3rd Grade Art & Music Integration

While the 4th and 5th graders were busy with their Romare Bearden/Jazz Music – Art and Music Integration Unit, the 3rd graders were involved in their own Art and Music Integration unit which was also the first art lesson that I had the pleasure of organizing and implementing. While the final products look very abstract the substance and lesson behind them allowed for students to use critical thinking skills and help them realize that everything that they learn in their Art class is connected to what they are learning in their other academic classes.

We began our unit listening to a short Jazz/Hip-Hop Instrumental song and really trying to pick out the beat/rhythm, the tempo, the pitch, and the different instruments. As a beginning exercise the students were instructed to “draw” the song with a line drawing. We then had a discussion on how the pitch relates to the shape of the line and an example would be sharp (triangular) lines represent a high/sharp pitch. Also, a fast tempo could be depicted by close-together and overlapping lines and a slow tempo could be depicted by lines that are farther apart. Finally we discussed how the beat can be translated as the background of a drawing. Then the students were instructed to do another drawing using various shapes to visually depict the song all the while still thinking about the connections between elements of music and visual art. The next step was an activity and discussion on what colors represent what particular sounds and music styles and then to add color to their shape drawings. The following activity allowed for the students to get out of their seats and move around a bit. I played recordings of various instruments and asked the students to use their facial expressions and bodies to show what that sound looked like. We had a lot of fun doing that! Their final task for the Art & Music Integration unit was to sculpt what the Jazz/Hip-Hop instrumental song looked like using pipe cleaners and add our sculptures to our drawings to create a final, mixed-media visual artwork of what music looks like.

The results turned out great and we had a great time! It was so great to hear the understanding in the 3rd graders voices of how Art and Music actually relate to each other instead of those quizzical looks I got in the beginning of the unit when I told them we were going to be drawing music 🙂

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Jim Dine Inspired Hearts

Part of being a student teacher is to slowly take over all of the responsibilities of the cooperating classroom teacher including planning lessons, teaching all of the classes in their schedule, and in this case, the blog!

The first lesson that I taught at Huegel Elementary was inspired by the artwork of American Pop Artist, Jim Dine.

One of the challenges that many art teachers face is not having their own room in which to teach. Instead, they may have their own storage space and will travel from classroom to classroom teaching “art from a cart” or, in the case at Huegel, they may share a room with other academic disciplines and teachers. The main challenge that exists in the shared room at Huegel is that there is no sink in the room. I am extremely fortunate that I am able to experience this type of teaching situation while still student teaching as it allows me the help and guidance of a cooperating teacher, while planning and teaching the lessons in a non-traditional art room. Along with many art teachers who teach off a cart and/or in a shared art room, I was determined to not let that hinder the student’s art experience!

With a few adaptations, such as buckets of water for cleaning and clothesline for drying prints, the students were able to create amazing artworks that incorporated printmaking and mixed media.

As a class, we started off having a discussion about the artwork of Pop Artist Jim Dine, specifically his artwork depicting hearts. We discussed the symbolism, color, pattern, expression, and abstraction in his artwork.

After being inspired by Jim Dine’s “Heartwork”, the students began making their own heart shaped block using styrofoam plates and pencils. Instead of ink, we used black and white tempera paint to make a variety of different heart prints on a variety of colored construction paper. The following week the students cut out their heart prints and included them into their own Jim Dine inspired artwork which included oil pastel and watercolor resist painting.

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The results were absolutely stunning!

Perspective with Snowmen

IMG_5283Each of my three classes at Huegel are very different from each other and have very different needs. But, as someone who is only there three hours a week, it is hard to differentiate my lessons to meet all of those needs. This is why I liked this lesson so much, all the same materials but meeting different needs and learning around one subject in many different ways.

Let’s start with what each of these three lessons has in common: snowmen, perspective, oil pastels, sharpie and watercolor with salt.

The first group of snowmen is from a second grade class who is able to listen and learn without much behavior difficulty. This class learned about perspective by learning about the horizon line, foreground and background.

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IMG_5286 The second group has some difficulty with paying attention for longer periods of time so short lesson on perspective is what was needed. This group drew snowmen from the perspective of laying on the ground.

IMG_5281 IMG_5288 IMG_5289 IMG_5287 The third group is a third grade group and learned about perspective as well as overlapping and drawing off the page.

