Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mbuti Bark Paintings from DR Congo

Images are all student examples.
I tend to start my Kindergartners off very slowly. The first class I gave them a piece of cardstock with six shapes on it. We talked about the Element of Art: Shape and they named each shape. Next, I taught them how to hold and use a pair of scissors and asked them to cut out all six shapes. They put them in an envelope until next class. The next class, we practiced using little dots of glue on a worksheet with a picture of a glue bottle with dots on it. When the passed the glue "test," they were asked to arrange their shapes into an image and glue them down. They added marker details to complete their picture. This simple lesson lets me assess their cutting, gluing, drawing, and creativity baseline in one activity. Once I have this information, I am able to more easily plan lessons and projects that fit their skills and require them to develop new skills. 

My Kindergartners then learned about the Element of Art: Line by learning about bark paintings from the artisans in DR Congo. I cut a roll of craft paper in half and then cut that into 15" pieces, leaving each student with a piece of brown paper that was 15" X 15". Due to the curl in the rolled paper, I taped the pieces to the table at one school (the Kinders at that school meet right after my lunch break) and to drawing boards at my other school. That was especially fun because I taught them how to lean the boards against the edge of the table to make enough room for four boards at each of the cafeteria style tables. They looked and felt like "real" artists as they painted for the first time. I taught them how to "tickle" the paper with the tip of the brush and never mash the brush in the paint or on the paper. I showed them how to flip the brush to use all the paint on the brush before getting more paint. Students were asked to paint at least three (math connection!!) different types of lines. We talked about what "at least" means and I quizzed them before letting them go on their own with questions like "Could I paint two different kinds of lines? How about six?" until I felt they had a clear grasp of what was expected of them. 

When they filled the paper with lines, they were asked to fill out a paper with three boxes on it, one box for each new type of line. 

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