Pinch Pot Birds and Beads
In kindergarten at Traut students are introduced to clay. For their introduction to clay students create a pinch pot, beads, and a pressed pendent. To start this project students were introduced to clay and ceramics. Students learned that clay is really fine dirt and a mix of minerals mixed with water. As a class it was discussed that Colorado dirt has a lot of the same quality as clay making it great dirt to use to make pottery and ceramics.
Students were shown how to make a pinch pot by sticking their finger halfway into a ball of clay. Then students were able to slowly pinch their ball of clay to form it into a bowl. Once students had their bowl shaped. they pulled out a beak and a tail from the edges of their bowl.
Once students had a beak and tail they were able to cut wings into their bowl, they were asked not to cut all the way down their bowl, but rather just a small amount, then they drew the rest of the wing shape onto their bird. Students then used a fork to add texture to their bird, then the back of a paintbrush to poke eyes by their beak.
After students finished their birds they were asked to make beads. They started with rolling blueberry sized pieces of clay into balls, then they again used the back of a paintbrush to poke a hole all the way through their ball of clay.
Once fired students colored their birds with oil pastels, then the colored birds were dunked onto a bin of watered down India Ink to get color into the hard to reach places.
Pipe cleaners with the handmade beads and some pony beads were strung through holes poked into the side of the bird which created a handle for students to use to carry their bird pot around.
First grade was introduced to Non-Objective Art. To do this the class talked a lot about Jackson Pollock, the book Action Jackson by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. This book introduced students to the idea that art takes a lot of hard work and thinking from the artist. Students also came to learn that are can be made fro unconventional art making materials such as house paint and paint sticks as well as hard paint brushes.
To continue with the idea of art taking hard work and thinking students were asked to practice their "thinker pose." Students were asked to stop and look at their art as they made and ask themselves "what else does this need."
For the creating part of this lesson students used two different unconventional art making materials. The first day of the lesson the students painted using string and clothes pins. Students would dip string into paint and then drag it or place it onto their paper creating shapes that might not be possible with normal painting materials. On the second day students were given the opportunity to paint using marbles. This part of the lesson was more about the experience of working with materials that we might not otherwise use for painting. Students were given trays and a sheet of paper. They then had to scoop marbles out of bowls of paint and tilt and rotate their tray to get the marble to move around on their paper.
At the end of this lesson students were able to recognize that Non-Objective Art is much different than realistic or even impressionistic art. One comment about Non-Objective Art from a student was that “It does not need to be pretty or perfect.”
Aboriginal Dot Painting Rock Sculptures
Third grade was introduced to the art form of Aboriginal Dot. Before students started their painting, they first were given the opportunity to build rock sculptures using hot glue. Students spent two days building their sculptures. The first day started with students picking two larger rocks and deciding how they would fit together. The second day of gluing rocks, students were able to find smaller rocks and glue those onto or around their larger rocks. Many students made animals, but some worked very abstractly.
Once students had their rock sculptures glued together, they were shown a video on the process of Aboriginal Dot Painting, After the video students were given a demonstration on different ways they could paint their rock sculptures, Students were shown how to use the back end of a paint brush to create dots using Tempera paint.
Students were given the class period to add paint to their sculpture. They were given the choice of how they would paint their rocks. Students were able to use just dots or they could paint with solid colors then add dot on top of their solid color to create layers of colors.
Paper Birds and Environments
Fourth graders were introduced to working with paper to make art. Students were given the chance to pick strips of colored paper out of a box. They were able to pick colored paper or just white paper that would allow them to color the paper, using markers, a color of their choice.
Once students had their three strips they were shown how to staple the strips together in three places to make the bird form. Students were then able to glue more strips on to the end of their bird to create tail feathers or crown type of feathers coming off of the head of the bird. Students used scissors to create texture to represent feathers on the wings and tail feathers.
After the birds were completed students used white glue to adhere the birds to a piece of construction paper. Students then created a paper collage environment around their bird. Students were asked to think about where their bird would live. Places that were created during the paper collage included forests and beaches as well as some mountainous areas.
When students finished their environment they were given a small worksheet that asked them to create a story about their bird. This was done by answer four questions; "Where does your bird live-describe it to me," "what does your bird look like-tell me about it," "what does your bird do for fun," and "who does your bird hangout with?"