Monday, April 18, 2011

Pop-up Landscapes

Since January, this first grade class has been learning all about city scapes and landscapes. The concept was introduced when we read "Tar Beach" by Faith Ringgold and students created their own city scapes featuring meaningful places in Brooklyn using oil pastel watercolor resist. We then moved onto landscapes where students were encouraged to create a 2D imaginary landscape using construction paper collage.

With this project we "pulled" our landscapes up off the page to assemble imaginary sculptural landscapes. We explored the different shapes we could make when we folded, bent, ripped, twisted and crumpled strips of construction paper. I demonstrated how to attach these shapes to their paper plates by folding a tab at the end of each strip of paper (a flat surface for their dot of glue). Materials: construction paper cut into strips, leftover paper scraps in various shapes from collage, glue sticks, paper plates.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Accordion Name Books

This project was an excellent choice as an ice-breaker. I got to know the kids names and they got to express their identities. We started by thinking of words that described our personalities and interests that started with letters in our name. Students then designed graphic letters to represent these descriptive words. From there we folded strips of drawing paper into accordion books (this was the most challenging part!!) and drew our final graphic letters using color sticks, markers, crayons, colored pencils and sharpies. I was so impressed with the care and creativity these third graders put into these.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Imaginary Creatures

This was such a great project to do with first graders because they have such unbound imaginations. Anything seems possible to them. They also were excited and emboldened by the power I gave them to create their very own hybrid animals. I started by reading them the fabulous book of poems "Animals that Ought to Be" with great illustrations of make believe animals like the "homework eater" and the "channel changer". We also read "Where the Wild Things Are" which the children just loved and had read in class with their teacher. Their task was then to come up with their own hybrid animal that was made up of at least three different creatures, to think about where this animal lives and finally to give their animal a name.