Art Teacher Tales
My favorite lessons, tricks and professional developments.
My inspiration for 99% of my lessons comes from other art teachers. No matter how creative and original I think I am my idea's generally come from manipulating others ideas to fit my interests or purpose. This idea came from Nic Hahn who is an awesome blogger. Check out her blog if you have not yet! http://minimatisse.blogspot.com/
Nic did an awesome presentation for The Art of Education's Winter Conference doing collagraphs with charcoal. She was inspired by the artists Isabelle Arsenault. For my kinders I decided to use these technique with crayons and have my littles make some robots!
Working with Kinders there is always a lot of prep. Luckily, I see 26 kindergarten classes so all the prep is worth while! I spent hours cutting hundreds of shapes for their robots. I used only blue paper so students can easily follow my directions when I talk about the blue shapes. I also had to prepare the "naked crayons". Soaking doesn't really do the trick for wax crayons. Instead, I used an Exacto to slice the paper and peel it off. Before the students came into the art room I set up their "Work Station" and laid out all of their materials on the table. Their work station was simply a light purple piece of construction paper. I wanted to make sure they built their robots with in a space that was the same as their paper. This also allowed me to teach them about registration before we got into Gelli printing.
I made a video for this lesson because I knew I would be out for a day. I love being able to give the sub a video. I originally made a video with sound but I muted the video and spoke as they watched I found my students listened so much better. That video is up on my YouTube now! There are a lot of steps for this lesson but I found my student worked really well together to remember all these steps. First, I explained that printmaking is how artists, like us, make copies. When student got to their tables they built their robot with the blue pre-cut shapes on their purple work stations. I reiterated that this is not your final work, but instead what you will be coping. Next they placed their white paper over their robot and rubbed their naked crayons over top lightly. This fine motor skill is had for some students so I did make sure to circulate and model for the students who needed it. The light covering allows the student to see where everything is so they can choose colors for certain parts of their robot. Once the robot is copied students used a texture plates to fill in the background. I used the Roylco texture plates. Last students added some details with crayon to finish up their beautiful robots!
In 40 minutes most students were able to make more then one robot. I do feel that making multiples reenforced the idea that printmaking is how artists make copies but I could have added another step. I was debating having students add watercolor but I think these robots are just awesome they way they are! I (of course) had one student decide to go her own way and after her robot she made this adorable little fox.
What are your thoughts? To watercolor or not to watercolor?