First graders explore materials and techniques through experimentation. With some guidelines from the teacher, students choose their own subject matter while working with a new art material. They review the Elements of Art (see description on the page titled "The Elements of Art) and utilize them in a very basic way. We explore artists both new and old. Often, new concepts are taught through picture books.
Learning About Artists Using a Heart Theme
Over the Winter we learn about Chris Uphues and J.D. Goldcrown, who are street artists, and Jim Dine, printmaker and painter. We use pastels to draw overlapping hearts, rubbing them smooth to create a spraypaint look, mimicking J.D. Goldcrown's work. We print hearts on black paper to learn about Jim Dine and cut out hearts and draw fun faces on them to learn about Chris Uphues!
We explore the art of Jean Miro and his use of line! We use string to paint lines onto paper. Next we learn how to use chalk pastels! Adding color by outlining and filling in shapes is our focus.
If The Dinosaurs Came Back
We read "If the Dinosaurs Came Back" by Bernard Most. In this story, we imagine the possibilities if the dinosaurs roamed the earth again. Could they help shelve the books on the top shelf in the library? Would they help firefighters fight fires? Could they be ridden to work and school? Students discuss their ideas and illustrate their thoughts with black crayon on white paper. The following class, students receive tempera cakes to paint their dinosaurs and review their painting manners.