As an elementary art educator, we are expected to rearrange our lessons to accommodate the building schedule. This means that our schedule is as fluid as a river flowing towards a waterfall. This year has been no different. First, there was the missed days in our school division due to “inclement” weather. Then I was asked to have a poster contest, school wide, for “Bullying Prevention Month” which made me further behind than what I wanted. However, I made the entire unit about design. Lastly, due to our encore team being short one member all lower grades have been splitting classes every day, giving me an extra 4-6 students in those classes. However, somehow my units have overlapped wonderfully.
After the poster contest, most of my grades created self-portraits or images dealing with self and self-expression. My first graders worked on lines mixed with their self-portraits and weaved them together. Fourth grade combined water and tissue paper with their self-portraits in the likes of artist Paul Klee. Fifth graders created an etching board and did an Edvard Munch version of “What Makes Me Scream.” They were directed to include themselves screaming. Finally, my sixth graders learned about proportion and created a head and shoulder self-portrait. When they were finished they cut their self-portrait into shapes and glued them onto a sheet of black paper creating the illusion of a broken mirror. I was sooo happy that my mind could concentrate on one topic and the unity of my decorated hallways with beautiful self-portraits.
Now, with the upcoming month of February I have started working on various symbolic images dealing with love, mainly hearts, with a mixture of African American artist in celebration of Black History Month. So far, although the year started slow it is turning into a very interesting, productive year!