I found a few pics that I thought could make a very nice project. The pics showed funny, pig-like heads that were painted wacky colours. I made a simple structure using a balloon and recycled material and then added paper mache over this. This was then painted.
The actual sculpture built I then came up with a fun extention of the lesson. I showed the learners work by Sandy Skottnes as well as South African, Jane Alexander. These two artists, in very different ways, made sculptures and then photographed them in relation to life. I also showed them a few pics from non-fine art photography like this blog.
We took our sculptures outside, placed them in strange situations and then took photos of them! These pics I quickly took, just to explain the lesson to the learners. They were also useful in pointing out some ideas about photography.
I discovered this amazing architect and artist the other day while looking at what I could teach the grade 6s. Originally from Austria, he later moved to New Zealand. Unfortunately he is now no longer with us. His beautiful creations are however! And hopefully will be! Hundertwasser’s fantastical designs remind me of Gaudi in the way that they appear to go against the natural laws of nature! This was a very quick picture I did, just to show the learners in my class how the end artwork might look.
This was an idea I came up with for my grade 4s. We first looked at the Mexican culture in particular their art. We looked at the day of the dead artworks. The school I am at has a cat called Sassa that all the kids love! My original idea was that they draw this cat in a Mexican style. As the project went on however, I got more and more into the idea of drawing the cat as a Mexican day of the dead, with the skull and bones. The images I found online looked SO cool!
It was only by the time I was seeing my third grade 4 class that I started calling the project “Day of the dead cat”. And then, tragedy struck! I was excitedly telling the class about the project and how cool it would be (most of the kids had been excited about doing a cat like this) when I noticed one boy crying. I finished with my talking and took him aside. It was revealed that his family kitten had passed away the day before! He was so distraught he could not continue the lesson! I went back to calling the project “Mexican Sassa” 🙂
Chuck Close is an American artist with an amazing story! He went through SO much in his life and overcame to become a well known, quadriplegic, portrait artist. He did not let his disabilities stop him from following his dream! This is a message which I felt was important for the grade 6 learners to hear.
We began by studying Close’s method of dividing a picture into a grid, which is then replicated but enlarged onto the canvas. The artist then copies the picture block by block. By focusing on the picture, block by block, the artist is able to more realistically reproduce it. We also used the grid for creative purposes however.
I found this idea online a while ago and I was itching to try it! You take a small piece of card and draw a simple landscape (or whatever you want) on it. You then take play dough (the school I work at is in the fortunate position to have some store bought play dough though you can make as well) and using earbuds and your fingers you smear the dough over your page. You can then take sticks and scratch into it. It’s far from a perfect media but very fun and we all loved it!
This was a project I did with the grade 5s. I started out by showing them a video of somebody dressed up as the character from Assasin’s creed doing parkour through a city. I then looked at what a person in action or movement looks like. Finally they had to create a figure in action using rolled up magazines as the different segments and finding a face in a a magazine. They could also make a background using whatever they liked. This is my own example.
I love board games. I have spent the last 10 years or so actually designing a board game which I am looking to publish. I decided that making a board game would be a project the kids of grade 6 would enjoy! The definitely did!
The idea of the project was that learners should take a very basic game as their starting point (snakes and ladders). They should then make something new from it. They could simply redesign the visuals of the game or actually redesign all of the rules!
I made this mock up of a game from my Mole vs Earthworm series. It’s loosely based on snakes and ladders with some differences (obviously). I’ve since redesigned the board to so that it gives more freedom to the players ITO route.
Just to show what the game might look like in reality…Again, the board changed quite a bit.
The box I made for the game
This was done in preparation for a grade 4 project on basic atmospheric perspective. The learners had to use different values of one hue to show depth. For example, I used darker reds to show the land that is in front and added white to the red as it faded back to give it a sense of depth.
I asked my grade 4 learners to imagine they were 50 years older (so around 60) and they had lived the most amazing life imaginable! They had done exactly what they wanted to do!
I asked them to think of what they had done. I then explained what an autobiography is. They had to imagine that they had written an autobiography for their amazing life! They had to come up with a title, they had to write a little blurb on what the book is about and they could write a few imaginary critic responses to their book. They also had to decorate their book cover by integrating pictures!
This is my autobiography, “Walking on the moon”, written by the 80 year old me. It chronicles the episode in my future life where I traveled to the moon and met an alien named Hank.
The Easter Bunny is a very Euro-centric idea. A bunny would not last long in the African veld. This is a thought I shared with my grade 6s. I told them that it is about time that we came up with a new, African, Easter animal. I then introduced the learners to Franz Marc, a German expressionist artist who would paint various animals in crazy colours, according to how he was feeling. Below is my new idea for an African Easter animal, the Easter Warthog. 🙂