Friday, March 21, 2014

Kindergarten Landscape Drawings

Before I teach this lesson, I have already taught the students how to draw different types of lines- straight, curvy, zig-zag, loopy, etc.) and we have talked about lines in nature, school, and in our world. I show them examples of how artists use lines to create images. Then, I demonstrate how to walk in a straight line, curvy line, zig-zag, etc. and ask them to do the same. Then we draw the different types of lines across our paper.

The following week, I teach this simple landscape drawing lesson, using different types of lines. I discuss how artists use lines to express ideas. I start by drawing a straight line across my paper with a black crayon for the horizon line, and students follow me. Above the horizon line we draw curvy lines for mountains, like a lower case letter "m." Then we draw more curvy lines below the horizon line for fields. Some students choose to draw zig-zag lines for mountains, I let them choose. Then we add trees (a rectangle for base, curvy cloud shape for tree tops), circle for sun, and curvy clouds. I ask students to color the entire page, and blend colors. I encourage them to use any colors they want, even imaginary colors. This lesson can be completed in a 25-30 minute class period.

I usually follow this lesson with my cityscape lesson, using lines they have learned, and reinforcing shapes and math concepts that they are learning in the classroom.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kids Need Art Class Once a Week

3rd grade landscape, Van Gogh style
I've been assigned to a long term subbing position teaching art at 3 elementary schools in the Allentown School District. I will teach 2,000 students. Elementary students have art class with a certified art teacher only once every three weeks. I am seeing first hand how children are suffering from reduced related arts at school.  Children should not be expected to sit quietly all day long in over crowded classrooms working on "rigorous" math and reading content in order to prepare for tests. When the adults in charge fail to make sure the arts are an essential part of the school curriculum, children suffer and grow up with no understanding of how the arts have value. We must return joy to learning, and put an end to dehumanizing testing and standards centered education policies. Education should be student centered, and students must be given opportunities to discover their talents at school. To see more examples of student art work, please search the label "student work" at this blog. Thanks.