Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Monet's Japanese Bridge in First Grade Art.

I have been working on modifying my K-2 lessons since I no longer have a classroom.  Even though projects tend to be cleaner when I teach them in the classroom, much more thinking/prepping/preparing is involved.

Take my impressionism project based on Claude Monet.  In the past, we would learn some art history, discuss some color theory, and use watercolor to create an impressionist inspired landscape.  We might paint flowers, or add them later.  The focus was on the art history, and also painting techniques.

I knew Claude Monet was on the docket for my 1st grade, but I wasn't sure what the focus of our lesson was going to be.  I've watercolor painted off of a cart before, but it hasn't seemed like a good idea yet this year.  I decided to keep our focus on color theory, and emphasize impressionism, only with crayons!

We watched Linnea in Monet's Garden.  Next, we constructed a Japanese bridge out of masking tape onto tag board.  We discussed our primary and secondary colors.  First graders were charged with scribbling all over their papers with blue, yellow, and green.  Next, they peeled the tape off and revealed their Japanese bridge.  I loved the way this simple masking out process looked.  I loved the way the colors mixed and really gave it an impressionistic vibe.

Then, we started to add flowers.  This looked better in my head.  I demonstrated how to create tissue flowers, how to cut a lilly pad, and even how to make several cut flowers at once.  I let the students choose how they would finish the garden.

It got a little busy, and our gardens ended up losing their impressionistic feelings.  However, the students were real into the process.  I definitely see potential for this project in the future, on and off the cart.

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