Identity Portraits - 3rd Grade - UP Academy Holland
Identity can inform art-making. With around 800 new students to meet at the beginning of the school year, I thought that the best way to get to know my 3rd graders would be for them to show me who they are through self-portraits. We looked at artists like Frida Kahlo, who use symbolism in thier self-portraits to convey a strong sense of identity as inspiration. Students had the opportunity to display who they are with pride, learn what makes them unique, and discuss how to respect other's identity markers.
Abstract Nature Paintings - 4th Grade - Forest Park Elementary
When observed closely, everyday objects can reveal a new world. This was a project that was successful at the high school level so I decided to see how it compared when done with 4th graders. Many of the students were interested in the project and with heavy scaffolding, wound up having a firm grasp of the idea of "abstraction". After reviewing abstract artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, we foragedfor natural materials in the small forest behind the school, then used a viewfinder to zoom in and do thumbnail sketches before choosing our final composition to paint.
Artists often explore the link between emotion and color. This lesson was an attempt to address some socio-emotional needs in the art room. It was a fun project and I really enjoyed hearing what the students had to say about different emotions, how they related to them, and how we could perhaps display them on paper. Some students had predictable answers, while other answers were very surprising. Even though the final products look similar, each step of the way, students were able to voice their opinions and express themselves.
Nature Infused Humans - 5th Grade - Forest Park Elementary
Students were really excited about this project. I was a little nervous at first because of how "creepy" the students interpreted the artist inspiration, particularly Marco Mazzonni, but when they started coming up with their own drawings, I was amazed at what they came up with. Using visual aids and books aided in scaffolding, but most of the ideas came from the students themselves.