let’s meet famous artists - kids in need .let’s meet famous artists this project gets students

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    Lets MeetFamous ArtistsThis project gets students started on identifying artistsand art techniques and speaks to the issue of multipleintelligences.

    Claire McDermottGlen-Worden Elementary School30 Worden Road, Scotia, NY 12302

    Curriculum/State StandardsThis project primarily addresses thestandards of learning the use ofstructures and functions of art, theuse of measurement in art to obtainproportion, and the communicationof ideas through the visual arts.The project is relevant to the NoChild Left Behind initiativebecause it allows the children anopportunity to explore an area ofthe curriculum that is multi-faceted.

    OverviewThe children are exposed to a widevariety of artists and art techniquesover the course of four to sixweeks, depending on the number ofartists to be studied. We study oneartist a week. We explore whattechnique the artist uses collage,watercolor, sculpture, etc. andstudy prints and reproductions ofthe artists works. We learn aboutthe materials needed to do arepresentative project in the style ofeach of the artists we study.

    Objectives The students will learn about a

    variety of art techniques andmedium.

    The students will identify if apiece of artwork is a collage,painting, sculpture, or uses acombination of techniques.

    The students will learn about 4-6famous artists from variousperiods in history and will stateone important fact about eachartists style.

    The students will be able toidentify the probability of aparticular piece of art being doneby a particular artist, based onthe technique employed.

    The students will learn how tocorrectly handle a variety of artmaterials, including brushes,paints, stamps, scissors, and clay.

    The student will learn the correctway to clean up in order toprolong the life of the materials.

    The students will participate inone cooperative (whole group)art project.

    The students will generate threeor more independent (individual)art projects.

    The students will present an artshow for parents and otherguests at the end of the projectand be able to discuss the variousartists and techniques.

    Materialstempra paints in a variety of colors;watercolor paints; appropriate paintbrushes; rubber or plastic stampsfor pattern painting; constructionpaper variety of colors; presenta-

    Continued on the back . . .

  • Lets Meet Famous Artists project continued . . .

    tion mats and display boards; clay;acrylic paint; glue; prints of artpieces; books with biographicalinformation about the artists to bestudied and copies of their pieces(possibly obtained through thelibrary; smocks).

    Readiness ActivityThe project starts with a study ofEric Carle as an artist. The childrenare familiar with Eric Carle as anauthor, and we study his artwork. Alarge selection of Eric Carle booksare available in the room through-out the project. The childrenlearned about the technique ofcollage. They then used temprapaints and a variety of stamps tocreate their own community supplyof papers, as Eric Carle himselfdoes. These papers were designpages in a variety of colors andpatterns - they did NOT paintpictures at this point. Once asupply of papers was ready, thechildren each used selected papersto create their own collage piece ofan ocean animal. These individualpieces were arranged to make acooperative project of an oceanmural. The mural was displayedwithout identifying the particularartist of each individual collage.The entire class was cited as theartist of the mural.

    Strategies/ActivitiesThe children then studied Monetwith particular attention to hiswater lilies paintings. A variety ofMonet prints were available for thestudents to study, and these wereexamined with hand lenses to seethe mix of colors. The childrenthen each created their own waterlily print. The prints are made bymixing equal parts of temprapaints, in shades of green and blue,and Karo syrup and adding a smallamount of dish soap (to facilitate

    clean up). The children thenbrushed this paint mixture onto theunderside of cookie sheets inrandom designs with overlappingcolors. A print was made bypressing a full size sheet of whiteconstruction paper over the paintand rubbing to make a transfer.The prints dry in a watery lookingway. While the paint is still wet,tissue paper lily pads and flowerswere added.

    The children then studied VanGogh with special attention to hissunflower pictures. A variety ofprints were available to study, and,again, they were examined withhand lenses to observe the textureand the heaviness of the paint.Each child then painted a vase ofsunflowers in the style of VanGogh, using very thick paint andbroad brush strokes. Thesepaintings were mounted for display.

    We also studied Picasso, withparticular emphasis on his sculp-tures. We learned that Picasso usedmany different techniques andmediums as an artist to produce hiswork. Following our study of thisartist and his techniques, thechildren used air dryable clay tosculpt a vase in the style of Picasso.When these dried, they werepainted with acrylic paints andlabeled for display.

    Our last artist was Joan Miro.Once again, we studied many ofMiros pieces and discussedabstract art. The children paintedbright background pages usingwater colors. They used largeblocks of color and chose their ownpallet of colors. When the water-color backgrounds were dry, thechildren then painted an abstractdesign on top using black temprapaint. Once the entire project was

    dry, the children named theirpaintings - the way Miro namedhis. They chose names based onwhat they saw in the abstractions oron what they wanted the viewer tosee. These were also hung fordisplay.

    Culminating ActivityEach year our building holds anOpen House for the community atthe end of March. Parents,relatives, administrators, board ofeducation members, and peoplefrom the community are invited inone evening to see what each of theclasses has been working on inschool. The kindergartners had anart show for this Open House. Allof the art pieces were displayed,and the children were encouragedto discuss their pieces with theirguests.

    EvaluationEvaluation took a couple ofdifferent forms. There wasongoing evaluation as the childrenwere producing their art pieces. Iwas monitoring for correct use ofmaterials, understanding of thetechnique to be imitated, andproper clean-up at the end of eachsession. Each child was asked toidentify his/her own best pieceand tell the class why he/she choseit as the favorite. During theirpresentations, they were asked toidentify the techniques andmaterials that were used to producethe pieces and the artists style theywere imitating. I also showedvarious prints from different artistsand had the children identify whothey thought the artist was and whythey thought it was from that artist,based on the technique theyobserved in the piece.