Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eric Carle's Mr. Seahorse

My Kindergarteners have finished their Art Show project! This is a project that I have done several times over the years, but I have always thought that there's a way to make it just a little better. I think I finally figured out how to really make them exceptional.
Eric Carle's Mr. Seahorse
2 12" X 18" watercolor (or equally thick) paper per student
Florescent paint in pink, red, orange, yellow
Paint in a variety of blues (we used light blue, dark blue, and turquoise)
Foam brushes
Paint brushes
Water containers & water
Seahorse tracers
Green paper (4" X 6")
Round sequins
Thin line Sharpies (for signing at the end)
We started by reading Eric Carle's Mr. Seahorse, which the kids love. There are clear plastic pages here and there, and the author asks the students to find fish that are "hiding" behind the objects on that page. To avoid lost time and chaos, I tell the kids to let me know they've found the fish by giving me a thumbs up when they see it. I usually have all thumbs up before I finish the first sentence! Next, students went to their seats and used a foam brush to cover a paper with warm colored florescent paint. We talked about texture (how something feels, or looks like it feels), and I showed them how dabbing the brush creates an interesting texture, but wiping it, like a paint brush does not.
Next class, student used a variety of blue paints and covered a second piece of watercolor paper with shades of blue. We used regular paint brushes this time, and a medium size-so they wouldn't be able to get through it too fast.
The third class, we ripped up green pieces of paper and glued them to the bottom of the blue paper from the previous class. I talked about seaweed, and we noticed that seaweed does not have any straight edges. When many students were done with their seaweed, I showed them how to carefully trace a seahorse on the back of their florescent paper. We did it on the back in case of any mistakes. The kids love when I point out no one will know they made a mistake when it's on the back, so just try. I they have lots of trouble, I'll get a colored pencil out and trace it for them, so they can ignore all the pencil lines and just cut on my colored line. Some kids need help cutting the tail-but I'm always impressed with how far they've come with their cutting skills by this time of the year! Just think, when we started the year many of them had never used scissors, and now they're doing complicated shapes like seahorses! They glued their seahorse to their blue & seaweed paper and then brought it and their florescent scraps to me. I paperclipped the scraps to their project and put them on the drying rack.
Finally, the fourth class, I showed them how to use their scraps to add details to their seahorse. We cut a rectangle out of the corner of one scrap, and at least 10 triangles to glue along the seahorse's back. They also cut a circle for the eye, but put the glue on the colored side to make a white eye. I gave them markers to add a mouth, pupil in the eye, and lines on their tail, if they wanted to. Finally, I asked them to glue 5-10 "eggs" on the seahorse's belly. I showed them how to put a dot of glue on the seahorse and drop the sequin onto the glue dot so they wouldn't get their fingers all glue-y, have the sequin stick to their fingers, and get frustrated. Their last step was to use a fine point Sharpie to sign their name and 2011 in the corner of their work of art. I explained that most artists sign their work, and in the art room they are all artists.
As I assess their completed projects, I am looking for following of directions. I count the number of triangles (I told them 10 or more), and sequins (5-10). I check for craftsmanship in cutting, ripping, and gluing, and I look for the thoroughness in painting both with the florescent colors and the blues. I must say, these pictures really don't do them justice, they are amazing! Bright, vibrant, and really well-made. I am so happy with how hard they worked on them, and how well they turned out. They will be stunning at the art show, labeled and mounted! Each class period they came in excitedly asking if they get to work on their seahorses again. I love that. One of my favorite things about teaching is their enthusiasm.

If you'd like to see more of these, check out our Artsonia site!

1 comment:

Paintedpaper said...

Loving these guys! Don't you just love the bright vivid colors! :) Tell the kiddos great job!