18 June 2015

Possum Magic Low Prep Craft

One day each week I have the role of supporting other teachers and students within their classrooms. It is a wonderful role and I feel very privileged to be able to spend the day with other teachers and be an active participant in their classroom and pedagogy.

The second grade classroom I visit is always a hive of activity and the classroom displays reflect the teacher's dedication and passion for education. I asked her if I could share some photos from her classroom. Here are some adorable possums her students made after reading Possum Magic by Mem Fox. 

Real foliage has been added to the line where each possum is attached - and the effect is well worth the additional effort.  

This low prep craft was made using paper plates painted with grey paint and template pieces. I do not know the location of the template pieces - perhaps try a google search. 

Hopefully these will inspire you to create some possum magic in your classroom too!

14 June 2015

Seahorse Art Project

Here is a lesson I did in 2014. We did a directed drawing of a seahorse as part of a marine / ocean unit of work. I just directed the students to draw a seahorse using an illustration I found in a picture book - but if you need more step-by-step details, you may find one on Pinterest to assist. 

This lesson is a good example of one where your best laid plans end up changing. We used crepe paper scraps and water to achieve a sea textured background.

My beautiful students ended up experimenting with the crepe paper to find better ways to use it than I had planned. I demonstrated how to create the water effect with strips of paper, and they found that scrunching it, wetting it and dabbing it provided more 'watery' markings. Let your students be creative! They also asked for green paper to create seaweed, which was not in my planning, but I easily accommodated. 

I encouraged the students to fill their seahorse with patterns and fun colours. 

We drew and coloured in one session and did the messy background work to finish in the second session.  

In this photo below you can see that I purchased plastic plant pots to use as water tubs. They are big and have a solid firm base. With all that brush washing and tapping that happens, a solid container works best! 

If you would like my program notes, please find them in Google Drive HERE

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Have a wonderful day! 

07 June 2015

Rainbow Bird Artwork

Last term I did a visual arts lesson with my first graders using the Aboriginal story 'How the Birds got their Colours' as a stimulus. Mary Albert, the author is from the Bardi Language Group in Broome, Western Australia. 

The illustrations in the story are made by children from the same community. I have found that this book always captures the attention of my students and they love the illustrations. For art appreciation I always discuss how the illustrations have been made. We discuss painting in primary colours using a medium sized brush and what effect this has on the artwork. 

We talked about how the paint and brushes do not allow for much fine detail in the art - but how expressive, vibrant and energetic the pictures are. 

We also talk about cleaning our brushes between colours. This is a great art project to establish the classroom routine of using a colour palette and cleaning brushes appropriately. 

I talked the students through how to draw a parrot, using the image on the from cover as an example. We drew a large oval body, then added the semi-circle head followed by the other features and detail. After sketching, I invited students to paint their bird using the paint palettes of primary colours that I distributed. Once dry, we did a pale blue paint wash for the background. 

Here are some of the artworks from our classroom: