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The Starry Night

First Grade – Ms. Smith

November, 2011


An Interpretation Through Texture::
Ms. Smith’s Kindergarten class learned about the works of Vincent Van Gogh and his mastery of creating textures with paint.  The class explored different textures from everyday life.  They took those everyday objects and created an interpretation of Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”  Textures were created using cotton, pasta, grains and other objects. The large black building-like object on the left of the original work was replaced with the Willis Tower, a Chicago landmark building known well to the class.

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Mask Making :: All Hallows Eve

Second Grade – Mrs. McCorry

October 17, 2011

While most children are busy preparing their Halloween costumes to honor their favorite super heros, sparkling princesses or ghostly goblins, we took some time to explore the history of the spooky holiday. Following a brief introduction about the history of Halloween, we discussed some fun facts about the origin and role of the mask in celebrating the holiday. The kids were shown images of masks from different cultures and all corners of the world. They were then asked to create their own vision of this all-important component of the evolving Halloween costume.

-lesson conducted by Ellen Maliff, Sandy Tijerina, Essam Abdelhamid & Anne Delmelle

First Grade – Ms. Cairns

November 19, 2010

Most of us are familiar with Dr. Seuss as a storyteller and illustrator, but he created art in many other mediums, one being the ingenious art of Unorthodox Taxidermy in the early 1930’s. He created mixed media sculptures using real animal parts such as beaks, antlers and horns from real deceased animals. Out of these unusual items, he created memorable sculptures of creatures from his made-up world, such as in the photo above.

The students were charged with creating their own creatures using more sedate supplies such as clay, feathers, sequins, plastic eyes, popsicle sticks, etc. The result was a magical, make-believe world (well, the classroom) filled with creatures formed through the eyes and imaginations of 6 and 7 year olds…what a sight to see!

– lesson conducted by Beth Siegel with parent helpers Justin Chambers, Joanna Senter, Ellen Maliff, Maria Pasqualicchio & Kathleen O’Connor


Simple Sculpture :: Alberto Giacometti

Kindergarten – Ms. Whitley

January 27, 2010

The task this day for the Art Appreciation Lesson was to sculpt figures, either animal or human using the elongated, stretched-out forms sculpted by Giacometti as inspiration. The children used pipe cleaners and wrapped them in tin foil, then molded their figures.

Giacometti’s sculptures were very often of the human form, in various activities and poses, but not necessarily limited to this. The kids were shown many pictures of Giacometti sculptures, some animal, and asked to make their own sculpture to take home. What came from the lesson were fun figures made by hand by each child, formed and molded to create whatever figure they had imagined. It was a fun, tactile lesson that engaged everyone, even the volunteers!

-lesson conducted by Eliza Buckner and Ellen Maliff

Amish Quilting

Third Grade – Mrs. Peterson

May 21, 2009

Project Synopsis:

Today in Art Appreciation, Mrs. Peterson’s students learned about the history of Amish Quilting in the United States. They learned that the tradition of Amish quilting began in the late 1800’s. the quilts were very conservative in pattern and color, consisting mainly of black, blue, rust or brown. Cotton or wool was used to construct the quilt. Their quilts began as whole cloth quilts and then moved to large piece quilts. By the 1940’s, the Amish were using brighter colors, pastels and even some printed fabrics to make their quilts.

Quilting is done by the women of the community, during the winter months, when they are not needed outside to help on the farm as much. The Amish traditionally make quilts for weddings, babies, friendship and fundraisers. Today, however, quilting bees are held to produce quilts to be sold to the general public and raise money for the Amish community.

Our project involved creating a 9 patch quilt block using various colored and patterned paper. We discussed the importance of MATH and MEASURING in respect to creating consistent patters.

-lesson conducted by Jill Goldstein

Art Vocabulary Words:

Quilt Sandwich: The 3 essential layers of a quilt consisting of the top, batting and the backing.

Nine Patch: The quilt patter made from 9 equally sized squares, 3 across and 3 down.

Quilting Bee: A social gathering of people to work on and complete a given task, in this case, a quilt.

Lesson in Pointillism

Kindergarten – Mrs. Whitley

April 7, 2010

Project Synopsis:

The students in Ms. Whitley’s kindergarten class were introduced to the pointillism method of painting, and were shown many samples of Georges Seurat’s paintings through his career. A projection of Seurat’s “Eiffel Tower” was shown as inspiration, and the students were asked to make their own Eiffel Tower using only the tip of the paint brush to make dots on the paper. By the end of the lesson, all of the students filled their paper and the result was an array of lovely interpretations of the famed French landmark in an assortment of different colors, shapes and styles!

-lesson conducted by Eliza Buckner and Ellen Maliff

Who Am I? The Self Portrait

4th Grade – Ms. Fotopoulos & Mrs. Musselman

Project Synopsis:

Why do artists create self portraits? Why do they create other peoples portraits? Today your child participated in an Art Appreciation project that centered around the questions that arise when one tries to answer the question, “Who am I?” and “Who are you?” We looked at the figurative paintings of Alex Katz for inspiration. We talked about the way Katz created large fields of color within the portraits and flattens the space by eliminating detail. Each student was challenged to answer the question of “Who am I” and create a large scale self portrait.

-lesson conducted by Jill Goldstein