Saturday, February 13, 2016
Saturday, January 23, 2016
So what's the deal?
Coloring is relaxing.
Coloring is meditative.
Coloring is great for fine motor practice.
But let's be honest. Coloring other peoples' drawings is not the same as making art.
As an art teacher who works hard to make sure that my art lessons are a combination of instruction in specific techniques or subject matter and a focus on kids' own creativity, the proliferation of coloring books and the focus and attention on coloring is something I look at with a dubious eye, because I know that a drawing of a family created by a child is so much more interesting than a coloring page of a family.
Don't get me wrong. I am not anti-coloring. But I am pro-art education, and I know the value of allowing students to create their own masterpieces. That can never be done with a coloring page, because all the student is doing is filling in somebody else's idea. A student who draws herself inside a tent on a rainy day with the sun shining and flowers growing is learning a whole lot more than a child coloring in a traditional picture drawn by an adult.
In classrooms, coloring pages are often used as filler, handy for when a student finishes an assignment, or easy for a rainy day recess. And there's nothing wrong with this, as long as we recognize what it is: a relaxing activity that might help develop concentration, eye-hand coordination, and small motor skills.
But please, please, let's not call it art.
If teachers must use coloring pages in the classroom, I would at least like to see them add a bit of a challenging twist by giving students some parameters:
• use only analogous colors
• use only two contrasting colors, and do some shading
• use only one color, with different values
• draw and color a linear pattern in the background
• use only primary, secondary, or tertiary colors
Or better yet.... give kids some blank paper and a marker and let them create their own coloring pages! Or give them scissors, paper and glue and see what they come up with!
But most importantly, don't tell kids they get to do art and then hand out a coloring page.....
.... because coloring is not the same as making art.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
•••Let's get started!•••
|realism and fantasy a la Marc Chagall|
|2nd grade - analogous colors|
8. Assign drawing for homework. Draw a scene from a television show. Draw your family. Draw what you see from one of your windows. Or just draw.
|basic art materials - nothing fancy|
9. Most importantly, have basic art materials available at all times. Invite students to use them as they desire, not only for art activities but to add a creative element to everyday written work. A small space is all you need, stocked with colored pencils, extra crayons, glue, construction paper scraps, scissors, and markers. These are common materials available in most classrooms. Rather than thinking of them as "art materials" what if students knew they were able to use them at any time?
Bring creative thinking into students' lives without creating more work for yourself. Giving students creative choices for their regular class work and homework might.... just might.... help develop visual literacy, a creative sense, and appreciation for art that's all around us on a daily basis.
Try it! And enjoy!
Saturday, October 10, 2015
All you need is orange and black construction paper, some sharpies (or black crayons), scissors and glue, and about an hour at most.
To draw the pumpkin shape, have students draw ... with pencil.... a "flattened" circle and add a stem a little way down in the center. Then show them how to draw the vertical lines, just a little curved, with some going "backward" from the base of the stem. These gently curved lines are what gives the pumpkin drawing its three dimensional look! In fact, it's a very simple technique for giving a flat shape a three-dimensional look!
Trace carefully over the pencil lines with a black sharpie, then fill each space with a different pattern, using lines and/or simple shapes.
It doesn't hurt to talk about patterns before drawing... and even doing some simple examples. The key here is that every space needs to have a different pattern!
When the patterns are finished, color the stem green if desired, cut out, mount on black paper, and it's done! It's easy, it's fun, and, like all Zentangle work, it's totally relaxing.
Perfect when you need to just take a break!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
I also love just giving them some time to use their imaginations and express themselves.
Sadly, I hear more and more teachers say they don't have time for art.
And I can help!
Making Time For Art is a free download in my store at TeachersPayTeachers. This resource offers suggestions and ideas for finding and making time for art. It includes:
• ideas for integrating art into other subject matter
• a basic list of art materials to have on hand
• ideas for teaching students to think and act like artists.
Making art is important for all students, and it's especially important for those who learn best with hands-on experiences and those who learn visually. Art experience is instrumental when students need to illustrate a story or poem, create a graph or chart, or use pictures or other graphics to supplement or support their writings.
Need a place to start
Start With Art includes five comprehensive, open-ended art lessons that introduce young students to the elements of design and allow them to work with a variety of simple, common materials. Each lesson takes about an hour, including an introduction and a "talking about art" session where students analyze the success of their own art work.
I know that there IS time for art in every classroom, if a teacher uses time creatively and understands that visual literacy is just as important as other kinds of literacy.
Creating art with kids ..... enjoy it!
Sunday, April 26, 2015
First we did look at several examples of O'Keeffe's flower paintings. I chose ones that showed the centers, and made sure I had at least a few that went "off the page" because that was what I was going to ask them to do. They noticed that her paintings used bright colors, that the centers of the flowers had extra petals or other interesting parts, and one student noticed that there was a lot of shading. Yes! So on the chart I was creating, I set that word aside and gave it some prominence. I also wrote the word close-up off to the side, and reiterated that they would draw a flower in close-up, then shade it.
So I sent them off to create their own.
And we ended up with some beautiful results.
But before we got to this end point, some interesting things happened. Like one student doing the shading with the side of her fist. Like another student pressing some of the oil pastels so hard that the color was thick on the paper, with tactile texture, and the black lines from the Sharpies were missing. Like a few of the students deciding to color their flowers with each petal a different color.
So I learned some things, too, and had some things to consider. Like, how much modeling is enough? How much is too much, and how much is too little? Like, how much explanation is necessary? Like, at what point should a teacher just let the students mess with the colors, and at what point does the teacher step in and suggest something that is liable to produce a result that is more likely to follow the initial directions?
I want them to be creative, but I also want them to learn art technique that works, how materials are used to their best advantage, and to end up with a successful piece of art work that still shows their personality, and not mine. And most of all, I want them to think about what they are doing in the process, to take care with it, care about what they are doing, and like and be proud of it when they are finished.
I think these pretty much fit that bill:
Friday, April 3, 2015
|Second Grade Work|
|Second Grade Work|
|Fourth Grade Work|
Illustrated Haiku is a wonderful way to integrate Art with Language Arts, and it also can easily connect to Science as well. Any nature-oriented subject matter is appropriate, and the results make a beautiful, colorful, and maybe even informative bulletin board display.
This lesson, Illustrated Haiku for All Seasons, is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for those who would like step-by-step directions.