Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Year of the Rooster Paper Cuttings

Fourth graders researched traditional Chinese New Year paper cuttings.  They learned about the Chinese Zodiac, where each year in a cycle of twelve years is assigned a symbolic animal. This animal is believed to represent characteristics of the people born in that year.  This year is the year of the rooster.

They admired the intricate shapes and textures of the traditional paper cuts. To start the process, I projected a picture of a rooster on the board. We identified rooster characteristics, such as the different feather textures, the jutting chest, the comb, and the long neck. Then, they drew and cut two of their own roosters. One rooster is the traditional red color, which means good luck and happiness in Chinese tradition. The other rooster is in their own personal choice of non-traditional colors.

Seventh Grade Collage

Seventh graders explored the work of Romare Bearden (1911-1988), an African-American artist who worked in collage, oil paint, watercolor, and many other materials.  He created many of his collages as social justice statements during the Civil Rights movement, to celebrate and to make public the arts and culture that was taking place in predomininantly African-American areas such as Harlem. His collages captured both the struggles and the 
joy that African-American communities experienced during the Civil Rights movement.
Seventh graders chose a social justice topic with which they feel a connection. They used collage materials such as magazines to create their own statement pieces.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cozy Winter Pattern Portraits

Kindergarteners used several pattern-making techniques to create their own beautifully decorated papers. These included special paint combs, rolling marbles in paint, and crayon drawing. Then, they used their patterned papers and stencils to create all their cozy winter gear.

Eighth Grade Zentangles

Eighth graders learned about Zentangles, complex and multi-step patterns that are designed to be combined and to flow together.  I teach Zentangles because I appreciate how accessible the patterns are to all interest and ability levels. Each student is able to choose their own level of challenge and their own media, and it allows for a great deal of individualization. For this project, students used three official tangles from the official webpage, then designed and employed three original tangle designs.

Learn more about Zentangles on the official webpage:

Here are some examples of the beautiful and varied student work: