1st graders returned to what they learned about Japanese folding fans and began painting their background color onto their fan. We reviewed Japanese culture of course and then had a quick intro about watercolors (something they had never used with me).
During the demo, we discussed the process to prepare our plates for painting. We have newspaper ready and big paint brushes, paints, and water on a tray (like in the pics). I love using the trays because if there is a spill or anything, it happens on the tray and the mess is much less. The trays…are actually lids to Tupperware containers so super cheap and resourceful.
First, write your name in crayon the side of the plate you would normally eat on, then flip your plate over and you are read to paint! I do the back side because this side does a much better job of absorbing the water based paint.
For 1st grade, it’s all about using terminology that is new but makes sense to them. To get watercolors working, we add water to make them wet. But to help 1st graders notice the differences, we talk about how the paint will be a puddle of color and shiny if it’s ready to work. If it’s drying out, it is time to reload our paint brush with water. When we paint the plate completely, water colors are nice because they dry quickly and we can go back and make them darker.
I had students choose one color, staying away from black or brown, to work with today. This helped them get used to the paint and left room for them to play with how the paint worked. Next time we will add a little more color and start working out our natural details (we will be adding drawings of nature – things that grow from the ground).
Bonus: One of my more difficult students said today that it was “the best day ever…this project actually turned out to be pre, pre, pre-tay cooooool.”