Perspective, 3 Ways

After the holidays, I began lessons on one-point perspective with grades 4, 5, and 6. Although we focused on the same skills, students created three distinct projects that are designed to build on concepts learned the year before. One-Point Perspective is mentioned in the Art SOLs throughout late elementary and middle school. By far, it is the most difficult lesson we teach at the Elementary level. My goal is to help students master the skills early in order to gain confidence.
Sydney, Grade 4

Sydney, Grade 4

Grade 4 begins their learning by hearing about the basics of one point perspective and seeing several demonstrations and examples.  It is important that they are able to explain why one point perspective can be useful.  Their project is a landscape (or cityscape) with at least 2 buildings.  They must also show awareness of spatial relationships (such as 3 trees depicting foreground, middle ground, and background) and interesting details telling us about the character of the neighborhood. 
Leo, Gr. 5

Leo, Gr. 5

Learners in Grade 5 also create a cityscape, but show it from a different angle.  These students show the city as if they were above it, sort of a “Bird’s Eye View.”  They apply what they know from Grade 4, and do plenty of sketchbook review.  Students must have 5 buildings that connect to the vanishing point and properly show windows.  After the buildings are complete, we concentrate on adding city details, such as roads, parks, cars, bodies of water, and nature.  Students are encouraged to think like a city planner, and also to include at least one diagonal or curved road for interest. 
Lauren, Grade 6

Lauren, Grade 6

Sixth graders make one point perspective personal by using what they know to create 3D initials.  We focus on using the same skill in a new way.  Students learn crosshatching and careful marker coloring.  They also explore the use of personal symbols.  This is a cool project that they really enjoy.  I am often asked by the 5th and 4th graders- When can we do THAT?  I tell them they must learn the basics first, and that we will move on to this more complicated use of perspective in 6th grade. 

New Classes

wordle

I created the Wordle above for an online course I am taking through WHRO’s Teacherline. The point of the Wordle was to introduce myself. The course is on “Dynamic Media and Digital Storytelling.” From the class, I hope to gain more experience with student-driven technology assignments. In the art room, we usually reserve the COWs (Computers On Wheels) at least once per year for grades 4, 5, and 6.

I am also taking a completely different course through VCU on Visual Journals. I will be presenting a staff development session on this topic to Portsmouth’s art teachers in March. I look forward to posting images as we complete more assignments!

Warhol-Inspired Kindergarten Works

Erin, Kindergarten

Erin, Kindergarten

  Kindergarten students recently studied the artist Andy Warhol.  We talked about how Warhol loved things that were popular, such as food, advertisements, and things on television.  Kindergarten students were able to identify the shapes in Warhol’s painting of an Ice Cream Cone.  They also discussed his painting of the actress Marilyn Monroe.  Students talked about how Warhol worked to make Marilyn’s image look different in each section.  Finally, we created our projects, which are based on a combination of these two works of art by Andy Warhol.  Great Job, Kindergarten!

Skylar, Kindergarten

Skylar, Kindergarten

 

Kathryn, Kindergarten

Kathryn, Kindergarten

Logo and Exhibit Changes for Spring

http://www.starbucks.com

http://www.starbucks.com

I just received an email from Starbucks stating that they will be revitalizing their stores and even evolving their logo in the spring.  This image, illustrating the changes in the Starbucks logo over the years, is really interesting to me.  It may be worthwhile for students to discuss how and why this very recognizable logo has changed over the years, and also to learn the company’s connection to literature with its name.  As many of the kids know, I worked at Starbucks for a short time 10 years ago, before I became a teacher.  It was one of the most interesting jobs I’ve ever had.  Their commitment to design, image, and branding is impressive, as well as their goal for most stores to be company owned, not franchises. 

Speaking of springtime changes, the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia is expecting a new exhibit beginning on February 10.  The title is MARC SIJAN: ULTRA-REALISTIC SCULPTURES.   I think the students would really enjoy this exhibit!  I’ve emailed CES teachers in grades 4-6 offering to plan a field trip for them.  Even if your child does not go on an official field trip, this art show would be a great weekend destination for the family. 

I think it is important to mention that a gallery field trip is not a free-for-for-all.  In order to visit an art gallery, students must be prepared in their school buildings, and also should receive follow up lessons back at school.  At the museum, a gallery educator carefully plans hands-on and small group discussion activities for the children.  Many gallery experiences feature cross-curricular connections to other core subjects.  A gallery visit is well-planned, organized, and worthwhile! 

 

 

We might be in the paper!

Last week, Mrs. Turner called my room and asked if I could come to the phone.  This rarely happens, so I wondered who it could be!  The caller was from The Pilot, and they wanted to write about our holiday window painting in the local section.  I provided some information, and also directed them to the earlier blog post and photos.  I believe this little mention will be posted in the Currents on the Wednesday after Christmas- we will have to wait and see!

Student Artists of December!

At CES, I am fortunate to work with students who truly enjoy art.  One of the benefits of having been the art teacher here for the past 5 years is my knowledge of the students.  It is a pleasure to watch them grow as people and as artists.  Here are the artists of the month for December.  The objective of this lesson was to draw a portait realistically, yet choose paint colors that are abstract.  The images you see are only detail images- the real paintings are on 12 x 18 paper. 

Latrell, Gr. 4

Latrell, Gr. 4

Leah, Gr. 4

Leah, Gr. 4

Upcoming Plans

Here are some of the new developments in the CES Art Room:

  • In November, I was a presenter at the VAEA conference in Norfolk.  During the conference, I attended a workshop called Journal Fodder Junkies.  I had an awesome experience learning about using sketchbook pages as a mixed-media visual journal.  The presenters, Eric Scott and David Modler, are Art Ed professionals, and have had gallery shows featuring their journal pages, done staff development all over, and have even written a book.  Our art supervisor here in Portsmouth, Diana Davenport, purchased 2 copies of their book- one for me, and one for her.  We plan on offering a staff development session on the topic this year. 
  • Next semester, I will be busy taking 2 college courses toward recertification.  I have chosen an online course through WHRO about using digital technology and web 2.0 as storytelling vehicles, and also a course through VCU about visual journal pages. 
  • This year, CES will again be offering After School Specials classes.  I am considering teaching a 6-week embroidery/sewing course.  I would like to do stitched cards, functional change purses, an embroidered item that students can wear, and maybe a stuffed sock creature of some sort. 

also…

  • I am looking for an ART ROOM PARENT.  The responsibilities would mostly revolve around arranging for artwork to be hung on a monthly basis in our school.  This is something that I do not have time to do during the school day.  I have heard from some parents via email.  I will be in contact with everyone next Monday, and we will put some plans together.

Holiday Window Painting

Picture 003

On November 13, Jenah P., Armani M., and Natasha E. joined me in Olde Town Portsmouth for our annual Holiday Window Painting.  This year, we were assigned Roger Brown’s Sports Bar.  I painted a simple outline, and the girls filled everything in with color.  They painted orange and pink christmas trees filled with ornaments and bows.  We added wreaths on the doors, and signed our work with our school name.  This photo shows about half of our painting work- be sure to visit Olde Town and check it out in person.  The girls did a wonderful job, and I really enjoyed talking with their parents! 

In other news, guess who has started coloring? 🙂

Picture 001