Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Note from Ms. Ammons

Dear Students,

I hope everyone is enjoying their time off over the holidays.  When we return to school, we will be diving into several fun projects with paint.  If you would like to learn more about paint and painting, take some time to explore online.  This link will take you to an online museum that has exhibits on pigments, painting techniques, and the history of painting.  I am excited to start painting, and I will see you soon!

Web Exhibits Online Museum

Ms. Ammons

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Kind of Town, Chicago is...

Danny's City
Marlon's City

Sarah's City

Maryann's City

Marlon adds stars to his sky.
Ms. Orrico's 4th and 5th graders got to build a city this week.  They had learned about Chicago architecture in their snowglobe project, but I wanted them to begin to think of scenes in layers.  When they begin painting after break, it will be helpful for them to recognize background from foreground.  In this project, they used cut paper to make each layer of their scene.  They used foam spacers to make the layers seem 3-D, and they used glitter and gel pens to add details and to make their work unique.  Hopefully they learned some facts about our city, and hopefully they will carry their knowledge of layers into the upcoming projects.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Native American Art

Mrs. Walsh's Class Choice for an Inspiration Book
Terrifying Totems, Grade 1
Edgar's Googly Eyes

Dance Fans with Native American Symbols

Buffalo Hides
Mrs. Walsh's first graders are finishing up some projects based on the art of Native Americans.  Their class read RavenA Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, and we used this book as inspiration for our art.  They began with the Pacific Northwest, and they made some totem poles from construction paper.  They used common colors and geometric shapes to make spooky faces, and some kids added googly eyes for fun.  Next, they used Native American symbols to write a story on a ceremonial dance fan.  Finally, they discussed Native Americans of the plains, and they learned how these people used buffalo to survive.  They made some giant buffalo hide cutouts as a background for more of the symbols they used on the dance fans.  Tomorrow, they will decorate ravens with Mrs. Walsh in her classroom!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Beautiful Batik

Batik Designs by Elizabeth S., Dylan and Avery from Ms. Downing's Class

Danielle, Kindergarten

Dylan and Jack Adding Paint to their Cloths
The Kindergarten classes are learning about African textiles as they read stories about Anansi the Spider.  They talked about fabric and how color can be added to make fabrics beautiful.  They saw pictures of African textiles, and distinguished between woven kente cloths, stamped adinkra prints and batik.  In Ms. Downing's classroom, they practiced adinkra prints with traditional stamp designs.  In the art room, we experimented with the wax resist process of batik.  Batik is popular in many cultures, but is common in the African countries of Senegal, Nigeria and Egypt.  Students sketched the outline of a house, and they made it unique with line patterns and shapes.  They then traced their drawings onto fabric using white glue.  When the glue dried, they painted the fabrics.  Once they dried, the glue was washed out, and they are now hanging on the clothesline drying.  As you can see, they look great for a first attempt at a tricky project. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chicago Architecture Snow Globes

Catherine, Grade 3

Antonio, Grade 3

Manuel, Grade 3

Quin, Grade 3
Did you know that it cost 80 million dollars to replace the original marble siding on the Aon Building, or that Donald Trump originally planned for the Trump Tower to be taller than the Willis Tower?  The third graders learned about some of Chicago's architectural landmarks in a fun winter project.  They studied some of the most famous buildings, and they practiced drawing the Chicago skyline.  They used a wax resist method to create watercolor paintings of the skyline, and they turned these paintings into snow globes.  Many have chosen to use them as holiday decorations or gifts, and others have decided to hang them in their room.  My favorite part of this project is having the kids come in excited to tell me which buildings they saw when they were out in the city. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Aztec Gold and Food Mountain

Elijah Painting Carefully

Ms. Estin's Golden Amulets

Laura's Warrior

Ms. Estin's 2nd grade class just finished reading The Legend of Food Mountain.  In Art Class, we have looked at artwork of the Aztecs featured in this story.  We have been planning an Aztec Warrior project, and we compared symbols used by the Aztec, Inca, Maya and Zapotec peoples.  The students used clay to make a disk, and they carved Aztec symbols into the surface to make an amulet.  They used patterns to create borders.  When they dried, we painted them gold.  The students did a wonderful job on what was their first clay project of the year!  Afterwards, we tried a project that was designed for 6th graders!  Deep Space Sparkle, a popular art blog, featured a lesson plan that involved drawing some colorful Aztec warriors.  The 2nd graders tackled the upper-grade project, and did some stellar work!

