the leaf made a transfer to their clay. The students draped their clay leafs on a bowl and let them dry. We fired them in the kiln and glazed them with fun fall colors!
For this project, students were challenged to draw a winter scene that they would actually see, or would hope to see someday. We focused on learning about perspective, in that things close up are HUGE, things in the middle are middle sized, and things far away are small. We finished by painting snow with Q-tips, and then added a construction paper window frame at the very end.