Monday, March 28, 2011

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

I really enjoy reading to my younger students and taking our inspiration from books. Last week we read Simms Taback's There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Then, following one of the lessons I found in 25 Terrific Art Projects Based on Favorite Picture Books, we drew our own illustrations. We talked about exaggeration and expression too.

  • First we followed some step by step instructions to draw the "old lady" on a 12x18 white piece of paper. We kept it simple, using "U" shapes, and we discussed different options for hats, shoes, and clothing, and how to draw them.
  • Next, we traced our lines with black crayon... I know it tends to flatten an image, but its a really appealing look for small kid's work. It also helps the artist, and the viewer, really see all the patterns and shapes she or he creates.
  • We then used crayon to color.
  • The next class, we started with a simple line drawing of a fly in the middle of an 8x8 inch white paper. Keeping in mind that the "old lady" swallowed the next animal to catch the first, we drew the spider around the fly, so the fly looked to be in the spider's belly. I drew on the white board and talked about the simple shapes and how many legs etc. Students drew all the animals, in order, around the one before, until there was no space left on the 8x8.
  • We started coloring again with crayons.
  • Finally, during the last class, we assembled our pictures, even if we were not done coloring. First, we cut out the animals, then the "old lady's" arms. (the horror!) We then pasted the armless "old lady" to a colorful piece of construction paper and pasted the animals over her belly. Lastly, we put her arms back! And they rested nicely on her full belly. At that point, I know we had all our arms and legs and animals, and we could all get back to coloring.

The lesson may have taken a few classes, and we only used crayon (the original lessons does a watercolor resist), but I feel like everyone was successful and proud of their work. AND, we had fun being silly! Its a nice lesson to drive home the fact that taking your time will result in good work. We also practiced cutting skills and following directions.

1 comment:

  1. I want to tell you - I absolutely LOVE this! The old ladies are so adorably perfect, and this is a lesson I am definitely stealing!! I'm going to be out of school for a little bit in May, and these may be a perfect sub lesson, or else I'll save it for myself.

    By the way- I left a response for you on my sketchbook exhibit post - but in a nutshell, I said "Yes, by all means, go ahead and post pics of my book". I also said some other stuff about the way the sketchbooks are selected for viewing that I won't try to re-type here.

    One more thing - I think the coolest thing about blogging is how intergenerational it is. When you throw a group of people who don't know each other in one room, I think you'd find people of the same age group tending to group together. But not blogging. You've got young teachers like yourself, people mid-career, and aging hippies like myself, with my son closer in age to you than I am, all finding we have so much in common. Love it.