The photo above is of work created by the children who were in second grade last year. These gorgeous flowers are based on the work created by Georgia O'Keeffe. The children learned how Miss O'Keeffe looked differently at her world. They learned about simplifying things and looking closely so that details become fuzzy. The paintings were created with a monochromatic scheme, using tints and shades of one hue. The results were magical!
Now see pictures of work also created based on the style of Georgia O'Keeffe, only this time the work was created by students in the fifth grade. The children each chose a photo of a flower. They had to draw the flower large, going off the page, to give the impression that it was too big to fit the borders. They painted the flowers using watercolor this time, instead of tempra paint, and mixed shades by adding the complementary color to the hue to create a shadow. For lighter values they learned to use more water and less paint so that the color was more transparent. These two lessons are a lovely example of how the curriculum in Art spirals throughout your childs time with me. I build concepts upon previous lessons to take the children further as their developmental levels progress. It is so exciting for me to watch the growth in your children. I am always proud of how hard they work and the exciting things they create!
The Art Curriculum is based on four strands. Please understand that Production is only one of these strands. The important part of production is the creative process. I also work to teach your children Art History connections, based on art from World Cultures and Artists both living and dead. Criticism and Analysis is the third strand. This means that I am teaching your children the vocabulary to talk about art and the elements and principles of art. The last strand is Aesthetics. I teach this by talking with the children about the choices that artists make and pushing them to think about how and why they make choices in their own artwork. Each year I base what I teach on an overall Essential Question. The question for 2010-2011 is "What kinds of things do artists need to think about when they are creating art?" My famous response to your children when they ask me what color they should paint their picture is "I don't know. You are the Artist!" I want them to make choices on their own and also to be able to explain why they made that choice!
With all of this to teach, as often as possible, I also try to connect what we are learning in art with what they are learning in the core curriculum. For instance you will see insect art coming home in second grade, while they are studying insects in Science. You will see bird drawings based on the art of John James Audubon coming home in 4th grade when they are studying Westward Expansion. I have developed so many exciting lessons that make these kinds of connections. Research tells us that when we immerse students in the content they are more likely to remember what we teach. I do see evidence of this when my former students come back to visit and they talk about the lessons that they loved! I hope to make these connections for your children also!