Shadow Puppets on the Overhead Projector

23 Nov

Shadow puppets on the overhead projector

Our fifth graders just completed a shadow puppet unit. We had a lot of fun creating shadow puppets and performing with them on our old overhead projector.  If you’ve got one (or more) of these old projectors at school, grab them! Your students will have a blast making shadow puppets.

Materials:

  • overhead projector
  • tagboard or construction paper
  • pencils/erasers
  • scissors
  • bamboo skewers
  • tape
  • decorative punches
  • push pins
  • wax paper
  • overhead transparencies
  • colored Sharpie permanent markers

Create a puppet:

Draw a character on tagboard or paper. Encourage kids to make puppets with interesting silhouettes. Cut out. Use the punches to add a decorative edge. Students can also cut out slits or interesting shapes within the puppets. They can also pierce the puppets with a push pin to make tiny dots of light (look carefully at the octopus below to see this effect). Tape on a bamboo skewer and you are ready to go!

 

Students created shadow puppets from black paper and bamboo skewers

You can learn to create a shadow puppet show step-by-step in the book Worlds of Shadow: Teaching with Shadow Puppetry. The book has great direction for making puppets with movable joints as well.

Worlds of Shadow

Worlds of Shadow

Backdrops:

Wax paper:

We used wax paper as a backdrop. It makes a smokey, translucent shadow when placed on the overhead projector. We used cut wax paper to make ocean waves and torn wax paper to make mountain tops.

Overhead transparencies + colored Sharpie:

Students made a lot of beautiful backdrops on transparencies. Here is a brief video that shows the vibrant color:

I wrote about part one of our shadow puppet unit in this post.

I learned how to create shadow puppets from Baltimore art teacher Grace Hulse – you can see Grace’s shadow puppet Prezi and video in this post.

Enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tableaux Vivants: ‘Living Pictures’ Performance Art

26 Oct

tableaux vivants pinable

First grade tableau vivant: Keith Haring, “Five Figures Dancing”.

Our first and second graders acted out a series of tableaux vivants (‘living pictures’ ) last week. In traditional tableaux, people dress up as the characters in an artwork. They hold a minutes-long pose in front of an elaborately painted background. We skipped the costumes and backdrops, but still had a great time interacting with the artworks.

We began with a Powerpoint and video (see below). For a warm up, we practiced posing like the Mona Lisa. After students understood the basic concept, they acted out artworks with progressively larger groups of characters.

After a few group activities, I put a bunch of art books on the tables and let students act out whatever they liked.

homer tableau vivant

First grade tableau vivant: Winslow Homer ‘Snap the Whip’.

Second grade tableau vivant: Henry Moore, "Reclining Figure"

Second grade tableau vivant: Henry Moore, “Reclining Figure”.

Second grade tableau vivant.

Second grade tableau vivant.

I love the second grade interpretation of Roy Lichtenstein’s Wham!. The little girl in the photo is acting out the explosion.

Wham! tableau vivant

Second grade tableau vivant: Roy Lichtenstein, ‘Wham!’

Resources:

‘Pagent of the Masters’ is an elaborate tableaux vivants production staged each summer here in Southern California. It has been going on since 1933, and features tableaux based on painting, sculpture, prints and more. Check out this video from CBS Sunday Morning .

Here is the Google Presentation (it’s just like a Powerpoint) I created for our lesson. It includes some fun ‘sculpture game’ activities at the end.

Tableaux vivants are a great way to interact with artworks at the museum. Check out this article from Art Museum Teaching.

Next steps:

Can you imagine the students staging their own Pagent of the Masters? They could select their own artworks, dress up, paint their own background, gather props, have a student director, an iPad photographer….how cool would that be? Maybe next term….

Enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Second Grade Super Hero Portraits

28 Sep

Jack's super hero self portrait

What child doesn’t want to have super powers? Our second graders just completed a two-part super hero self portrait project. First, they drew themselves as a superhero. Next, they created a super hero mask and photographed each other in super poses.

Students added boots, gloves, belts, masks, capes, tights, and more to their self portraits.

