Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lessons from the archives...5th grade

So, life caught up with me back in the spring and posting came to a screeching halt.  To make up for slacking off, a bit, I offer some snapshots from my art lessons last spring.  It is really a few months ago, but with the new year starting, and as art teachers prepare their lesson plans here are some ideas....? :)
Or at least one.

 Understanding Modern Art by Connecting to Not-So Modern Art

5th grade students explored the world of Modern Art and tried to make some sort of sense of it.  This extensive and in-depth lesson started with looking at 18th-19th century American still life paintings.  They were beautiful, realistic and perfect.  Well...What happened?  In the early 20th century, a big art show made an enormous splash on the east coast, altering and questioning Art.  What changed?  Why?  Who?
These questions engaged my students' thinking and challenged their perception of art and paintings.  

My challenge was finding a way for my students to make connections and understandings.  We talked about and experimented with deconstructing a 'realistic' painting by using shapes, colors, lines and "blocking out".  This process really loosened up the students' thinking and eased them into seeing the elements of art appear out of nowhere and everywhere.

One of their experiments became their large scale paintings.  To add to their challenge, they were only to use paintbrushes.  This might sound silly, calling it a challenge, but consider how reliant students are on their pencils and erasers.  There is a sense of security with a tool that is erasable.  "Taking their pencils away" slowed their process and elevated their thinking, forcing each student to consider very carefully where that paint was going to go.
The artroom transformed into an art studio, in which students used every space possible to paint.  From tables, to easels, to the floor, students found their comfort zone.

The results were remarkable.

(lesson power point :-) )

More from the archives soon.
Have a great year!
xoxo, SMocK you.