SchoolArts Magazine

OCT 2014

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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Setting the Stage To celebrate Dot Day in my artroom, I started by covering a large cardboard circle with black mural paper. On it I displayed information about the book, the author, and the celebration of making one's mark. I hung the large poster between two large pieces of black paper in the school's lobby, then set up two tables with colored mark - ers, glue, and lots of white circles cut with a three-inch circle die cutter. I displayed the book with a sign invit - ing all who passed by to make their mark on a circle with the markers and then glue their "dot" to the mural. Students, relatives, and school staff created designs and pictures that were placed all over the mural. After reading the book and dis- cussing it with stu- dents in each of my classes, we created a number of different dot projects. For all levels, I gave students white draw- ing paper pre-cut into circles. Pre-K: Line Variety Pre-kindergarten classes explored line variety. After discussing line and how line changes in width, length, color, direction, and type, students prac- ticed making a variety of lines using oil crayons. When their designs were complete, they applied watercolor washes to create crayon resists. Kindergarten: Symmetry Kindergarten students made their dots using pre-cut circles of diffu- sion paper. They folded their papers in half and drew a symmetrical design on one side with colored markers. Squeals of excitement spread through the artroom when water was squirted on the papers from a spray bottle. Once the papers were saturated, students unfolded them to see what colors had spread to the other half of the circles. They noticed how colors blended to make other colors, and they searched their dots to see if they could find pri- mary colors blending into secondary ones. First Grade: Layering Wassily Kandinsky's art was the focus for first graders. We viewed and dis- cussed his circle paintings, then stu- dents traced pre-cut card-stock circles in differing sizes on circle-shaped white paper. I encouraged overlapping and layering in the designs. Water- color paints were used to add color to the designs. Second Grade: Shapes For second-grade students, the cir- cular paper became the space for a straight line and solid shape design. Using rulers, stu - dents divided the circles into shapes with intersecting lines. Some shapes were solidly colored in with colored pencils. In other shapes, straight lines were added, while some shapes were filled with straight, thin lines. The thickness and distance between the lines were altered in other shapes. Third Grade: Movement With third graders, I discussed cre - ating movement and rhythm with the use of line. We also talked about warm and cool colors and how red, yellow, and orange seem to pop out from the picture, while green, blue, and purple pull back into the page. With black markers, students made free-flowing lines starting at one edge of the circle across the paper to the other edge. They built on their designs by repeating the form of the line with warm and cool color com - binations using thin and wide areas of color. All of the artworks were displayed in the lobby around the dot poster and murals as a colorful creative display, and the "dot" connections spread throughout the school. Stu - dents were encouraged to take cre- ative risks with their marks and to see where they would go. The con - fidence that students exhibited was inspiring and helped motivate them to create with more confidence in other activities. Wendy Libby is an elementary art teacher at Fruit Street School in Bangor, Maine. wlibby@ bangorschools.net N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K www.thedotclub.org Students were encouraged to take creative risks with their marks and to see where they would go. Grade two. Grade three. schoolartsonline.com 33

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