Grade 4 – Fall Units Update

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Fourth graders have been very busy in regular art, learning how to create a realistic looking still life drawing.  They learned how to show space or depth in their work by overlapping objects and how to draw cylinders 3-dimensionally.  To understand these concepts, students utilized our class iPads and the app Explain Everything to photograph still lifes they set up, and draw on the photographs.  This helped them see how to draw what they were seeing. Finally students practiced observation drawings in pencil, and moved onto their final, which was colored with oil pastels.

Check out the in progress photographs below, and be sure to visit Conant to check out some of the work on display in the front lobby.  OR visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see all the work.

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In extra art, which ended this past week, students in room 19 worked on a weaving unit that combined science and art.  The work was inspired by the artist Nathalie Miebach who creates sculptural basket weavings that are determined by a collection of scientific data, typically weather data. Students learned and studied her work, and then set out to use a data set of their choosing to create a pouch weaving.  The most popular data set was the temperature of a particular location for a month or so.  Students were able to use weather underground to research data as far back as 2005, in a number of locations all around the world.

Be sure to check out the in progress photos below, and visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see the finished pouches, and to read the artist statements explaining what data they used.

We also have big things coming with units that student teacher Miss LeBold has developed for these last few weeks before the winter break.  Be sure to check the ConantArt instagram feed for more frequent updates!

Grade 3 – Fall Units Update

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Third graders have been so amazing while creating their landscape drawings inspired by Grandmas Moses. If you don’t know much about her, Anna Mary Robertson Moses, or as most people know her, Grandma Moses is considered a primitive artist. This is because she never had any formal art schooling, and actually picked up painting when she was 78 years old. To learn more about her we read the book¬†Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Grandma Moses by Mike Venezia.

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Labeling the foreground, middle ground, background, and horizon line

First students learned and identified the foreground, middle ground, background, and horizon line in some of Grandma Moses paintings. Then they spent time thinking about a place from memory that they would like to draw for their landscape drawing. ¬†Some students decided on places they’ve visited on vacation, or places they’ve lived. ¬†These sketches were then used as the basis for a final drawing. Many days were spent drawing all the important details, and coloring in with colored pencils.

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Coloring the landscapes in with colored pencils took lots of hard work

Be sure to check out our online gallery on Artsonia to see all of the finished pieces, and to read the students artist statements.

In extra art, third graders in room 10 worked on creating a weaving that utilized a pattern. ¬†These weavings are what I like to call ‘mug rugs’, which means the functional use is that they are similar to a coaster.

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In second grade students create a weaving in connection to their Kenya studies in the classroom, so this unit builds on the skills learned in second grade.¬†Students developed a pattern and planned it out prior to weaving. They also learned how to remove their weaving from the loom (what holds the weaving together while it’s being worked on), by tying the weft thread.

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Again, check out some of the weavings below, and visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see all the work.  It should be noted that these galleries of student work is managed by the students, using our class set of iPads.

 

Grade 2 – Fall Units Update

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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.

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

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Creating rubbings of their printing plates on day 2

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Learning and practicing their printmaking skills on days 3-5

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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.

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Shape inventory using iPads and the app Explain Everything

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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.

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Observation drawings of Acton buildings

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Coloring James Rizzi inspired buildings

Grade 1 – Fall Units Update

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First graders have been very busy this school year. ¬†Just like all of the other classes, it was a busy start to the year with our Pinwheels for Peace installation. After that was complete, in regular art we’ve been working on a unit that is a big surprise for their parents, so you won’t find any information about that yet!

BUT room 4 has been busy with another unit in extra art, and started learning about sculpture. Our big ideas for this unit were: Sculpture is different from other art forms; Artists make both temporary and permanent sculpture; and Artists explore materials by making temporary sculptures.

Students learned that sculpture is a type of three dimensional artwork where drawing and painting are types of two dimensional art work. They also explored plasticine clay to learn how they could manipulate it with their hands while making a temporary sculpture.

Finally, students learned how to make a pinch pot and created one out of clay that was fired in the kiln at the junior high.  These fired pieces were then painted and drawn from observation.

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First graders exploring clay on day 1

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First graders learning how to make a pinch pot on day 2

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First graders making their final pinch pot on day 3

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Currently you can find some of this work on display in the front lobby of Conant and there is a sampling of the work below. If you are unable to make it in to see the work on display be sure to check out all of the work online at our school art gallery on Artsonia.

