Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Around the Holidays students' minds are full of everything but school. They are excited and distracted, so that is why it is important as a teacher to not fight it, but to just go with it.
Almost every year I find an inspiration for some easy but worthwhile art project to go with the holiday or fill the gap. This year it was "Snow Bear." I used it with the Kindergarten and a few of the 1st grade groups. I really like it because it is simple but there are some big art concepts connected with the project.
I saw this really cute drawing of a polar bear on Pinterest - but wanted a story to introduce it- give it some context. I googled all my libraries with no luck, but found the book I wanted at Powells for $1.95! Pretty good. I went there on the way home and was all set.
So "Snow Bear" is a simple story of a polar bear cub exploring his/her arctic neighborhood, kind of like "The Pokey Puppy," getting lost in the process.
The illustrations are simple yet perfect examples of the use of cool colors.
I read the story, and then students were introduced to the color wheel- warm verses cool colors. They were also shown how colors are warm and cool "relative/compared" to each other, just like "tall" is relative to what you are comparing it to. This is yet another concept in art class where I tell the students "what I am telling you is true most of the time, but completely wrong at other times. Art contradicts itself often."
The color wheel is a great invention, as it is very readable and helpful on simple to complex levels.
Then the students were taught the simple way to draw the snow bear and asked to use cool colors in the background, and invent a hat for their head using "warm colors."
This project also contains a lesson on positive and negative space - but warm/cool was plenty to talk about with the Kindergarteners - I saved the positive/negative addition for the 1st graders :)