October 16, 2006

Fun Art Lesson

Today we did a fun art lesson. We were learning about lines and shapes. We started the lesson at our table where I had placed in front of each of them a pile that contained pieces of yarn, pipe cleaners, ribbon, strings of fake pearls, and some popsicle sticks. I asked them to look at all the items in front of them and figure out what they had in common. Ciaran and Rhiannon decided it was that they were all materials. They were right but it was not the answer I was looking for. Sirah said they were all straight and Ciaran said but some could be wiggly. We talked a little more until one of them said you can make lines with them all.

Next I had them get up and draw random shapes on our wall (relax - we have chalkboard paint)from the basic circle, square, triangle to wiggly strange ones. Sirah mostly drew lines but that worked well to teach them the difference between a shape and a line and how all the shapes are made up of lines. Everyone had a different colored piece of chalk so we could see who drew what and we could talk about how shapes were made up of lines and then how some things they drew were actually objects made up of several shapes.

Then I had them sit at the table and using the materials I set in front of them and some glue and construction paper they had to make shapes. First they had to make a basic simple shape. Rhiannon made a circle with the fake string of pearls, Ciaran a triangle with popsicle sticks and Sirah a square with popsicle sticks. Next they had to make any wiggly and unusual shape they wanted. Ciaran used ribbon and his string of pearls to make what looked like a hill. He stood his ribbon on its side giving his shape more texture and depth. Rhiannon made something that looked like a hat with her pieces of yarn and Sirah tried to use her pipe cleaner to make a heart like shape.

Next they had to make a shape with atleast 5 separate lines. Sirah and Rhiannon both made a barn with their popsicle sticks - though they looked slightly different. Ciaran made a foot shaped cloud he said using yarn and ribbon and his fake pearls. While they were doing this I talked about the definition of a line and shape and how we use lines to make shapes.

When they were done we set aside the projects to dry and they each received a piece of paper to draw three shapes in the room on their own. Ciaran picked an intricate frog to draw. He did a very good job but it took considerable time, so for his last two shapes he choose two different balls from the room which went much quicker. Rhiannon drew a tambourine, a book and a door jamb. Sirah decided she preferred the glue and made a cross with her gold ribbon and a sheet full of glue.

It was an easy and fun and informative lesson. It was one that I had been dreading doing because it involved glue and messy materials. How can I be a homeschooling mom who hates glue?!?!?!?!?! Anyway I am glad we did it. I realize the trick for us to doing art or music is to put it in the middle of the day instead of leaving it for last because then we never get to it and it is easy to let that slip off the radar and schedule more than math.

Also we all had fun doing it and they could do it all together even though they are in very different places artistically. Why do I not do it more? Oh yeah the whole glue and paint thing scares me off. Well I must get over it because life is messy and school is fun.

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