Tuesday, November 27, 2012

leaving France, family trees, monsters, graffiti and the IAEA Conference....3 weeks later.

HIGHLIGHTS: Well.....it's a bit hard to try and think back to all the wonderful things that happened in the past 3 weeks but there is a moment, just recently, that I will treasure forever.  Along with every other activity, event and surprise at school, we had parent-teacher conferences this week.  As I was sitting at my desk, working on a new unit, Gracie, her mom and sister walk in.  Gracie (Grace-really) was holding a rolled up heavy piece of paper with a big bow around it.  Gracie is in 2nd grade and has been working on her Klimt "MY Tree of Life"---painting and swirling and adding her family snap shots.  Well, Gracie hands me this big rolled up canvas and says, "I made you a gold tree so you can have one for your family."  Christmas came really early....                                        sorry Mr. Turkey.

I presented at the annual IAEA Conference, which was super!  Back in the spring I was asked to create a lesson based on the photography of June Farley, targeting middle school students and curriculum.  I have to say, I can create lessons all day.  I love it.  So, I presented what I cam up with using the concept of identity as a platform and collage, image transfer and text as the process.  The lesson was called Layers of Me: Exploring Identity and it encouraged the students to reflect on who they are....and then who they REALLY are;-)

This was the painting in the book
The Scream by Edvard Munch
First Grade: Always SCREAMing about something....                                                                                                    Continuing with Anna's Art Adventure...little Anna slips on a mysterious red dress only to discover that everything had changed....  She meets a mysterious man waiting for his model, Mr. Edvard Munch.  Munch is a great artist to engage students in conversation.  Although his paintings are a bit on the spooky side, these first graders spent about 45 minutes (that's right--45 minutes) looking and talking about various paintings by Munch.  One of his most famous and popular is "The Scream" painted in 1893.  It is thought that Mr. Munch seemed to always have bad dreams, but instead of telling someone about them he created paintings to make him feel better.  We started with sharing something that make us scream....
student screaming about something
Tar Beach quilt
First/Second Bilingual: Dreaming of going places on Tar Beach After drawing and creating our grand cities, we explored the New York City through the eyes of Cassy Louise Lightfoot as she magically flew around Tar Beach, a story by Faith Ringgold. HIGHLIGHT: After reading the story, I had my students close their eyes and dream of a place they wanted to go.  Of course, we had the classics:  Burger King, China Buffet, Walmart, but there was one young girl who brought tears to my eyes....literally.  "I want to go to Mexico to go to my grandma's grave".....choked up is an understatement.  
We started our drawing exploration by first finding our middle....the belly button.  We folded our drawing paper to emulate our bodies folding at our belly buttons (yes, we actually did some forward bends) and drew ourselves with square-ish/oval-ish bodies.  We tried very hard to draw what we were wearing and not to forget our noses ;-)

finishing off the our outfit
Second Grade putting the family in our "Trees of Life" This project about a swirly tree became an extra special lesson on the people that make us....us.  Amongst the swirls of gold, the sequined patterns and the midnight blue skies, we discovered our families, nestled in the branches.  From moms to dads, to sisters and brothers, to grandmas and grandpas, to our loyal dogs, fish and hamsters....they all had their place.

Third Grade:  Au revoir Pari.....
It was time to send off the suitcases to Yianna and Helios and wait to see where we land next!  After finishing off the amazing Cezanne-ish paintings, each student wrote a thank you postcard to the wonderful kids roaming around world, sending them suitcases.  The postcards were the most enlightening part to this unit because they really expressed honest reactions, questions and sentiments about what they learned.  

Highlight:  "Bon jour Yianna and Helios, Thank you for the stuff you brout us to use to do art whork. Thank you also for the cookies.  We learned about Paul Cezzane, that he gave some apples to his friend cause they were bulling him."---from a postcard.
Of course, Helios had to respond to a couple of postcards which will probably cause some sort of commotion this week.  And if you are really reading this blog....extra points and a great big SMocK if you know where the postcards were sent.....;-)

Fourth Grade:  Popping in with Andy Warhol

Our next suspect is the most famous artist Andy Warhol.  Apparently, he has been going around New York City, taking pictures of popular people and re-coloring them all in the name of art.  Andy Warhol is really a great artist to introduce color theory and screen printing!!!  Super fun.  We first took the day to investigate Andy Warhol, his style and his process, followed by an activity that involved snippets of music and his Camouflage.

In the following weeks, we will be preparing our screens, learning the science of seeing color and manipulating the photographs of some popular people.... all in the name of Pop Art.

Fifth Grade:  old school remixes....

These old school graffiti writers are really doing a great job with their lettering and designs.  To add the incredible fun we are having, I threw in a bit of old school 80's hip hop music....I should be honest and say....it really was because I'm a Fly Girl at heart ;-)
Highlight:  "Mrs. Angelopoulos, can you play that song you like again...."----of course I can.
Sixth Grade:  Practicing Contour Drawing....
It was really awesome....but no pictures :-(  The highlight for the sixth graders is the quiet that falls over the room as they sit concentrating on every bend and fold in their drawings of candy wrappers.  Snap shots in the next update!!!

See back in the SMocKroom!