Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kindergarten Does Dine

I needed a quick project for Kindergarten waaaay back in February.  I wanted to do something with hearts to correlate with Hoops for Heart/Jump Rope for Heart the kids were doing in PE.  I managed to do this whole project without mentioning Valentine's Day, I just reminded the students in February we talk about having healthy hearts!
I have seen lots and lots and lots of lessons on Jim Dine so I tried not to look back at the lessons others have used, I wanted to try to come up with my own version.  I did an image search for Jim Dine hearts and the students and I looked at several examples, focusing on the texture he often creates in his artwork.  After the introduction on the first day, I let the students choose a piece of 6x9 inch construction paper in a cool color.  I put markers and crayons at each table and after introducing cool colors, the tables worked together to separate the cool colored supplies.  (I did double check to make sure they didn't have warm colors mixed in.)

Next, I asked the students to do something that I have never ever asked them to do before.

I asked them to scribble all over their papers!  I showed the students that scribbling was going to create really cool visual texture on their papers.  I didn't expect it but I actually had some students resist scribbling.

"But our moms and dads won't like it!"

I promised the students that scribbling was just going to be one part of the project, to create texture, and that we were going to add to the artwork in the next class.  The students scribbled with markers for a few minutes until I told them to stop and then scribbled with crayons on top of that.  I didn't let students finish the scribbling early, though some told me they were done a few times.  I said that the more layers of scribbles, the more interesting the project would look.

In the second class, I passed out paper cut the same size as the scribble drawings.  This is a great time to use up old, faded construction paper!  I showed the students how to fold the paper "hotdog" style, and then demonstrated drawing a candy cane shape starting on the crease and ending on the crease.  The students drew the candy cane (half a heart) with pencil and I checked it to make sure that 1- it was drawn  on the crease not the open side, and 2- it was big enough.  A lot of my students tend to draw really, really tiny, and I knew they would have a hard time cutting a tiny shape and be sad when their hearts were too small to show up on the finished artwork.  Since the students drew in pencil, I used a sharpie to help them fix the shape, if needed, so they could see the new line to cut on.  We were going to use the paper as a stencil to make a heart.  

After the students cut along their lines, many thought the heart shaped paper was the important part and started to throw away the piece we really needed, the rectangle with the heart-shaped hole in it so I had to really watch them!  I asked them to set the heart aside and put the stencil on top of their scribble paper.  I had placed a tray of red tempera paint at each table and showed the class how to brush the paint in towards the middle of the heart so paint would not end up under the paper.  I think I taped the stencil paper down for a few students who were struggling, but most just held it down with one hand and the brush in the other.  On my example, I pointed out how leaving some brush strokes and letting the scribbles show through created even more texture.  When students finished, they brought their papers to me to put on the drying rack, folded their stencils and threw them away, then I let them decorate the hearts that were cut out with crayons until the other students were finished.

I might do this project again next year.  When researching Jim Dine, I was most interested in his drawings of tools.  I decided to do a project with 5th grade inspired by those drawings.  That lesson is coming soon, since "soon" is a relative term!  I still have a bunch of lessons to post so even though after Friday I won't go back to school for approximately 80 days, I will still be blogging this summer.

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