Friday, June 24, 2011
Wow! America Landscape Painting
Reviewing some of the MA frameworks, I realized I wanted to do one more lesson this year reviewing the concept of a horizon line and introduce new words like background, foreground, and middle ground. But, I needed some inspiration: I have always LOVED the graphic and dynamic paintings I saw on Deep Space Sparkle about the Grand Canyon and the Space Shuttle. Those two lessons have the same book in common, Wow! America by Robert Neubecker, so I went to the local library, took out the book, and fell in love with the illustrations. I couldn't wait to share with with my students.
The day of the lesson, we quickly went over the vocabulary. Most kids had a general idea of background, and foreground and middle ground make sense when you put it together. We sat on the rug and I shared the book, stopping after some pages to see if they could spot foreground, middle ground and background. After I finished reading, one girl could not wait to tell me that in Social Studies they were recently assigned a "state project"! I could not believe how nicely this fit into our art room plans!
The kids went back to their seats and we more formally reviewed the vocabulary, writing the definitions on our sketch paper. The three other rectangles of their quarter folded paper were to be quick sketches of possible landscape paintings about a state, using foreground, middle ground and background. It could be any state, but knowing that they are experts about one already, it may make sense to think about their state. Some students really liked the illustrations of the book and decided to recreate one of the illustrations, more like the Deep Space Sparkle lessons.
After sketching, we drew immediately with crayon. This particular class has had many opportunities to mix their own paint, so we did so one last time for the year. When the paintings were dry, we re-traced the black crayon lines to clean them up a bit.
This lesson felt rushed as it was at the end of the year and there were many gaps between classes. It is however one that I would do again, especially now knowing that there is a state project in Social Studies. It is also one that I could tweak to fit any age group.