Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ready, set, draw!

*sigh* our first full week. I'm pooped!
I've gotten myself together however, but the kids seem... unsettled.

Every group goes through phases. And I feel collectively we are at the "storming" phase, to borrow a term from someone, I can't remember who, in college. In the beginning of the school year everyone was happy-go-lucky, getting to know one another and "forming," friendships and different relationships. We made our way to Christmas vacation all happy and cheery. Now, we haven't had a chance to settle back in after the break, and those friendships and "formings" are starting to "storm!" The nudges know exactly how to get under your skin and even the littlest of kids talk with ear shattering attitudes and disrespect.
I can't wait for the snow to melt so they can go run in circles outside and blow some of the steam off!

Today went surprisingly well though... I think middle schoolers would prefer to hibernate in times like these rather than annoy to no end. 
As I believe I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to start a drawing unit with grades 4 and 5. I was planning on starting by reading Art & Max by David Weisner and then teaching a step by step drawing of different lizards in order to complete an assignment similar to "Leapin' Lizards from Deep Space Sparkle. Of course, we just painted and I relied heavily on oil pastels in the beginning of the year, and really need to switch it up... so I searched high and low for some cheap chalk pastels in local stores. nothin'. I caved and ordered a classroom set of Crayola drawing chalk and have had to buy my time waiting for them to come in... cue today:
I was going to follow up lizards with people. (the music teacher had asked if we could do illustrations to go along with John Denver's/ Mary from Peter, Paul and Mary's song, "For Baby" and I wanted to make sure the kids have confidence in drawing people beforehand.... the thought is to have a powerpoint of their illustrations rolling as they sing.) So we started people today. I had mixed expectations.... actually, I honestly thought this was a very bad idea, but was going to try anyway.

I introduced fifth grade to gesture drawing. I didn't show them these, but did explain that gesture drawings very quickly, under two minutes, get down the pose of a figure.
Their models were action figures. I had tried gesture drawings earlier in the year with sixth grade and it was nothing but giggles. So this time I borrowed some Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles from the preschool and challenged the kids to use the side of their crayon, without picking it up off the paper, and to constantly move around their page and until the figure appeared to be standing. We did this for almost a half hour! Some talking in between poses, but they built up to a nicely done five minute drawing with enough time left in class to briefly go over how to use ovals and circles as an "under drawing" or plan for a drawing of a person.

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