Our unit on Reading Art unit has been easy to link to the homeroom unit of Creative Expression, in which the students have been learning how to be creative through play. Creating characters from fish, monsters and cartoons has helped us to understand how to create and read feelings and emotions in art. From this we have begun to develop our own characters that can be used as part of our creative and imaginative play. The first of these characters was an animal made from clay. Students first learnt how to roll, shape and connect the clay using slip and score techniques. Once they where familiar with the techniques they were able to create their own animal characters. They went into the hot kiln and then we painted them with a ceramic glaze before cooking them one more time. They really look quick special and the students are excited to take them home to play with some more.
As part of our Reading Art Unit we have been looking at book illustrations and how characters are portrayed. To help them understand how your face changes when you have different feeling some students practiced their cartoon drawings on whiteboards whilst looking in the mirror and others spent time acting for each other and drawing each other to capture what it looks like when you are angry, sad, shocked etc. We created frames for the students to draw their characters in. Having a frame makes your artwork very special and is an easy thing to do at home to get you and your kids drawing.From their observations, experiences and from looking at each other and themselves, they created some very cool cartoon characters. There characters showed a range of emotions.
Have a look outside the ES office for the display of this work.
As part of our Reading Art Unit Grade 1 students looked at the characters in the Dr Suess book 1 Fish 2 Fish.
They understood that the feelings of the fishy characters changed and that this showed in their body language and facial expressions, particularly their eyes. Can you see what kinds of feeling our fish have?
Last quarter the children in Grade 1 were asking the question “How can we read art?” We shared some of the children’s favorite stories and talked about how the characters felt, making our own illustrations.
We dressed up as story characters and acted out emotions and then drew each other from observations. These drawings were then painted with watercolors and decorated with collage and pastel. The children made really interesting observations about how there characters felt. “Takao is happy because bright colours are entertaining” ‘Maya is mysterious” “Kyrie is angry. I used red and black to show he is furious!”
We also spend some time with the children inventing there own stories. Firstly, they selected a page with a simple line or shape on it and then they had to continue the line or build on the shape to create a full page story.
Another story telling activity involved choosing artwork by a famous artist that they thought would tell a good story. They working in pairs to decide if the artwork would be the beginning, middle or end of the story. They then continued the lines and shapes of the artwork to create another work which told the rest of the story in three parts and at the same time one piece of art. This work was also created with parents during the student led conferences.
The children learnt that art can tell stories. They also appreciated that people read art in different ways and so one piece of art can tell a different story to each person who studies it.