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Lesson Plans

Thanks and art paste and jello

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Merrilee Gladkosky (gladrag)
Sun, 07 Feb 1999 04:11:39 -0800

Thanks to everyone who has sent me such wonderful ideas about building a
unit on Japan. I am so impressed and grateful for the generous spirit
and follow through of my fellow art teachers and associates out there.
I have discovered (thanks to them) Japanese paper tearing...a terrific
source of inspiration for lessons, resources on festivals, information I
did not have on kites, etc.. The work of Hokusai and other woodblock
artists will form a basis for discussion. On the "gimmicky" side, I was
given about 300 small flat boxes and so am now busy looking up Zen
Gardens. Also have a parent coming up with disposable hospital gowns
for all to print for kimonos.
Just a note about my experience with Ross Art Paste this year: I
have found that I've had to add a couple of tablespoons of white glue to
get a really firm paper mache' on larger objects. We made drinking
gourds following work on John Biggers and Faith Ringold by using
balloons and cardboard tubes. I really needed an extra bit of "stick"
to hold the newspaper together.
Also, contributing to the discussion of color mixing with primary
kids: I use jello. I found that by making yellow, blue and two kinds
of red (strawberry and cherry), we could do a class project by making
(and eating) the color wheel. We start by saying that the reds are
stronger dyes, especially cherry, and that good quality pigments will
not be quite like this. I use clear plastic glasses (short) and the
kids donate some of the jello. A clean coffee pot heats the water and
the kids take turns stirring and making colors. We build two different
color wheels with the two different reds. Then, compare notes. This
leads to a discussion of transparent and opaque. I have also gone so
far as to bring in sour cream and whisk a little in to demonstrate
adding white and opacity. We end up by pouring the leftovers in a
sherbert container and most always end up with a gray. If I do this
lesson in winter, it goes out into the snow (covered with plastic wrap)
to cool. Otherwise, I trek it upstairs to the kitchen. It gets eaten
by the class the following day for snack. I follow this lesson with
watercolors and then a quick lesson in tempera as well so that the kids
can see the differences. We talk about the quality of paints and the
trueness of color. It also gives a chance to discuss how artists may
choose pigments. Two other lessons we do in other years include natural
dying eggs and painting with natural pigments such as clay, blueberry
juice, you name it! We do our "cave art" that way. Before doing this,
check for kids who may need an alternate snack due to allergies,
diabetes, or parent preferences.
Merrilee, in CT