SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2007

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Early Childhood Studio Lesson Fish Julie Stone Student, grade one, Dotty the Fish. "My colorful fish is like a rainbow." I n an effort to provide an opportunity for my first graders to explore texture through an engaging subject, I developed this three-part lesson that features fish in a mixed-media artwork. Exploring Textured Paint We began our lesson on the carpet with a group discussion, discovering texture and lines in Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night. Students compared the short swirling strokes in the sky to the blowing of the wind. They acted out the wind by making large arm movements. After the discussion, students stood in place around their tables where pieces of large 12 x 18" white drawing paper awaited them. They each chose a paint scraper to use 24 SchoolArts May/June 2007 drew their fish on the 9 x 12" paper, making them as large as possible. When students were ready to add color with oil pastels, they practiced short strokes by moving their hands in the air and pretending to draw short lines. Students used the oil pastels to show texture. To accommodate students who are not visual learners, we talked about AB patterns and how they could be used within the fish's body. When the fish were completely colored, students cut them out and glued them to the papers they had previously painted. Role Playing In the third class period, I asked students to think like a fish and roleplay where their fish might be. Students were also able to make use of prior knowledge from and I poured two different shades of blue tempera paint on each paper. With the scrapers, students pulled the paint down, up, and sideways, covering the entire paper. Once students In one portion of this threediscovered how the part lesson, I asked students scrapers textured the to think like a fish: where paint, they experimight their fish be? mented by pulling them in a curvy motion books such as Rainbow Fish, to create the illusion of moving television shows, movies, and water. Let the artwork dry. real life experiences such as visiting a beach or aquarium. Creating the Fish They understood that the fish The next class period, before stucould be near the bottom of dents entered the classroom, I the ocean or swimming with placed colorful pictures of fish at other fish in the middle of a each table, so that students would large body of water. have them to study when they sat Students used colored tissue down. We discussed the proportions paper to tear or cut objects to add of a fish as well as details such as to their papers. They cut out and eyes, fins, and scales, then students

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