Friday, November 26, 2010

4th Grade Recycled CD Snowflake Mosaic

I'm incredibly excited about this project.  Each year, I am asked to do a couple of winter themed projects that will hang during a couple school events that are geared toward the holidays.  I always seem to have a tougher time coming up with this kind of project.  I've done snowflake mosaics before with 4th grade, but I've always had the kids use little paper squares.  I always love to include recycled materials in my projects and I've been trying to figure out what to do with two large boxes of old computer CDs.  I finally came to this project.  

In class, we talk about snowflakes.  I like to bring in a discussion of geometry while looking at examples of the six sided flakes.  I showed students how to fold and cut construction paper to make a six sided paper snowflake.  The paper snowflakes were then glued onto chipboard that had been painted silver.  The excess chipboard is trimmed off next.  Finally, the CDs are added.  I spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to break up the CDs.  I tried all kinds of suggestions, but none worked very well.  I eventually decided to cut the CDs into strips with my big paper cutter.  The strips could then be easily broken into smaller pieces by students.  The CD pieces were glued onto the snowflakes with the shiny bottom side facing up.  I love the way this project turned out and the kids loved making it.  

1st Grade Wax Resist Fish

1st grade recently learned about fish that live around the habitat of the coral reef.  Each student drew a fish as well as some of its surroundings.  The fish were colored with oil pastel.  Before I demonstrated how to use the oil pastels, I drew a picture with white pastels.  Once class started, I showed the kids a couple techniques before talking about how the oil pastels resist watercolor.  My white drawing on white paper suddenly turned into magic when I painted over it.  I love how easily impressed 1st graders are.

2nd Grade Egyptian Cats

This has become a favorite project among 2nd grade students.  We study ancient Egyptian culture and artwork before creating these masterpieces.  Kids love anything to do with Egypt and also love using gold paint for the border of this artwork.  Each student draws and paints a cat and then writes their names in hieroglyphics.  These always come out great!

4th Grade Paper Pollock Weaving

4th Grade recently finished a study of abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock.  Each student made two paintings in the splatter style of Pollock.  One used all warm colors and the other used all cool colors.  This is one of the most nerve-racking projects that I do.  You can only imagine having 24 4th graders splattering paint for two consecutive class meetings.  I like to try to have each class compete to see which out of my four groups can be the least messy.  Yeah, I like to keep my room clean.  After the paintings are dry, they are cut in a specific way to allow strips from one painting to be woven into the other painting.  This is an extremely successful project and the kids love it.  

1st Grade Primary Mondrian

1st grade students are more excited than you can believe about painting.  Almost every single time a 1st grade class walks into my room, some asks, "Are we going to paint today?"  For this project, they got to do a lot of painting.  We started the project by talking about the work of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.  We have already talked about geometric shapes earlier in the year, so the kids were excited to see some of those shapes in famous artwork.  Another big emphasis with this project was talking about primary colors.  Students started out by drawing out several shapes and painted them with primary colors.  Later, they later glued on strips of black paper to finish the project.