Well, as I mentioned, I am building collaborative trees with my 4th graders and it has been a really great experience for me and my students because they have been rock stars in the group work. They really have been successful working together and it has been a great avenue to talk a lot about the importance of working together, even when we aren’t happy with our group (career and college ready, folks!).
On the more artistic side, the group task today was adding texture to their tree drawings. How? Well, students watched me demo Model Magic. First, we cut open the packaging and pulled off a small piece of the clay. We flatten the clay out and place it onto the trunk, roots, or branches of our tree. Model magic, when moist, sticks to the paper very well. I have no idea how this will end up once it dries out BUT there is always glue – I warned you in the last post that I was adapting this as I went – I am just so excited about it (hence my scattered thoughts)!
We discuss texture – they decide it’s something we feel based on their use of the word. We also talk about how in a museum, we can’t touch the texture but we can still see when artwork looks smooth, rough or otherwise. Working with trees, we discuss what kind of textures you might see on a tree – especially the trees we see around our neighborhood.
Then we talk as a class about how we can add texture (press our pencils into it, draw onto the clay using the edge of the scissors. Students brought up that we should make our clay piece thin, but not too thin otherwise we can’t add texture. After we talked a lot of our ideas out – I gave them the time I needed to pass back their large papers and clay to discuss how they would delegate tasks or work as a team. Different groups handled this differently but it was required that everyone participate. We worked on making sure our pieces of clay smoothed together so it didn’t look like a puzzle – and we talked about how rolling snakes for branches might be easier since we could make them look more bumpy – lots of ideas were flowing. The group work, wow, was simply amazing!
More to come but check out the pictures!