Every Monday-Wednesday, PS 250 has a 37.5 minute extended day (which happens in the morning, before the regular school day begins) to serve as extra-help time for students that might need it. I have the pleasure hosting an art club during this time, which includes 4th and 5th grade students that (in general) are in classes that don't have Visual Art in their weekly schedule (and who don't need extra help during this time). This year's group of Art Club students are particularly talented, enthusiastic and creative!
For the past several months, Art Club students have been working in pairs to author and illustrate counting books. Students began the project by learning about collage, or art that is made with paper and glue. They practiced cutting (various edges and shapes), gluing (overlapping pieces, dotting around the edge, etc.) and manipulating paper (folding, bending, ripping, etc.) in the creation of exploratory collages. Students then looked at picture books and analyzed a book of their choice using the following worksheet:
After this, students divided into pairs and worked together to develop a theme for a counting book that they would want to create. I chose to have students create counting books because they allow students the flexibility to work with any theme (fiction or non-fiction) of their choosing, counting books require minimal text (so image and text can easily be integrated for youngsters who are just learning how to do this), and because it's a type of book they are very familiar with. Students brainstormed their ideas, then sketched rough drafts in their pairs.
|Michael and ZhiWei|
Students created basic accordion books using 90 lb paper (THIS is a great resource). Although students worked in pairs do decide on the theme, style and text of their book, they each were responsible for brainstorming, then illustrating (in collage), 5 pages of the counting book on their own. At the end of the unit, students worked together to add the text (typing and choosing the font on the computer) and create front/back covers. Lastly, pairs glued the two books (of 5 pages each) together and added any last details. The results are fantastic!!