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Re: [teacherartexchange] Setting up my curriculum


From: Betty B (bettycarol_40_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 21 2005 - 18:47:07 PDT

Stacie, it sounds like you are well on your way.

I have 6th graders for 12 weeks and we use about the
last 4 weeks (more or less depending on the group) for
a weaving project, so I guess that ends up being about
the same amount of time.

We don't have elementary art here, so I know I am
really just giving them a brief introduction to

Depending on my paper supply, some years we make small
sketchbooks and I have a plastic alligator head clip
that keeps their "bell work" drawing assignments. It
also cheers me up to say "look at the gator, what does
the gator say to do?" I get to do this again this
year, and have added a fold-out time-line we will fill
in with thumbnail sketches of exemplars, and a world
map for them to color in countries from which we see
art or do a project. I design all my own handouts so
gradually am adding them to this and eventually will
have my own little textbook I suppose (since I don't
get textbooks)

We work on observational contour drawing - their
favorite is stuffed animals and it is also very
successful. I do a paper cutting project on negative
space, a color wheel (different every year, but at art
camp this summer we did them with cyan magenta and
yellow fingerpaint handprints and mixed the
secondaries that way and it was a huge hit - drawing a
circle and triangle on the paper first would be my
main improvement)

I don't do drawing all at once, too many lose
interest, so I do a little, then something else, then
back to drawing and so forth.

One day a week we look at a painting and talk about
it. Some of them hate that because they need to have
their hands in stuff as much as possible, most of them
think it is like "storytime" because they all gather
'round like in elementary. I am gradually increasing
art criticism in my curriculum. They have really
resisted it.

We look at basic architectural terms (very
simple)using McCauley's "Cathedral" and make arches
out of non-drying clay, then make them with flying
buttresses to see how much more stable they are and
how much bigger they get. We learn Doric, Ionic and
Corinthian capitals and make Ionic columns out of
Mexican clay.

I do an introduction to watercolor, using the
concentrates. We do a sample sheet, then they make a
12 x 18 camoflauge (sp?) drawing of a block initial
with squiggly lines filling the paper (not too many!)
and them practice our individual watercolor techniques
in each little cel. They are limited to either warm or
cool colors, unless somebody is deeply commited to
another color scheme. This takes a lot of time but
they get pretty focused and it is great practice,
mostly they do graded washes. I push doing graded
washes actually.

wow, that was long, sorry, I hope it was in some way
useful. I start tomorrow also, and had a long day
finishing up.


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