The kids and I had a great time with this project! I showed them a BASIC drawing of a barn owl. We positioned it off-center, and it was a very good decision. Once the owls were drawn very lightly in pencil, I had them lay down different watercolors and, with water, push the pigments out, creating a bloom. They used the color strengths to create the illusion of feathers, and I love-love-LOVE how the owls took on personalities of their own!! All the barn owls were created with the same instruction, and they each turned out so differently! Oh, and one more thing: This was their second time using watercolors!
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This was a great lesson in movement of watercolor! This was also the first time at least 2 of the students ever used watercolors. Not too shabby, I must say. I instructed them how to blend out the colors and keep the paper VERY wet. They were told to stick with just cool colors, and […]
Now that we’re into the second semester (already!), Most of the art projects will be scultpure. I found this great idea through Pinterest, and then I adjusted it to work for me.
**Edit: I was contacted by Dr. Manal Helal, a professor and sculpture artist in Egypt, and he states he’s the originator of this idea (see the comments below). I’m all for giving credit where credit’s due, but when an idea comes from the internet, sometimes origins can get a bit muddied. Please check out his video, dated in 2010. Thank you, Dr. Helal, for sharing your artistic vision and idea with the world. My students really enjoyed the project!
I used 16-gage wire, and gave each child about 4-5 feet of it. One of the parents donated the wood blocks (4×4), and drilled two holes in them (about 1-inch from the edge) that the wire would tightly fit into. I told the kids to push an end of the wire into a hole of the block. Once they had about 3-inches coming out the other side, they were to take their needle-nose pliers and make a loop. Then they were to lay the loop as flush as possible against the block. They did the same thing to the other end of the wire.
After they got the wire put through the block, I had them gently bend and twist the wire to get it into a smaller shape. Then I gave each kid a knee-high nylon stocking (Walmart has them in the lingerie department at 2 for .33), and had them put the hose on over the wire structure. Before they did this, though, I showed them how to bunch up the hose gently, so it wouldn’t snag on rough skin or nails. The boys had a particularly good time being goofy with this. They covered not only the wire, but also the block. Once this was done, I told them to re-shape it however they wanted – just as long as there weren’t any sharp or pointed edges.
When they were satisfied with the shape, I gave each of them a pot of home-made gesso (3 large bottles of white acrylic paint mixed with 1/2 gallon of white glue), and instructed them to cover it completely (including the base), paying heed not to leave any holes. That was Day 1. On Day 2, I had them coat their sculpture once again. It was a much faster class. Duh!
On the third day, The sculptures were nice and dry, so we talked about how the pieces had ‘movement,’ and when they painted them, they didn’t want to go against this. I told them to follow the wire, which was the natural shape and flow. Some kids ‘got’ this, and some did not. That’s ok, though – as long as THEY like it. On Day 4, the kids completed painting them, and they did a great job!
For the last day, they sprayed a clear coat sealer on it, and that gave it a beautiful, glossy look. When that was dry, they turned their sculptures over and clipped the pantyhose to get rid of the bulk. They also cut the wire loops off. Once the metal was flush with the wooden base, they placed a piece of felt over it to finish it off. They’re all so proud of what they did – and I am, too! The debriefing portion of this project was one of the best parts. I swear I love these kids.
To give the kids a taste of what light sources are, we tried a fun activity using their oil pastels on black paper. Most of the kids got the concept through this guided project, which made for an excellent springboard to the next part.
Once the kids got this down, I had them make pumpkins. First, I showed them how to draw a good, quality pumpkin. I heard that some of them liked that so much, they went home and drew pumpkins everywhere. My kids are so cute. Next, I told them to draw a large pumpkin toward the bottom, and a smaller pumpkin toward the top of their black paper, in white oil pastel (this was for depth!). They were also to draw a white frame around their paper. They were to color the sections of the pumpkins in the same way they just finished the sphere, and then put on a stem. After that, they were told to draw three horizontal jagged lines to divide the background evenly. I had them use a dark green color for the bottom, a middle green for the next, then a light green section, and a light blue for the top. Lastly, they added the shadow in black. Not only were the kids impressed with their own work, but their parents were, too!
We had a special guest at Family Night in November (yes, I know my posts are a little behind). Reptile guy, Pete, brought in several snakes, lizards, and other fun animals for the kids to touch and hold. It made for a squeamish, but fun evening!
We have fun all day long, but sometimes we have enough to take pictures of it. Their parents will thank me one day, when they have a need for graduation or wedding pictures.
Some kids require a little extra push to take the right path, so we (the moms), decided to create Purgatory. Purgatory is where you’re stuck in limbo – unable to talk or have any fun. Your entire lunch is spent in thoughtful repose. Heaven is the gym or outdoors, where all good little kids go to have fun and frolic during their lunch. And then there’s Hell. Hell is where you do NOT want to be, for that entails manual labor – such as cleaning the floor around the urinals in the boys bathroom. So far, none of our kids have been to Hell.
My room happens to be Purgatory, and I’m the monitor. I’m pretty good at it, because no one wants to be in there!
To direct the kids where to go, I made a fun sign up for the hallway. It’s a gentle reminder that Purgatory is always open for business.