Posts Tagged ‘GRADE 1’

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

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Grade 1 – Mr. Reynolds

Volunteers – Carrie Bankes, Lori Malinski, Paula Hurtado

Project Synopsis: 

Students learn about the life of the artists and analyze Rousseau’s Jungle Scenes imagining the stories told in the jungle.  They identify the horizon line, vertical lines, and contrasting colors and describe the foreground, middle ground and background and the use of overlapping shapes to create depth.  They sketch leaf shapes; draw landscapes with leaves, flowers and jungle animals and create pastel chalk and cut paper landscapes with hidden animals.



Discuss the life and artistic style of Henri Rousseau.  Recognize that a great artist can stay close to home and be self taught as long as s/he has confidence in his/her talent. 

·       Talk about looking at things around you for inspiration. 

·       Identify concept of depth using foreground, mid ground and background.

·       Students will create a stylized collage using simple shapes and featuring precut, magazine or make-believe animals and plants. 

·       If time allows, class will work together to add large Rousseau-like leaves and a make-believe animal to the classroom jungle.


What you Need:

·       Artist Biography

·       12 x 15 drawing paper (2 per child)

·       Samples of Rousseau’s jungle paintings and samples of practice and finished collage

·       Colored chalk or oil pastels

·       Colorful construction paper and pre-cut animals & leaves

·       Animal shape stencils and rubber stamps

·       Animals and plant reference materials

·       Animals and plant images cut from magazines

·       Scissors

·       Glue stick

·       Thick marker

·       Jungle sounds CD and player

Step 1: Talking

1.     Introduce the life and art of Henri Rousseau.

2.     Give the students some background information on the artist and show print s of Rousseau’s jungle-style paintings.  Point out that he never went to a jungle. 

3.     Discuss how Rousseau used resources around him (books, museums, gardens, etc.) and his imagination to create his paintings. Some things he painted do not really exist in real life. 

4.     Discuss horizon line, foreground, mid ground and background, warm and cool colors, and simple, stylized drawing, and repeating shapes.


Step 2:  Introducing the Project


1.     Give the students paper and marker to boldly practice drawing their jungle scene and imagine a story.  No pencils.  You need only 5-10 minutes for practice picture. 

2.     Use horizon lines to create depth.

3.     Demonstrate the use of different collage materials large, simple shapes to create grass (foreground), flowers (mid ground) and trees (background).

4.     Students may begin by thinking about the sky in the extreme background.  What time of day is it?  Do they need a moon or a sun or stars?

5.     Point out the benefits of repeating a certain flower and/or color to “tie” their picture together.

6.     Have the students add simple animals to their picture or hide them in the background.

7.     When they are satisfied with their “practice” paper let the students recreate their picture on good white drawing paper with a black marker.


Step 3: Doing the Project


1.     Pass out oil pastels or chalk and demonstrate for the students how to use them by layering and blending the colors to create shading and depth while keeping colors clean and bright.

2.     Remind the students to fill all the space with shapes, colors and textures.

3.     They may color the grass, flowers, trees, animals, people, etc.

4.     Last, they can add the grass or ground area and foreground details.

5.     Finally, sign the painting on the front at the bottom right with contrasting color chalk.

6.     If time left, have the kids cut out huge Rousseau-like leaves from green paper for the classroom trees.  

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Grade 1 – Mrs. Poteracki


Present a brief biography of the artist.  Have books on hand to show pictures of Pablo.  Talk about Picasso’s Blue Period, Rose Period and Cubism.  Ask a lot of questions regarding feelings.

Have children make Picasso style pumpkins influenced by Cubism, Blue Period or Rose Period (or their own ideas).

Presentation/project took 45 minutes.


What you need:

·       Picasso books (used 2 that were in the Mann library)

·       Picasso posters (in library at Mann)

·       Construction paper – various colors

·       Additional construction paper for mounting

·       Scissors (children had in their desks)

·       Glue sticks (children had in their desks)


Students Response to the Project:

Very positive


Teacher’s Response to the Project:

Very positive.

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MONET – Impressionism / Color

Grade 1 – Mrs. Hilton

Volunteer – Patricia Feeley

Project Synopsis: 

The project began with a discussion about the painter Claude Monet, providing some historical background on the artist.  Pictures of his work were shared with the class.  Topics of discussion included, “What color is water?”  “What color is the sky?”  “Water and color both reflect other colors, at times like the sunset.  Color can also describe feelings or emotions.  What color would you use to show if you are happy? Sad?”  



Encourage the students to use colors and shades of colors to create a water lily picture impression.  Ask the students, “What colors would you use for a water lily and its leaves?”  Take out greens and other colors, trace an outline of your hand with fingers together on the piece of paper, using various colors and shading to color it in.  Cut it out. 

Instruct the students to use various shades of blue, purple, and other colors to color the pond.  Then they will paste the lily pad onto the water pond.  The last step is to put the ponds together to form a classroom pond.



LInnea in Monet’s Garden


Students’ Response to Project:  Good

Teacher’s Response to Project:  Good


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Grade 1 – Mrs. Poteracki

Volunteer – Sheryl Osbourne

Project Synopsis: 

This project is about an African tribe that paints their houses, and it ties in with a unit on Africa.  It starts with Maya Angelou’s My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me. It’s a beautiful book about an 8 year old African girl whose best friend is a chicken.  The kids love this.  She tells about how her tribe (the women) paints their houses.  Then, I gave the kids a turkey feather (from Michaels) to use as a paint brush to paint designs on a house template.  They loved the feather, although we found that the feather worked somewhat like an ink pen and was better for design rather than filling in a block of color.  

Materials Required:


Template, paint, feathers (quills)


Give kids design suggestions (wavy lines, swirls, circle within circles, etc.)  ahead of time.  After I assembled the house (cut and tape after paint is dry) I hid a sticker under each house. 


The activity took 45 minutes.

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