Students added boots, gloves, belts, masks, capes, tights, and more to their self portraits.

Draw yourself as a superhero

 Materials

  • Crayola Color Sticks or colored pencils
  • extra fine Sharpie
  • pencils/erasers
  • copy paper (for initial sketches)
  • 12″x18″ drawing paper
  • reference photos of superheroes

I used a paper folding technique to encourage students to fill the entire page. We first folded the papers the long way (‘hot dog’) to create a line of symmetry. Then we folded them the short way (‘hamburger’) to create a waist line. We opened the papers, the made another fold from the short edge to the waist line. We used copy paper for initial sketches and drawing paper for the final.

Students drew themselves in a strong stance. They added boots, gloves, masks, capes, and belts. Each student added a special logo on the chest. Some added special tools. They colored with color sticks and colored pencils, then outlined in Sharpie.

andy's 3 drafts

Andy created three drafts of his super hero.

Paper masks

We used the free downloadable mask templates from partysimplicity.com. Students colored them with marker. We cut them out and backed them with black construction paper so they would be strong enough to wear. Kids had the option of punching the masks and attaching yarn ties, or just taping on a bamboo skewer as a holder.

Students photograph each other as super heroes.

Students photograph each other as super heroes.

Photo booth

Students worked collaboratively to create photo booths. Each had a sign-up list and a waiting area.  One student was the photographer, another dressed kids in the cape, others made sure everything ran smoothly. We used an iPod and an iPhone, but you could use any digital camera.

Second grade results (by student photographers)

Second Grade Super Hero Portraits

Click here and here to see more examples from prior years.

We did this project in conjunction with the second grade classroom teachers as part of a unit on being courageous and taking risks.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite self-portrait project?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monster Silhouettes

26 Sep

IMG_3504

Our fifth graders just created these fabulous monster silhouettes. They learned how contour, organic shape and negative space contribute to an interesting design.

Materials:

  • black construction paper
  • copy paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • pencils, erasers

‘Monster Mash’

Monster Mash

Illustrations from ‘Monster Mash’ by Mimi Maxwell

We began by looking at the illustrations in the book Monster Mash by Mimi Maxwell. The monsters are all in silhouette. We discussed organic (free form) vs. geometric shape. We also noticed the most interesting monsters had pointed or swirling body parts.  Many had cut-outs (aka negative space).

monster silhouettes

Fifth grade monster silhouettes.

IMG_3505

Fifth grade monster silhouette. Allow 90 minutes.

Create the monsters

Students did a couple of thumbnail sketches, then drew their monsters on black paper. Remind your students to design large monsters with interesting body parts and cut-outs. The most common problem is when a student draws a tiny, perfect monster that is too small to cut out.

Use glue stick to mount on copy paper.

I got this great lesson plan from art teacher Grace Hulse. Grace recommends this project as an introduction to a shadow puppet lesson. Click here to see more about Grace’s shadow puppet workshop at NAEA14.

Enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Kindergarten Art Centers

21 Sep

Our kindergarteners are enjoying art class! This fall kindergarten exploratory art is 60 minutes long. That’s a long time for a five year old, particularly in the first weeks of school. I’ve had a lot of success with a three-part lesson:

  1. Go to the rug and read a story
  2. Rotate through art centers
  3. Meet back on the rug and ‘share out’ what we liked and learned.

Art Centers:

These centers are much more than fun: students learn about shapes and colors while exploring the clear acrylic shapes. They test their memory at the memo card game. Punching builds hand strength. Stamping with tiny stamps and gluing tiny shapes are great fine motor activity. Magnetic sculpture allows students to explore science and sculpture.

All centers were on a 10 minute rotation. We rotated through the centers for two days so everyone had a chance to explore everything.

Kindergarten art centers

Kindergarten art centers. We did these on a 10-minute rotation over two days.

Want to try these at home?

Click here to learn how to make your own magnetic sculpture center.

Click here to learn how to make your own glue sponge, perfect for collage.

Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite kindergarten art activity?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tags: , , , , , , ,