Saturday, January 15, 2011

Paul Klee Inspired Art

We used this idea for a Paul Klee inspired project.

Using graph paper the kids were asked to design a building or city scape using geometric shapes. If they used curves or circles, they were only to use 1 or 2. The graph paper was used for the rough drawing only. They liked that they could make mistakes.

After their plans were done, I took sheets of acetate (overhead sheets) and taped them on top. I traced their lines with a black Sharpie marker and a ruler. Older kids could do this on their own. I chose to do this step for the kids because I knew that using the ruler and trying not to smudge the marker would be too frustrating for them. I wanted this to be a successful project.

After the black lines were traced, I removed the graph paper and turned it over to the white side. The kids had a choice of colouring in their shapes with colouring Sharpie markers or oil pastels. Both are great options. My kids at school are using oil pastels. With the oil pastels, I've found that it helps to colour in one direction. If you go back over your work with the pastels, they seem to pick up bits and almost erase what you've done. You have to go easy and not press too hard. I've also noticed that sometimes the acetate has one side that works better than the other.

Once the shapes have been coloured in the acetate could be mounted on black or white paper or could be hung on a window. If mounting on paper, I would mount it with the coloured side against the paper to prevent smudging.

We really liked this project and I can't wait to show off the work from school. In the future with my younger ones, I would probably give them geometric shapes to trace and put together. This way I can ensure that the shapes are used and that they stay within a certain size and/or proportion. With my grade 6s I also combined this with a lesson on colour and had the students choose one area of their city scape that had to have emphasis through the use of contrast. I'm excited to see their results.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Making Words

Here's a fun activity for improving word knowledge.

1) Choose a challenge word and give the kids the letters for this word all jumbled up. I used letter stamps but you could use any form as long as they can be moved around.

2) Have your kids try to come up with as many words as they can using the letters provided. Have them write them day. Each time they do this exercise they could try and come up with more words.

3) If you have more than one child, have them compare their lists.

4) See if they can come up with the challenge word. This is the original word that uses all of the letters. Mine was monster.