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Lesson Plans

Re: Holiday Art Projects

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 00:01:19 -0500

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Dear Purple,

What a wonderful story! Your neighborhood got the benefit of your artwork,
and your art department got the benefit of your creative marketing! Also,
despite the numerous bad things that happen in our culture, your
<immigrant/refugee students> got to learn a little bit more about a very
positive aspect of our culture.

As for the recent holiday here in Connecticut, we've done some valentines
in art class, too. I used an idea from this list! As it often happens, I
was covering some aspect of color theory in the 3rd through 5th grades. For
the last ten minutes of a class, I had them fold a piece of clean white 9 x
12 in half, and on one side make a green heart with whatever we had been
working with...cut and pasted paper, tempera, or markers. I asked them to
stare intently, at arms length, then move their intent stare to the white.
Most saw the red or pink after glow! Cool illusion! Then I showed them the
Jasper Johns green, black, and orange American flag. It nicely reinforced
the idea that complementary color relationships are actually real physical
phenomena that happens in nature, not just in art class exercises! I felt
it was especially successful when I began hearing about the green heart
valentines that older sisters and parents were getting--complete with
demonstrations on how to see the complementary colors! Even the families
learned some color theory!

Happy Valentines Day!

Mark Alexander
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031

At 9:43 PM 2/15/97, PurpleArt wrote:
>Hello! I teach elementary school art in South Dakota. I have been
>interested in the discussion on the positive and negative sides of kids
>producing traditional "cute" holiday projects. I do not teach art in order
>to decorate their classrooms, but here is what happened in my art class this
>past Valentine's week:
>I have an average of 3-5 immigrant/refugee students in each of my grade
>levels from such countries as Sudan, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia, Mexico . . .
> Anyway, I decided this Valentine's week was a good chance to give my
>students a real life experience in "what is 'dis Valentine about???" We had
>a wonderful discussion on the tradition of showing your affection to people
>you care about and then everyone created VERY glitsy-glittery-doily
>traditional Valentines out of the scrap drawer. We attached yarn loops to
>each plus a little note which read: "Hearts from Hawthorne. Happy
>Valentines Day from Hawthorne Elementary School!" Each student signed their
>own first name. Then 3 days in a row, I took one 3rd grade class at a time
>on a snowy walk around the neighborhood surrounding our school. We hung our
>beautiful handmade Valentines on the door knobs of 75 homes. The neighbors
>who happened to be home opened their doors in surprise and smiled and waved
>at the excited children on the sidewalk. We have received phone calls and
>letters of appreciation from grateful neighbors. One elderly gentleman was
>spending his first Valentines Day alone since his wife passed away, and he
>told us the child's Valentine was the most precious gift he could have
>gotten. My students were awed when I shared this with them.
>Art class and holiday projects can be a wonderful opportunity to educate
>children about cultural traditions. :)

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