Thursday, October 31, 2013

New American Gothic Project LOVE IT!!!

Fourth grade is finishing up their regional artist unit with the life and work of Grant Wood.  They've all seen versions of "American Gothic", so it's always fun for them to learn the real history behind the work.  I've covered Grant Wood before, and for years I had students draw their own versions and color/paint them with oil pastel, but one night when I couldn't sleep (which happens more often than not lately), I came up with this new lesson. 

Day one, background info about Grant Wood (I do this along with George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton, then just refer back to those notes we took when we get to Grant Wood).  First working day: we draw our houses REALLY BIG on 18 x 24 inch paper, and use crayons to color them.  Next working day, we start making ourselves and a family member out of paper.  

Pop-out nose.

Heads with necks.

Another pop out nose.

Student drawing the hand that they'll add to their sleeve.

See how they could choose different shades for their different people?
 I encouraged them to really think about the color/shade of themselves and their other person.
The paper people took several days--we added the rest of the faces, hair, shirts and things to make them look the most like the people.

In process of adding features and clothes.

I showed them the easy way of adding shirts:
a simple snip and fold to make collars.

This is a student and his dad, who IS bald with bigger eyebrows!

I love this one so much (it really looks like him!)
that I took a photo and emailed it to his parents.
I had to really push them to finish their people and glue them to their house/backgrounds so they could add their item made out of Model Magic.  Oh my goodness, I don't know who was more excited, them or me.  It was wonderful and happy and downright giddy in my art room on the make-your-item-you're-holding-day. They had to think of what would be interesting and tell something about them when they thought of what item to make.

Ipod or phone?  Not sure, but electronic gadgets were the
CLEAR FAVORITE with this group.

Holding her kitty.
Close up of kitty with Sharpie details (turned and I can't get it to fix).

Pretty sure this one is an ipod.

Close up of her ipod.

Holding his DS.
Close up of his DS (turned again, of course!)

Love her flower--she's a really sweet girl, too!

Close up of her flower.
She decided it needed the leaf after she'd made it,
and came back for more model magic.

Love this one, because IT'S SO HER, I love how she combined
paper to make light and dark brown hair.
Another kitty close up. I didn't have any grey or black Model Magic--
students had to make it using marker.

Oh, and I used a combination of Model Magic and Cloud Clay (because I had both) but we liked the Cloud Clay better, it was a little softer and easier to work with.
You guys, these are totally adorable and I love them. I can't wait until the other two classes are done and I can hang them up in the hall!


  1. NICE!!! I am pinning this for the future :)

  2. Thanks! They are turning out amazing in my other classes as well!


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