Saturday Art Workshops — 11.10.18

Spin Drawings and the FInal art show

Art Show Flyer

Art Show Flyer

This week was our final art show for the Saturday Art Workshops and we also had a 60-minute lesson on spin drawings for them to do. We set up the artwork a few days before the show but in order to involve them in talking about their work, I suggested that they think about how they would describe the process and ideas of their work to their families.

After the opening ceremony where one student passed out her business cards of her bakery business (impressive), we showed them our spin drawing examples and the slides on the rotoscope, zoetrope and early filmmaking, they jumped into making the drawings on paper. These are examples of simplified animation that kids really enjoy.

Spin Drawings and videos

Spin Drawing Video 1 (Click Here)
Spin drawing video 2 (CLICK HERE)

Flip Book example 1 (CLICK HERE)
Flip Book Example 2 (CLICK HERE)

One side of spin drawing

One side of spin drawing

Backside

Backside

They also made flip-books with post-its which are an easy way to do that. The main aim of this activity was to get them to create movement by playing with puns through images as a starting point. Together, they talked about their ideas while they were making them. Each image can be on one side and make a third meaning together, such as “eye roll” or “eye scream,” or my example “present tents,” which had two tents and a gift box on it. They seemed engaged right away with the humor part of it. It’s good to have a sponge activity for times in your classroom that might be filling the space in between lessons.

The final art show

For the art show, families came to see their kid’s work and talk to them about how they made it. A couple of our students did that and showed their parents their paintings and animations and explained the process of making it. In order to provide more explanation, I showed my blog that people could look through set to the painting page and Colleen had slides with her Rube Goldberg lesson.

Time Capsules

Time Capsules

They displayed their spin drawing near another piece of work in the show to keep items together. I think our space was visually cohesive and we grouped similar lessons together to show different examples of the same project and celebrate individuality. Overall, this art show was a success because we had families coming by to comment on their pieces, ask us questions and see what other kids had been doing these past eight weeks. It was really nice to see how proud they were and show that off to their parents.

Time Capsules

Time Capsules

Showing off her animation

Showing off her animation

Batik and Screenprinting

Batik and Screenprinting

Geological Abstractions

Geological Abstractions

Toothpaste Batik

Toothpaste Batik

Classmates’ spaces in the art show

Midwest Wildflowers--Emily and Kate

Midwest Wildflowers–Emily and Kate

Tapestries - Emily and Kate

Tapestries – Emily and Kate

After Mondrian -- Britney and Annie

After Mondrian — Britney and Annie

After Louise Nevelson -- Britney and Annie

After Louise Nevelson — Britney and Annie

Mid Term Lesson Plan — Elevating Felting to a Fine Art

Felted Puns for 6th graders

Heart-felt, my example

For my mid term lesson plan, I created an activity where 6th graders could explore wet and dry felting techniques while creating two felted objects that are puns.  Using Chic Thompson’s “many, varied and unusual things,” I would have students respond to a prompt such as: what are the many varied and unusual things you can associate with wool?  This includes wool, sheep farms, shearing, spinning yarns etc.  Then I would ask them to brainstorm a list of puns, wool related or not, in order to come up with their two punny objects.

 

 

 

Process of making the felted heart with a dry needle technique

Process of making the felted heart with a dry needle technique

Detail of hollow aorta

Detail of hollow aorta

Ge-felt-a-fish

Ge-felt-a-fish

International Day for Junior High Students — 10.30.18

Let your colors fly! Flags for Freedom from discrimination Day

 

Kids working on flags

Kids working on flags

For the International Day Conference in Coralville, Iowa, our team of teachers designed an activity with flag decorating using personal symbols.  These were flags that the kids could display in their rooms, on their bikes or other fun places to show off aspects of their personal identities, interests and hobbies. They used sharpies, scissors and rubbing alcohol in droppers to give a tie-dye effect, if they chose.

After creating their flags, we played anti-discrimination bingo with prize buttons of Kehinde Wiley, Mickelene Thomas, Harriet Tubman, Neil Degrasse-Tyson, Eleanor Roosevelt and MLK King, Jr. We had the kids write a unique ability or quality about themselves on a numbered piece of paper corresponding to a bingo number based on how many kids were there, around 25.  We read each one after we pulled them from a box.

