Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Art of Science Fiction: Baby Groot-2nd Grade

We are Groot!  2nd grade is, anyway. Since my focus this spring is sci-fi, we had to have something actually become part of a movie. They all learned a little about modeling, texture, and stop-motion animation using Baby Groot as our subject.  We watched a clip of Baby Groot dancing (which was the best part of Guardians of the Galaxy, anyway), and talked about how to make a paper bag look like Groot.  The kids agreed that texture and movement were both important.  We glued some donated rocks into the bottom of our Groot pots for added weight and to make him appear 'planted,' and added a pipe cleaner to his arms so he could actually strike a pose.  They also felt Groot's pot was a little plain, so we added a pattern to jazz it up a little.

After we finished Groot, we used the Lego Movie Maker app to create a stop-motion animation movie featuring our very own dancing Groots!  I will admit, the app can be a little buggy, namely in the music department.  Some of the kids would add their music, save, and the music would magically be gone forever.  We tried.  The kids got the gist of it, anyway, and they now understand just how hard stop-motion animation is.  Most stop-motion movies have 700 pictures per 1-2 minutes of movie.  Our Groot videos are 7-10 seconds long, and the kids were taking 20+ pictures.  

This was my example for the kids (and it demonstrates my point about the music-I added it, but it magically disappeared.  I uninstalled, re-installed, and still no functioning music).  A big shout out goes to my husband for taking all the pics while I did all the posing.

Here are a few student-made examples.  Considering the fact that these were done by 7 and 8 year olds, I think they did a pretty good job!

I also had a geektastic moment on this project while trying to figure out how to better share our videos with the school-I added a QR code to my display case sign.  Just scan and view-problem solved!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Art of Science Fiction: Alien Design-Mixed Age

This project was so much fun for the kids it'll probably become a keeper.  Over the summer, I stumbled across an app called 123D Sculpt.  It's free, and it's perfect for beginning computer generated design.  My 'guinea pig' class for this project was a mixed grade group (kids from grades 1-6 are in there are the moment).  Not one of them had trouble with it, but it was still challenging enough to be fun.  Getting them to work wasn't an issue-getting them to stop was another story.

Our focus was on the many aliens of Star Wars and how to create something that looks other-wordly/hasn't been seen before.  They started with a head, and had to use tools in the app to make the human head look alien.  Once those were finished, we moved on to a full body.  Yeah, some are kind of extreme, but that's what you get with a class full of boys!

Tie for Artist of the Week

 Tie for Artist of the Week

 Also made by an Artist of the Week-his body is above

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Art of Science Fiction: Space in Space by Special Needs

My special needs kiddos love anything sensory and messy (as do I), so of course they were up for...shaving cream and splatter painting-on the same day! What better to make from marble-y style shaving cream paintings than planets?

We started out by rubbing a toothbrush covered in white paint over the prongs of forks, making instant controlled splatters-stars for our black background.  It was a win-win for the aides and the kids.  Next, each table was given a foil pan covered in shaving cream and smoothed with a spoon.  I added a few drops of red, yellow, and blue liquid watercolor to each pan, and the kids mixed like crazy with their forks.  Put paper in, rub, take paper out, and take it to Mrs. Heigl for scraping (with a home-made plastic squeegee).  Once all that messy shaving cream is scraped off, the kids are left with a beautiful marbled piece of paper.  After everything had a chance to dry, they traced different sizes of circles, cut and glued (after talking about space/distance), and added a few spaceships with construction paper crayons.  X-wings and tie fighters are the easiest to make, so those were popular.  A couple kids even made their own black holes and other galaxies far, far away.

Claes Oldenburg Ceramic Doughnuts-2nd grade

Who doesn't love doughnuts? They're covered in tasty sweetness and sometimes look like a piece of art you can eat. 2nd grade made their own ceramic doughnuts with just that idea in mind. We looked at some of Claes Oldenburg's food sculptures (such as his Pastry Case, Good Humor Bars, and Floor Cake, to name a few), discussed what made them look so delicious, and used those ideas in our doughnuts. The kids decided that realistic color, shape, and texture were very important, so that's what they focused on.  Otterbein Elementary is starting to look more like a bakery....


Monday, April 13, 2015

Chinese Cherry Blossom Fans-3rd grade

This is my last 'Miss Holmquist' post.  She's all done here and is currently working through her last few weeks of student teaching at McCutcheon High School, but I wanted to share her last project that she completed with 3rd grade.

I mentioned earlier that I don't pass up freebies, and the speech teacher was somehow given a REALLY big box full of blank paper fans.  She didn't see how she would need 200+ paper fans, so she gave them to me (and of course, I said YES!).  I told Miss Holmquist she could use them if she wanted, so she did.  Only my Prairie Crossing 3rd graders had time to make them; hopefully Otterbein can join in next year.

Third grade looked at the style of cherry blossom trees as painted by Hokusai (Japanese artist, but painted in a Chinese style-also went by multiple names throughout his life).  They were trying to create a sense of balance on their fan and paint in a more loose style.  Since the fans were pre-made, she had to do some modification and tape the fans down to drawing boards in order to be painted.  The kids were really excited to make them and were itching to take them home, so I had to hold the fans from one group hostage for my display (you'll get them back soon-promise).

Friday, April 3, 2015

Wayne Thiebaud Cakes-4th grade

Miss Holmquist, my student teacher, definitely impressed me with this project.  It was so ambitious that it was the only project she completed with 4th grade during her 8 weeks with me (thank you, snow days and delays!), but I think it was worthwhile.  The kids LOVED it, to say the least.

Wayne Thiebaud is a California artist known as 'the dessert guy.' He's made paintings of cakes, pies, ice cream sundaes, suckers...if it's delicious and bad for you, he's painted it.  They're always in neat little rows or display cases, and he tends to use a palette of 'happy' colors.  Who wouldn't want to make cake that lasts forever?

Using just pre-cut cardboard (cut by Miss Holmquist and some of her Purdue friends), newspaper, and a little watered down glue, the kids created cake masterpieces.  They were to use a tint, a hue, and a shade to paint their layers; pom-poms, glitter glue, and sequins topped it all off.  When they were complete, we hot-glued the corners to plates.  Here comes the highlight reel...

First up earned Artist of the Week for Otterbein!

Louise Nevelson Wood Scrap Sculptures-1st grade

This one goes out to my brother-in-law.  He does a lot of woodworking, and (to my delight) he has a habit of saving the scraps.  No good art teacher passes up freebies!  As long as I've been teaching (all 12 years), he's had enough scraps for all of my 125 first graders to make a wood scrap sculpture inspired by Louise Nevelson.

Nevelson would scour the streets of New York, searching for wood and metal scraps that could become part of her next masterpiece.  They were always arranged attractively and always painted one color for unity.  My first graders did the same, using those very scraps I was given.  I put trays at each row, filled with odd-and-end pieces of wood, and they go 'dumpster diving' for 6-8 pieces of treasure among those chunks.  I have a rule-I don't hand out glue bottles until they've figured out how their sculpture will stand BY ITSELF, i.e. not defeating gravity.  That's always the biggest challenge-getting them to understand that I can't hold their sculpture until the glue dries.  I do have other classes to teach.  Once dry, we paint them with ONE color for unity.  They also learn how hard it is to paint in teeny tiny spaces and to paint ALL of the wood so it is just one color.  This is part of 2015's crop.