Category Archives: 1st

1st Grade: Back In Time

First grade has been learning about art from long ago, starting in the prehistoric period. We discussed the meaning of the word ‘prehistoric’ and took part in some discussions about what life must have been like back then. Then we got to do some projects! Our work mostly focused on cave drawings. The most popular drawing was a group effort done on the wall with chalk. I even turned off the lights and provided them with a pretend fire so that they could experience what it would be like to draw pictures in a dark cave.

Afterwards, we moved on to the art of Egypt. We focused mostly on pharaohs and the gods and goddesses. The big project for Egypt is to trace a life-size image of a person and turn it into a god or goddess. These are still in progress, but I’m really impressed with how good they look already!

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1st Grade: Still Life Spheres

While First grade is a little early to do a real still life, we did a brief project on value and lighting just to get the class ready for next year’s assignments. We did a simple sphere, and I must say that I am very impressed with the results! The class learned the terms right away and were incredibly eager to learn how to do value scales on something other than a bunch of rectangles. Our spheres came out fantastically! They are up in the hallway for everyone to admire.

At the end of our Still Life work, we dove right into portraiture, so the last two pictures are of the class drawing the other students in the room. I loved hearing them discuss the details, like the different shirt styles and hair colors, that make each person look unique.

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1st Grade: Pastel Flowers

The first grade class’s first project is a pastel flower. The flower is made out of folded paper, so we started with a review warm colors and cool colors and a quick course in paper folding. So far, everyone is having a lot of fun coloring with the pastels! Next week, we’ll be gluing the petals together into big flowers, so look out for them in the hallway!

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1st Grade: Coming to a Close

Recently, First Grade got a chance to name their splatter paintings from their Jackson Pollock activity. They named their work and shared with the class why they picked what they did. Most of the names revolved around the color choices and how they made a person feel. I was really happy to see them talking about what they imagined when they looked at the paintings. It’s good practice for deciphering more complex works later on. Afterwards, they started a group project for the different types of art. Each group was given a collection of terms and was asked to create a poster to help them teach the class about their topics. We had Impressionism, Pointillism, De Stijl, Cubism, Cityscape, Landscape, Seascape, Portrait, Self-Portrait, and Still Life. So far, we’ve seen two groups’ presentations and they did wonderfully! I look forward to seeing the next two tomorrow.

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1st Grade: Pollock Paintings

First Grade finally finished up their Op Art illusions this past week. I was incredibly proud of how neatly the class colored in their drawings. They took their time and worked on each tiny section until it was neatly filled in. The illusions look amazing thanks to that hard work!

Our next topic was Splatter Painting. Any time that splatter paintings are mentioned, Jackson Pollock’s name is not far behind. First Grade was really intrigued by his paintings and how he came up with the names for them. They all offered their own suggestions about what they would have named the piece had it been their own creation. Lucky for them, they were about to make TWO Pollock paintings! We started small, with gentle flicks of the paintbrush and simple dripping methods in the classroom. The small paintings were then named by their artists and shared with the class. Next, we went on to a much larger scale. I took the class outside and let them really cut loose with their splatters. Even though we all ended up looking like we’d run through a paint sprinkler, it was a lot of fun, and the paintings came out marvelously. Next week, we’ll be naming them and putting them up for display.

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1st Grade: Studying Styles

First Grade has been covering a series of famous artists and art styles this past month. The first two styles we looked at were Pointillism and Impressionism, which are very similar. Each student was asked to make their own Pointillism creation using only dots (no outlines as guides). The entire paper was to be filled up with dots, so it was quite a task. At first, they request seemed daunting, but as they started to work, they gradually realized it wasn’t so bad, after all. In fact, these became one of the most popular drawings of the year! For Impressionism, students drew The Starry Night completely on their own. I provided a picture reference and a brief reminder about using short dashes, not scribbles, and then let them at it! The images were amazing! Like with Pointillism, they were a bit alarmed to be given free-reign, but once they gave it a try, they realized that they were more than capable of drawing the picture all by themselves.

After that, we took a look at Piet Mondrian and his Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow. The most important features of his work are his color choices and his attention to detail, so we made a point out of learning to use a ruler to draw perfectly vertical and horizontal lines by lining the ruler up with the edge of the paper. Once the lines were drawn, it was smooth sailing for the coloring part.

And finally, we looked at Picasso’s cubism portraits. It was a nice break from the very strict rules of Mondrian’s art, since the cubism faces aren’t supposed to look perfect, and they offer a huge span of color choices. These should be done later this week, so in the meantime, stay tuned!

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1st Grade: Thinking Big

First Grade has been studying Ancient Egypt for the past few weeks. While looking at the great pyramids and the Sphinx, we did a landscape collage of the Egyptian desert. It was a mix of paint, torn paper, cut-out camels, and pyramids. As an added bonus, we also looked at how objects that are closer to us are larger, and ones that are farther away are smaller.

After completed our landscapes, we started the final project for Ancient Egypt: life-size Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. The class split up into groups and picked a God or Goddess from a list. Then, they traced someone from the group as a starting point for their drawings. From there, they’ve been working to draw in the details and add color, bringing their gigantic drawings to life.

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