Our second graders are studying healthy foods. We created this mural as part of the project. It was also an extension of our warm and cool color lesson.
watercolor paper, 7″x7″
reference photos of fruits and vegetables (we used the weekly grocery store ads from the newspaper)
Draw one type of fruit or vegetable on the paper using oil pastel. Fill the square. Use and warm and cool color scheme – if you draw a warm color fruit, use a cool color background, and vice versa.
After drawing, blend the oil pastels with a q-tip dipped in a BIT of baby oil. Be sure to use two q-tips – one for blending warms, and one for blending cools.
Place completed artworks on a drying rack for a day or two so excess oil can absorb into the paper.
I laid out the artwork face down in a grid, and taped all the seams together with masking tape. If you use enough tape on the back you can hang it as a single piece.
If you ever decide to take down your masterpiece, you have the option of cutting on the seams and returning individual artworks to students.
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.
- overhead projector
- tagboard or construction paper
- bamboo skewers
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
I love the second grade interpretation of Roy Lichtenstein’s Wham!. The little girl in the photo is acting out the explosion.
‘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.
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….
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.
Draw yourself as a superhero
- Crayola Color Sticks or colored pencils
- extra fine Sharpie
- 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.
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 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)
We did this project in conjunction with the second grade classroom teachers as part of a unit on being courageous and taking risks.
What’s your favorite self-portrait project?