This completed group painting can be found on the large bulletin board outside the ES Office. Second Grade have been following through the design (inquiry cycle), and it therefore should be noted, that this work is not specifically the ‘grand finale’ but simply an exercise which has resulted in something beautiful! Please see the previous posts as a reminder of how this work has been inspired by an investigation into the work of the artist Hundertwasser and his ‘Lollipop Trees’, and the skills/knowledge practised during this ‘Tuning in/Finding Out, and Skills Development’ time.
During the last couple of weeks, continuing to consider the Central Idea “Artists use their creativity in many different ways to express feelings and ideas”, and more specifically, the Line of Inquiry ‘Artistic inspiration and creativity are connected to personal experiences’, students have switched to a new medium: clay. As Hundertwasser may have imagined known environments in creative ways, students were asked to connect to personal experience of a place they know, or a combination of places they know, to envision and create something new. Visual prompts included our very own school and playground.
It was a proud moment to hear and see, many students clearly building upon knowledge and skills gained in their last semester of First Grade, as they remembered vocabulary and were able to apply the ‘Four S’s’ (Score, Slip, Squish, Smooth’) method of attaching clay in a secure manner. Always reinforcing the Elements of Art, interesting shape in particular has been a focus, and thoughtful use of space, as they worked on a clay tile relief. With the absence of color, students have been learning to fill space with texture, and tried to contrast their application of texture when applying to foreground and background (photos of added texture to come) Students have continued to gain an understanding of the sensitivity of clay, and have been responsible for the airtight packaging of it, to maintain it’s moisture in between lessons. Photos of the works, complete with applied texture, will be posted soon. For now, an insight into Penguin Artists at work as they create, with personal experiences in mind.
Please see previous posts to understand how we arrived here! Our final product; Painted Paper Collage Gallery
Videos and inks in this post may be viewed more easily on PC or Laptop
When a student literally screams “This is the best art lesson EVER!”, it is surely worthy of a blog post! This student’s sheer delight today, reminded me, it is time for a First Grade update. For a quick glimpse of First Grade Art class today, please enjoy this You Tube clip.
First Grade Students are currently working on a Stand-Alone Unit. This means it is not specifically linked to their class unit of inquiry.
Central Idea: Art communicates meaning and is a process that involves exploring and creating.
Key Concept: Function
Related Concepts: Exploration, Process, Communication
Line of Inquiry 1 :
The process of creating art, involves exploration of materials and tools (including technique)
Line of Inquiry 2: Art Communicates ideas
In their classroom, students have been exposed to a number of story books by the popular Author and Illustrator, Eric Carle. Students started their investigation in art class, by looking closely at a variety of his illustrations. Discussions between pairs of students naturally led to observations regards the way in which his illustrations are created and questions about procedure. Through this, students were encouraged to make use of art vocabulary. Color, Line, Shape, Texture, Pattern, Light and Dark, in particular. Drawing is an excellent tool to practise close observation. Students thoroughly enjoyed drawing their favourite Eric Carle illustrations. This helped them to ‘notice’ a variety of elements of art and principles of design within the work.
Having gained some knowledge/understanding of the composition and style of Eric Carle’s illustrations, today, students worked on explorations of materials, tools and techniques, by creating ‘painted papers’ (above video). Safe and correct handling of the tools, as well as organisational and social skills played an important role in this work. In the midst of such excitement, students naturally engage in ‘self talk’. Student comments and questions, such as “I need to change my brush!” “Oh! look at that swirly shape!” and “I need more white to make pink!” “Hey! what will happen if I …” are all indicators of good procedural thinking.
Our next steps will be to think creatively and further develop skills in cutting and pasting, as these painted papers will soon be used to create Eric Carle style illustrations. More to come on our Eric Carle unit, in following weeks.
In the past few weeks students have become more focused in their printmaking skills. Exploring new tools, patterns and textures, inclusive of layering, they have been working to create prints with improved quality. Discussion has focused on ‘what makes a good print?’ ‘What are we looking for?’ ‘What is working, and what is not?’ and ‘What do I need to do, to improve it?’ Applying less paint, moving the tools slowly, and not pressing so hard, are some solutions discovered.
Now in the final stages of the creative process, students have returned to questions over the function of motifs and patterns in everyday objects, noting function as decorative and often inspired by personal experience and therefore connection with, cultural identity. Students are currently working on organising their thoughts for a design of their own to apply to an everyday object. They are required to consider color, shape, pattern, repetition and texture in generating ideas for a background which can be applied with their own, unique motif design.
Note to self: Second Grade students LOVE working with clay! Every student has been fully engaged. All have arrived excited and ready to start. All have listened and taken care to follow artistic procedures. All have been mindful of safety with tools and respectful in sharing them. All have contributed to tidy and clean up time. All have been trying their best. All have shown willingness to elaborate on and extend ideas. It has been wonderful to observe students demonstrating their ability to Love Learning, Respect and Contribute! Some classes are now moving on to the final stage of their studio work. It is easy to say “I have finished”. Students are now spending the next two lessons learning to take their work further by ‘Refining’. It’s time to step back, self evaluate and ask peers, what can I do to improve it? Noting that empty space is not interesting to look at, students are using a tools to add a variety of textures to both shape and space to bring more interest to the work. It is also important to vary the patterns in texture, in order to maintain sight of original shapes. In addition to this they are ensuring that all pieces are secured, cleaning up and smoothing out rough surfaces/edges where necessary. The first of the finished works are emerging and it is inspiring to see, the capabilities of a Second Grade student.
The majority of students have completed their work and will bring it home soon. Please take a moment to discuss the work with your child. It is important that the work is valued beyond the aesthetic. Through this work, your child has demonstrated commitment, perseverance and patience over a number of weeks. Ask your child to explain the entire process to you. Ask him/her, how long did it take? Ask him/her to evaluate “Are you pleased with your work? Why? What is good about it? What did not work so well?” Ask your child about challenges met, and the solutions he/she found. Remind him/her of the Outdoor Learning experience in the forest and seek connections with this. Show him/her this Andy Goldsworthy link (by Niall Dickenson) and use it as a conversation piece. Have your child take pride in his/her work. Take a photo and send it to Grandparents. Place it in a prominent place in your home. And throughout the summer, keep this work in mind, wherever you may be. Provide your child continued exposure to outdoor exploration. Provide him/her opportunities to invent and create. Expose him/her to the work of others through galleries and museums. Point out any outdoor art installations you find, as you travel to your home town, city, country, or vacations elsewhere. Connection is the key. We are now ready and excited for Third Grade. Enjoy your summer with family and friends, and safe travels to all.
Students have considered the question “From where do artists find inspiration?”
Initially inspired by our Outdoor Learning Specialists, students were exposed to the work of Site Sculptor and Land Artist, Andy Goldsworthy (Slide Show by Niall Dickenson) Students have observed, discussed and sketched the compositional arrangement of natural materials in his work.
With this, and building on fine motor skills practised during Trimester Two, students have created a small weaving loom with natural materials gathered from the forest. Challenging for some, it was wonderful to see demonstrations of determination and perseverance. Using art specific vocabulary, students have focused specifically on color, texture, and the incorporation of the raw materials as an essential component of the aesthetic.