1st Grade completes their Living Things sculptures

The 1st graders are now winding down their first unit, which was focused on the environment and the living things within it. It also had them consider the Central Idea that people have an impact on the environment, that many living creatures are affected by the decisions that human beings make about the environment. Each student finished turning his or her large 2-dimensional drawing & painting into a 3-dimensional sculpture, using scrap newspaper, staples, paint, and a variety of other materials.

All of these creatures are now displayed in the upstairs hallway outside the 1st grade classrooms in the K-1 building. The students hope you will come visit their jungle! And if you have your smartphone with you, click on the QR code displayed below each child’s sculpture and you will be able to hear each student’s critique of his or her artwork. The first graders are improving their ability to use technology to help them share their learning.

5th Graders communicate ideas about peace & conflict

Earlier in their homeroom classes, the 5th graders addressed the central idea that “conflict affects lives” by looking at how each student manages situations of conflict and interpersonal problems. And so in art class, we were taking this opportunity to create self-portraits that express each person’s understanding or belief about this theme.

Students chose two of three possible approaches — drawing, painting, collage — to communicating their particular belief or understanding about peace and conflict resolution. The students were also required to use text (words or sentences) in addition to imagery in their picture. Early on, students were instructed in ways of observing themselves in mirrors and depicting their faces by drawing, although the amount and type of drawing in this project is entirely up to each student (some chose to represent themselves realistically, others in an abstract manner, and others as a cartoon).

After completing their artworks, the students reflected on their ideas, their process, and their finished self-portraits, addressing the following prompts:

  • What are you communicating about peace and/or conflict in your drawing?
  • What are your symbols? What do they mean?
  • What did you learn by doing this project?
  • What could you have done better? What would you do differently if you could?

Grade 1 students create an environmental treasure

In their homeroom classes, the First Graders are studying the rights and responsibilities of people and living things — looking at how people have an impact on the environment. With Ms. Robidoux and Ms. Saito the students are discussing and considering our natural environment as well as the impact of the choices people make on that environment. And so in art class we have learned about sculpting and drawing living things (animals, insects, fish, birds, and so on) so as to transform to our upstairs hallway outside the classrooms. The first grade students are now embarking on the creation of large, three-dimensional paper sculptures of their favorite living creatures, and it is these sculptures — these treasures — which will fill the hallway.

The following video shows the process the 1st graders — and all ES students — use to become proficient at drawing what they see.  Limited to 10 minutes, the video is a basic overview and does not cover all the finer points of observational drawing. Students who are practicing at home with this 3-step drawing process are encouraged to bring their drawing to Mr. Reed for discussion, suggestions, and “next step” ideas!

how to draw what you see from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

We’ve also read the book The Butterfly’s Treasure (by Schim Schimmel), observing the realistic illustrations and following the old monarch butterfly’s journey around the world as he discovers a particular treasure that exists here on earth. The students have had a variety of reactions to what the butterfly saw on his flight to different parts of the earth. We also had an opportunity to look at photographs of various living things and of the environments that they live in, and the students had the chance to observe and comment on how human beings can affect the natural environment and why they do so.

The Butterfly’s Treasure storybook cover by this blogger Aaron Reed – you are free to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt the work

Currently, the students are in the process of turning their large 2-dimensional drawings into 3-dimensional sculptures of each student’s favorite creature — using pencils, paper, paint, newspaper, and staples. Over these weeks the young Grade 1 artists have been learning to express their opinions about art and to engage with and to enjoy a variety of visual art experiences. Soon, we will turn the 1st grade hallway into our imaginary natural environment, filled with “treasures”: animals, fish, bird, and insects. The students hope you will then come visit and see these treasures.

Grade 5 students begin self-portraits

In their homeroom classes, the 5th graders have been addressing the central idea that “there are many ways to create peaceful solutions to conflict” by looking at: personal experiences with conflict and how each student manages situations of conflict and interpersonal problems. And so in art class, we are taking this opportunity to create self-portraits that express either each person’s experience with conflict or a his/her belief about some other conflict in the world.

At the beginning investigation stage, students were instructed in different ways of observing themselves in mirrors and depicting their faces by drawing, with a focus on observing and looking more at the subject (i.e. their faces) than at their paper/drawing.

Students then brainstormed some ideas by writing down thoughts and words and by sketching the images that come to mind when they think about ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’ and ‘solving problems’.

 

As they move to the planning stage, students each decide exactly what his/her goal is, what it is he/she wants to communicate about conflict or peace. Then they begin to consider the composition of their self-portrait: where will the different elements (such as their own face) be places on their paper? Where and what kind of other images, colors, and words be created?

Students will incorporate both drawing (pencil) and collage (magazines primarily) to represent their own faces and to communicate their particular belief or understanding about peace and conflict resolution. And they will have to incorporate some type(s) of symbols — images, colors, facial expression, lines, for example — to help communicate their ideas. The students are also required to use text (words or sentences) in addition to imagery in their picture.

Currently, students are finishing up their plans and beginning to draw, paint, and collage their final version of their self-portraits.

First week of Art Class in 2013-14

The beginning week of school is behind us, and most of the ES students have come to the art studio for the first time. Kindergarten and Grade 1 will have their first class starting in Week 2, although some of the kindergarten students were kind enough to come upstairs to meet Mr. Reed and to see their new art studio.

