Sunday, March 18, 2012

State "Space" Symbol Drawings

 There were lots of "S" words involved in this 2nd grade lesson. The Shape of our State was used as the base. The students learned about Space (not outer) and chose to draw at least 5 Kansas Symbols in either the positive or negative space.
One Kansas Farmer: A Kansas Number Book (Count Your Way Across the USA) (Discover America State by State)
In the 1st class period, we read part of One Kansas Farmer, focusing on the symbols for our state like the Sunflower, Cottonwood Tree, Ornate Box Turtle, Meadowlark, Buffalo, Tiger Salamander, and the Honey Bee. We talked about how other things not in the book could be symbols like our capital building and wheat. 
We hadn't talked much about "Space" before so I introduced positive and negative space. I like to stand like a statue with my hand on my head so I can point out that the statue (my body) is positive space and the space around me, as well as the "hole" between my arm and my body are negative space. I showed a piece of paper with the shape of the state of Kansas printed on it and the students identified the shape as positive space and the empty border as negative.

I told the students they would be choosing positive or negative to work in and showed examples of filling the chosen space with symbols. I had lots of pictures printed off for the students to reference at each table. They all "got" the positive/negative space idea, the only challenge was getting them to fill the space. We all know it's tricky to get students to draw big- some would draw their 5 symbols then tell me they were done even though they needed to add more to fill in the gaps.

In the 2nd class, the students used Color Sticks and colored pencils to fill in their drawings. I think that I added a 3rd class period for some classes when the schedule allowed it. When the students finished coloring, they cut out their drawings and glued to a bigger piece of paper. The drawings were started on copy paper so I could reproduce the shape of the state so this step added some stability. I did not tell the students their states needed to face the proper direction, mostly because I didn't think about it in time. Some put their states the "right" way, some just turned the shapes however they wanted.

 Students who finished early wrote artist statements about their work before moving on to free draw. One of the 2nd graders told her teacher this was "The BEST Art project ever!" Kids are so easy to please. :)

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