Thursday, February 2, 2012

3rd Grade Illuminated Letters

3rd grade artists created their own Illuminated Letters. We looked at the Book of Kells and discussed how "illuminated" means filled with light. The original illuminated letters used gold leafing in the illustrations, so as the pages were turned the letters reflected light and appeared to be glowing. These manuscripts (manu meaning 'by hand' and script meaning 'writing') were made by many people. A parchmenter made the paper out of leather, a scribe wrote every word by hand, an illustrator created the drawings and a book binder sewed all the pages together. Only people with great wealth and power had books. Illuminated Manuscripts had fanciful artwork that matched the story in the text. We chose one letter, created a pattern around the border and filled our drawings with images that matched our personalities. These were created with markers and watercolor paints.
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2nd Grade Penguins

Second grade artists read two non-fiction books and learned about penguins. We learned why they have white bellies and black backs. Ask your student! We learned about how they feed their chicks and the habitat they live in. We watched some National Geographic videos about Penguins on youtube. We then drew penguins (some drew emperors; some macaroni) and drew their habitat as we reviewed what a horizon line does in a drawing and the parts of a drawing--the foreground, middle ground and background. After outlining in sharpie, we use water-based markers to color our sky with warm colors and cool colors for our water. Then we used wet paint brushes to blend the colors of the sky and water together.
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First Grade Snow Flakes

First grade artists learned about Andy Warhol and "Pop Art". We learned that Warhol was an artist who made prints of popular things (thus the term "Pop Art"). He used repepition in his artwork, often repeating the same image. But he also used variation by changing the colors of the image. Inspired by his images of Mickey Mouse and Marilyn Monroe, we talked about what is currently popular. If Warhol were alive today, who do you think he what put in his artwork? Students had great responses like Elmo and Lady Gaga. We used colored construction paper and learned how to fold and cut geometric and organic colored snow flakes.
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