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.
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.
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.
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.