I had decided to start off every grade, K-3, with a line project this year. I was trying to think of places that you find lines in nature and came up with spider webs. My husband was surprised that I chose a spider project since I a have a totally irrational fear of them, but I still think their webs are fascinating even though I find them really creepy!
We started off reviewing line as an Element of Art and listed all the different kinds of lines we could think of. As the students listed, I drew on the line on the board and we all drew in the air with our fingers. Next, we reviewed proper painting technique, I demonstrated, then gave everybody a piece of 8x10 inch black construction paper. While the students wrote their names on the back I passed out white tempera paint and paper towels to each table. If I remember right, I made the students show me their names/teacher code on the back of their papers before I gave them a paintbrush. It is the only way I can make sure they actually write it down!
I asked the students to start by putting a dot somewhere in the middle of their paper. From that dot to the edge, they were supposed to paint 4-6 straight lines to divide the paper into sections for their webs. We talked a lot about how to hold the brush and trying to make long, smooth lines instead of going back and forth and ending up with really thick, fuzzy lines. After the paper was sectioned off, the students filled in each section with a different kind of line. I had showed the students how they could rotate their paper to reach the sections easier and to avoid smearing the wet paint by reaching across and painting at awkward angles. We ended up taking two class periods to paint so everybody had a chance to finish without rushing.
During the third class, we talked about spiders! We discussed that spiders have two sections in their body, eight legs, and eight eyes. I showed the students how a spider's body could be made out of two circles or ellipses. The students went to work cutting shapes from scrap construction paper. They cut shapes for the two sections of the body and legs. After their spiders were glued down, they used construction paper crayons to add details to the spider and bugs caught in the web. Some students had extra time and added even more details with paper, like designs on the body or hats (haha) that were popular in one class. If students missed the second class period, I had them finish their lines with a white construction paper crayon before making the spider.
Check out some of the results below or view the exhibit in our Artsonia gallery!