Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grade 7 Leaves

When I taught elementary school several years ago (ok-more than a decade ago!) I did this project with Grade 5 with much success. One of the challenging aspects of teaching art in the Middle East is that most students don't grow up with the culture of art the way that students in the western world do. Much of this has to do with religion. For example in a Christian society God has a face as does Mary, saints, angels, and so on. In Islam it is forbidden to depict God through art and thus art is approached more in terms of design and object. This post is not intended to be a religious discussion, I wanted to show the difference of the internal wiring of people brought up in other parts of the world. I learned this in college during my study of Islamic Art but it has finally hit home after living here for a couple of years, funny how sometimes it takes 20 plus years for a concept to truly sink in. 

Supplies: Paper, oil pastels, india ink, a scratching tool, iron, newspaper, black construction paper.
Concepts: Lines, colors mixing, 

Step one: Take students outside to look at leaves, if time allows, bring paper and pencils along to make drawings. Additionally you can discuss parts of the leaf and get into the science of it. 

Step two: Students will make 9 drawings and use oil pastels to add color. I strongly suggest to reinforce color mixing and the color wheel. Demonstrate which colors mix well and which ones don't. Make a list that they can refer back to. I have my students mix a min. of 3 colors. 

Step three: Ink all the leaves with a coat of watered down india ink and past off with a paper towel. 

Step four: Use a scratch tool to make lines in the the leaves, this might be a good time to introduce or reinforce types of lines. 

Step five: Use an iron and newspaper to remove wax of the oil pastels 

Step six: glue squares on black construction paper and have students sign. 


Farida G. 

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