The Little Smudge
Early in the year, as kindergarteners are getting accustomed to using art supplies, I sometimes give them a little leg up by precutting some elements. In this case, we read Little Smudge, by Lionel de Le Néouanic, and saw how simple shapes can be transformed into more complex things, and so in a collage, turned geometric shapes into something new.
Map of My Town
We learn about line as we create a map of our hometown using different types of lines as roads. I precut the strips of grey construction paper, and they added details with pencil, then sharpie, then crayon.
Every grade learns to draw a self portrait, even the little ones. I give them large tracer ovals to use for a head with four options for face shape. Then, we talk about adding all the facial features, making sure to emphasize details that often get passed over such as eyelashes, eyebrows, ears, etc.
Louise Nevelson Sculpture
In studying Louise Nevelson's sculptures, students can see how lots of different three dimensional objects can create a sense of unity when they are painted just one color. We used cardboard, wood scraps, beads, tongue depressors, blocks, and beads- found objects.
Smokey the Train
One of my very favorite illustrators from my childhood was Bill Peet, so we read his book, Smokey, and learned about adding details to a drawing as we created trains of our own.
Just as we did last year, my smallest fries learned about rockets and outer space as we read The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System. First, we did the rocket collage, then, the following week, we read about constellations in Zoo in the Sky by Jacqueline Mitton, and created our own as pictured here, using a Q-tip, white paint, and crayons.
Illustrators are often a source of inspiration for my kindergarteners, and Eric Carle is one example we learn about in art. We learned how he creates his illustrations as we watched Eric Carle: Picture Writer together, and on that first day of the lesson, made beautiful painted papers as he did using tempera, brushes, and stamps to mix colors and textures. On day two, we read A House for a Hermit Crab, and used the now-dry papers to cut out a collage of a sea creature on black construction paper.
One fun way to explore texture is creating a rubbing. We did fall leaf rubbings early in the year, but in the springtime, we used rubbing plates to create pajamas for this collage.