Thursday, June 4, 2015

Art and Math Everywhere!!!

Two weeks ago, when kindergarteners started creating their buildings for a collaborative EXTRAVAGANZA to be revealed in August when school starts up again, I thought the focus was going to be the use of Color, at least that's what my lesson plan indicated.

Well, I was only half right -- read on . . .

I started with a Smartboard presentation on "crooked and colorful buildings in the world" with a focus on the art of James Rizzi and the architecture of our local star, Frank Gehry. In 1978, Gehry remodeled his family home experimenting with some building materials that were pretty unusual at the time. He, of course, has gone on to design some spectacular buildings that seem to soar into the space around them with anything but perpendicular walls! Since his house is walking distance from our school, it seemed that a look at some of his buildings around the world would be a good place to start our classroom discussion.

Then our art began. Kindergarteners spent Day One painting buildings a variety of colors using cake tempera. First, I modeled how to paint using the broad side of the brush to get fatter lines AND how to paint all in one direction.

Then we switched to liquid tempera to paint the windows. I demonstrated how you can let the brush do the work of painting the squares and rectangles by just pressing and painting a short stroke. Students also tried to paint their windows in straight rows to indicate floors in a building.

 We let these buildings dry.

On Day 2, using white and GOLD tempera and Q-tips instead of brushes, kids made a background using line designs that we had learned about three weeks before.

While the paint was drying a bit, kids outlined their windows and doors with a Sharpie. And this is where the MATH popped up and took over. One little boy started counting his windows as I walked by. I stopped to watch and talk to him about this (he had 24) and the rest of the table got wind of what was going on and started counting. Well, pretty soon everybody was counting.

It would have been fun, time permitting, to have figured out how many windows there were in all, but since time was running out, I posed the question, "Do you think we have more or less than 100 windows in all?" That led to some pretty interesting responses!!

As I said, I am saving all of these "crooked creations" for a giant crooked city display in the Auditorium for when school starts in August. Be sure to check back for the big reveal!! AND . . . have a glorious and rejuvenating summer!!! 

By the way, I first did this lesson with 5th graders a number of years ago with a bit more emphasis on design details on buildings and use of complementary colors. You can find that lesson HERE.

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