5/1/2014: Art

Hello 2nd Grade Families,

Second graders have worked hard on creating amazing self portraits! We worked on the "Color and Emotion" unit for about 9 classes. First, we learned all about primary colors mixing secondary colors from Red, Blue and Yellow. We also watched a really cool animated music video about Roy G. Biv, here for your own viewing pleasure. The video was created by a really fun group who makes silly, educational videos for kids called, They Might be Giants. The kids loved this video and kept asking to see Roy G. Biv for several classes after learning of him. I can actually remember learning of Roy G. Biv when I was in 1st grade. I loved the idea of an elf named for the colors in the rainbow then, and I still love it now. We also discussed how color can be related to emotions in art.

Next, students learned about drawing correct facial proportions. Each student was given their own mirror and they practiced drawing themselves realistically by looking in their own mirror. I think this made some students feel like a professional artist. Some comments the students made were:"Real Artists draw what they see like we are!" and "I'm putting my eyes in the middle of my head since that's where they really are!"

Then, they drew a final enlarged version of their portrait and made color choices for their painting. We looked at color wheels that relate colors to emotions and personality traits. Students filled out a worksheet in which they planned their color choices for the painting. Our inspiration for this unit comes from Alexej von Jawlensky and Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider Group of Russia). Working in the style of Jawlensky, we focused on using many colors that are not realistic for a portrait, using many layers of paint mixing tints and shades of similar colors, outlining with black lines and covering the entire surface with paint.

I pre-assessed their knowledge at the start of the unit and again at the end of the unit when students filled out an evaluation sheet that revealed their progress on concepts relating the the color wheel. 2nd graders went from 60% being able to label the location of primary and secondary colors on the color wheel to over 90% demonstrating this knowledge correctly.

Not only did we all have a great time with this unit, the kids also learned several new art concepts and skills relating to realistic drawing, color theory, art history and painting tips and procedures. Remember to always be positive especially when looking at a student's self-portrait since people feel very personally connected to this kind of work. My tip is to find something specific to compliment about their painting such as, I love the way you blended the colors here or, I can see that you worked hard on background design. Give the kids great positive reactions to this artwork, they worked hard on them!

Please let me know if you are available to help set-up for The Art Show on the following dates:

Friday, May 9th - After 3:30

Saturday, May 10th - Anytime between 9:00 and 4:30

The Art Show will be up from May 12th-29th

Thanks for reading! Sarah Harpole sharpole@intlschool.org