Friday, February 18, 2011

matisse meets middle school

home sick today, with the first case of strep throat this year! not excited about being sick, especially since its the beginning of vacation and we have lots of fun things planned, but I've made it to February without getting really sick.

middle school Matisse
sixth and seventh grade recently learned about Henri Matisse, the king of color, as my little ones call him. For sixth grade, who have difficulty focusing and not constantly socializing, I introduced Matisse by reading "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Matisse" by Mike Venezia. As I read, they had focus questions to answer. The exercise worked pretty well, as they could tell my lots about Matisse, even after a week! With both grades, we also looked at a power point of various Matisse works and talked about lines, pattern, complementary colors and composition.

grade six
After learning about Matisse, we looked at a still life set up in the room. Students did not have to draw it exactly as they saw it. Instead they were encouraged to take their inspiration from the still life and what they knew about Matisse. We completed 3 thumbnail sketches and took a day to make our own color wheel and introduce or review tints, tones, and shades. Students were only given red, yellow, blue, turquoise, green, black, brown and white. I think they did a great job, and I know they had a blast being allowed to mix their own colors!

grade seven
after spending about a month drawing in one point perspective, I wanted my seventh graders to explore other ways to create a space. Students were asked to come up with about five different patterns that they could possibly use in an interior. I have a TON of fabric samples, donated from a local design firm, so we had fun go through those. We also came up with 3 thumbnail sketches of rooms. The last activity was a bedroom, so I encouraged them to think of other rooms. There is an Ikea store near us, so I had students think about what its like when walking through the show rooms! Again, we talked about tints, tones and shades, and made a practice color wheel. We are still in the process of finishing, but these are some action shots.

you can see, in this shot in particular, how we work too. Recycled cup holders and yogurt cups and stryofoam trays for mixing pallets. clean up takes a little less than 10 minutes, depending on the speed of the middle schooler, but I can't really think of anything easier. one table washes while another puts paintings away. while waiting for the sink, all tables are sprayed and washed.
I'm just thankful we have a sink! And I know the kids really enjoy being able to mix their own paints. They feel like "real artists." Plus, the clean up teaches responsibility on some level. So, if it takes ten minutes, it takes ten minutes.


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