Monday, February 24, 2014

3rd Grade Eric Carle Inspired Collages

 Eric Carle needs no introduction for any one who teaches at an elementary school. His children's books are loved by kids all over the world. Even at third grade, students love the illustrations and stories in his books. For this projects, third graders watch a great video narrated by Eric Carle himself discussing his writing process and his illustration style. We then painted paper to music to create a variety of colorful papers to chose from. Look at those gorgeous pages!!

After the painting process, the students cut and glued their shapes to create themed illustrations. Mrs. Nelson's class here created an insect theme. Other themes we've done include forests, jungles, African safari, farm animals, and flower gardens. The paper is so beautiful, even our recycle bin looks good!

Tree of Life Weavings

Sometimes new projects flop. They take too long or not long enough, they are not engaging or they don't teach the right lessons. But then there are projects that are absolutely perfect and I fall completely in LOVE with them. The fifth grade students made these incredible "tree of life" weavings last semester, and I just now got around to figuring out how to display them. They were going to go in our public library, but then the library roof caved in. Bad news. But they look pretty good displayed in our hallway too. This project was inspired by some other tree weaving projects I found floating around on pinterest, here and here. I put the two ideas together and this beauty was born.

We began by looking a tree of life images from around the world. Then we painted a heavy duty paper plate with metallic acrylic paint. You don't want the flimsy cheap plates for this, splurge for the good stuff. I created a template with notches cut in the plate for the string to be wrapped, and the students used my plate to mark and cut their notches in the same places. We taped thick yarn to the back and began wrapping front to back and around until all the notches were filled. We gathered the center of the yarn together with another color to create a trunk for the tree. Then we used multicolored yarn for the weaving. Cassie Stephens has a much better tutorial for how to do the step-by-step on this project. I had the students snip and fray some of their 'roots' and add beads if they wanted. They look so stunning when they are finished!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pop Art Valentines

The second grade students created these "pop"ing good Valentines! Based on the artwork of artist Burton Morris, the students used colored paper to create a collage using hearts for Valentine's day.

We started by comparing several of Morris's paintings so we could list what made his style unique. Then we cut out colored paper to create a frame, and cut colored hearts out as well. Then we traced all the lines with black marker. The students then added a special message to the back of the heart pictures.