Thursday, 20 March 2014

Giraffes Can't Dance

 I've had my eye on this lesson for a while now.  I've spotted it a few times on the internet and the pictures look fun to do.

Its based on the book, Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae with illustrations by Guy Parker - Rees (who was our artist of the week - click here for further information)

I used the lesson plan by Patty at Deep Space Sparkle as inspiration (her lessons are always so good!) with a few changes here and there.

What you need:
  • A3 cartridge paper - two per student
  • blue, green, yellow and white paint
  • bamboo sticks
  • glue sticks
  • scissors
  • silver paint or pens
  • yellow and orange / brown liquid watercolors
  • Black permanent markers
  • Pencils
  • scrap paper to practice on
  • Silver glitter (optional)
  • Giraffe photos (optional)

How to:
Week One
  • Read the book
  • Do a guided drawing of a giraffe on the whiteboard
  • Get the children to follow along and then on a practice piece of paper get them to draw giraffes in different dancing positions
  • When they are happy with one get them to copy this onto the A3 cartridge paper, first in pencil then go over lines with black permanent marker
  • Colour in using yellow liquid watercolour with orange / brown as spots
  • Leave to dry
  • For the background - ask them to draw a moon and a line across the bottom for the grass in pencil
  • Paint the grass area yellow
  • Paint the sky blue, ensuring they leave out the moon
  • Paint the moon with white paint (new brush) then go around it in circles to create the lighter blue area around the moon
  • Paint over the yellow grass with green paint
  • Scratch in grass and flowers with bamboo skewers
  • Leave to dry

Week Two
  • Cut out dancing giraffe and glue onto background
  • Add stars with silver paint or pen
  • Add glitter to stars (optional)
The Results:
These make me smile ...... Didn't they do a good job!  Giraffes are pretty hard to draw for 5-9 year olds yet they took on the challenge and I love what they did.  Yes a few boys drew the giraffe landing on his head (that's boys for you) and some of the girls added pink tutus (that's girls for you).


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Winter Olympics Lesson - Part Two (Russian Buildings)

For Part 2 of our Winter Olympics lesson we concentrated not on the actual sports themselves yet the host nation - Russia.

Russian buildings are just beautiful to look at and were a major part of the opening ceremony and even the backdrop on our winter Olympic TV coverage.  We looked at photos of St Basil's Cathedral and then went on the produce pictures inspired by these.

After a quick Google search, I'm certainly not alone in producing a lesson plan based around St Basil's Cathedral.  Deep Space Sparkle, The Art of Education and Create with Me also have excellent lessons on the same subject (I took bits and pieces from each - thanks!).

We produced these pictures over 2 lessons with children aged 5 to 9.   These would turn out really well using liquid watercolours.  I decided to use water soluble pencils and pastels instead as I'm keen for the children to be proficient in as many mediums as possible.  Also watercolour pencils are much more readily available to purchase and use at home.

What you need:
  • Watercolour pencils and / or water soluble oil pastels
  • A3 watercolour paper
  • Water pens (or just simple paint brushes and a water pot would also suffice)
  • A3 cartridge paper
  • Blue and white paint
  • Sponges (I just cut cheap supermarket ones into small pieces)
  • Black permanent markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter glue (optional)
  • Stick on jewels (optional)
  • Gold and silver markers or paint (optional) 

How to:
  • Using sponges create a background on the cartridge paper with the blue and white paint (I just left them to it with this.  Interestingly some completely blended the colours to a light blue even background and others didn't blend and left a sponged effect).
  • On the watercolour paper draw buildings using a black permanent marker
  • Colour in using watercolour pencils, pastels and water pens
  • Cut out buildings and glue to the background
  • Add further details using gold and silver pens / paint, glitter glue and stick on jewels
The Results:

I'm happy with how these turned out.  The children also really took their time with these which was great to see.  I often find they really rush through art and by doing a bit each lesson they went a lot slower.

And for those of you interested here is a bit of information about St Basil's Cathedral (taken from Parent Art Docents - thank you!)

St. Basil's Cathedral is in Moscow's Red Square, and was begun in 1555, during the reign and by order of Ivan the Terrible. (Ivan was actually very terrible - he was mentally unstable and prone to violent rages. Also his henchmen were brutal in their use of assassination and physical punishment). Anyway, the cathedral is designed to look (see if you can guess by looking at the slide show pictures!) like a bonfire, flaming into the sky (this is inspired by a passage in the book of Revelations, which describes the Kingdom of God and the vivid colours therein). There is no precedent for such a building - it is an example of wild and bold creativity by the architects, and inspired many buildings that were built after in Russia and the countries around it. Note the vivid colours on each tower, and the different patterns on the exterior of the building.