To continue with the theme of foreign cultures I had been planning to make ancient Greek and Roman urns with the grade 6s. Just before I presented the class though I found something which I thought would go down better with this group of learners. I found pictures of some really funky creatures made from paper mache!
For our funny creatures, we took a balloon which was the base of the head. We then stuck on some bottle caps and other protrusions for eyes and horns, legs and ears etc. You can also create some of these using the paper mache itself and forming it into a horn etc. We then covered our balloons with paper mache. A number of learners were unfortunate to pop their balloons but all of us eventually got our balloons covered.
We allowed it to dry for a week before coming back and painting our creatures in bright, funky colours!
This year the grade 6s had other cultures as a soft theme in art. In celebration of Chinese new year in the first term I decided the grade 6s should make something to celebrate! I found very nice ideas online. One idea was to make a four part dragon using split pins so that it could still move.
I found images of Chinese dragons and a little video clip of the dance of the dragon taking place (they all recognized it from Kung Fu Panda). They then made their four parts of the dragon: head, two middle parts and tail. To save on paper I asked them to work in pairs. They then used off cuts to add decoration onto their dragons.
Finally we added sticks onto them so that the learners could control them!
Andy Warhol was an artist that I felt my grade 7s could connect with. He was an art superstar from the last century who was super controversial and super interesting. We began this lesson with an intro to Warhol and his work and watched a pretty cool short clip that I found on youtube, showing Andy working on his Marilyn Monroe screen print artwork. This (and other similar artworks) was to form the basis of this art project.
I had already printed out black and white photocopies of all of the staff of Camps Bay Primary that we use in front of the office. Each learner was given one printout. The learners could use various techniques to edit each printout by adding colour and darkening lines. The first technique used by most of the learners was using oil pastel over the black and white face/hair etc. of the member of staff and then taking tissue paper and removing as much of it as possible. What you get is a softer colour that remains on the white areas of the page but where the black is printed, it cannot be seen.
Following Warhol’s style, the learners were encouraged to use bright colours and bold lines. They painted the background behind their member of staff using solid colour. They were then given two square pieces of cardboard, one coloured/black and the other slightly larger one, white. They used these to make a funky border for their artwork.
There was a little uncertainty about whether the staff would be happy to have the artworks up in the school exhibition but they were very supportive! The project was great fun.
This is a very nice, simple project which the learners loved! It was also nice because the learners got to work in pairs if they wanted.
They began by learning about warm and cold colours and how warm and cold colours placed next to each other can create a lot of contrast. They then had to choose a simple picture with an animal/creature featuring in it. The initial idea was for the learners to just use a sea scene with a sea turtle and perhaps some fish but (as always) the children were not happy to be limited like that. 🙂
I had to keep reminding them of the importance of keeping their scene simple however and the importance of using either hot colours in the foreground animal etc. and cold in the background or visa versa.
We worked on an A2 piece of black paper. They began by sketching their creature and other elements. They then took paint, swirled their brush through this and then made a swirl of colour on their artwork. I showed them that mixing other colours into their base colours can create interest. For example, a purely red turtle might look a little boring compared to a red turtle with swirls of yellow into the red on the side where the sun would be hitting it and swirls of purple into the side that would be in shadow.
This project was very fun! The idea came from this site. The learners started with a rectangular piece of tinfoil. I showed them how they could cut the one side once in the middle and the other side twice so that the tinfoil was in thirds. You then use the side with one cut to make two legs and the side with two cuts to make the arms and head of your person. Its a very simple and fun way to make a simple figure! While it is tinfoil the learners can move it in any way they want!
The introduction and making of this tinfoil person took us one lesson so we had to put on a tag so we knew who’s was who’s and then leave the rest till the next week.The following week we took strips of newspaper and covered our figure with papier mache. Some learners added extra details such as clothing to their creations. This we had to set aside for another week.
The final week we painted our figures.
I have done one lesson on perspective with the grade 7s of last year. I found that teaching the basics of linear perspective is very challenging!
I was searching the web, looking for ideas of how to teach perspective simply when I stumbled upon this page on smart class. It basically looks to simplify one point perspective down to its most raw essentials and then create a simple landscape using perspective.
I began with a power point where I introduced perspective in general and showed some exciting examples of how it can be used. I then explained one point perspective and went on to describe the actual artwork.
They by drawing a horizontal line across the middle of the page.They drew a dot towards the center of this page. They then drew lines from each of the corners of the page to the dot. I explained that they now had a vanishing point with what could be a road or a river and guidelines for the rest of the scene.
The learners then created buildings and trees using pencil. This was coloured in using a medium of the learner’s choice. The grade 6s really enjoyed the project! I had estimated 2-3 weeks but it went on to be 3-4 weeks with a few of the learners still not finishing! We had a lot of flus going around this term so that probably contributed to the slowness of some.