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: