To prepare for this, I have done a LOT of prep work on several different artists. I have read many books and online sites and then summarized their lives and artistic styles in a 2 page second grade friendly text. Then, I have made a Story Quest (sort of a scavenger hunt through text) for each one that not only serves as a reading comprehension check but also as a way to reinforce other second grade language arts skills. Then comes the fun stuff. We do a piece of art that is inspired by a masterpiece of the artist that we are studying. So far we have studied Piet Mondrian and Henri Matisse. We will also be covering Pablo Picasso, and possibly Diego Rivera and Vincent Van Gogh. The kids have been having a blast and so have I.
Here is what we have worked on so far:
After discussing Mondrian's life, we went into an exploration on primary colors. We also practiced making straight lines with rulers. Then I made a sample of what I wanted the kids to make. This took about 20-30 minutes. I talked my way through all of it. I had someone time me from start to finish. I wanted them to see that the task would take some time and it wasn't something they could just rush through. After that, I had them choose 3 primary colors to work with, I gave them pencils, a ruler, a white piece of paper and white erasers and they were on their own. Check it out!!!
We focused on Matisse's art that he did at the end of his life, the cut outs in the Jazz Series. Matisse was bed ridden after a fight with cancer and started "drawing with scissors."
For this art project, we looked at many of his pieces in the series. We then talked about the colors that showed up most often. I gave the kids a stencil of the shape of a person and 3 stars. I of course made a sample in front of the kids. I cut out shapes, some from the stencil and others that I created myself. I didn't glue anything on the paper until I arranged and rearranged my picture several times. I talked myself through this out loud for them too so they could hear my thought processes. After that, I left out the paper for the kids and they were off. I didn't help them one bit. As they were working on their pieces though I told them to think about a title for their masterpieces.
I am SO proud of their work. The pieces look fabulous. The titles are amazing too. Here are a few of our "Masterpieces." Enjoy!
"The Lonely Yellow Star"
This piece is amazing. I love the movement that is seen inthe person in black. Everything about this piece just looks like Matisse could have done this himself.
"Culture in Love"
This piece I was worries about at first. The little girl who was working on it tried to get it done in 5 minutes. I talked with her about making it a "masterpiece" and she really got it together. She was really proud of her title by the way! :-)
The boy who did this said "See Ms. V.: I live in this BIG HOUSE - I'm Rich!"
Can you see the lawn mower? This little girl really played around with her pieces. The lawnmower started out as a piano! She was very creative.
This one is mine! I haven't been able to come up with a title that I like yet. My theme is unity, cooperation and love - I just can't come up with a name that I like!