Saturday, January 4, 2014
The kindergartners learned all about geometric and organic shapes with this project. For it, I wrote a book called Planet of the Shapes, where an organic shape crash lands on a planet of geometric shapes.
The story teaches kids the difference between the two different types of shapes, and also the importance of embracing each other's differences.
For the project, kindergartners demonstrated their knowledge of geometric and organic shapes by drawing them together, happy. Take a look!
Friday, January 3, 2014
3rd graders were tasked to come up with a problem and invent some sort of solution for it. This project existed in multiple steps: a plan sheet, a blue print, an advertisement, and - for the class that had time (snow days again!), an investment fair. The third graders took their idea from concept to advertisement so that they could sell it to investors and turn their dream into (hypothetical) reality. So many third graders came up with so many different ideas and really thought hard about how their invention would work. Pay close attention to the details the kids put into their advertisements, all the cool stuff their invention can do, solutions to some bizarre and/or practical problems, energy sources, things like that in the pictures. At the end, I've included a video of a third grader sharing her blueprint with an investor. Here it is America: the future of our world. Get ready.
Most of this project took place off-camera, where the 4th and 5th graders had a very intellectual discussion about what art actually is. We watched a 60 Minutes video where Andy Rooney discusses contemporary art, then looked at a lot of artwork that straddles the line between art and not art, including Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian, and Marcel Duchamp, among others. The kids' responses were insightful and interesting. Eventually the conversation twisted and turned into "kitschy" artwork by Jeff Koons and Thomas Kinkade, leading students to draw their own conclusions about their personal definitions of art. With only a few classes (snow days!) we actually set to create a work of art that we thought could be art and also not be. It was a serious challenge that was very refreshing to see the 4th and 5th graders approach so well. Take a look a small sample!
4th graders did very well with a difficult technique. Students learned about shape, positive and negative space, and pattern with this tessellation project. The complicated process started out with step-by-step instruction to create the stencil, where each side fits together like a puzzle piece, before tracing the shape onto a big piece of paper until it fills up the page. Top it all off with some painting and we have the finished product! Check it out!