Since we teach English Through Art, it’s not always easy to create a good balance between teaching English, allowing enough room for the kids to be creative and experiencing different artistic techniques. This project was a good one clear idea: creating pumpkins that showed various emotions-not too complicated on the English, the kids could get creative by drawing the emotions they chose and the shape of a pumpkin is pretty generic so they could experience watercolors without struggling too much with how to draw.
To learn the emotions we did several games before actually rolling up our sleeves and getting to work each session. We used the cards below we played memory, charades and pictionary. Click on the link for our pumpkin emotions crossword puzzle.
We also had contests trying to create different emotions using our pumpkin game, the first few times we asked them to do which emotions to do and after a while they had fun experimenting and have each other guess what they were doing. Before beginning to paint, the kids used the game to create emotions and then sketch them – taking careful notice at how the eyes, mouth and eyebrows had to be placed in order to convey the emotion they wanted to do.
When we finally dove in, we first divided a large paper into 4 sections and the kids used a black crayon to draw their Emotional Pumpkins. They were instructed to draw 1 pumpkin and 1 emotion per section and to do the pumpkin as large as they could, but they had to stay inside the confines of the space and they had to try and use their sketches. Using water colors the kids had to shade from dark to light inside each segment of each pumpkin to give the pumpkins more dimension. This was a real challenge – trying to control a very spontaneous medium. There was one more challenge to this project – the kids were only given primary colors to paint with, so all of the other colors had to be mixed. (This was not the first project mixing water colors, otherwise I think I would cut this step out so as not to get too overwhelming). They did great and had a lot of fun.
The final step was to have the kids talk about how their pumpkins were feeling. We were really proud of them, I think they were surprised at how much they learned.
It’s been a busy year so we’re a bit behind on our posts. We did this project back in October, when it was actually fall, but we’re only getting a chance to share it now. And here we go:
Frottage is such a fun way for kids to learn about textures.
1) First the kids had to learn the name of textures so, we created various textures inside very large bottle caps (we used sand paper for rough, some plastic drawer liner for bumpy etc etc) and used them in a game. We put 1 bottle cap at a time inside a bag and the kids had to feel to learn the name of each texture. (Later we created another set of bottle caps with matching textures so that the kids played a blindfolded memory).
2) Next, we gave the kids some crayons and some paper and they went crazy and did rubbings on everything and everyone! It’s such a simple exercise and the kids had so much fun doing it! When they were finished we analyzed the textures and gave them a name.
3) Finally we began our project:
- The kids did crayon rubbings again on bits of fall colored paper (except brown). They had an idea of what worked and what made better textures this time around.
- Next, tore the paper and they glued them onto a larger paper to create a background. For this step, we said no scissors.
- They did the same thing to make the trunk and branches of the tree, this time scissors could be used.
- The next step was to cut the leaves out of newspaper and glue that onto their tree
- It was a bit hard to see the tree and leaves, so we also got in a little practice shading. The kids had to outline the tree and leaves using colored pencils, shading darkest on the outside and getting lighter towards the center. This was probably the hardest part.
- The last step was to cut out the letters f-a-l-l- and sponge paint them on.
Among the games we did to learn textures was to do this word search. Inside the circles the kids had to frottage textures – which didn’t work for all the textures. I think if we to redo this we might just draw pictures of things with those textures.