After bingo, some of the kids shared their flags and revealed things about themselves that were very brave.  I was really impressed by that because most of us were strangers to them including other kids.

My example of the identity flag

My example of the identity flag

Project materials: sharpies and scissors

Project materials: sharpies and scissors

Saturday Art Workshops — 11.3.18

Designing Dream Houses and considering the environment

Starting the floors

Starting the floors

This week I taught the concept of dream houses, where students can make floor plans of their buildings and construct at least one floor in 3-D. We only had one student this week, so she got extra attention from both of us. After starting with the opening ceremony, asking what she did that was creative this week, I explained that she would be making a dream house that could be for humans, animals or other beings. I wanted her to consider the environment and context for her house. Would it be communal or solitary? Who would live there and how would you consider the area around the house as affecting the design and function of the place? Then I showed my examples and emphasized how people would move from one room to another as well as energy uses in the house. After, I showed some slides about Erwin Wurm’s, Fat House in Vienna, the fanciful, automaton, Hellbrunn Castle in Germany, and communal experiment, Arcosanti in Arizona.

Starting the floor plan

Starting the floor plan

Originally in the lesson, I wanted students to write a story or narrative about their design for the viewer in the later exhibition we would have at the end, but since there was only one student, I let her spend more time on her 3-D piece because her usual buddy was absent today, so there was some time spent in focusing her actions. She might be there next week when she can completely finish her project and do the writing and exhibiting. She spent a good amount of time on the sketch, which I was surprised by, because in the other classes they all seemed to want to jump into 3-D instead of the drawing part. She made a great drawing and added details like a movie room and a special bedroom for her mom. I explained how to add symbols for doors and windows that architects use including labeling the floor plans.

I’m trying to focus on enjoying the act of teaching more; since there is so much prep time, sometimes you can lose focus on the actual teaching. In Michael Linsin’s, Classroom Management for Art, Music and PE Teachers, he talks about developing a love for teaching that affects student motivation and the artwork produced. If you love your lessons and are excited about imparting them, the students will be better engaged and behaved. Part of this requires knowing the interests of your students and giving choices as motivational factors. Knowing what excites them can give your lessons a lot of life.

Recycled materials to use for 3-D work

Recycled materials to use for 3-D work

Floor plan of one student

Floor plan of one student

Overall, I think this lesson was successful because the student made a complete product of a floor plan in 2-D and 3-D, considering the location and inhabitants of the house. I used formative assessment as the main tool during this activity since there was only one student, asking her questions about the considerations for her piece. I think in the future, I would also emphasize scale more, especially with older students and add in a math component using rulers. One final part to consider is if students want to use entire boxes, like she did, these lessons might require another class period. If they were just building one floor, it would take less time. Had she finished her story in time, this would have been a nice example of Stephanie Juno’s chapter in Artful Teaching, that describes “making learning visible” through additional artifacts of the process and accompanying text to help explain what she learned in the activity.

 

Working on the final piece

Working on the final piece

Final piece

Final piece

Fringe Benefits: Subversion in Weaving & Fibers

redesigning the american flag including territories

Weaving is a very calming and meditative process that helps relieve the monkey mind of its chatter.  After a long day at school, I’ve found this to be soothing.  Starting on a piece of tag board, I wrapped the yarns into the notches for the warp.  Then I began with the colors of the weft.  I added 55 pink stitches for symbols of the 50 states and the 5 territories.  You know the ones: Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.  These people pay taxes and might get a “representative” in the House that  can’t vote for laws, just observe.  There are about 4 million people who can’t vote in the presidential election. John Oliver explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=CesHr99ezWE.

I left the fringe long on the bottom and wanted it to look like it was unraveling so I didn’t tie the sides.  America is a work in progress…1

FInal piece

Final piece: America and the Fringes

Showing the warp

Showing the warp

In process

In process

 

 

 

 

 

other weaving: the ripple effect

I started this piece after the one above after thinking about small changes we make in our everyday lives can become waves through other people and collective events.

The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect (hung on painted wooden dowel)

knitting a nest out of t-shirt Yarn on hand

I enjoy making t-shirt yarn as an avid knitter who likes to experiment with different materials. For this nest, I cut up three t-shirts that were somewhat old and the colors faded. Then, I knitted it on circular needles for chunky yarn, leaving a hole open at the bottom.