The Art of India

Thali Designs by Aiden and Christina, Room 106
Mrs. Kirshner's class has been learning about India.  We looked at Rangoli and Mendhi designs, and we found some common shapes and patterns.  The students compared radial symmetry to a symmetrical design with only one line of symmetry.  They practiced making a radially symmetrical design using various gems, shapes and lines.  The word thali means plate in Hindi.  Thali is a celebratory meal, made up of a variety of dishes.  The plates used in these celebrations are often beautifully decorated with the radial designs seen in Rangoli sand creations.  We had sequins everywhere, but it was fun to see these designs come to life in the art room!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Picture Perfect Picassos

Cindy, Grade 1

Maya, Grade 1

Grace, Grade 1

Pablo Picasso used colors to express mood in his work.  For 4  years, he used cool, blue tones to express his sadness.  During this Blue Period, his paintings showed poor and sorrowful characters.  His Rose Period followed this blue trend.  As his personal life improved, he began using warm tones including pinks, browns and yellows.  Our first graders played a guessing game with some of his paintings.  They can now distinguish between these two time periods in Picasso's life.  Also, they created a portrait that was inspired by Picasso's Blue Period on one side and the Rose Period on the other. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Apple a Day

The students read Apple, by Nikki McClure

Brayden's Apples
Alana's Apples
Ms. Lindsey's Kindergarteners recently finished some still life projects that were inspired by the book Apple.  After a read-aloud, the students traced apple shapes, drew and colored stems and leaves, and painted three colorful apples.  They cut out their paintings and arranged them on a blue background with fabric swatches.  Nice work!

Fantasy Flight

Kindergarten Cocoa
Winter Wonderland Scene, All Grades

Holiday Treats by our K-2nd Graders

      Our students have been working on a fun community service project for the holidays.  Alliant Credit Union employee volunteers asked for our help as they provide assistance to charity related Fantasy Flights held during December at major airports across the country. The United Airlines Fantasy Flights, coordinated by employees of the airline, provide a joyous holiday experience for many seriously ill or disadvantaged children and people with disabilities.
     Fantasy Flights at various airports are actual flights or taxiway trips to "the North Pole", with passengers disembarking for visits with Santa, great gifts, a festive lunch and other holiday activities. Alliant employees will use some artwork made by Prescott students as they decorate United Airlines North Pole departure and arrival gates.  We chose a Candyland theme, and our hot cocoa, gingerbread boys, cupcakes and other decorations will be used as part of "Mrs. Claus's Kitchen" at the North Pole. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Color-by-Number Color Wheels

Keyshana, Grade 8
Juan Karlo, Grade 6

Marcus, Grade 8

Brandon, Grade 8

Kenny, Grade 6

Mercedes, Grade 6
Middle school students have been working on a project I call Make your own Color-by-Number.  They drew a line drawing of any colorful composition they could imagine, and they traced and erased all of their pencil lines.  Using only primary colors and white tempera paint, they mixed and used in their painting every color from the color wheel.  Many students went beyond the required 12 colors and tried mixing brown, black and gray. 

Terrific Totems

Alex, Grade 3

Lily, Grade 3

Analiz, Grade 3

Melanie, Grade 3
In honor of Native American Heritage Month, our student artists in grades 3-5 have been learning about the artwork of the Pacific Northwest Tribes.  They located states in that region of the country on the map, and they studied some art from that region that is on display here in Chicago.  One example is the totem pole on Lake Shore Drive.  They learned why and how these carved designs were made, and they found common images and colors to use in their own work.  The students read about animal symbolism and chose an animal to represent themselves.  These animals were sketchen, and then revised to match the abstract and geometrical designs of totem art.  They added color to their final designs, and will combine all classroom totems to make totem poles. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Paintings

Elizabeth S, Kindergarten
Kindergarten has been experimenting with new art-making tools.  They learned about applying paint with a sponge to create repetition in artwork.  They used line to create balance.  They brainstormed what kinds of living things would be found living in a specific environments.  All of these lessons came together to create some fun pumpkin patch paintings. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fantastic Fall Watercolors

Ariadna's Tree

Ava's Tree

Dillon's Tree

Ella's Tree

Jakyla's Tree

Students in first and second grades have been using what they learned about warm colors, lines and shapes to make some fall trees.  They used watercolor paints to create a wash of warm colors.  While the wash was drying, they talked about direction of growth and how thinking about how trees grow can help us draw them realistically.  They practiced drawing trees, and then drew their best tree on their painting with a marker.  They are all different, and they all show the beauty of autumn. 

American Sculpture: Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear is a 79 year old sculptor who lives in New York.  He has traveled the world to study art and craft traditions, and he has rec...