Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Medieval Arts: St. George and the Dragon and Castle Design, 1st and 4th Grade

So, you've seen knights, kings, and queens, and  a few castles.  Where's the medieval drama?   The folklore that's been around for nearly 1000 years?  It's HERE!

First and 4th grade earned the task of making 2D castles for our medieval arts unit, and they didn't disappoint in the drama department.  First grade looked at Bodiam Castle (same as our Kindergarten friends) and discussed why it was a successful design, then watched a video featuring famous castles of Europe before making our own symmetrical castles.   After that, they learned how to add the faux stone look to their paper (thank you, square sponges), and we glued them to a very chalky background.  After our chalk day, there were several kiddos who left with multi-colored hair/faces/bodies...paint shirts can only do so much.  I tried.

Just a castle on a background is BORING, so we added some oil pastel details to liven it up, and this is where it gets fun.  Some added knights and archers to the tops of the castle, some had pretty princesses in need, one had a carrot garden surrounding the castle, and I believe one student added some form of satellite TV to his castle (not medieval, but funny).  Here are some of my favorites from the fantastic grade 1 kids.

4th grade also worked on castles, but with a different approach.  After watching a so-cheesy-it's-hilarious video of the legend of St. George and the Dragon, we looked at SEVERAL versions of said tale and discussed similarities and differences.  Hmm...there's always George, a horse, a princess in need, a castle, and a dragon.  The sizes of the objects varied A LOT between the images (c'mon...the horse was twice as big as the dragon in some).  The kids learned that this means that St. George is a pictorial, or a painting that tells a story.  The basic story was always the same; it was the artist's depiction that was different.  Enter 125 kids painting their own version of St. George...and things got interesting.

The trend was for the boys to see how many things in their picture could be smoldering/on fire at once, but I do like the image with George attacking the dragon while standing on the running horse...backwards!

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