Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Snow Day--December 9, 2009

Thought I'd post these snowmen to celebrate our first snow day of the season. Yep, 12 inches of snow blew in on December 9th and schools were closed. Since we've been back, snowmen have been popping up around the schoolyard. There's a wonderful snow family peeping into the fourth grade classroom windows and a snow fort in progress further beyond.

First and Second Graders completed these cuties as part of their painting unit. We're still looking at the color wheel. We have moved from learning about primary and secondary colors, to thinking about warm and cool colors. Our focus here was to use cool colors to create a wintry chill. We worked these up in two steps. On the first day we tore and pasted color tissue paper to a 12"x 18" sheet of paper and set them aside to dry. On the second day we painted a little hill of snow and a big snow man using a big brush. We added details using a smaller brush.
I love how the colored papers bleed through the paint and cast icy shadows on the snow.
These guys are filled with holiday cheer.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Owl Art

I walked into the three/four combined classroom at Readsboro Elementary to find students hard at work dissecting owl pellets. It was amazing to see all the little bits and pieces they contained. Students were collecting the little bones with the goal of comparing them to a chart of a mouse skeleton in an attempt to classify them. They found some pretty amazing insect exoskeletons, too.
Next thing we knew we were back in the art room drawing owls. I love how the details that they remembered from their unit on owls turned up in their artwork. Notice the heart-shaped faces of the snowy owls above.
I got them started by doing a guided drawing of a basic owl. There are many ways of doing it, but we started with the eyes and beek, drew a circle or oval for the head, added ears, then the sides of the body, the feet, branch, and tail. Then we added wings and details on the face and belly. I talked a little about symmetry in patterning their owl and they took off. It helped to have practiced patterns before we started the owl project.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Eric Carle!

Currier Memorial School is happy to announce that we are hosting a school-wide Eric Carle Festival. Our celebration honors the life and work of the beloved children's author and illustrator, Eric Carle. Eric Carle celebrates his 80th birthday this year. He has illustrated more than seventy picture books for young children and is most well known for his kindergarten classic, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" celebrates it's 40th anniversary this year. Eric Carle's books are enormously popular with parents and children. His books have been translated into 29 languages and sold more than 88 million copies around the world.

Our students began the celebration by looking at our library collection of Eric Carle books. They tried to determine how Eric Carle created his illustrations. Then we watched the video "Eric Carle, Picture Maker". In the video, Eric Carle invites students into his studio where he demonstrates how he created the illustrations for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". Students watched as he demonstrated his technique for decorating tissue papers and using his handmade papers to create a collage.

With grant funding from the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vermont, we were able to purchase the supplies needed for our entire school to create artwork based on Eric Carle's techinque of creating hand decorated papers. On Thursday, Dec 3rd the painting began. For the next three weeks we will meet in the muti-purpose room to sponge, splatter, roller, scrape, and stamp. We are creating a "bank" of beautifully colored papers. We will be using these papers in the coming months for collage, paper sculpture and mobiles.

I can't wait to post the results. This is such a fun project and we are thankful for school wide support and the grant funding that made it possible.

You can learn more about Eric Carle by visiting here: Be sure to click on the Photos and Videos link on his home page to watch Eric Carle work on "Mister Seahorse" or to see how he created really big papers for his mural at the Eric Carle Museum.

Happy Birthday, Eric Carle!