4th graders are working on drawing their self-portrait in a 3/4 pose, tracing it three times into a triptych, then using monochromatic palettes with tints & shades to paint.
I was asked to make a robot painting for an upcoming kickstarter as a gift to those who donate. If all works out, Annie Log will become a poster for 100 or so supporters. The instructions I received was to make a robot like the one I made a few years ago and connect it someway to the idea of "love" (hence the heart button).
Student Art: view the gallery
Students use patterns to fill these cats. This Fugleflick, Repeat, talks about line, color, and shape pattern. See my students working while listening to this music video.
Other Cats (safeview)
Digital Version of this lesson:
Finished Art (see our gallery)
Resources: Two Bear Books Read by Me
Corduroy's Button: song
Download the Lesson: on TpT
Visual Texture: music video
The kindergarteners learned how to draw their self-portraits after they created a quick pre- sketch. Here they are comparing their finished paintings to their sketch. They used my ERASER method to help find the right placement and size for the eyes and ears. Then we measured against each feature to draw the lips, neck, and shoulders.
Step One: Build a Face
Step Two: Practice Sketch
Step Three: Pin the Feature on the Face
Step Four: Draw the Portrait
Step Five: Color Mixing for Skin
I put out containers of white with squirts of red, blue, and yellow (the primary colors) for students to stir up. We don't get too caught up in our exact shade. Instead we see that we're all made from the same ingredients.
Step Six: Paint everything else
This is the most stressful day of the project. The kids have 1/2 hour to paint HAIR, EYES, LIPS, and the SHIRT. We have to wash and dry our brush between each step, try hard not to drip all over the portrait, and understand where to paint as we paint.
This is the day that makes or breaks the lesson. HINT- Don't do this step the day before Spring Break (like I did once UGH!)
Step Seven: Black Marker
For this step, I DRAW-then THEY DRAW. I want to guide them through each step of the portrait to help them think and make thoughtful decision. I draw digitally so that I can show them what NOT to do. Then I hit UNDO and ask them if they can do that with their permanent black markers. That helps them slow down and avoid mistakes as they work. Sometimes we watch our superhero BLACK MARKER video for before we begin.
Step Eight: Cut out
You would think this would be a very straight forward step, but kindergarteners have a way of surprising you. I've seen them follow black lines into the interior of the portrait and cut off ears, shoulders, and even heads. So, I give them a pep talk before we cut to try to help them focus on cutting away the WHITE paper. I pretend to cut the wrong lines and ask them what would happen? This prevents lots of mistakes. If all goes well, they may even have time to look at their before sketch next to (after instruction) art.
Finished Portraits on Artsonia
Digital Extension: Chatterpix
The Plan: Speak through our Art
The kindergarteners have already started learning the Kindergarten song with their music teacher. So, we sang it again together using my audio recording and my visual lyrics sheet. These are both available for download on TpT here.
The plan was to download their portraits from the dropbox, load it into chatterpix, draw the line between their lips, and speak one part of the Kindergarten song.
The Results: Super Cuteness
A few nerves and recording issues slowed down the process. So, the 10 minutes in each class remaining after setting up the portrait wasn't enough to record the whole song. However we have this super cute video to show for ourselves. Thank you to Mrs. Beane for lending another set of hands and helping to troubleshoot our time issue.
Here is the second verse sang by K-4 to our visitor from Oklahoma.
4th graders are finishing up their monochromatic self-portrait paintings drawn in a 3/4 pose. Student studied their faces and features in mirrors, measured, and revised their work. Their sketches were so amazing that we photographed them for Artsonia too.
Below is the front page of a handout I created for the students. We used a shade (color mixed with black) to paint shadows. We used the base color (straight from the bottle) for the rest of the skin. We used a tint (color mixed with white) for the background. The hair and shirt were painted with a neutral (color mixed with black & white). We layered tints and shades on the hair with brush strokes that enhanced the direction and texture of hair. We layered a pattern with the base color on the shirt.
One of the biggest struggles for young artists is to draw their own hair and clothing in a convincing way. This side of the handout showed some examples to get them started.
All students went step by step through the drawing. We mapped out the face, measured, and studied our features in the mirror. This ppt lesson helps students problem-solve.
To help students prepare for their self-portrait before we move to the good paper, we practice drawing all the features of our face using the handout I designed below. I like to put the handout in my iPevo interactive software and use the interactive board to draw. Students can come up to the board and give it a try too.
Monochromatic uses the lyrics of this original song to explain the meaning of the word. The visuals are full of hints as to what monochromatic means as well.
Black Marker (super silly) is a favorite movie demonstrating how a black marker line can cover sloppy edges in paintings and bring back all the details into focus.
Digital Extension: Triptych
Since students were randomly given their color pallet for their portrait, this digital extension will give them a chance to see what their portrait would have looked like in a different color. They will use the brushes app on the iPad to shift the hue twice. Then they will put the original and two new versions together in Pic Collage as a triptych.
I've taught this before in the old iOS using an old app that is no longer supported. So, I reconfigured the lesson a bit. View the old post here.
Student results: go to gallery on Artsonia
5th graders will be dynamically demonstrating the concept of movement over their paintings about movement through the magic of stop motion animation and green screen. Here is the post about this lesson from when we first tried it. One big difference this time around is that we have 6 Dewey iPad stands (thanks to an ABC/25 grant) that gives us lift and stability.
Step One: Painting about Movement
Click here to view their gallery of finished art on Artsonia.
You can download this lesson (step by step ppt) from TPT here.
Step Two: Green Screen Stop Motion
I put together a guide for setting up this lesson and a step by step powerpoint for creating the figure painting here:
Download the green screen stop motion lesson from TpT here.
You can also download the figure drawing painting ppt lesson from TpT here.
Step Three: Layer image and video
HINT: Here is what it looked like in 2014 when the 4th graders gave this a try.
Student Results: 2018 5th graders
In 2014 my students collaboratively built a lego mural out of a series of portraits in honor of Black History Month. I have apost about it here. I even put a post together explaining how I organized it and created the resources here.
I have a plan to try another Black History Lego Mural again this year. I really like the format I created where each portrait fits on 6 base plates. This mean I can have an entire class work on one portrait (one part per table). They can see how their small group collaboration feeds into a all class collaboration as the base plates are finished and pieced together. The lesson is not about creativity since they just follow a printed 1:1 scale guide, however it does require patience, collaborative strategies, counting, reading a grid, accuracy, and some problem-solving when lego pieces/sizes become scarce.
New Plan: Emphasizes History
The first time I designed the lego wall project I was scrambling, guessing, and making quick decisions to fit my time constraints. Now that I know that we have enough legos, and what my students capable of (2nd-5th graders do this lesson well) I am going to try to make sure the HISTORY part is emphasized as much as the art making. This new plan will include abolitionists, civil rights activists, a mathematician, and a scientist. Students will watch a video biography for each of the 6 figures from black history to learn more about their contributions and the challenges they faced in their lives.
Resources: Download from TpT
I packaged the resources for two of the murals above. You can download them with instructions, examples, and printable lego guide sheets. MLKJr and Harriet Tubman
We are the 2nd place winner of the ISTE Technology in Action Video Contest.
See my post for more info.
View our Entry for the What's Your Story
Internet Safety Contest
(Won the 2nd Place Prize)
View this musical tribute to the hard working teachers at Dryden and the students they love to teach.
Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT,
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.