Grade 2 – Fall Units Update


In second grade we started off the year with one of my favorite units.  This unit has students’ focus on observation and teaches them more about printmaking, one of my favorite types of art to make.

Students first start by learning about why artists draw from observation.  Our big idea for this unit is Artists draw to record what they see. Their job for the first class was to practice their observation skills and draw leaves from observation.  When you look at their final pieces you will notice that they observed the edges of the leaves, as well as the veins inside the leaves.

On day two, students transferred their best drawing to a styrofoam printing plate, and explored how they could create a rubbing with paper and crayons. You may have seen some of these awesome rubbings at home, because students were able to take them home the same day.

The rest of our unit was spent learning how to create a print, just like printmakers do.  They learned how to ink their plate using crayola markers, how to place the paper, and pull a print.  This required some practice and patience.


Drawing from observation on Day 1

Finally they selected their best print, titled it, and uploaded it to our online gallery on Artsonia using one of our art room iPads. Be sure to click-through to check out the entire gallery of work on Artsonia.  The best prints are also currently on display at Conant on one of the bulletin boards right off the front lobby.


Transferring the best drawing to their styrofoam printing plate on day 2


Creating rubbings of their printing plates on day 2


Learning and practicing their printmaking skills on days 3-5


In extra art room 8 has been exploring and learning about the built environment. Our big idea for this unit is Artists practice thoughtful observation of the built environment around them. While working on this unit students learned about two artists: Arthur Fuller Davis, who was a librarian at the Acton Memorial Library, and James Rizzi, who was a Pop Artist from New York

First students started by exploring drawings of various buildings around Acton on our iPads, to learn that buildings are made of basic shapes. On day two students started using their observation skills, drawing either Acton Town Hall, Exchange Hall, or the Acton Memorial Library. These observation drawings helped students understand the parts of a building, so they could then use their imagination to create buildings inspired by the artwork of James Rizzi.


Shape inventory using iPads and the app Explain Everything


Be sure to stop by Conant to check out a selection of work on display in the hall by room 5!  Also, visit our online art gallery on Artsonia to see all the James Rizzi inspired drawings.


Observation drawings of Acton buildings



Coloring James Rizzi inspired buildings


Observation Drawing of the Built Environment – Grade 2

Second graders have started their drawing unit connected to their Acton Long Ago studies.  The focus is understanding why artists would draw the built environment, and how artists need to go about that to accurately record the built environment.




One class period was spent on practicing observation drawing of one of three buildings in Acton: Town Hall, Exchange Hall, or The Acton Memorial Library. Students created these drawings from reference photos, since we couldn’t take a field trip to these buildings in a 45 minute period!

Check out photos of room 8 working below.  I am so impressed by the focus of each second grade during this class period. 

Observation Drawings – Grade 2

I posted previously about the grade 2 observation drawings of buildings in Acton, here.   Besides creating an observation drawing of Town Hall, Exchange Hall, or the Acton Memorial Library, grade 2 students were given a choice of houses from Main St.  Ms. Vitale’s class picked their favorites, and though we didn’t have time to hang an actual display, I’ve scanned, and put together this digital ‘gallery’.  All three second grade classes created these amazing observation drawings, so be sure to check them out at home, if you haven’t already!

Observation of the Built Environment – Grade 2

Town Hall
Grade 2 artists have been working on some really amazing observation drawings.  In connection with their studies in the classroom of Acton Long Ago, we’ve talked about Arthur Fuller Davis, an Acton resident and librarian at the Acton Memorial Library for 43 years.  We looked at how his paintings of Acton in the early 20th century help us to learn more about what Acton used to be like.  
Our observation drawings of important Acton buildings now, may one day be viewed as a way to see what Acton looked like in the early 21st century!
Acton Memorial Library
Exchange Hall
Exchange Hall
Acton Town Hall
Acton Town Hall
Acton Town Hall