Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Elementary Fruit and Vegetable Art

 Some big news at our elementary school last spring was getting approval to start a garden! The students had researched and made a presentation to the school board and were raising money for supplies. I gave the students the option of making art to promote the garden in the last couple weeks of school. 

I encouraged the 5th graders to think of puns for garden produce...

For 4th graders I printed off pages from a public domain gardening book and they drew or painted on top, letting the text show through...

And 3rd graders were shown examples of collage

Almost every student chose to make something "to help the garden". I'm excited about the potential for observational drawings and maybe even making some outdoor art to go around the garden in the future!

Friday, August 6, 2021

7th Grade Weather Data Visualization

This unit was super fun and one that I would definitely do again! This spring I needed to structure my middle school classes a lot differently due to seeing the students every other day so I was basically coming up with all new lessons. I found out that they were going to be doing a weather unit in science and after a workshop on data visualization at the Virtual NAEA Convention it all came together!

We started by watching the Art Made of Storms TED Talk by artist Nathalie Miebach and discussed how she turned different points of data into visual elements. The students brainstormed and selected two different pieces of weather-related data they could collect based on their observations of our weather over the month of April. I gave them a few minutes at the beginning of each class to track their data.

In May, the students explored more artists whose work visualizes data and came up with a plan for a work of art. Their artwork was only limited to available materials in the classroom or from home. It was really fun to see all the different solutions

This student tracked the temperature and her mood
 then made the piece below.

This student used the transparency of the paint to express one of her data points.

The color of each ring on the shirt represents the temperature range.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Mixed Media & Digital Postage Stamp Artwork

Here's another lesson that is planned for half hands-on in my classroom and half computer-based when the students were in another room. This would work for a hybrid situation!

The students all got the same basic information to start with- the history of postage stamps and videos about the art and design of stamps. 

Next, the students in my classroom chose one or more vintage postage stamps and came up with an idea for how to incorporate them into a work of art! Any two-dimensional media was allowed and a lot of students tried new processes. Some also incorporated vintage photos that I saved from a dumpster.

Here are some photos of the hands-on artwork!

Here is some of the digital artwork:

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Non-Traditional Mosaic 2 Ways

In the spring semester, I had too many 7th graders to fit in my room and follow Covid protocols. The solution was to divide them into two groups and they would switch every other day between my room and another teacher with a free period's classroom. I had the choice of synchronous or asynchronous and decided that I would rather do asynchronous than try to teach on zoom and in my classroom at the same time. I tried to design a digital project for the group in the other classroom that would coordinate with what was happening in the art room. We weren't able to get as much choice as a normal semester but I think it was the best solution given the circumstances.

This is one example from 7th grade art! The digital project was a Google Drawing mosaic and the project in my room was a paint chip mosaic collage. Below are some of the digital mosaic artworks:

This also reminds me I need to send pictures to the local farm and home that donated all the paint chips! I saw an old display and asked if they were getting rid of it. They gave me a whole bag full of outdated chips!

The mosaic collages proved to be a challenge for some students mainly with time management. Some didn't quite pay attention to the size suggestion and cut their paint chips too small or chose an image that was too detailed. The students who put in the effort to finish did an awesome job.
Students could choose any color background that would show through as the "grout". I tried to use rail board or something sturdy when we could.