Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Vincent van Gogh Starry Night Mural by fourth grade

I wanted something stunning up in our main hall for our Festival of the Arts night.  Fourth grade was deep into a Vincent van Gogh unit and their newly completed mural was perfect.

I used Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night mural off of Art Projects For Kids.  I purchased a few sets a awhile back and have used them in different ways.  I decided with fourth grade to give them each a piece of the mural accompanied by a color thumbnail of how their piece should look.  Fourth grade used color sticks to color.  We decided on a palette before we started so that each table was using the same color for similar spots.

I started to think this was a little lame.

It was basically a coloring page... In the past I have given students a piece of the actual painting to try to emulate, and we concentrated on color mixing and collaboration.  I then tried to recall what my unit was actually about.  When I designed the unit, I of course began with what I wanted the students to learn.  I wanted students to learn about the life and art of van Gogh, and this was accomplished with our previous lesson.  I wanted them to appreciate his use of color and his technique, and we had done this by looking and discussing his paintings on Google Art Project.  I wanted students to demonstrate their knowledge of composition and pattern.  This would be coming.  This particular lesson was not about learning a skill, it was meant to reinforce the first two lessons.  Okay, it's justified.  New skills would come with the next lesson.

Coloring in isn't always lame.  Some of my students were the proudest I've seen them - pointing out their particular piece!

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