Grade 3 – Vacation to Mars

20160311_085912It was the beginning of term and a new class of grade 3s walked into my classroom for the first time. What to do with them…

Something fun, something creative and yet something that ties in with their lingering feelings of the holidays…?

I know! They will imagine their family went on vacation to mars and draw some of what they got up to there!

The grade 3s did this with much enthusiasm, first doing an planning sketch in pencil and then completing it in oil pastel. The learners were also given baby oil. The learners smeared the baby oil onto parts of their artworks, reactivating the oil pastel and making it a little like paint on the paper. This was very fun but we found that this techniques does not work very well with detailed areas. It also changes the colour of the paper for a while.

The works the kids came up with were beautiful! They were doing everything from having tea with aliens to surfing in a massive, gravity free, insulated wave generator!

Grade 3 – Earbud Art

004Impressionism was an art movement that was around in the 19th century. It saw artists moving away from a photo realistic representation of forms as they rather sought to express light and its changing qualities. The form this took practically was  artists using their brushes to dab paint onto their canvas rather then stroke the paint on. 003

005In this project, our grade 3s attempted to do something similar. Except that instead of using a brush to do the dabbing, they used earbuds! They were shown some images by Impressionist artists such as Monet and were told the way that Impressionist artists would often ‘mix’ color by dotting different colors next to each other. Thus motivated, the class was excited to get dotting!001They were given pictures of animals to use as reference or merely as inspiration. They began by using the earbuds but were allowed to use brushes as well to finish off. It was a fun project and the work that was produced looks great as you can see!


Grade 3 – Ndebele beaded dolls


The idea behind the first term was to loosely base the grade 3 lessons around African art. In South Africa we have a people group known as the Ndebele. During the Apartheid they were not allowed to communicate in ways they did before. In response to this, the Ndebele developed a way of using beautifully crafted designs, both on the decoration of their abodes and in their bead work to communicate amongst themselves. In this coded, secret language, the colors, and the shapes used, all combined to tell of events (such as marriages), emotions as well as personal prayers.

popklkraleThough this tradition continues in many townships and villages, the artwork is often now sold in craft markets.  They make and sell beaded bracelets and beaded dolls that have a specific meaning.

Made by a learner who is from Korea.
Made by a learner who is from Korea.

After a small introduction to the rich history of these dolls, our grade 3 learners were set to creating their own 2D doll! The learners were not confined by the style of the Ndebele dolls but, after being inspired by them, could depart to follow wherever their imagination would lead them.

A boy who asked to make a boy doll
A boy who asked to make a boy doll

The learners began with an A3 piece of white paper. On this they drew the outlines of the dolls in pencil. They then went over these in black Koki. Finally colouring it in using Kokis. This was then cut out. 2 pieces of coloured sugar paper were given to the learners. From the first, they cut out a background. I suggested that they do two other doll silhouettes but this soon became any cool background that they desired! This they stuck on the second coloured piece of sugar paper before pasting the doll on the top.


Though the process is labourious and does take a while, the end result is well worth it!


Grade 3: Fun with the Grade 3s!

For this lesson, we were looking at different cultures and the masks they made. As we live in SA, we focused on African masks but, as you will see, the kids weren’t limited to this. After showing them a plate that I had made, they were given a clean, brown plate, a cardboard egg holder and access to a selection of cutting, sticking and coloring implements. To finish it off we made a rod to hold the mask in place by tightly rolling a piece of newspaper (Amazingly enough, this works!) IMG_20150313_123848

IMG_20150313_101614  IMG_20150313_123854The next challenge for these CRAZY Grade 3s was to construct the CRAZIEST hats for a Mad Hatter themed lesson! The lesson was introduced by myself, wearing an outlandish, multicolored cap that the kids loved and reading from a per-selected segment of Alice in Wonderland. I then showed them one easy way to make a base for a hat and then set the kids loose on whatever supplies I could find! These CRAZY COOL kids didn’t let me down. I think the mad hatter would be proud to wear any of these fine examples of head ornamentation.

IMG_20150417_101151 IMG_20150417_101144IMG_20150417_101139  IMG_20150417_101133 IMG_20150417_101127