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WHen one project looks very different from everyone elses!!!!


Date: Fri Feb 27 2004 - 06:13:56 PST

    I have been working on two very successful projects with my kids.
One I borrowed from Artsonia, and I can give credit to a teacher on this
list, but at the moment I can't remember who! (Speak up). The second
grade project is one I think most of you saw in Artsonia when she posted
her new work was up. WE painted warm sunset skies, cool water with
watered down Sax Ultra Plus Tempera. The colors are GORGEOUS!
After that, we painted snow on top of the dry sky/water with thick Sax
Ultra Plus White Tempera. THen we added reflection from the sky to the
water and snow, as well as shadows on the snow. We added a bit of
perspective in making the little glaciers and ice flows diminish in size
as they receeded into the background. We tore some white paper for the
close up snow, and they they collaged penguins with many body positions
to add to their painting. THey had the option of (even though penguins
are at the South Pole) adding igloos, whales, polar bears, walruses,
seals, etc.
Some of them also painted silhouetted tiny penguins in the distance.
ONE KID was just depressed as heck because he wanted to put turtles in
his (NO PENGUINS!) and make his a lake, There went my reflections on
snow part for him, but I could see his passion for his idea, so I let
him do it. His collage is fabulous. First of all, his water and his
sky are darker and more twilight looking than any of the others. He cut
out a lot of canoes and lined them up in two rows across the page,
staggered like bricks. Now he is cutting out two turtles per canoe,
with shells, heads and turtle arms, all paddling their canoes in the
twilight. OMG. What if I had insisted that he MUST make penguins??????
Now, mind you, everyone else is SO excited to be making their
warm/cool/black and white compositions that look SO WONDERFUL...all of
them! It is a really fun way to teach a color lesson. I'll bet tons of
these go into frames when they get home. But this guy...I tell you
what, I am just SO thrilled with his piece, I can't stand it!
    THe other project I want to mention is a musical collage project
that 3rd is working on. WE looked at Romare Bearden, Picasso, and
several other more contemporary artists I found in a search. Then kids
are collaging musicians. The variety and excitement in their projects
is wonderful. We have great materials for the mixed media aspect, and
they love that. BUT...there is this one kid who wasn't making a
musician...he was making a BOAT....a sailing ship. Now I know this kid
is creative,but this boat was filled the page! WHere were the
musicians we talked about? How does this have anything to do with
music? THen he began putting these SMALL people (well done, but small)
all over the deck of his ship. A microphone on a cord hung down from
the sky with "Mr. Microphone" written on it. The words "LA LA LA" were
cut out and put into the sky. Grey spirals appeared. And then he put
the open mouths and musical notes coming out of the people's mouths, and
he named his ship "THE SS SINGING SHIP". I had stressed in the lesson to
make your musicians large enough to stand out in your collage. What we
can learn from those eccentric individuals who just have to have their
way with their GREAT IDEAS! I am humbled by them constantly. Give the
kids the power to make changes in the assignment. You can see their
eyes lit up, you can feel the passion in their voice as they ask "Can
I.......?" Of course!

Linda Woods

Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
 click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.