Fourth graders created these awesome plates full of clay food. They are required to have a plate (or a bowl if they wish) that has at least three items on it. We talk about how they can personalize these items to their liking – foods they like for example. Their food items can either be a complete meal or they could simply be their favorite things to eat (pizza, french fries and cake!). Other options could be a whole dessert plate – yum! The kids get very creative with this, I’ve seen baked potatoes, cinnamon rolls, hamburgers, even sushi!
This was a fun assignment for the kids. The goal was to create a new species that combined a human made object with a living thing. The sky was the limit and they could do whatever they wanted. Some kids researched online, others students did a list of all the things they could think of before beginning their project. The kids had to be creative when combing these things, and I loved that some went the extra mile and even described their new species!
I usually save the clay projects for the end of the year because the kids are always so engaged when doing clay. There are many frustrations with ceramics, things falling apart or things breaking, so the kids have to be really resilient! Organization is key to getting almost 600 pieces fired and back to the kids without losing anything! I love when we get to the glazing stage because opening the kiln to all the beautiful, shiny colors is so fun. It is also amazing to see the kids express their delight when they see how beautiful their projects turned out!
The annual DCSD art show is always a wonderful way to celebrate our amazing artists. The kids made me proud, and we even had two students win Wow! awards this year. The judges pick 3 students per grade level district wide for this award, so it is a great honor to have two of our students chosen! One of the student’s was also chosen for the district purchase award. Her work is on display at the district building for three years on a lease. Her work was chosen to represent all Highland Ranch schools for the intermediate level.
This project turned out so great! We started this lesson with a discussion of what a landscape is. We talked about the students favorite places to cultivate a connection to their own lives. We then researched landscapes on the internet. Once the students had chosen the landscape they wanted to use they transferred the design onto a paper plate. If they messed up they were not given a second plate, so they were required to problem solve and be resilient to come up with a solution. Some chose to redraw their image with a different colored sharpie or colored pencil. We then painted with acrylics. The students were only given the primary colors, black, and white. The kids were puzzled on to where they could come up with a brown. So we discussed that the three primary colors mixed will make a brown. They had to be resilient though because the brown they wanted wasn’t always mixed the first time around! After we were done with the painting we created our loom. The kids further ran into problems in some cases because they cut the slit on the wrong side. So some solutions we discovered were to tape over the wrong slits on the back side and re-cut. Other solutions were to turn their tree into a volcano or mountain! It worked perfectly and gave the students more opportunities to personalize their project. Finally, I taught the students how to weave. Some wanted to do a palm tree and so the loom and the weaving looked a little different.
My second graders learned all about themselves while creating these self portraits using chalk pastel. We began this project by listing words that describe themselves. They entered those words into Tagxedo and chose an image that they felt represented themselves, complete with color scheme they liked. This became the design on their t-shirt. We then went into a teacher directed lesson on how to draw the human face. We discussed how our faces are mathematically proportioned. We then began to color using chalk pastels, focusing on creating form and shading with different values. Students had to work through issues of erasing and redrawing as well as issues that arise through the use of chalk pastel, which is a quite difficult medium for younger students to work with. They also had to work through various technology glitches when creating their Taxgedos!