I left this nest of America unfinished on purpose, as things are always unraveling and being rebuilt in this country and the comfort one can find here shifts to become discomfort in a continual process.  I added two Dixon Ticonderoga pencils at the ends that are unsharpened, symbolizing the muteness of many people in our society without a voice or education.  These pencils are personally significant to me since Fort Ticonderoga fell exactly 200 years before, on the day I was born.  I’m a history buff.

FInished piece: Unravelry

FInished piece: Unravelry/Forgotten domocile

Knitting it up

Knitting it up

 

In progress

In progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Muriel, M. (2016, November 1). Millions of Americans can’t vote for president because of where they live. PRI. Retrieved from https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-11-01/millions-americans-cant-vote-president-because-where-they-live.

Saturday Art Workshops — 10.27.18

Rube Goldberg Machines with colleen

A machine that paints

A machine that paints

This week I helped out during Colleen’s lesson on Rube Goldberg machines. She started off by showing them Ok-Go videos and images of his sketches to get them intrigued and “get the ball rolling.” She engaged them by asking questions about Mousetrap the game and if they’ve ever heard of Goldberg or seen his inventions. We had two girls this week since one student was absent, and they really loved collaborating together at the beginning during the brainstorming session, and then ended up making two distinct machines.

Brainstorming drawings

Brainstorming drawings

Colleen instructed them to draw out their sketches and spent time talking with them about what machines they could invent such as ones for nail polish painting, applying make up and I added in some ideas as well. She showed them her 3-D example and told them they could make a machine that actually works or not.

The kids played around with the recycled materials as they were brainstorming to get their brains and hands moving which helped them generate ideas.

The trash cleaner machine

The trash cleaner machine

They surprised me by constructing really large machines that went from ceiling to table or table to floor. It was a physical process they were involved in and enjoyed being a part of. She also used a pop quiz with them towards the end and asked if they remembered the artist’s name we looked at as a kind of formative assessment.

 

Working on the machine

Working on the machine

Overall, this lesson was successful because she had materials prepared and organized, images for them to look over and discuss, an example which helped them visualize a possible machine, and engaged kids who produced well constructed and clear machines with an input and output.

 

Saturday Art Workshops — 10.20.18

Geological Abstractions

Observation of agate and sodalite

Observation of agate and sodalite

Observation of agates

Observation of agates

Observation of sodalite

Observation of sodalite

This week I taught a lesson where students observed and painted patterns and colors of rock samples that I borrowed from the geo-science department here at the University of Iowa. This lesson links geo-science with art, through the observation of crystals and minerals under a digital microscope where students enlarged sections with a partner or alone, and made a bigger, imaginary mineral formed through paint layering. Students learned about the types of minerals including metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous and how these are formed by viewing a PowerPoint.

Using analogous thinking, they used layering and the idea of structures and coloration as experimental methods to make abstract art, interconnecting the process of forming rocks with ways of painting. The observation part was interesting to me because as 4th and 5th graders, they’re moving into Lowenfeld’s pseudo-naturalistic stage of art and away from a more schematic stage, increasing detail and making things look as they are in reality.

Observation in process

Observation in process

Some rock examples

Some rock samples: one is even from the Earth’s mantle

I started off the lesson in our opening ceremony asking them what they did this week that was creative, then launched into asking them questions about different types of rocks and if they had a collection, to get them engaged. I spread the rocks out on the table with magnifying glasses, so when they came in, they had something to explore. From the last lesson I learned to keep the materials at bay until I had explained the lesson, gone over the slides and quizzed them about types of rocks. This was more successful. According to Michael Linsin in “Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers,” if you give clear directions to students to start with, then there is less confusion.

Painting a mineral

Painting a mineral

I asked them if they had any questions about the activity and then demonstrated scumbling and under painting, including using sandpaper. I explained how they would make two circles on paper using a roll of masking tape and then using the digital microscope, take a picture of their stone. After each one had taken a picture, I put the three images up on the computer so they could all see them. I think in a full class of students, I would have a few kids use the microscope and then enlarge on the projector so everyone could see and choose one.

