Friday, November 13, 2015

Desert Landscapes

True confessions here, this project did not go completely as planned. However, it's the process not the product-right?! 

If that's the standard, this project was a complete success. And some of them did turn out super cute. We started by learning a bit about the Sahara Desert and focusing on foreground, middle ground, and background. The kids then created a template of sand dunes out of construction paper and used chalk to create the dunes. This turned out to be much more challenging for them than I expected. Some of them kept cutting the dune apart instead of ending up with one template 6" X 12" they ended up with a bunch of triangles. I asked them to start at the top of the page with their medium brown and mix it with a light brown to get a light color for the foreground. The concept of starting a project upside down was just too much for many of them and I walked around flipping the pages around as they got started. The middle ground was created with just the medium brown, and they added a darker brown for the last row of sand dunes. I showed them how to blend one color into the color next to it instead of rubbing the whole sky together to get mush and most of the skys turned out pretty vibrant. 

Now we moved on to the printmaking portion of our story...Yikes.
In my mind, I was thinking camels are pretty hard to draw and some kids won't be able to do it, but some will want them. I gave them the choice between camels, cacti, and pyramids. They could do the same or different items in their deserts. We used foam to create our prints and they were asked to print the largest item in the foreground, the medium item in the middle ground, and the smallest item in the background. I made stations for them to go to for printing and it worked pretty smoothly. Finally they did an assessment. The one I previously blogged about didn't work well with my third graders so I didn't try it with these kids. Instead, I created a color sheet of a desert and asked them to color the foreground brown, the middle ground green, and the background blue. Most of them got 3/3 on the assessment, which validated the project for me a bit. At least they learned! They also got to use chalk (which I don't pull out very often) and printmaking. 

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