My 4th graders, after a reward day, a day away from school, and a few students missing for a play – finally got back into their collaborative tree project that they and I are both very excited about. The first day was spent drawing and the second, on texture using model magic. Click the links to see more about how we get to today.
For this next step, we talked about the color of trees and how we automatically think “brown”. But as we discussed and studied some trees, we realized that some trees were more of a gray brown and had dark lines of color throughout to help with texture. The wrinkles and edges we created with model magic would need to be emphasized with a darker color – this was decided by the majority of students. And using white would help gray out the brown somewhat.
We reviewed the necessary steps to work in a group – listening, talking ideas out, sharing responsibility. Something we all do in the school with tableaus. From there, I set out some dark brown, beige and white. I decided not to put water out because it would cause them to rinse out and only use the colors I supplied. In doing so, students were pushed to mix new colors and many explored the white more.
Disclaimer: Never done this project before. As any good art teacher, I’m adapting as I go and in all reality, I am leaving a lot up to my students as far as what materials we use and how.
These images will show you how they began to work in groups to paint their tree. It was okay that some paint got onto the paper instead of the clay because we will be using other materials for the sky and ground (scroll down to hear about this discussion).
At the end of class, we discussed the sky and the grass. I had no idea to approach this…here I was thinking tissue paper for the sky and who knows what for the grass . We want it to be 3D in a sense, so I sat down with the class and asked them what they thought. Soon, it was like a work room of students discussing what materials would work. Well, Miss J, they said, what do you have? I told them I would make whatever they want happen.
In the end they wanted to explore watercolors for the sky which, after some thought – I will show them salt absorption, paper towel blotching and more if they want more of a soft texture. And for the grass, they want to combine yarn, fabric and tissue to get a texture of lots of grass. Excellent – making my decisions for me. I told them I will simply set out their request and they as groups can problem solve how they will use it, what they will use, and if they want to go a different route.
Until next time!