I love teaching art! I was never good at art, which I believe actually makes me teach it better. Those who have natural artistic talent can struggle to connect with those who don't. Plus, if I can make something beautiful, so can anyone!
As part of our Extreme Weather topic, I thought we'd have a go at painting some atmospheric cloudy skies.
I began the lesson in one of my favourite ways: I asked them to do the task with no help. So, I gave out watercolours and asked them to paint me a cloudy sky. When they asked for more information, I just said to paint any cloudy sky however they wanted. On the example below, this is the picture in the top left.
After that, we experimented with some different techniques I had found online:
1) Blotting (not pictured)
Brush water over the paper, paint different shades of blues, purples or sunset colours onto it, then dab with paper towel.
2) Dripping and dribbling (pictured bottom left)
Wet the paper thoroughly, then use a very wet brush to pick up a lot of paint and drip it onto the paper, then tilt the paper around, allowing the paint to run and bleed.
3) Negative space (pictured top right)
Using a clean paintbrush, paint water in patches around the paper. Then, using very wet paint, paint your sky colour into the dry space and right up to the wet areas. It will bleed into them, giving an effective smudgy edge to the cloud.
The children evaluated each technique and experimented with them on scrap paper. They then chose their favourite technique to create a final piece with. For this, we still used only A5 size, but on card. The results really were spectacular! Take a look:
I know that my class are a creative bunch but this week they have once again amazed me! I have always been a little dubious about the quality of 'shape poems', but decided to give them another go. I am so glad I did!
We began by developing a bank of powerful vocabulary. I am a bit tired of vocab. banks so we used Tagxedo. For those of you who haven't used this yet, it's a fantastic free online resource! It's a little like Wordle, but you can choose the shape. We imported images. Simple ones work best usually although some shadowy pics can be effective. Here are some of our weather ones (as you can see, spelling slips when typing! Something to work on there, I think)
sTagxedo is also a great resource for children new to speaking English.
After that, the children worked with their writing buddies to put this vocabulary into fantastic sentences, using personification and other imagery. For the writing buddies, I have paired children with a 'complimentary' partner; one may be very creative, the other very accurate. It's working a treat! The children wrote their sentences on different lengths of paper to help them to create a tornado shape. You can see for yourself how beautiful the results were!
I can't believe we're already on the Christmas countdown! We even started rehearsing for our Christmas pantomime this week! Anyway, amidst clouds of fog, we began our Extreme Weather topic last week. As a homework task, the children made weather stations, which I have attached in various ways to our school fencing. (Pics to follow).
I like to send out a bit of information about each new topic we do. This introduces the topic, reminds parents of key dates, homework days etc. and sets their homework project. This is an activity to hook the children into their new topic and involve the parents in their learning. It's been a really effective way of getting the children interested and asking questions. Here's the one for this topic: (Editable file to download below)
We started our topic with a 'Knowledge Harvest' to find out what the children already know, set them thinking and asking questions. For this topic, I found some dramatic pictures of weather and its impact. The children then noted down "I see, I think, I wonder" points. Throughout the topic, we'll revisit and add to our notes in a different colour to see our learning and ask new questions. Here it is (editable download below with 4 different versions):
I can't wait for the rest of this topic! Some of their questions that we are going to investigate are How can we describe the weather? What is a cloud? How can we paint the sky? If rain is clear, why can we see it? Why don't we get [many] tornadoes in England?
Hi! I'm Mrs P: passionate primary school teacher!