Friday, October 30, 2009
Earth Art Drawings
As part of our effort to GO GREEN we are concentrating on nature appreciation as the focus of our art units. First grade students learned about the art of Andy Goldsworthy, who works with natural elements such as rocks, sticks, leaves and even snow! Goldsworthy works with these natural elements in their original environment and rearranges them into art forms, called earth art.
For this two-lesson unit, students imagined they were out in nature and pictured what they would find on the ground - rocks, pine cones, flowers, leaves, etc. Then, they created a drawing as if they were Andy Goldsworthy out in nature rearranging these these items. During the previous week, the students had been learning about organic shapes, which are shapes usually found in nature. This was a good tie-in with the concepts of their previous unit. Students also concentrated on making patterns and designs, and using repetition in their artwork.
The steps for this unit are pretty simple, and open-ended. Step 1: Students use Sharpie to create their earth art design. (Part of going green includes not wasting paper to start over just because you "messed up." This is always a challenge for students. During this unit I encouraged them to remember that there are a lot of inconsistencies in nature, and any "mess-up" would just make their drawing more realistic. That helped the students feel confident to embrace the imperfections in their shapes. Step 2: Color in the design using colored pencils. Usually I encourage my students to choose their colors freely. For this unit, however, I asked they try to replicate the colors they would see in nature.
In Ms. Abair's science class, the students are learning about gravel, pebbles, sand and silt, and lots of types of dirt. They are also learning about decomposition - when natural elements fall to the ground and break down and turn into dirt. This worked out great as a reinforcement of the concepts they were exploring in science!