Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Few Pumpkin Results for Thanksgiving Week

A few weeks ago I posted a lesson titled "Pumpkins in Puddles" where students used watercolor markers and plain water to make reflection drawings. (click here for steps)

When I did the actual lesson in class, I had this assortment of squash and gourds for kids to see and touch. I also had this photo displayed on the Smartboard so that everyone had a good view.

I asked them to imagine any of these outside on the ground after a rainstorm, when the sun came out. What would they see? -- A reflection, of course. 

Students drew their pumpkins, etc. on a fold line in the center of their paper (just regular copier paper) using Crayola watercolor markers (Classic set). I emphasized shading and leaving white highlights where the light hit the top of each squash. Then they brushed water on the bottom of the paper, folded the dry half onto the wet half, pressed thoroughly and VOILA!! Reflections everywhere!!

As you can see, we talked about overlapping, shadows and blending colors. I also mentioned that their final results would look different once they added the water and that it was a bit of an experiment in that sense.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Glue Dots

First, I must say, as I have said many times before, my favorite all time glue for school projects is Elmer's Glue All. It is nice and thick and the paper doesn't slide around much, as with some other glues. However, the goal is still to use SMALL DOTS of glue.
In prior years when I taught in my own art classroom I had reusable glue cups (portion cups from Smart & Final) and sandwich sticks that students used to scoop a limited amount of glue to make wonderful small dots of glue.

Now that I am working off of an art cart and traveling from room to room, I decided to "bite the bullet" and switch to 4 oz. glue bottles so I wouldn't have to balance 20 wet glue cups as I travelled. The trade off is that now I am battling students' inclination to squeeze rivers of glue from their bottles, making puddles of oozing white glue on their artwork (also fun to transport on a cart)!!

So here is my solution. I TEACH kids to hold the glue bottle horizontally, NOT vertically (good math vocabulary:)) with one hand and we practice 3 steps:
     TOUCH the paper,
     LIFT QUICKLY as soon as they see they dot of glue.

Once I teach the method, we practice on scratch paper -- more than once!!!!!!

Does this work the first time they try it?  No.
How about the 2nd time? Maybe.
3rd time?  Pretty much.

The result, little dots of glue, and a happy art teacher:))
Of course, I haven't tried this yet with kindergarteners' little hands -- that will be the real test!! I might have to revert to the glue cups after all:))