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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Alphabet Art: First Grade

This is a lesson I love to teach at the beginning of the year.  The first graders create a picture using letters.  I show them how draw the letters and stack them, twisting and turning the page, making sure to connect the letters.  Below is an example of the shapes formed from the letters.  I really loved this one, because even though the boy used letters (a lot of "O's) to make the design, it is very abstract and not immediately recognizable as letters.  I especially like the little dangly letters at the bottom. 

After drawing with pencil, the letters are outlined with black marker and the spaces colored in with markers.  Some of the pictures contain clearly drawn letters, others look more abstract, with the letters layered and overlapping.

I showed the students a Powerpoint of artwork from Stuart Davis, who incorporated a lot of letters, words and numbers in his art.  I wanted to show the students how text can be a part of art and how the shapes of letters can be a very interesting element to use in an artwork.

When teaching art history with the little kids, I keep it short and at their level.  Show them some artworks, ask them to tell me what they notice about the artwork "What else do you see? What do you think he was thinking when he made this?  What are the colors like?, etc"  If there is a good children's book to go along with the artist I will read them that.  The whole art history portion is kept brief, because when the kids come in to art class they are itching to just make art!  This Powerpoint had about 7 or 8 slides.  Using Powerpoints is an essential part of my teaching! I use a powerpoint for about 1/3 of the lessons I teach.  I should write a blog post about how I use them.

Anways, I hope you enjoyed this lesson and it is a really fun one at the beginning of the year.  I think it is great for teaching the kids to see an every day subject matter (the alphabet) and using it in creative way.  Also, every single one of these turns out just beautiful and I really enjoy seeing how they arrange their composition.

This one is great because he included Chinese writing as well.

1 comment:

Rina said...

Hi Marcia

These are really cool. I am a big fan of powerpoint lessons as well. Easy to project, edit and share, and ready to go for next year. This could also be fun as a name art project. Thanks for posting.


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