SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2017

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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Page 34 of 54

E L E M E N T A R Y E lementary students are capable of making some astonishing artwork in this lesson. Fourth-graders cre - ated underwater scenes using felt, burlap, yarn, and more. I believe its success was due to the use of stu - dent-drawn paper patterns in creat- ing felt appliqué. Three methods of stitching were used as a secondary tool to add variety and interest. Introducing Aquatic Life I began by sharing pictures, books, and videos about sea life. Jerry Pallot- ta's The Underwater Alphabet Book (Charlesbridge, 1991) is great to use because of its variety of sea creatures and backgrounds. Students enjoyed pronouncing some of the names, such as Humu-humu-nuku-nuku-apuaa (also known as the triggerfish). The bargain table at any major bookstore is an excellent source of illustrated tropical fish books. I also showed a National Geo- graphic video on underwater life, then we discussed the parts of a fish, such as the fins, tail, eyes, and lips. We determined the basic shapes that could be used for each as I drew a fish on 9 x 12" (23 x 30 cm) light - weight drawing paper. Making Paper Patterns "Regular fish" aside, many students chose to draw other sea creatures, such as starfish, jellyfish, seahorses, and snails. I encouraged them to include the ocean floor, sea plants, coral, rocks, and other background elements. They sketched drawings first in pencil and then outlined them in black permanent marker. Aquatic Joan Sterling Appliqué 30 SUMMER 2017 SchoolArts

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