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Baskets

Ms. Mincberg came to me and asked if I would create a lesson to enhance her social studies unit about learning about different cultures. I was going to do basket making in the spring but moved it to the fall to enhance this unit. Baskets are so important to so many different cultures for so many different reasons.

First we learned about sweet grass baskets from Sierra Leone and their history from Sierra Leone through slavery and into our current southern culture today. We also learned about the Navajo and how baskets carry stories with them. We looked at the Hmong culture and various European cultures to see how baskets are used in other cultures as well.

As far as techniques for making baskets, there is the coil technique and the weaving technique. There are many variations and styles on both of them but every basket comes down to those two basic techniques. Some students finished their coil baskets (made of yarn and clothesline) early and either made more or tried to make a woven basket with magazines and glue.

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IMG_5192 IMG_5191 IMG_5190 IMG_5189 IMG_5142 IMG_5141 IMG_5116When I began this project, I had no idea what I started! So many students loved this project, that I lost over 50 plastic needles in the course of a month because they would take home more materials and ‘borrow’ needles to work at home. I’m pretty sure coil baskets ended up being a popular holiday gift in the Randall community!

There is a huge component to this lesson that I did not plan for and photos can not capture and that is how much persistence and patience Randall fourth graders showed through this lesson. The beginning of the coil baskets is not an easy thing for fourth graders. We discussed, at length, what persistence and patience means not just in basket making but in test taking and school work. It was really amazing to watch my students grow and learn through the creation of baskets. Sometimes, the lesson is better written by my students than me.

Frank Lloyd Wright

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Both Huegel second and third graders as well as Randall fourth graders created these beautiful stained glass windows inspired by nature just like Frank Lloyd Wright. We started with observational drawings of items from nature and then abstracted them into geometric shapes to create our symmetrical windows using line symmetry.

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Don’t forget to VOTE!

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We have lots of exceptionally politically aware 4th and 5th graders at Randall Elementary. I decided I wanted to do a lesson around the idea of voting with the Presidential election coming up and because it is a subject many of our students are already interested in. Because many my students come from very progressive homes and they live in Madison, I thought it would be a good idea for them to learn what the term ‘non-partisan’ means as well as know the main issues from Democrats and Republicans.

I began by showing this video called “I’ll Be the President” from Flocabulary.com which seems to have kind of a modern School House Rock thing going on. This might be a favorite Randall song now as they are also learning it in music with Ms. B for our November all school morning meeting.

We discussed the word non-partisan with the kid-friendly definition of not telling someone your opinion about politics but just giving the facts. One rule in our posters is that the viewer can not tell what the political beliefs of the artists are. Some of our students have very strong opinions so this was rather difficult for some of them.

We also discussed how important it was to listen to people who have different opinions than you do because that is how we grow and are challenged. We learned about the main beliefs from Republicans and Democrats from this video discussing political parties. We also learned that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are not the only two running for president. Many students were surprised to find out there was a woman running for president as well!

From a design standpoint, we talked about the principles of space and balance and filling the page as well as lining things up contributes to a well thought out composition. This was a great lesson to discuss symbolism as well. Red and elephant for Republican, blue and donkey for Democrats. A couple of bright students took this idea to the next level and asked questions like “Could purple be used for unity?” or “Can I see some of the third party logos?” Like I said, these students are exceptional. I mean I’m sure every art teacher says that about their students. I feel like a parent with my students, I just like to brag about them!!

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Some artists thought about how to use popular culture and humor to create interest around voting. Can you guess where the ideas for these posters came from?

ImageImageMake sure to take a walk down Monroe St as some of our Randall artists are displaying their posters at Orange Tree, Art Gecko, Pizza Brutta, Sewcial, J. Kinney Florist, Paragon and Monroe St Framing. Thank you to our local, small businesses on Monroe Street! I didn’t get time to ask more businesses to participate so if they don’t have Randall art in their windows, it doesn’t necessarily mean they said they wouldn’t display art. I love supporting my local, small businesses when I shop because I know they support my students and the community in so many unmeasurable ways!

Pizza Brutta ^

Art Gecko ^

 

Display at Sewcial ^This is the owner of Sewcial, Sarah. Sewcial is new to Monroe Street and already very popular. They offer many different classes to fill your create fabric arts needs! I highly recommend checking this place out.