Basic Art Elements with preschoolers. Lesson one:line.
In this lesson we made our own book about line. I put together presentation with works of famous artists, different types of lines and all of that… and after we talked about line for a while, we did a little exercise. We added wavy and curly lines (free-hand) on our sheep and straight lines with a ruler – on our hedgehog.
Then we combined all of the lines we talked about into the ‘crazy hair day’ picture.
We have also looked at Op Art and created a collage out of a stripped scrapbook paper. They all loved cutting and gluing! Some of them really got into it and did not want to give up their scissors for a while 🙂
What else? We have also played around with yarn – trying to make different lines (and shapes) out of it… we even walked on the lines to combine some art with gross movement exercise (and to let them stretch after 40 minutes of drawing and cutting and gluing).
The best part was combining all of the pictures together and making the book. They were very proud as they were carrying it home. I think now we have to do this every time…
Form – one of the most challenging art elements for the kids. How do you teach them about 3D objects?
We started with an exercise – drawing a square, cube, triangle, pyramid, circle and a sphere. They did really well and only got stuck on the ‘changing circle to sphere’ part. We talked about shading and blending, the light that hits the object at an angle – and looked at it with a ball and a flashlight. It seemed to clicked for all of them.
Our artists this week was M.C. Escher. We explored his work and the way he distorted form to create optical illusions. The Pepe walking up the stairs in a never-ending loop was everybody’s favorite piece!
Our project was space. We used charcoal and blending stumps to draw the planets and then shade them. We talked about having only one source of light – the Sun, and discussed the way it hits the planets at the same angle. They seemed to have a lot of fun and we even had time to create a collaborative project for the school’s art show – but more about that some other time. For now, it’s a secret.
Another art element the kids and I talked about was a shape. We discussed what it is and looked at the way different artists used geometric and organic shapes in their work. Kids especially liked Henri Matisse and his collages (even though most of them had a very hard time seeing the snail in The Snail).
Then we did a little creative exercise. I gave each child a page with 20 circles and told them to change them into whatever they want – in under 2 minutes. They could change one circle to a ball, eye, clock… or combine two of them together to make glasses. They loved this and most of them finished about 10 circles.
For our main project we did a collage out of colorful circles and their fractions. We talked about the way we can cut them and then use them to design mandala-like images. Kids made halves, quarters, and eighths or circles and made beautiful collages. And I must say that the 2-inch circle puncher made my life a whole lot easier!
I always prepare a filler activity for the kids who finish early (especially the lower grades tend to do that) and I gave each child a sheet with 3 shapes and asked them to made a picture incorporating all of them. We got some creative (and quite different) results – from paint spills and space exploration to germs and family picnics.