Thursday, December 13, 2012

2nd Grade "My Ancestor + Me" Portraits

2nd Graders have been working on a drawing unit based on the Blueprint Standards for Visual Arts (the NYC art standards). We started the unit by doing an oil pastel exploration in which students explored the various ways we can manipulate oil pastels (blend, mix, layer, smudge, etc.). 
After this, students discussed ancestors and learned that an ancestor is "someone that has lived before us". Students then made a list on the SMART board of all the ancestors in their life that are important to them. We then discussed how students have been learning about Hispanic heritage in their classroom and learned that even if we are not Hispanic, we all have a heritage. We then discussed our heritages and made a list on the SMART board of all the places our ancestors come from. Students then looked at the art of Chicano artist Carmen Lomas Garza. Students learned that she often makes art to honor her Mexican-American heritage and her Mexican ancestors. We looked at various paintings of hers. 

Carmen Lomas Garza, "Tamalada"

Carmen Lomas Garza, "Sandia"

After this, students looked at the art of various artists that create portraits of their ancestors to honor them. We looked in the book, "Honoring our Ancestors: Stories and Pictures by Fourteen Artists", edited by Harriet Rohmer. 

Next, we discussed an ancestor that is very important to us and filled out worksheets to help us brainstorm about our ancestor. Students then sketched their ancestor in pencil. 

The following weeks, students worked in oil pastel to create portraits of themselves (using mirrors to work from observation) and their ancestor (working from a photo they brought in or from memory)

2-225 Working from observation with mirrors

Junior, 2-225, working on his portraits
2-212 working

2-212 working
After students finished making their portraits, they made a background (a place they might go with their ancestor). The final week, students were given checklists to help them make sure they had accomplished all of the goals for the project. They used ebony pencils and scratch sticks to add details, like eyelashes or hair texture. 

Luis, 2-107, work in progress

We hope you enjoy 2nd Grade's Drawings!

Brandon, 2-225

Briannie, 2-212

Jaeden, 2-212

Junior, 2-225

Kira, 2-212

Michelle, 2-225

Rosalia, 2-225

Thomas, 2-225

Xavier, 2-212 

Bethany, 2-212


NYC Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Visual Arts
Strand I: Art Making, Strand II: Developing Art Literacy, Strand III: Recognizing the Societal, Cultural, and Historical Significance of Art - Connecting Art to Other Disciplines (social studies and Hispanic Heritage Month)
Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text (text being the art we looked at by Carmen Lomas Garza and the artists in the book “Honoring Our Ancestors”).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question (did this to answer ancestor worksheet at the beginning of unit and reflection worksheet at end of unit).
CCSS.Math.Content.2.G.A.1 Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes (shapes in the faces of our portraits), such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces. Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.

PS Art 2012 Video!

For the past three years, students from PS 250 have been chosen to be a part of a wonderful city wide art competition and exhibition called PS Art (Check it out!) This past year, a fourth grade student was chosen from our school, Jesenia Davila. Her work, "The Wolf", is an oil pastel Trip-Tych:

This past September, I was asked to be interviewed about the PS Art competition. I am a huge believer in students being given an opportunity to exhibit their work and feel the accomplishment and pride that comes with such an opportunity, so I was delighted and honored to be asked. The video has recently become available and I wanted to share it with all of you! The entire video is fantastic, and really gives a good glimpse into this amazing competition. My clip is toward the end, around the 10:45 mark. Enjoy!