Archive for Elementary Lesson Plans

Ceramic Frogs

SPED students created these ceramic frogs as we are beginning to think spring!  We first explored what clay is and where its found.  Next, students visited the website of ceramic artist Karen Fincannon.  We talked about how artists use the internet to create an online gallery as a way to share and sell their art.  Next, we discussed how ceramic artworks are 3-Dimensional, and how 3-D works are different from 2-D or flat artworks.  Students then got to work on their frogs.  We worked step-by-step together as we learned how to form clay into a pinch pot, two round spheres, and a worm shape. Using special clay building techniques, we attached all these pieces together to shape our frogs.  Lastly, we used clay tools to carve eyes and toes.  Now, they are ready for the kiln!

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VanGogh Landscapes

2nd grade explored the vibrant landscapes of Vincent Van Gogh.  After looking at several of his famous paintings, we discovered that Van Gogh put many emotions into his artwork.  His best works were painted when he expressed his feelings through is art.  We also noticed the tiny little brush strokes Van Gogh used. When you look closely, the brush strokes just look like little lines, but from far away they give the “impression” of a picture.  That’s why Van Gogh considered an Impressionist artist.

To express ourselves, we thought of our favorite time of year, then decided to create an impressionist landscape of that time.  We had think about all the details, the four parts of a landscape: sky, background, middleground, and foreground.  After drawing our landscape, we Van Gogh’s technique of little brush strokes to add brilliant color.  After trying to make your own Van Gogh landscape, you really appreciate all the hard work he must have done by painting those tiny lines!

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Student Art Displays

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Warm & Cool Pastel Leaves

2nd grade created a unique fall artwork using glue and chalk pastels.  In class we read the book Autumn Leaves, which taught us about many different types of leaves that can be found on trees.  We talked about the types of colors we see in the fall, and why leaves change colors.  After our discussion, we examined a variety of leaves at our tables.  We paid close attention to each part of the leaf; the stem, the veins, and the blade. Then, using chalk we drew a variety of leaves, and traced our lines with glue.  The glue gave our leaves and interesting texture to help our leaves stand out from the artwork. Once the glue was dry, we learned how to used warm and cool colored chalk pastels to fill our fall artwork with color.

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Japanese Sumi-E Landscapes

As first graders learned about Asia in their classrooms, we explored Japanese art in the art room.  We learned the people of Japan really appreciate nature, and it really shows in their art!  To start we learned about the Japanese tea ceremony, and made our own clay tea bowls.  Next, we learned about the ancient form of Japanese painting, Sumi-e brush painting.  We created black and white landscapes using special bamboo sumi-e brush, and black ink.  We experimented with the different brush strokes they used, and learned how the Japanese used only a few brush strokes to represent nature.  To add a finishing touch to our landscapes, we added Japanese characters.

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Greek Pottery Still Lives

In connection with classroom studies of Ancient Greece and Rome, 3rd graders learned about the art of Greek pottery.  We discussed what pottery is, and what it’s made from.  We looked at the ways pottery was decorated in Ancient Greece, and how it was a way to tell important stories of their heroes.  Students also learned about the many shapes  and types of Greek pottery, and how they were used for different purposes.  Looking closely at the parts that make up a pot, students discussed how an artist has to think about these parts when they are designing a piece of pottery.

Students began their still-lives by designing 3-4 pieces of pottery on a folded piece of paper.  Next, they cut their paper out, and opened up their piece to discover they now had a symmetrical piece of pottery.  They added traditional Greek designs and glued them onto a background.  Students talked about overlapping and placing the pottery higher or lower to make them appear closer or further away.  Lastly, students discussed shadows and highlights, and how they help to make art look 3-dimensional.  Using oil pastels, we added the shadows and highlights for a finishing touch.

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Native American Talking Sticks

As 2nd graders learned about Native Americans in the classroom, we explored the art of Native Americans in the Art room.  We learned that a variety of Art was created by the Native Americans such as pottery, beadwork, totem poles, baskets, etc…  However, they created one piece of Art that was more than Art, Talking Sticks.  Talking sticks were used in important gatherings, and only the person holding the talking stick was permitted to speak.  These talking sticks had many unique items decorating the stick.  They used everything from paint, to seashells, to colored beads, to animal fur, to feathers.  Each item was meant to remind the speaker of something important.  Using a variety of materials, students designed their own talking sticks.  We began by painting simple lines, each different line was suppose to represent a part of nature (water, mountians, plants, etc…).   Next, we attached different materials to our sticks, remembering the symbolism behind each item we added.  Lastly, we looked at Native American written symbols, and drew the symbols on our Talking Sticks to add a finishing touch.  Each Talking Stick is truly unique and special to its owner.

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