Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lots of Dots and Jasper Johns

Kindergarteners just completed their final work for the year and did a great job, I think!!
We started with a little "Guess the Number" game where the kids had to ask me "yes" or "no" questions like, "Is it greater than 4?" or "Is it less than 6?" until they had eliminated all but the mystery number hidden in my pocket. With some classes I actually removed the pink numbers from the board (they were held up with magnets) as the kids asked their questions, until only the one number was left.

Next we looked at some Jasper Johns' work using numbers. These kids had had some experience with Johns earlier in the year in their regular classrooms.

I had pre-cut the die-cut numbers and marked the back with an "X" to avoid backwards numbers. I modeled how to do a rubbing, although most of these kids had done leaf rubbings earlier in the year. After rubbing they outlined the number with a Sharpie and glued it to the black board background.

Using cake tempera, students painted "blocks of color" filling the white space (this step did not take very long).

The final step was to stamp or print circles/dots in any way they liked. We used donated champagne corks for printing. They were great because one end is like a handle.

The results showed varying degrees of pre-planning!!

This little guy/or girl had quite a sense of symmetry!!

We talked about how we could use this art to talk about math. For example, this first arrangement shows "76" ...

...but if we switch the numerals we have "67."

This, of course, led to the discussion of "What if we used 3 numbers?...or 4 numbers?!!!" As you can imagine, the possibilities for integrating other mathematical skills are endless!!


  1. Thanks! Kindergarteners had fun doing this -- in part, because each step was quick and easy!!!

  2. I am in love with your blog. I have been considering doing an art class once a week and the ideas you have on here are perfect for young kids!

  3. Hi Christy
    1 - thanks for posting photo of your whiteboard step-by-step
    2- love the idea of doing a rubbing for the number - perfectly neat and adds texture.
    3- You used tempera best friend.
    4- love the idea of champagne cork 'handle stamps'

    Even if I never teach this particular project, I will definitely incorporate some of your techniques in future lessons.