Monday, September 17, 2012

Shapes and Swirls

I thought I'd write about opposite ends of my spectrum today: kindergarten and sixth grade.  While they're opposite, in many ways they're so very similar.  Things can get out of hand very quickly with both groups! 
Kindergarten made something I call Free Form Shape Stencils.  This is an oldie-but-a-goodie from my college days (many moons ago).  I start out giving them a "test" where I show a shape cut out of tagboard and have the class tell me what it is (circle, triangle, square, etc).  The last few I show are free form shapes (no one ever gets it, but I love the things they come up with "spilled milk" and "ugly flower" are two of my favorites).  We then talk about the difference between geometric and free form shapes.  Each student gets a shape, a paper towel and chalk.  They make a scribble line around the edge of their free form shape and then hold it down while they brush with the paper towel to make their shape on their paper (that I pass out while they're all working on their scribble line):

When they take them home, I tell them to give
their families the same shape test to see
if they know freeform shapes!


While kindergarten is working with shapes, sixth grade was learning how to marbelize paper.  I would definately change how I did this! I had everyone working on two types of paper marbelizing at the same time because I'm crazy I wanted us to get it all done in one day.  I don't recommend it.  In the future, I'd spread it out over several class periods and work with small groups while everyone else drew their Japanese scroll paintings. I used the recipe I got here for these:

Which left us with tubs of this:

Gross looking, but pretty darn-good smelling!

 While groups of 4 or so used the tubs to marbelize, everyone else had a pile of shaving cream in front of them and some food coloring.  It's super-easy, few drops of food coloring, swirl with a popsicle stick (minimal swirling, if they keep mixing, it's really ugly):

It's also important that students use a scrap of cardboard or matboard to SCRAPE their papers when they're done (getting all the shaving cream off).  Our marbelized papers will be our backing for our aforementioned scroll paintings in a few weeks.  Can't wait to see how they turn out once they're all together!

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