I just developed (not "stole") a great Art and Science "Water" unit for my
fourth graders. I titled it "What an artist needs to know about water".
Sorry in advance for spelling--- I'm new at this e-mail stuff.
There were six stations that the students must complete (I have six tables in
Station #1: Through reading and observation students view a variety of vessels
from history and comtemporary life (things from my house).:] The worksheet at
this station requires that students write a definition for the term vessel,
draw one of the vessels on the table (reinforcing contour) and state it's
function (form follows function). They then design three of their own vessels
and state the function for each. They then have to answer the question of Are
the Hopi-Teewa vessels art? Why or why not?
Station #2: Students are asked to consider symbols for water. Color symbols
would be Green, Blue, and Violet (which were then the limited palette we used
for the rest of the assignment). The states of water were reinforced by this
Students had to draw the Native American Symbol for Rain, Contemporary Symbol
(we used a water droplet), Scientific Symbol (H2O), International Symbol (a
faucet and water droplet). They then had to create 4 different symbols for
water (suggestions were ice cube, Icesickle (sp?), fog, etc.) They then drew a
huge symbol on bulletin board paper and "filled in" the symbol drawn with one
color and the neg. space with a different color. But the color was done with
baggies of water mixed with food coloring. This taught the concept of
transparency and that water can be mixed with some substances.
Station #3: This table is the oil resist idea. Students draw a vessel (one
from Station 1 if they one like) on 12x18 white paper with an oil pastel. then
do a watercolor wash(violet, green, and blues only) over the entire paper.
Concept--- Water does not mix with everything.
Station #4: Students paint on Plastic (scrap of laminate from the laminating
machine), Metal (crayon tin lid), Paper (4x4) and a bisquited piece of clay
(unclaimed from last year--- I can't ever throw anything out). The worksheet
for this station is recording the observation on absorbancy of the materials.
Station #5: Marbelizing Paper (this is the most fun)! They are beautiful! and
all kids can be successful. concept the water has weight. The starch weighs
more than the water, water and paint "sits" on top and can be received by the
Station # 6: Critique Station. Masters prints depicting water. Monet, The
Great Wave, Bierstadt, Janet Fish, just to name a few. The worksheet asks for
student to list all the adjectives to describe the water depicted in the
image. They do this for three different images (any they choose).
Product: They then cut the marbleized paper (following the swirls) and glue a
few on the the vessel they painted. This gives the illusion of reflections
(the marbelizing colors are green, violet,and blues also---sorry I forgot to
say that before). The children then put a cons't paper "table" behind the
vessel and a shadow is added with the supply of their choice as well as a
pattern to the "tablecloth". They work the picture to their "eyes"
satisfaction and imagination. Each class critiques another classes work in
writing as they complete the artwork.
-Monet art history sheet
-Observe a glass of water and record findings (written and/or drawn).
-I show them a Janet Fish and ask that they repeat the above
- design a vessel ( this was redundt).
-Write a water poem (I read a few examples in class) How words could paint a
picture. Also, The adjectives gathered a the critique station could be used.
This was wealth for the kids, they got a lot out of it and they LOVED IT. This
was on going while they were learning about water in their science class. One
little boy came up to me and said..... You know much about science and
EVERYTHING, But my classroom teacher only knows about math and stuff....not to
much about art. I loved it. He understood that artists have to know many
Sorry so long,