Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cloud Constructions

For the past month, Kindergarten has been learning all about clouds. In both science and art, we have been exploring what clouds are made of, what different types of clouds look like, what types of weather cause different clouds, etc. In art, we have been focusing on what different types of clouds look like, and the colors that a person can see in clouds (besides just plain old white!)

The first week, the students and I read a couple different books on clouds and talked about the lines and shapes we saw in different kinds of clouds. Then, the students drew clouds using white crayon on white paper. This was their first experience this year in art using a resist technique. We called it our "special artist trick" and made the drawings appear by painting over the clouds with watercolor tempera paint. The students painted using different shades of colors that you would see in clouds at different times of day or during different types of weather. Some students choose reds and pinks for sunset, some chose black for storm clouds, and some chose blue for a sunny day.

The next week, the students began their cloud collage. They took their resist paintings and drew large clouds on them using black Sharpie, then cut out their clouds. They each chose a color for their sky (11" x 14" construction paper) and began composing it using their cut out clouds. Cutting out the clouds they had drawn was a little hard, but good practice for those developing fine motor skills! Near the end of the first semester was a good time to do this. They also got to practice the glue rule "just a dot, not a lot." Students put tiny dots of glue all around the edge (aka the perimeter) of the back of their shape (but not the middle) and then the paper glues down without mess or flaps sticking up later!

During the third lesson, some students were still finishing up cutting out their clouds. Once each student was finished glueing, they then finished the picture by using white and colored construction paper crayons to add other types of clouds and weather to their sky. Some students made their clouds rain, others had snow, and others put a sun or moon poking through the clouds. I encouraged the students to mix the colors in their clouds, as we had earlier talked about and looked at the way that you can always see more than one color in a cloud. Wonderful work!
We have now moved on to a relief sculpture unit. The students are using recycled materials to construct their clouds; we have collected things that are round such as bottle caps, tape spools, soda tabs, beads, string, buttons, toilet paper rolls, and even bubble wrap! First, they began by drawing a large cloud on the unprinted side of a cardboard box - such as the kind that cereal or waffles are packaged in. Then they worked very, very hard to cut out their clouds. This is a hard task, but I think it's important to let the kids own the process. We don't worry about our clouds looking perfect, because every cloud is different. We explore lots of possible ways to cut the clouds out, and almost every student can do it successfully. For the ones who can't, I provide some guidance and we make it a team effort! The students labeled the colored side of the cloud with their name in Sharpie (this will be the back - though in another unit, this would give the clouds some fun color!).

Next, the studenchedts attached the round reclaimed and recycled materials to their clouds. We squirted out lots of Elmer's glue! (The just a dot rule gets thrown out the window here!) To finish them off, students will paint their clouds - will post that as soon as we have some done!

1 comment:

Mr. Spoqui said...
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