Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ancient Egypt

Cartouche Creations from Mrs. Kirshner's Class
 The first grade students have been exploring ancient Egypt this month.  They began by learning about papyrus and hieroglyphics.  They got to investigate some real papyrus paper, and they practiced writing secret messages in the hieroglyphic alphabet.  Once they felt comfortable with the symbols, they created a personalized cartouche.  A cartouche is an extended shen ring with the name of someone important written inside.  It symbolizes eternal life and was used for names of gods or Pharoahs.  The cartouches are in the school hallway on display.  Next, they learned about mummies and the afterlife.  We read some stories about Egyptian gods and goddesses, and we talked about the mummification process.  The students then used hieroglyphics, ankhs, shen rings, scarab beetles, and cartouches to decorate the lid of a sarcophagus.  After cutting and folding the boxes, we have nearly 60 coffins to decorate our classroom!  Next, they will try to make a scarab beetle from clay... 

Amari and Ruby, Grade 1

Myla and Elizabeth S., Grade 1

Jack and Madison, Grade 1

Some of Ms. Brand's Students' Projects

Some of Mrs. Kirshner's Students' Projects

Cubism and Music

Justin, Grade 3

Carlos, Grade 3

Aria, Grade 3

Andres, Grade 3

Elijah, Grade 3

Laura, Grade 3

Noah's grew and grew... right off the page.  He worked on the floor and found some alternative backgrounds.

One of Picasso's Many Guitar Paintings
     Mrs. Phares's third graders and Mrs. Bigby's second graders have been learning about Pablo Picasso and his artwork.  For their second project on cubism, the students began by looking at and discussing his painting titled Three Musicians.  I love having students tell me their thoughts on artwork, because they always notice things that I don't.  They studied it further by creating a collage of the composition.  This forced them to examine the shapes, lines and colors that are the foundation of the painting.  After the collaborative project, they looked at some of Picasso's paintings of guitars.  They pointed out that we can tell these abstract paintings are guitars because of a few clues including a circle in the middle, lines to make us think of strings or sheet music, and curvy lines of the guitar's body.  They went to work right away, using these "clues" in their own compositions.  I was blown away by what they were able to create.  Here are a few samples from the third grade class. 
Three Musicians, by Pablo Picasso

Giana, Wendy, Justin, Noah and Michael's Collaborative Collage

Jakyla, Grade 3

Keshawn, Grade 3

Giana, Grade 3
Kevin, Grade 3

Karla, Grade 3

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ferris Wheel Paper Sculptures

Isabella and Lashonda's Wheel

Arely's Wheel

Alexa and Shouwayne's Wheel with Cardboard Skyline

Taylor, Sara and Adamari added people!

Yaxeni and Kalyssa's Wheel

Preliminary Sketches Displayed with Gerardo, Geno, Jamal, Jimmy and Connor's Work
 The 7th and 8th Grade students looked at historical etchings from the World's Columbian Exposition.  They read about the history of the Ferris Wheel, and they drew some blueprints showing the geometry of the structures.  They worked in groups to make a model from cardstock and glue, using only scissors.  I discouraged tape and encouraged decorations when the finished.  I love how some of them went the extra mile, adding skylines, trees and Gerardo's really spins! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Picasso, Pastels and Portraits... Perfect Project!

I consider a project successful when the students end up with a variety of different ideas and images.  Mrs. Bigby's second graders have been learning about Pablo Picasso, and they began this project by discussing some of his cubist portraits.  They looked for similar shapes and colors in the paintings, and they played "I Spy" with their classmates, noticing details they may not have otherwise seen.  They began with a background shape and used oil pastels to color in the shapes they drew.  They then used construction paper to draw and color features of the face that resemble those in Picasso's work.  I had to give lots of reminders to color completely, and my floor has been pretty messy this week, but I love the results of this project.  I'll definitely do it again some time. 

Gael, Grade 2
Ian, Grade 2

Esteban, Grade 2

Cindy, Grade 2

Christa, Grade 2

Briana, Grade 2

Rejhan, Grade 2

Leslie, Grade 2

Ella, Grade 2

Ally, Grade 2

Zoe, Grade 2

Making Bids and Supporting our Kids

Don't miss the 2014 Prescott Auction!  Each classroom is preparing a painting to donate, and members of Prescott's community will have the chance to make bids on their favorite pieces.  Last year's auction was a great success, and we hope to see the same results this year.  Come out and support our students and our school by making a bid on one of these great collaborative projects!  The auction will be February 28th at The Crossing.  Stop by the table outside of the school office for a postcard with additional information.   The paintings below are complete, and there are some masterpieces in the works for our two Middle School art classes.
I hope to see you there!
The Prescott Art Club will be donating this painting to the auction.  They just finished it today!

Grades 7-8 just finished this painting of the Chicago flag.  The Art Club helped them out, along with Mrs. Smith's 4th graders.

Paint the Town, by the 5th and 6th Grade students and the Art Club
A Work in Progress for Mrs. Kirshner's 1st Graders

I Heart Chicago,
Outline drawn by the Art Club, Collage Completed by Mrs. Kirshner's 1st Graders (with a little help from Grade 4!)

Watertower Wonder, by Ms. Smith's 4th Graders
How Does your Garden Grow, by Ms. Brand's 1st Graders

A Second Grade Symphony, by Mrs. Bigby's 2nd Graders

Windy City Skyline, by Mrs. Phares's 3rd Graders

Swimmy Fish, by Ms. Downing's Kindergarteners

Who's Who, by Ms. Lindsey's Kindergarteners

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...