In today’s post I will be describing a seasonal art project that I did with my fourth graders today.
I love fall. Fall in south-eastern Quebec is filled with beautiful, and vibrant colors, which often stand out on a somber and cool background. This provided me with the inspiration for the art project I wanted to do with my students. We discussed the colors and the beauty of the season that we have been experiencing. Some students asked me questions, like, “What do I do if the leaves have fallen from the trees already?” I responded by asking them what they think it should look like and to tell them that if this is the way they want to represent autumn, it was fine with me, it is their art project.
My art objectives were the following:
- To mix media types
- To reinforce lessons we have had on color schemes
- To allow the use of only one tool for completing their projects
- Not to provide a template or an example
My personal objectives for my students were:
- For students to feel comfortable creating without an example
- For students to feel freedom when working on their pieces
The materials I provided were the following:
- - Black construction paper 8 ½” x 11”
- - Pieces of brown, yellow, orange, red and green construction paper
- - Water-based paint (such as tempera) in yellow, orange, red, blue, green, black and white.
- An empty pallet to mix the paint on.
The only tool students were permitted to use were their glue sticks.
The instructions I gave were:
- You must use the black construction paper as your canvas. It must be in upright position.
- You may not use scissors or paintbrushes.
- You must use both construction paper and paint in your artwork.
I then let the students loose. Students took the materials they needed and worked using different strategies, blending the media in different ways to complete the task assigned to them. There were no two pieces that were alike and they all adequately represented the season’s beauty.
When everyone’s work was displayed on the bulletin board, we observed it and talked about the color schemes that we used, how students were able to create different effects with their fingers when painting and how the media were mixed to produce different effects.
We also talked about how it felt to create these pieces. Students felt creative, free and some said it reminded them of younger days when they could finger paint and create what they wanted to.
This project has allowed me to evaluate student understanding of colors, textures and their ability to follow instructions. It also helped me to get to know their little character traits, such as a serious dislike of touching paint with bare hands.
If you decide to try it out with your students, let me know how it turns out!