Sunday, January 23, 2011

A funny thing happened on the way to the Collage Center - No one showed up!

I've been teaching a modified version of TAB (Teaching Artistic Behavior) for a year now.  It's a choice based approach to teaching art.  In my classroom I usually have 5 different centers (also called Studios) and students can pick where they want to go and what they want to do.  One recent center I tried out was the collage center.  It wasn't a hit.  In fact, of all the grade levels I teach (1-5) only a few students chose that center.  It was time for some whole group instruction.

I have to admit, I'm a huge fan of TAB.  But I also enjoy whole group activities (though they can be far more work sometimes).  So I began looking for some lessons on collage art that I could use to get kids turned on to creating art this way. 

I own all of Donna Hugh's videos (put out by Coyote Creek Productions).  Some of you may think the products are a bit pricey but I think they are well worth it.  They have helped me immensely throughout the years of teaching art.  It's just one of many resources I've used.

The idea for my whole group collage lesson came from Donna's "Collage Art For Kids" DVD (vol I).  I adapted lesson 2 on the DVD and used it with all grade levels.  The lesson was a vehicle to introduce collage, learn what it is, and to learn some of the techniques artists use when creating a collage.  I also want to teach the students how to work independently in the college center.  I am hoping the experiences they will have over the next few weeks will create more interest and excitement in the center.
For this collage project, we started with strips of torn construction paper.  Those were glued on a piece of black construction paper. 

The next step was to add the details.  I made available beans, buttons, beads, yarn, tissue paper, crape paper, pieces of wood, and anything else I could find.

 I provided examples and demonstrated (using my document camera) some ideas they could employ in their artwork.  Then I let them play.  Once again I'm pleasantly surprised. I'll probably post the finished collages in a few weeks (after I've managed to snap pictures of them).

 Here are a few more pictures of the set up.  I'll have more in my next post.   

I'm currently working on individual collage projects for 1st through 5th.  So far there is a desert scene with mountains in the background (using tissue paper) and underwater scene (tissue paper) and a theme collage (magazine pictures and misc objects).  I have a few more ideas rolling around in the back of my head just waiting to get out.

Have a great week.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great Christmas Holiday season.  I spent the two weeks off being sick.  My annual sinus infection.  I managed to get some things done around the house but had very little energy for much of anything. 

Of course my goal was to do some posting of lessons I've tried in the past but I had no brain for writing.  I did manage to sleep a lot.  :) 

In the next few weeks I'll be sharing some thoughts on collage, how I'm teaching it in the classroom, what we are doing exactly, and how things are turning out.  Today is my first day with a series of lessons on collage and after the first two groups (4th and 5th grades) I'm am pleasantly surprised. 

In the meantime, have a great 2011. 

Oh yeah, is it a teacher thing or what but my body manage to get well enough to return to school today.  Why is that?  Did it know it was OK to be sick during break but needed to be well enough by Jan 3?  It's done this to me before.  I'll bet I'm not the only one that has this experience.