Grades 2 – 5 enjoyed the incredible picture book ‘Chalk’ (see it in the YIS Library!) and then each had a warm-up art activity to get their brains and eyes and hands ready for the upcoming Unit 1 projects. Grade 2 worked with plasticine (playdough) in anticipation of their ‘Where We Are In Place And Time’ clay portrait project. Grade 3 were challenged to create paper sculptures as they prepare for their ‘Who We Are’ 3-D sculptural project. Grade 4 played with abstract designs in creating patterns as they look forward to their ‘Where We Are In Place And Time’ wearable fabric project. And Grade 5 drew two self-portraits (one with a mirror and one without) in preparation for their ‘Sharing The Planet’ project on conflict resolution.

You can see some of the children at work here over the past several days:

3rd Graders complete their environmentally-aware comic strips

The 3rd graders have completed their comic strips which follow along with their unit on recycling, reusing, and waste — the central idea of which is that the choices people make as they buy and consume things can lead to the creation of waste. Each student’s personalized comic strip reflects some aspect of their understanding about the effects of consumption, recycling, littering, or creating waste.

The 3rd graders wrote and sketched as methods of brainstorming ideas, developed simple story lines, created rough sketches in pencil, and have now completed their final versions in pencil, ink, and colored pencil. The students are primarily focused on line, color, and balance in the development of their comic strip creations — aiming to make their images and words clear so that their audience understands their intent.

Here are some photos of the finished comic strips and the students in action:

5th Grade continues their expressive self-portraits on Peace & Conflict Resolution

Earlier in their homeroom classes, the 5th graders addressed the central idea that “there are many ways to create peaceful solutions to conflict” by looking at how each student manages situations of conflict and interpersonal problems. And so in art class, we were taking this opportunity to create self-portraits that express each person’s understanding or belief about this theme.

We had to put this project on hold recently so as to focus on the visual preparations for their PYP Exhibition presentations.

Students were incorporating both drawing (pencil) and collage (magazines primarily) to represent their own faces and to communicate their particular belief or understanding about peace and conflict resolution. The students were also required to use text (words or sentences) in addition to imagery in their picture. Early on, students were instructed in ways of observing themselves in mirrors and depicting their faces by drawing, although the amount and type of drawing in this project is entirely up to each student.

We will continue on with this project following the Exhibition on April 23-24.

Here are the students in action:

3rd Graders create comic strips about recycling, reusing, and waste

Following along with their unit on recycling, reusing, and waste — the central idea of which is that the choices people make as they buy and consume things can lead to the creation of waste — the third graders have been working in art class to create personalized comic strips. Each student’s strip reflects some aspect of their understanding about the effects of consumption, recycling, littering, or creating waste. Though most students are creating humorous comics, some are dramatic, others scary or true-to-life.

The 3rd graders wrote and sketched as methods of brainstorming ideas, developed simple story lines, created rough sketches in pencil, and are now completing final versions in pencil, ink, and colored pencil. The students are primarily focused on line, color, and balance in the development of their comic strip creations — aiming to make their images and words clear so that their audience understands their intent.

Here are some photos of the comic strips in progress and the students in action:

5th Graders express beliefs via self-portraiture (and graffiti)

In their homeroom classes, the 5th graders have been addressing the central idea that “there are many ways to create peaceful solutions to conflict” by looking at how each student manages situations of conflict and interpersonal problems. And so in art class, we are taking this opportunity to create self-portraits that express each person’s understanding or belief about this theme.

Students are incorporating both drawing (pencil) and collage (magazines primarily) to represent their own faces and to communicate their particular belief or understanding about peace and conflict resolution. The students are also required to use text (words or sentences) in addition to imagery in their picture. Previously, students were instructed in ways of observing themselves in mirrors and depicting their faces by drawing, although the amount and type of drawing in this project is entirely up to each student.

Additionally, as some students have shown an interest in graffiti (see one of the videos we watched below), we have begun a 1×2 meter collaborative graffiti drawing. On a large paper on the wall, students take turns drawing for 5 minutes each with a black marker. The guidelines are: 1. draw locally 2. draw what you know 3. do not deface others’ art 4. no stick figures.

See the students at work here on both the self-portraits and the graffiti drawing:

Graffiti video of artist team “Mulheres Barbadas” (the Bearded Ladies):

MB @ Nova SP – MIS / SP from Mulheres Barbadas on Vimeo.

5th Graders focus on self-portraiture and observation

Having completed their Impressionism-inspired paintings before the winter holidays, the fifth graders have been spending some time focused intensely on themselves — in a very artistic manner, that is.

In preparation for their next project (a self-portrait drawing & collage piece on the theme of Peace and Conflict Resolution), the students have been warming up by doing some drawing focused on getting them to learn to look closely. Keen observation is one of the keys to drawing-what-you-see, and so the 5th graders spent some time doing blind contour drawings of themselves, of each other, and of their teacher. This activity challenges a person to draw while looking only at the subject, not at the paper, training the eyes to look closely at contours (edges) while the hand learns to follow along with the gaze. Later, the students did some modified blind contour drawings and then began doing some self-portrait practice which aimed to help them locate the features of their face both in the correct place and in proportion to one another.

Here is the video the students watched to learn about how to create their blind contour drawings:

Here is the video that showed the students how to modify the above method to create a more realistic self-portrait from observation: