I just love the contrast of black and white, so to add to our thematic unit on Space I had my current 3rd graders create their own black and white spaceship. This was done within two 40 minutes classes. One class for adding pencil designs with very simple shapes and the other class period painting and outlining with one color of paint.
I have five 3rd grade classes. I wanted to switch it up with some classes creating black spaceships with white paint and other classes painting white background ships with black paint.
I did provide a pattern for the spaceship so they all looked identical. In my grand scheme of things I wanted REPETITION in the display.
Once they traced the pattern they added geometric shapes to their spaceship. This is where their individuality came out. Students loved adding patterns to their ships using shapes as well as just using one color. Some students really submerged themselves by adding very small details (you know the student who is still designing while the others have left the classroom and are down in the cafeteria for lunch) while others added large simple shapes.
I also had students paint SPACE ideas on large display paper. This was done on another day. First we brainstormed some ideas then the paint and brushes were passed out.
Students really took off with fun designs!
I displayed some of the spaceships in a checkerboard pattern. It was so striking to see down the hallway. I also added some fun flames and the words BLAST OFF to complete the installation.
Other spaceships were cut out and displayed down the hallways in a fun flight pattern.
12 x 18 Black and White Construction Paper
Black and White Tempera paint
Small tempera brushes
It has been shown that little ones love the black and white contrast. I can say our preschool kiddos loved this display as well as some bigger kids too!
How many of you have been in a school with nothing on the walls, boring hallways and the fluorescent bulbs just blaring? Who wants to learn in an environment like that? Now is the time to really promote your students and their art work.
who helped sponsor our regional Youth Art Month show. The Director and CEO of the museum, Brian Kennedy, was the key speaker at our opening ceremony and briefly spoke about Visual Literacy. He commented that with all the technology today children are submerged in such a face paced-tech society and are missing the details of artistic beauty. People do not know how to slow down and see beautiful craftsmanship while using their different senses.
Now, onto your educational environment. Is it aesthetically pleasing? Are your students’ projects full of artistic beauty? Do you rotate your displays and student projects? One thing that you need to understand as an Art Educator is that YOU are the PR (Public Relations) for your school building, your district and YOUR PROGRAM. You can’t just rely on word of mouth. Your students’ work needs to be displayed neatly for all to visually read.
Amazingly, you are the one to promote visual literacy. You have the power to slow down the students, visitors, faculty and staff and to have them use their senses. It does take time, but this is how a district will value you as a visual arts educator and appreciate the beautiful creations that are being produced in your classroom. When feed back from parents and community members make it to the ears and emails of administration they get excited about the positive vibe in their school.
Here are some helpful ideas to promote art advocacy
Start small and display in a prime hallway of travel. Use sticky tack, a good quality masking tape and bulletin boards. Tack strips work really well and are not too expensive. If you do not have tack strips write up a proposal for your principal to purchase a few, use them frequently, then ask for more :)
Use large rolls of display paper to create murals. The students love making these and collaborative group projects are always a hit with administration.
Create banners promoting art vocabulary such as the ones used in State and National Art Standards.
Use bright colors! Tempera Paint is inexpensive and looks great. Outline with black or white to make lettering “pop”. Be creative!
PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE!
Have an art show, write up invites, send them home with students, take photos (of course with parents permission) and submit in your school’s newspaper and local area newspaper.
Get active with your local, state and National Art Associations.
Display your students art at a Youth Art Month- get your students artwork out there. Present at conventions- when you collaborate with others in your field you give and gather so much information.
Remember, you are the PR of the school.
When you are proud of your students’ work and school it’s contagious! The school community will support you back.
He started creating small beautiful collages after working all day as a graphic designer to relieve the stress of any negativity that he might have been privy to that day. I decided let's follow in his foot steps and create some positive artwork for our school hallways.
These projects were created by my 5th grade students.
Day One - Design and Painting
After we examined the beautiful paintings created by Rex Ray, students used pencils to draw patterns using some type of repetitious line or geometric shapes. Next, students used analogous tempera paints to paint the background.
Cut and Glue Organic Shapes
Students used various colors of painted paper to compliment their previously painted projects.
We discussed the curvy lines found commonly on organic shapes.
We brainstormed some fun ideas like
seaweed and leaf shapes as well. Students jumped right in and created beautiful shapes.
Once they had their shapes all created and cut out, they glued them neatly onto their backgrounds.