Grade K – Fall Units Update

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The fall got off to a great start with our pinwheels for peace project!  After all of the pinwheels were finished we got right into our first units, which vary for each grade level.

Kindergarten classes started with a skills assessment drawing, which helps me learn where all of my new students are with their coloring, cutting, gluing, and drawing. I gave them a paper with a collection of shapes, that when cut out and put together, make a person.  See below for some finished examples and in-progress photographs!

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The next unit in kindergarten was an intro to two of the elements of art.  We first focused on line, doing a line match on the smartboard, and a practice drawing.  Kindergarteners practiced drawing lines like horizontal, vertical, jagged, dotted, thick, and curvy.

On day two, we learned about the element of art called shape. Lines can be used to draw shapes. The lines kindergarten students drew the week before turned into shapes where they touched and crossed over one another.

These found shapes were colored in using a variety of materials. Students explored markers, crayons, and oil pastels.

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Our most recent unit explored how shapes can be used to create the details of our drawing.  Using the book Ship Shapes as inspiration, students created a seascape oil pastel drawing. They noticed and used triangles, squares, rectangles, semi-circles, and ovals to create the buildings, and animals in their seascape. To finish their work kindergarteners using medium and dark blue to paint in the sky and water.  This technique is called oil pastel resist.

The page from the book Ship Shapes that inspired our own work

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Regular Art Update: Grades K- 2 – So Many New Units!

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With the addition of the trimesters of extra special, I’ve had about 12 extra classes with each grade level. Instead of coming up with something new right at the beginning of the year, I decided to teach units I’ve already done. Now that we’re are just 14 days away from the end, I’ve got lots of new units and lessons to share.

It’s been pretty hectic, so I don’t have pictures of everything, but check out below for some info about what we’ve been working on in art.

Grade K: Kinders have been working on exploring texture recently. They learned the difference between visual and actual texture, how to create rubbings of texture, and how to create texture in clay to create some amazing texture medallions. Some of the kinder’s texture collages were displayed at the high school in room 115N for all to see during May. The texture medallions were strung on elastic cord, and students were able to create beaded necklaces or bracelets, just in time for mother’s day. Check out a few of the pictures below to see the awesome work they did.

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Grade 1: In connection with their Japanese studies first grade made origami paper, which we’ve done previously. They created pecking birds, jumping frogs, and tumblers with the paper. ¬†Check out this short video to see the pecking birds in action, and click through to check out the Artsonia gallery to see the tumblers.

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Besides the origami, we also learned about Children’s Day, which is a Japanese holiday that celebrates children. ¬†During Children’s day, koinobori are flown outside of homes. Students created their own koinobori, or carpe flags in preparation of Children’s day in May. Check out some of the koinobori below, or click through to check out the Artsonia gallery.

Grade 2: A lot of what we’ve done this year has been connected to grade two’s study of Kenya. ¬†It’s just so rich with things to explore. ¬†I developed a new mask making unit, in connection to the African artwork we had on loan from the Gallery of African Art in Clinton. ¬† Second graders were taught how to create a faux wood grain on oak tag, as well as how to connect paper pieces using tabs. ¬†With that basic knowledge, they were challenged to create a mask using their problem solving skills. ¬†Students helped each other out, as well as came to me for support. ¬†I just love all the work they put into these! Check out their finished masks by clicking through to visit our Artsonia gallery.

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Grade two also created thumb pianos for the second year in a row.  Students learned how to sand and prepare the wood for adding color.  When ready they decorated their thumb piano base with patterns inspired by Africa.  With the help of myself, or a parent volunteer, the keys to their thumb pianos were attached, and ready to be played.  Click through to check out the gallery on Artsonia.  You will be amazed with the details in their patterns.

A selection of thumb pianos from room 5

A selection of thumb pianos from room 5

Check back tomorrow for an update as to what has been happening in grades 3 through 6!

Grade 3 – Biography Portraits

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Third graders finished up their biography portraits a few weeks ago, and I have been able to get most of their chatterpix videos uploaded to youtube to share with you.  If you are just learning about the biography portraits now, check out my previous post to learn more about the process, and so you can check out our Artsonia gallery to see all the amazing drawings!

When they finished up these amazing observation drawings, they were given the task of taking a photo of their work with one of our class iPads, so they could give their subject matter a voice.  Be sure to take a peek!  You will learn so much about all the people they researched!