"Killer Bunny"

“Killer Bunny”

"I Have Homework"

“I Have Homework”

"Rainbow Rock"

“Rainbow Rock”

They completed their two small observation paintings and two chose to work together and one alone. After they finished drawing a circle on the large heavy, duty paper with a string attached to a pencil with tape, I explained to them that they would enlarge their small drawing by choosing either the pattern or the color as a starting point for their new rock. This seemed to go well and once they had paint in hand with a roller and brush it flowed out, in fact, too much. One group used a lot of paint, however, so next time I will mention to use paint sparingly. Together, we scraped some paint off the work.

Collaborating

Collaborating

Two girls completed both paintings together, and they came up with the ideas for the color and application as a team. They also asked themselves the question, “When is this finished?” which was great because I was going to pose that. Their response was: art is never finished and then I said you can both decide together when that moment is, based on what you want it to look like.

The other student finished her painting early and decided to free draw and work on her batik from a previous class as a sponge activity. Pacing seems to be variable, like in the other classes.

Working on "Rainbow Rock"

Working on “Rainbow Rock”

In “Formative Assessment in the Visual Arts,” Andrade, Hefferen and Palma talk about collaborative assessment that peers can do for each other as a useful tool. These two students played together with techniques, deciding what was working and what wasn’t. At the end, I had them write their title on a post-it note and place next to the paintings in the gallery walk. Each student talked about why they thought their piece was successful and how they started the process. Using this kind of self-assessment is helpful for all of us because they explain to other students what they are learning and the teacher knows too.

Overall, this lesson went well because the students were engaged in honing their observation skills, experimenting with new painting techniques, collaborating if they chose to, and displaying their pieces for their peers using an inventive title. They also learned more about rocks and minerals, so this lesson could tie into earth science in 4th and 5th grade.

Teacher Examples:

"Spacelite"

“Spacelite”

 

Observation Examples

Observation Examples

Saturday Art Workshops — 10.13.18

Colleen’s screen printing Logos with Stencils

A logo stencil printed on a bag

A logo stencil printed on a bag

This week I observed and helped out in Colleen’s lesson on screen printing logos for invented organizations using stencils on paper. It was great to see she had materials on hand for them to make bandannas, t-shirts or a canvas bag if they wanted those. She started off by asking them about their creative activities this week during the opening ceremony that we have been doing. This got them engaged and was a nice transition into thinking about designing a logo while she showed her example stencil. She showed them the PowerPoint of various logos and asked them to interpret those. After that, she provided an informal assessment of their prior knowledge by quizzing them on semi-blank logos with parts missing, asking them to pare down to the essentials when they make their drawings for their logos. She requested that they make three sketches to start. One student groaned a bit but it was good for that kid to slow down a bit and think through her ideas more.

A logo stencil ready to print

A logo stencil ready to print

A logo about acting

A logo about acting

Putting ink on the screens

Putting ink on the screens

Applying the squeegee

Applying the squeegee

A kid's bandanna

A kid’s bandanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the sketches were approved and suggestions made, Colleen showed them how to screen print with her stencil in a demonstration. I thought the pacing of this lesson was successful for her in terms of how she introduced the idea and the parts of the activity. She also explained to them how to be safe while using an exact-o blade, which for 4th grade, can be tricky. They seemed to understand how the color would only be applied to the spaces that they cut out, so they had an idea already about negative and positive space and worked it out while they were making it. The collaborative aspect of requiring a partner to assist in holding the screen while another prints is a nice way to build community. One student had an issue with matching the squeegee size with the screen and so she had a limitation in material, but she solved the problem by just turning the squeegee so it fit better, which is part of the process of making art; the mistakes can either be helpful or a hindrance.

Overall this lesson was a success because the students were engaged, developed their ideas more fully through brainstorming and made productive results. The students have a good rapport with Colleen and each other as well.

Day of Remembrance at the Holden Cancer Center–10.3.18

Memory Wheel

Memory Wheel

We volunteered at the Holden Cancer Center at the University of Iowa Hospitals as part of our class.  Bereaved people who had lost a relative or friend came and wrote on strips of colored fabric as a memorial to their loved one.  They could also snip a piece of the fabric and take it home on a card as a reminder of the day.  When completed, the ribbons formed a colorful wheel where the writing became private.