Third Grade confronts limitations and glue guns

The 3rd graders began the school year in art class by working in three-dimensions, learning to manipulate two-dimensional pieces of paper to create 3D sculptures independently and, next, working collaboratively to construct new sculptures — developed from a detailed plan, larger, made of a variety of materials, and containing personal symbolism to represent themselves and the Third Grade as a whole.

After a long break to work two dimensionally on developing original comic strips (see earlier Grade 3 post), the Third Graders are back working in three dimensions. But this time, rather than create a plan first and then deciding on the materials after, this time the students were presented with a limited type and amount of materials (primarily scrap wood pieces but also including — if they wished also to incorporate some or all — wire, string, fabric, paper, and paint). And in working with and playing with — and sometimes building, breaking apart, and reconstructing — these materials, the students created original sculptures in a different manner than previously. Some students chose to create realistic things (a restaurant, a boat, a video game), others made abstract sculptures, and some built highly imaginary, partly realistic, partly abstract creations.

See the young artists at work (below) and hear their critiques of their artworks on the Twitter feed to the right (look for the artists’ first names):

Kindergarten artists explore materials and stretch their imaginations

Look here to see the young sculptors in action:

The kindergarteners have again been exploring the central idea that materials can be manipulated to suit a purpose. In art class, we have again taken the time to consider the various types of materials that can be used to create artwork — and talked more about how we can use our imagination to create things about which we are passionate and interested.

The children spent one class period playing — individually and with partners — with over 100 almost-discarded cardboard packing ‘elbows’, creating buildings and castles and vehicles and other sculptures. We were thankful that the IT Dept donated these elbows to our ES Art class.

The children then thought about and discussed what a single one of these packing elbows could become. Each student was given one, plus the choice of a variety of materials to attach to his/her piece — paper (straws, sheets), plastic (cord), and wood (beads, sticks) — using either glue guns or their hands (twisting, knotting). The children have been maturing in their ability to take responsibility for the care of tools and materials and for their own and others’ safety in the art studio environment.

Later, the students had the option to color their creations with paint. As they developed their sculptures, they were asked to identify: what they were making; why they chose to make that particular thing; the materials and processes used in their creation. Upon completion, each student briefly described his or her imaginary creation to the class.

As their kindergarten year ends, the students are continuing their hands-on, creative journey in enjoying their experiences creating and responding to artworks and in showing curiosity and asking questions about their own and others’ projects.

Kindergarten continues exploring new ways to make & color pictures

The students have continued to pursue a central idea in Kindergarten which is that materials can be manipulated to suit a purpose. In art class we have been taking the time to consider the various types of materials that can be used to create artwork — or anything that the children’s minds think up.

Having painted with white paint on black paper, then colored with a variety of dry media (oil pastels, chalk pastels, colored pencils, markers), the students then were offered numerous other materials to add to their pictures. Having already explored materials such as wood, paper, metal, plastic, and cloth & string — and where these things come from — the students used these items as they saw fit to develop an artwork. The main focus was two-fold: one, to develop an awareness of the source of the materials that people use to make art and, two, to explore and understand various methods of combining and attaching different materials together to achieve a personal objective.

Here are the students in action along with their completed artwork:

Kindergarten explores different ways to make and color pictures

A central idea in Kindergarten is that materials can be manipulated to suit a purpose. So, in art class, we take the time to consider the various types of materials that can be used to create artwork — or anything that the children’s minds think up.

As we seem to spend a lot of our drawing and painting time working on white paper, we decided to make pictures with white lines and shapes on black paper instead. After looking at different white-on-black images made by other artists, the students had their choice of what to depict.  Once their pictures were dry, we looked at the primary types of dry coloring materials that we use in art class: oil pastels, chalk pastels, colored pencils, and markers. Each student spend some time testing these colors on black paper, and then we discussed together their observations. Students then made choices about the type of coloring materials they used to color their white-on-black pictures.

Here’s the exploration in process:

Kindergarten explores construction with 5 different materials

A central idea in Kindergarten is that materials can be manipulated to suit a purpose. So, in art class, we take the time to consider the various types of materials that can be used to create artwork — or anything that the children’s minds think up.

Recently, we looked at and touched with our hands some different materials: wood, paper, metal, plastic, and cloth & string.  We discussed what each is made of and from where each materials comes.  Then we looked at some photos and watched a few videos that document the process of making different things: how ore and scrap metal is processes and forged into new metal things (like wire); how cotton becomes cloth and string; how trees are turned into paper. Some of the children had a good amount of knowledge about where things come from and about how they are made.

Presented with some items made from these materials — paper straws and strips, thin colored wire, various sized wooden sticks, colored string, and plastic beads — the students were shown different methods of attaching them together. And then they began to construct their own sculptures with these materials, starting with a single wooden stick hanging on a string from the ceiling, allowing them to work “in the round”.