This was one of my favorite lessons from last year, so I was really excited to do it again this year. We study peacocks and look at their bodies, feathers, etc – talk about the feathers and perhaps why they are designed as they are. We also talk a lot about the color wheel and analogous colors. I made students look closely at the color wheel and choose 4 analogous colors (including primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, they are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel).
I was searching hard for a good 4th grade project for the Kids Kreations fundraiser, and I really like a lot of what Patty does at Deep Space Sparkle. She said she’s done a lot of different variations/takes on Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and this was her favorite. I had to adapt her lesson a little bit because our paper size requirements for the fundraiser is a lot smaller than hers. But overall, I’m so happy with it. Also, an awesome teaching moment happened during this lesson. I had a 4th grade class come in, they were looking at the Van Gogh original and I had one student immediately say “I don’t like this.” Excuse me while I pick up my jaw from on the ground. But I said, “That’s like walking in to a restaurant and saying you don’t like it without looking at the menu! Give me some time to explain what we’re doing, please.” After I showed them examples, talked about the process, and gave them our daily agenda, about 10 minutes had gone by and I heard the same student very quietly say, “That’s so cool” My jaw was on the floor again! I sais, “Wait. Wait. WHAT?! Can you please repeat that, only louder – like scream it, please?!” Ha! He TOTALLY made my day. I looooove that he came in with a sour attitude (well, I don’t love that…) and completely changed his mind after seeing and hearing the end result. He seriously made.my.day. And I told him that. 🙂 And gave him a big hug on his way out! Ha! 🙂
You ever work on something for awhile, scratch your head and wonder… “I’m not so sure about this…”? Honestly, that’s what I was thinking during the 3rd day of this project. HOWEVER, on the fourth day, the students used oil pastels and seriously pulled it altogether. I wish I had taken a “before” and “after” picture so you could really see what I’m saying. The students were given examples of Andy Warhol’s series on Endangered Species. They are BRIGHT. And very… unexpected colors. I asked my fourth graders – WHY? Why would Mr. Warhol choose to paint pictures of endangered species in crazy colors? This brought on a very good conversation! So many good responses. Perhaps it was a dream? Maybe he thought the colors were how the animals felt? Maybe it was a fundraiser to preserve the habitat of the endangered species? I teach some smart students, you guys! Here are some of the examples they looked at:
So I found this idea from another art teacher’s blog that I like to get ideas from. I tweaked a tiny bit. And I did it with some K and 1st grade classes.