Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chinese New Year Dragons (nouvel an chinois)

I spent a couple of hours the other day trolling my blogroll looking for inspiration for this week's art lessons. I happened upon this one at smARTy Pants which I thought was quite cute. However, the next day at school I forgot my laptop and googled "handprint dragon" (with all manner of combinations and ended up finding, not smArty Pants, but this site, which had templates ready to go! I decided that this time, using templates wasn't such a bad idea, and decided to focus on cutting skills: showing kids how to cut over a template (rather than cut, trace, cut), and cutting multiple things in one go (ie: 4 hands with one trace, or cutting two legs from the one template). I also really emphasized making the most of your paper (there was a limited amount out on the table, and if they couldn't find the size or colour they wanted, they needed to share, or get creative!

The kids LOVED this activity! Although they were all cut from the same template, each dragon has their own personality! I'm looking forward to having a completed display with all of them up.

De Paris Avec Amour

I have been so excited to do and to show off this project! It was inspired by Gail's Postcard's from Paris post (nice alliteration!) Ok.. I blatantly copied, actually! But the spin I put on it was our Parisian Bonhomme de Carnaval, and gigantic Tour d'Eiffel! We are celebrating Caraval at our school (we do this every 2 years) and my challenge to my colleagues was to dress up Bonhomme de Carnaval some how and display him outside their classrooms. (A few Art teachers blogged about doing this with snowmen in December at their schools, and I loved the idea!)

So as you can see, our Bonhomme is a real Parisian man! The kids used these ladder-shaped blocks to print the iron for the Tour d'Eiffel.
I first took pictures of all of the students in a striped shirt (for the garçons) and a frilly blouse (for the filles).
Then we basically followed Gail's instructions, using the cardboard, tissue and bubble wrap with black and white paint. In retrospect, I should have talked more about the shape of the tower.. as some were more triangular than others. Oh well! The kids LOVED this project and are very proud of the Parisian display!

Here is my friend and across the hall neighbour's interpretation of Bonhomme (de policier!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Les Bouleaux, Birch Trees - water colour

I was inspired by this post by Patty at Deep Space Sparkle (the blog that started my passion!) She starts her intro with "Everyone has done a birch tree art lesson. They are such a lovely tree, stripped of their leaves and shimmering with black and white bark." ummm... nope.. never done a Birch Tree lesson.... until now! Now Patty does a little more with her lesson.. like background and foreground trees and textured sky. But I think with grade 2s, we'll stick with the basics! This has been a rather time-consuming project, as I really wanted optimal results.. therefore, I drew the horizon line on each paper, and have been instructing each child individually on how to do the shading for the trees. This, coupled with the fact that I've been off sick for the past week, means that we're a little late in getting the first art project of the year finished! However, I think you'll see that the results are worth the wait.

Step 1: Masking-tape off the "birch trees"

Step 2: paint the sky (they could choose orange/yellow or blue/purple)
Step 3: Mme paints the horizon line
Step 4: Outline the birch trees with a black sharpie

Step 5: Mme helps each one paint their shadows
Step 6: Remove the tape and add some bark detail with a sharpie

I'm now working on a Valentine's Day project that I'm SO excited about! I can't wait!!