I didn't always teach kindergarten. They added kindergarten hap-hazardly in my old district. They never had a full plan of what art would look like, much less a curriculum in place. When I moved to a new district there was a curriculum but only 30 minutes a week to get through it.
Those first weeks in kindergarten are tough, for the homeroom teacher and specials teachers. Those kinders have a difficult time lining up, much less getting supplies in and put back in 30 minutes time. I have found over the years that a consistent activity for the first three weeks helps introduce routines, teach concepts, and reinforce classroom management.
Inspired by Keith Haring I designed a small book that we complete over a series of three weeks that helps me get to know the kiddos and assess their fine motor skill level. I write each student's name in bubble letters on the cover and have the students complete the character to look like them. In the weeks following; we draw, color, and chat about art in and out of our room. The book is a great way to remind students (and me!) where they sit and teach routine.
SCribd changed their policies awhile back, you can also find the file on my google drive by following this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2_hFbAOrEDFNDNJRWVmWWdEZ1E/view?usp=sharing
I'm always inspired by the projects that are displayed on les petites tetes de l'art . I saw an image a few months back that got me thinking about kindergarten and having a discussion with classes about the power that an artist has to transform an image. To take something he or she sees and change it. Whether they paint it, sculpt it, make a weaving inspired by it, cut it up and glue it down in a different arrangement the artist is making deliberate actions to create something new from what they were inspired from. We explored this concept in the most basic way.
Kindergarners chose an image from a variety that I had torn out of magazines. They then used stickers to change that image. We had a great class talk on putting hte stickers down deliberatly and not "willy nilly". They had a blast and it was a great lesson.
I'm in the process of transferring content to my new blog.
This post can now be found at makeartstudios.com
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Thanks, and sorry for the runaround.
One of my goals this year was to do a better job of introducing printmaking techniques and materials across all grade levels. See below the curriculum outline that I developed. In the primary grades I experimented with the printing of objects as an introduction of the process of printing.
We printed with apples after completing our Apple Triptych Progression. Students really enjoyed double loading the apples and seeing the paint mix on their paper and I think the end result of the Apple Arrays were really cool. I like the idea of using them as gift wrap or cutting them apart to make a collage maybe in the future.
I love looking at Eric Carle with kinder. I think it's a great lesson, talking about author, illustrator, and artist as one. I usually show the short Mr. Rodgers episode where he visits Eric Carle in his studio and kinders then have the opportunity to make papers in the same manner as Mr. Carle.
It's a great follow up on exploration of color and children love just playing and experimenting with paint and tolls to make texture. After the paper is made is where I always fell short ... what to do with all of the fabulous handmade paper. In my opinion and experience kindergarten was just too young to plan their character and cut and glue it together.
I found success after being inspired (once again) by the blog, les petites de l'art . I think this blogger does such a nice job of teaching art concepts and history while letting each child explore those concepts in their own way. I used the green papers made by kinder and had them cut them into lots of triangles and punched circles of all the other colors. Children glued their triangles together to build a tree and were given the option of using the colored circles as well. We modge-podged as we went and they really turned out beautiful. The kids liked that they were shiny.
The following week I have students the option of stamping as well. Children used alphabet stampers to stamp MY TREE in whatever language they chose. I had printed out the words, MY TREE in a variety of languages so the kids could look at them while they stamped. The document is attached at the bottom if you would like to use it. What sorts of Eric Carle projects have you done?
Here is what I'm planning for the beginning of the year. I'm hoping to having some really meaningful conversations about what art humans make and the why and then into the how.
How are you guys kickstarting the year?
I'm sure you've seen this gem of a lesson (pictured below) floating around pinterest and artsonia alike. It's a great two point perspective lesson that leaves loads of freedom for students to be creative, innovative, and confident about pulling together the principles of art and design. Kids loved drawing them and showing them off to friends and family. But the most valuable thing that my fifth grade students took away from this lesson was learning to take a step back from their drawing and viewing it from a far. They learned to silently contemplate their drawing as they looked for their focal point, range of values, use of color, and overall craftsmanship.
I was proud to see my students get up periodically to stick their picture to the board, take a few steps back and stare with squinty eyes for a couple moments before sitting back down and silently getting to work. They were artists working on their craft in a creative studio environment and I was there available for trouble shooting and critique. It felt great to have students take such control of their artwork and see artists bursting with pride at the end.