Pre-Preppers: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

To celebrate the new year, the PrePreppers did colorful fireworks paintings with forks. They got to spread around the paint to decorate the night sky before gluing little buildings and city lights onto their creations.

After our fireworks were done, we started a long project to welcome in our new PrePreppers. The book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was a good starting point for color lessons, so we read it together. Following story time, we started making our own book! Each day, we painted a different color from the book. I then cut out the animal that matched that color and let each of my friends glue their own personally painted animal into their little book. In about two more weeks, we’ll have an entire Brown Bear book ready to take home to enjoy. However, that’s a lot of painting back-to-back, so we also took breaks to color and glue shapes periodically to keep the enthusiasm fresh.



Preppers: Mix and Match

For the past two weeks, the Prepper class has been looking at how colors can be mixed to create new colors. For green, I just let them do a full page of mix-as-you-may, with blue and yellow paints at their disposal. This individual discovery was very exciting, as their previously yellow paint suddenly turned green! For the purple mix, we made snowflakes with watercolors, using red and blue paint. This project took a little longer, since we had to wait for the snowflakes to dry before we saw the colors change, but their enthusiasm wasn’t dulled at all from the wait. It just meant they got to get excited all over again on day two! While waiting for a turn to paint, we also had Play-Doh and stencils out for everyone to enjoy. The alphabet stencil was by far the most popular one on the table.


PreK: Carr and Kandinsky

PreK has been busily adding to their collections of famous artwork. We took a peek at Emily Carr’s tree paintings and did both paintings and drawings of our own forests. The key to it all was using different types of lines, and we talked about how the shorter lines gave better results than the long ones when it came to leaves.

Next was the infamous Kandinsky. We worked hard to create our own circle drawings based off of his paintings. But that was only the preliminary project. Once everyone got a hold on what Kandinsky circles looked like, we started a big group project. Everyone got a large sheet of construction paper with 5 circles drawn on it. Once all the circles were cut out, we sat in a big circle and traded colors until everyone had a stack of circles that didn’t have a single duplicate color in it. These will be glued onto a tree and put up in the hall for everyone to admire. The PreK 2 class already has theirs up, and PreK 1 will be ready for display on Wednesday.




Kindergarten: Piles of Prints

For the past couple of weeks, the Kindergarten class has been learning about printmaking. We talked about the process of making the Great Wave off Kanagawa, and then did a quick test run using two sheets of paper. One sheet was the “block” and the other was the “print.” Though it was messy, it was met with great enthusiasm. So I broke out the styrofoam and we started making some real blocks. The first set of blocks could be anything they wanted it to be. We had everything from flowers to tigers to self-portraits. We then used brayers and paint to coat our blocks like giant stamps. The printing process went smoother for some than others, but everyone had a lot of fun trying, even when the prints didn’t come out clearly. The second set of blocks was carved as a class, where we all drew castles. These came out better than the first set, since we had already had some practice. There are a few of the clearer prints up in the art room, and all of the blocks are up on display, so be sure to drop in and take a look!


1st Grade: Cavemen Coloring Lessons

The 1st Grade class has been learning about the Prehistoric era in art class. To get a feel for how art back then was created, we did a couple of different activities. The first was a rock drawing. I gave each student a slab of stone, a piece of chalk, and a crash course in drawing horses and bulls like the cavemen did, and then I set them loose to create! There was only one catch: there were no lights. Since the cavemen didn’t have any lights in their caves, we worked only by the light of the window and of an iPad I set on the back table. The kids really got a kick out of that, and also got a much better understanding of how difficult it would be to do a cave drawing. But even without lights, their drawings still came out wonderfully. I’ve posted a few pictures of the rocks as examples. The next day, we did a wall drawing with chalk. Going in groups of 4, everyone worked together to decorate our wall with handprints, animals, and people doing what they thought the cavemen would be doing. Our wall even featured some weather elements, like a thunder storm, with people in caves getting warm by a fire. I really applaud the students’ creativity! Finally, we played a game of Pictionary. I divided the class into two groups that would play independent from each other. In each group, one person would draw a story on a white board. The rest of the team had to guess the story. I asked them to think like cavemen, and draw stories about what the cavemen would have been doing. My favorite drawing was of a child in a cave waiting for the parents to hunt down supper. This week, we’ll be starting our lessons on Egypt, but I think we’ll leave the cave wall up for a while longer for everyone to enjoy.


2nd/3rd Grade: Birds of a Feather

As our individual abstraction projects came to a close, the 2nd and 3rd grade class started working on a group abstraction project. It features a poster board-sized bird divided into sections, and a stack of small wooden “feathers.” Each student got a section of the bird and a set of 5 feathers to paint with designs of their choice. I think the feathers are the students’ favorite section of the piece, but the bird looks pretty magnificent too. Once we actually glue down the feathers, it will be complete, and then we’ll be moving on to a totally new topic.


4th Grade: Illuminated Alphabet

The past two weeks have been spent on the Middle Ages in the Fourth Grade class. We’ve started with illuminated letters, and the original plan was just to do the first letter of the first name for each student. However, after we got started, there were several requests to do the entire alphabet. So we did! We’re over half way through now and will probably finish it this week. So far, we have several dragons, flowers, swords, landscapes, and even an ogre decorating our alphabet.