Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Second Graders … or Interior Designers?

After studying Henri Matisse, second grade students tried out interior design as a viable career option. Well, not really. But, they did design their own interior spaces using printmaking and collage. Following a presentation closely looking at Matisse’s interiors, students began tackling this project in many stages. From the wallpaper to the window treatments, every element in the interior space was created with originality and skill. One of my favorite parts of this project is that each room ends up taking on the personality of individual students. Take a tour of each room below. Be sure to take a close look at the windows, specifically the views outdoors.

Imagination and Observation Drawings

I found inspiration for this project on an art education blog, and it really fit in with our third grade curriculum. To begin, I handpicked several everyday objects and put them in a large box. Students selected an object, and initially drew it from observation. Then, after looking at how surreal artists Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte manipulated everyday objects, I asked the third graders to transform their own everyday object using their imaginations. Below are a few examples of their creative minds at work!

Digital Flowers

As the final project of the year in fifth grade, I showed the students some of the basics in Photoshop Elements. We first gathered inspiration from Georgia O’Keefe’s artwork, and applied it to a challenging digital art project. I had students alter a single high-resolution photograph of a flower as their subject. Then, students layered the flower to create an O’Keeffe-like appearance. For a final touch, each fifth grader experimented with a background layer to enhance their flower. This was the first time I tried this project, and I must say, it was a lot of fun!

Artist Posters

Fourth graders ended the year studying artists. Each student chose a random artist out of a hat, and read biographies on the artist with a partner. They explored the artist’s life, childhood, and the style of their work. Then, we learned about posters, and how they excite, inform, and capture our attention. Specifically, we looked at artistic qualities of the poster, and their use of composition, text, and complementary colors. Fourth graders picked from three simple compositions, and created eye-catching posters to feature the artist that they studied. I was amazed at the results of these posters, and I hope you are, too! Below are a few of the many outstanding artist posters.