In our first unit of inquiry, the Kindergarten students have been looking at the concept of Change and how personal journeys show the way that people change and can lead to new opportunities. We are looking at how our artwork changes and grows over time, from ELC last year, to Kindergarten this year, and on to Grade 1 next year.
In the artistic journey that these young artists have begun, they have
drawn & painted their own self-portraits from observation
observed and discussed different artists’ self-portraits
experimented with a variety of lines, shapes, colors, tools, materials, and processes in creating personal 3-D crowns
begun making choices about artworks based on personal preferences and interests.
We aim to enjoy experiencing artworks, to show curiosity and ask questions about them, and to realize that our artwork has meaning.
At the same time, the students are becoming familiar with the elementary school art studio, learning what and where our materials and tools are, and practicing being responsible, cooperative classmates in storing artwork properly and cleaning up our workspaces.
As the second graders near the completion of their clay “cultural portraits”, they will soon be attaching their creations to a base, to a rectangular slab of clay. In order to affix the two pieces together securely, they will need to SCORE and SLIP the clay. The following video is being used in class to assist the students in understanding this process (one which is used in many types of ceramic work, particularly in the slab construction process).
Our students create a variety of 3-dimensional projects and sculptures, and sometimes we work with clay.
Clay is a natural material found in the earth. In order to keep the clay moist (slightly wet) and plastic (soft and pliable for easy modeling and shaping), it is important to take care of the clay. Clay dries out slightly while we work on it and will dry completely if left exposed to the air for long enough.
In between classes — when the children are not working on their projects — we keep their clay sculptures moist and plastic by storing them in plastic bags. The following video demonstrates how the children take care of their artwork at the end of each art class and how they should store clay if they use it at home.
Our art studio is a shared space where we all work on creative, fun, and sometimes messy artwork. Each week 230 students come through the studio to learn about and make art; on a single day, as many as 80 students have art class!
The reason that the room and our tables are so clean when you come to art class is that the previous class did such a good job of cleaning up their projects and materials. If you arrive and the tables are wet or there is glue or papers or pastels all over the tables, then you know the previous students didn’t do a very good clean-up job.
Painting is especially wet and messy, and so all the ES students will be watching the following video (kindergarten and 5th grade have already seen it) which demonstrates how to clean up the art studio at the end of a painting class.
I should note that the kindergarten students and the 5th graders did a fine job of cleaning up after painting this week!