This year my Picassos and I did a bit of exploring! We looked at Christmas traditions around the world and we focused on Russia for our art piece! Children in Russia don't have Santa Claus... they have a similar figure called Grandfather Frost or Ded Moroz. He's actually tied more to winter than he is to Christmas.
We learned that Christmas was banned in Russia from the early 1920s right up until 1991! During that time Christmas was celebrated by very few people and only in secret. Trees may have been put up but they were called New Year Trees, not Christmas Trees. Since Russians follow the Orthodox Church they celebrate Christmas on January 7th and Grandfather Frost dressed in either his elaborate red or blue coat grants children's wishes or brings presents. He also doesn't have reindeer... nope his sleigh is carried by 3 white horses that represent the three months of winter!
After our very interesting discussion, the kids drew Grandfather Frost in an abstact style and we started painting him in using tints and shades of red, pink and orange. The focus here is using colour to demonstrate warm and cool colour pallets and how they can be used to make things either advance or recede.
Christmas is in the air and today we're making the sweetest little gingerbread house! Well, it's sweet looking, you can't eat this gingerbread house unfortunately, but with an ornament this cute you wouldn't want to!
Take a look at the Picassos as they get crafty at the studio and spread a little Christmas spirit!
This morning, our last class for the term (gasp... where did the time go?!?) I did another read aloud for my Doodlebugs! This time our story was How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss and boy oh boy was this a hit!
Some of them knew the story but a few were hearing it for the first time and it was a joy to see them go through all the emotions that this rhythmic fun little story brings to the fore! They were shocked that the Grinch didn't like Christmas... why Miss why??, then they were angry he wanted to spoil it for the Whos and finally they were thrilled that he came round in the end!
I asked them to describe the Grinch before his heart 'grew' and they gave me words like, mean, selfish, and angry... all pretty accurate I think. Then I asked them what they thought the Grinch learned from the Whos and they said, "that Christmas is not about presents, that it was about friends and family!" Couldn't have asked for a better answer really!!
They made some adorable little Grinch heads for our art project which was of course a total hit!
The Christmas season is fully upon us so I thought it was time to bring some holiday cheer to our class! This week we looked at the work of the artist Kandinsky and infused his style with our Trini Christmas flavour!
Kandisky is credited as the father of Abstract Art and he is also famous for having the condition SYNESTHESIA! Synesthesia means that colour and sound are inextricably connected in the brain, so a person with this condition can 'hear' colour and ascribes colour to music! It's no wonder then that his art came out looking the way it did! Putting Kandinsky and Parang together might seem an odd paring, but to me it seems quite natural and hopefully my Picassos left feeling the same way. They listened to a reading of The Noisy Paintbox which is based on the life of Kandinsky so they could appreciate the art and the artist we were going to try to mimic.
To make sure my Picassos created something unique to them and something they could relate to, we talked about the instruments used in Parang. They practiced simple versions of them and then they came up with their compositions using Kandinsky as a guide! They had to be sure to use at least 3 instruments, make sure one pair is overlapping, then divide the background using irregular shapes! Lots of instructions to follow and I could just see the problem solving skills developing in this project! LOL
They painted their compositions using a warm and cool colour combination... so yet another art concept comes into play!
It's our last class of the term and the Picassos turned out to finish their creche project! Christmas is all about the holy family to Christians and while of course we spoke about the significance of this I allowed my Picassos some creative breadth here since we are not all of one faith, so one of my kiddos turned his Jesus, Mary and Joseph into the Star Wars Family! I just love this :)
You can see the first part here.
Christmas is around the bend so I'm going to get my Doodlebugs excited for the holidays by getting their little hands busy molding their very own Rudolph decoration! They do so love molding clay :)
This is a 2 part project because the clay needs time to air dry before we can paint it.
Take a look at our cute little reindeer in progress.
Christmas is here and this year my Picassos are going to make their very own creche! We will be exploring form (an element of art that we don't get to focus a lot on due to time constraints) while we build our manger, glue guns and all... don't worry we'll be safe! We will also be making the holy family... Mary, Joseph and of course, the reason for the season, baby Jesus.
So we will share our culture and beliefs in class as we always do and discuss what Christians believe and what Christmas means before we get down to the first part of our project... forming the figures out of clay.
The little ones weren't left out from our Poinsettia fun! They got to sponge paint and recreate these vibrant beautiful flowers as well. This is such an adaptable project that it really was perfect for both age groups with just the smallest of tweaks :)
See for yourself the gorgeous poinsettias they made. All frame-worthy in my humble opinion!
Merry Christmas everyone ;P
'Tis the season for poinsettias! So we sponge painted them and created a terrific 3D collage using some tissue paper to create the illusion of mulch and cut out terrific plant pots out of brightly coloured construction paper. This was all set off against a black background to make the lovely colours pop.
So I think it's fair to say the Picassos finished off the term in great style quite befitting of the season!
Merry Christmas to all... I'll see you at camp and stay tuned for lots, lots more creative and fun art projects!
Thursday Picassos take their turn at these gorgeous poinsettias and their first foray into collage!
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)