Welcome to the Art Room, Kindergarteners!
The Pittsford Art Department is so excited to be teaching the Kindergarten students for the fourth year! During the summer of 2018 we spent several days writing curriculum for the Pittsford Central School District Kindergarten Art Program. We will begin our year with an exploration of art materials, experimenting and learning about the ways artists create. We will draw self portraits as well as learn how artists "get started", by reading "The Dot". Students will be exploring for the first semester, so beginning works will be very experimental and unfinished. By the end of the year, students will have learned about safety and how to use art tools properly. They will be creating artwork independently.
Please send your child to school with an old, oversized T-shirt labeled with their name on the front (like a nametag). This will help the children feel comfortable exploring materials without worrying about dirtying their school clothes.
Maybe Something Beautiful
ROY G BIV and the Rainbow
Kindergarten students colored shapes and painted a rainbow, learning the order of the color spectrum. They cut out and assembled the shapes to create the shape of a figure, ROY G. BIV.
Henri Rousseau Jungles
Students explored tearing and gluing when they learned about French artist Henri Rousseau and his magical imaginary jungles. Rousseau learned about the plants and animals he painted from books and visiting the zoo and conservatory.
Students layered various pieces of colored paper to create a foreground and background. They created trees, leaves, and animals.
Texture: Clay Pendants
We used clay to explore texture! We discovered clay is smooth and cold. The glaze we painted on was chalky at first but smooth after it was fired in the kiln. We stamped shape textures, line textures, stick marks, etc. to create a pattern on our clay after smushing it with our hand. We talked about gift giving and why we give gifts. We hope our families loved the gift of our little pendants!
Experiencing Painting and Play
Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development.* It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.*
With guidance from Herve Tullet's "Art Workshops for Children", I introduced a new lesson to Kindergarten, "Traffic Jam!". With the philosophy of play as the core of this lesson, students chose two "obstacles" from a box of small toys and placed them on their paper. They used their paintbrush to "drive" around their paper, creating colorful lines. The following objectives were acheived:
- Exploration of color mixing with Cyan, Magenta and Yellow
- Problem Solving
- Learning from others/collaboration
- Making real world connections
- Learning our "Painting Manners"
Many of these objectives are acheived in all of our lessons in the art room, but this one was particularly rooted in the need, and desire, for children to play.
Our final unit of the year was all about the element of Shape.
- We learned how shape can be used to create figures earlier in the year, when we discovered Roy G. Biv. In our Shape unit we learned to build a bunny in the grass with shapes such as semi circles, triangles, diamonds and circles, and various types of lines.
- Next we used shape to create a collage by "Drawing With Scissors" like French collage artist, Henri Matisse.
- Finally we learned to draw a bird using shapes, and then decorated it with shape patterns. We painted our birds using three primary colors to mix the colors we desired. Experimenting was a reoccurring theme in the art room this year.
Pulling it All Together
Two or three times during the school year, Kindergarteners experience a Choice Centers day. In this type of activity, students enter the room to find a variety of stations, or "centers" set up. Each center has a material/media or activity they have experienced at some point during the school year. Students may choose any activity they like. They are also encouraged to take their creation and move to another center to complete it, for example a student might build a sculpture at the tube sculpture center, but be interested in adding color. They would then be asked "which center would have the materials you need next?". The student might choose a center with drawing materials such as markers, or the painting station. This philosphy, officially called "Teaching for Artistic Behavior" or "TAB", is currently very popular with art educators because it teaches children to make their own creative choices with minimal teacher influence. It allows for experimentation with materials, which increases skill and new idea development. To read more about the TAB philosophy feel free to contact me for some materials.