Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5th Grade Books!!

5th Graders have been working hard for the past couple of months on picture books as part of a 2-D design unit. The project was inspired by a workshop I attended at the Jewish Museum and included a curatorial talk (and tour) of the Ezra Jack Keats Exhibit (http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/exhibitions/the-snowy-day-and-keats-exhibition).

The workshop also included a hands-on bookmaking workshop for educators that are committed to submitting a book (made by one of their students) to the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking competition (click to go to website for competition).
A brief description of the foundation and the project, as stated on the website, is:
"The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is known for its pioneering support of bookmaking and storytelling programs. Over the years the annual bookmaking competition, a partnership between the The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the New York City Department of Education, has resulted in the creation of thousands of student-made picture books.
Once again, we invite students to explore the creative opportunities that are offered to them when they write and illustrate their own picture books. Each school is allowed to submit one book into the competition."

I wanted students to work with informational text of some kind (because it is a component of the National Standards that naturally lends itself to many other disciplines, especially art), so I asked students to create a story based on a recipe that is important to their family or their culture; the recipe acted as the informational text.  I showed students a variety of picture books, especially books related to food. After students decided on the recipe they would use (which they had to bring in for homework), they then decided to create a fictional story based on the recipe, or a how-to book that illustrated, step-by-step, how to put the dish together.

Students then created book maps to outline their story and images (via sketching in pencil).
Eva, 5-327, Book Map

After this, students learned how to create accordion books.

They then worked on illustrating their books (either in oil pastel or collage) for the next 8 (or so) weeks!
Kiara from 5-308 working from a reference photo

5-308 working from book maps and reference photos

Angela from HC-305 working from her book map to add illustrations in oil pastel

Gustavo from 5-308 illustrating in oil pastel and making sure all of his illustrations 'flow'
Matthew from HC-305 adding his illustrations in collage

Nora from HC-305 finishing her collage illustrations

Ota from HC-305 working on an illustration in oil pastel using his book map illustrations as a guide

After the images were mostly complete, students created covers for their books in collage (they needed to have the name of the recipe as the title and a picture of the food). Students worked with their classroom teacher to write out the sentences of their story onto strips of paper and glue them into their books. Finally, students spent a class creating back covers in collage and adding any final details they felt their books needed.
5-308 creating covers in collage

HC-305working on their covers

Please enjoy our picture books!! If you would like to see them in person, they will all be displayed at Evening of the Arts (May 27th) in our annual Student Art Exhibit. Until then, enjoy a few of them here!
Tony from HC-305 was chosen by the Principal, Ms. Barnes, as the school-wide winner for the competition! His book will be submitted to the Ezra Jack Keats 2012 book making competition and it will displayed in the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza!! WooHoo Tony!!

Pages 1-4

Pages 5-8

Nora from HC-305 was the runner-up. Her art (along with 6 other "semi-finalists) will have their art displayed in the library at school in an upcoming exhibition!

Pages 1-4

Pages 5-8

Eva from 5-327; Front and Back Covers

Pages 1-4
Pages 5-8
Jared from 5-328, Front and Back Covers
Pages 1-4

Pages 5-8
Julie from 5-327, Front and Back Covers
Pages 1-4

Pages 5-8

Matthew from HC-305, Front and Back Covers

The inside of Matthew's book (done completely in collage)
Jay-Lynn from 5-327, front and back covers

Pages 1-4

Pages 5-8

Ota from HC-305, front and back covers

Ota, pages 1-4

Ota, pages 5-8

Thursday, January 19, 2012

4th Grade "Hand-imal" Drawings

4th Grade has been working on a drawing unit. The unit began with students learning to draw from observations, specifically, our hands. We looked at observational drawings of hands by Diego Rivera and noticed the ways in which he used various art principles and elements (value, proportion, shape, color, etc.) to create realistic drawings of hands.

Diego Rivera, "Untitled (Hands of the figure Hope), from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Website (http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/collection/artwork/1143)
Diego Rivera, "Untitled (Hands for the figure of Wisdom)", from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Website (http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/collection/artwork/1141)

Students then practiced creating contour and gesture drawings of their own hands (from observation) using ebony pencils.

Elijah, 4-331
Jesenia, 4-301
Shirley, 4-301
Catherine, 4-312

After this, students explored using oil pastels and learned how to layer, blend, smudge and scratch the material to create various effects.  Students then drew animals (from reference photos) using oil pastels on small pieces of paper. Students started by drawing the animals in black and white first to create value, then they added color. The next week, students considered the shape of the animal they drew and tried to place their hand in a similar shape. They then drew their hands in oil pastels, starting in black and white first, then adding color, just as they had done with the animals.

The third week, students looked at their two drawings and thought about how they might create a third drawing that would portray the animal changing into the hand. We discussed how certain elements of the hand could be combined with specific parts of the animal. For example, we learned that we could start drawing a hand, but instead of drawing all the fingers, ears might replace two of the fingers. If the palm of the hand was the shape of the snout of the animal, then the hand could fade into the snout. Students again did the drawing in black and white oil pastels, then added color.
The fourth week, students thought about a background that could tie their trip-tychs together. We discuss habitat, as well as art elements like color, balance and space. Students realized that the background needed to help their 3 drawings stand out, not distract from them, so they worked on adding large blocks of contrasting color, as well as a few details, in order to show atmosphere and place. The final week, students added details to their animals (like texture and definition of details) using scraffito (scratch) sticks and ebony pencil. Students then mounted their trip-tychs on black paper and did reflection worksheets to reflect on their process.
Please enjoy our "Hand-imals"!!
Braulio, "The Zebra", 4-301

Jesenia, "The Wolf", 4-301

Lisbeth, "The Duck", 4-301

Migdalia, "The Parrot", 4-301

Kathryn, "The Polar Bear", 4-301

Carl, "The Panda", 4-301

Friday, January 13, 2012

3rd Grade India Ink and Wash Painting

3rd grade has begun a painting unit. In Social Studies, 3rd graders are currently studying Asia because of the Chinese New Year. As a way of linking what they do in their classroom to mine, I decided to begin the painting unit with East Asian Ink and Wash Painting (Sumi-E) We started by looking at couple of these paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Website and students wrote guided reflections about them in their sketchbooks.

"Sparrow, Camellia and Plum", Takaashi Sohei, 1832, Japanese
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art Website
"Bamboo in Wind and Rain", Shitao, 1694, Chinese
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art Website

Students considered which medium they thought the artwork was created in (drawing, painting, etc.), who might have made it (when and where were they from), and the differences/similarities between the two works of art. This lesson also links to the Common Core Standards for using informational text in the classroom because we were "reading" these works of arts and drawing inferences from them.
A couple of the responses:
Isabella, 3-303

Jenessy, 3-303

After this, students explored using ink and wash in their sketchbooks. They practiced creating different marks and lines, as well as different concentrations of ink.

The following week, students discussed still life painting. We learned that when you draw a still life, you work from observation (looking) and it's important to try and paint what you see, not what you think you are seeing. We also learned to plan our space so our drawings are "proportional". Students then created ink and wash paintings of flowers.
Brianna, 3-204

Daniela, 3-228

Derrick, 3-228

Lien-Wei, 3-228
Bin, 3-228