Friday, December 27, 2013

Paper Sculpture Using Darts

4th Grade-Paper Sculpture

4th Graders learned about some modern day paper sculpture artists that are internationally known. Paper sculpture is a modern day art from that is becoming increasingly popular. For this project students used their knowledge of radial symmetry to create an awesome abstract design. Their designs could look like a starburst, a firework, a flower, a tire spoke...almost anything! Students had free color choice for their designs. Many chose to do patterns, while others used a variety of colors. 
Students created "darts" for this project. They folded a 2" by 2" paper square three times to create their darts. The folding was similar to the beginnings of a paper airplane fold. Then students glued their darts onto a 12" by 12" black paper base. 
I think the challenge of this projects was cutting enough squares of each color for all these paper artists!

Students feedback to me: This was one of their very favorite projects this year!

That's always great to hear!

These are marvelous-go 4th Grade!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

koi fish

2nd Grade: Japanese Koi Fish

2nd Graders learned a little about Koi fish. They represent friendship and serenity in Japan. Koi Fish are a species of carp. They are an ornamental fish and are very beautiful to look at. They are distinguished by coloration (colors), patternation (patterns), and scalation (scales). Many times, botannical gardens have Koi you can even feed! Some of our students had been to the Fort Worth Botannical Gardens and seen Koi Fish in the Japanese Garden. 
Students also listened to the Dragon Gate legend. This is an ancient Chinese Legend. In this legend, 360 Koi attempt to leap up the falls of the Yellow River. After trying for an entire year, a single Koi fish makes it! He instantly turns into a fantastic shining Golden Dragon. This legend's moral is to perservere and never give up on your goals!
We can learn a lot from these beautiful creatures. They are so colorful and peaceful to watch.
We did watch a video of swimming Koi fish as well. We noticed the fish had barbels, which are similar to what catfish have (those whiskers!).
For this project, we did a step-by-step together as a class to draw a basic Koi Fish. I demonstrated different ways to create scales and fins. The emphasize was to have fun and be creative.Students traced over pencil lines with black sharpie and added other details-pond flowers, grass, lily pads, water lilies, and of course the water "splash" around the fish. Students added color with Crayola broadline markers. Then, students took a good quality round watercolor brush and added water to their fish to disperse the marker ink, thus turning the colored areas into "watercolor". While the water was still wet, students sprinkled table salt onto their art to create glimmers, bubbles, and sparkles in their water and on their fish. This helped to give their fish more texture and created realistic looking water. We also did a quick review of warm vs cool colors. Koi fish are mainly warm colored fish. However, I told students that they could color their fish with some of the cool colors as well. Overall, students did keep the water blue/greenish so multiple colors for the fish didn't look bad at all.

I think the project was very successful and students loved creating these!