Monday, November 18, 2013

First Grade is Going to the Birds

I didn't really realize how many birds lessons I do until this year.  First grade started out making Strange Birds, and we finished our owls a few weeks ago, and now we're finishing primary and secondary-painted parrots.

We started out with a Smart Notebook lesson, a really basic one.  To get the parrots smart notebook file, click here.  The same day we did our Smart Notebook activity, we painted our primary colored parrots.  

I led them through this, painting on the board while they painted at their tables.  We all started by painting a black dot (to be the eye) and then painted the beak (also with black).  Students then chose a primary color (we were using regular tempera for this)to paint their head and neck (we made a circle around our eye, and filled it in, leaving white around the eye).

They then chose a different primary color to put near the eye and on the chest.  The final primary color was the body and tail feathers. I really worked with them on CLEANING THEIR BRUSHES between colors.  I've been working with the younger grades on this a LOT in the last several years.  Mostly just for my own sanity, and so that maybe someday I won't hear "All the colors are mixed!" or "He's mixing all the colors!" while someone is gleefully mixing everything to yucky brown.

After the parrots were done, they left the last color on their brush (not rinsing) and painted the tips of their non-dominant hand.  Then rinsed their brushes, blotted them dry and painted another bit of their fingers (but not their thumb) another primary color.  Another rinse and blot of the paint brush, and they painted the rest of their fingers (where it meets the palm of their hand) and their hand the final primary color. [Although I'm looking at the above photographs and they didn't do the greatest job painting the palms of their hands.]  The painting of the hands had to be done quickly so they could print their hand twice before the paint dried.  

The next time they came to art, we painted parrots again (step-by-step) using secondary colors:

When they returned to art the third time, we looked at the final page of the Smart Notebook file, to really look at some jungles.  And we talked about them--how we saw so much green, how many trees and vines and leaves there are.  i should've probably used the word lush with them.  It's such a great word.
I showed them how to accordian fold paper to make trees, and then they worked on their own, making jungles for their parrots to live in:

Trees without leaves or vines yet.

Love the vines on this one!

At the end of that class period, we began cutting out and gluing on our parrots.  We cut out our handprint wings separately and then glued them so they were flappy.  The final time they came, we finished up any cutting and gluing we needed to do and added a When-I-did-this-project-I-learned strip.  We brainstormed a list and wrote them on the Smartboard.  Students could write their own or copy one from the list. My first class of first graders finished, and this is what they look like hanging in the hall:

I also always post an explanation/learning targets/student objectives by the work, so people know the What What:

I really like these in the hall, it's a little bit of the tropics for us here in the midwest in November.
And later on this year, we'll even make Peacocks, so the bird theme will continue!

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