Thursday, June 19, 2014

Facing Your Fears!

Ever since Kindergarten, I knew I was not very good at Art Projects. I got a RED Star in cutting (for those of you who now grade in S, N, or U's ... that is a U). And in REAL grades ... it's probably a D!Every time I pick up a pair of scissors, I think of that RED Star!

Being a Kindergarten Teacher has helped me gain some confidence in coloring, cutting and Art Projects, but I still think of that RED Star when I show the kids how to do something! I'm pretty certain that my projects never come out better than the kids projects and that helps them feel more confident in their artistic abilities! And many times I learn something from them.

My cutting & coloring skills have gotten MUCH better -- but my drawing skills still need some work! You know you can't draw when you try VERY hard to draw a Horse on the board for "H" week and the kids come in from lunch recess and ask you why there is an Anteater on the board! TRUE STORY!

So ... I was a bit nervous this year when I knew that the Kindergarten classes at my new school do an author / illustrator study of Eric Carle each year and that the WHOLE class (teacher included) pick an illustration and re-create it for our culmination project. The other three classrooms started their pieces of art and I kept putting it off.

Well -- I didn't put off having the kids paint the tissue paper ... that was FUN! If you've never had 5 and 6 year olds paint tissue paper ... it is really something to try ... We did "cheat" a little and painted on some colored tissue. But, the children learned that you could not PRESS HARD on the paper or you would end up with LOTS of holes and be painting on the table! They even said it looked like a caterpillar had eaten their tissue!

 The children looked at the illustration and chose the colors of the paint they felt would best represent different parts of the picture. They collaborated and decided how much of each color to use and took turns putting on either strokes or dabs of color to make their tissue paper just right!

NOTE-when painting tissue, do it directly on the table do not put any paper under or it will stick to the paper - the paint and tissue dry in about 15 minutes and should lift directly off the table.

  Okay -- we painted our tissue paper! And ... the kids had a blast - they were really ready to start the BIG project! Now, I was really panicked because I had to sketch out the illustration. The other Kindergarten classes were about ready to frame theirs and ours was still in this VERY rough form - painted tissue! And our Insect Showecase was drawing nearer and nearer. Finally, one day after school I decided it was time to Face My Fear ... so I closed the door to my room, took the big poster board, a pencil, and a copy of The Very Lonely Firefly, sat on the floor and started to sketch. After about an hour ... I felt comfortable with what was on the posterboard, but what would the kids think?

The next morning I showed the children and they were ecstatic! They said that I persevered and DID IT! They also said that I drew pretty well and they could not wait to start adding the tissue paper and paint.

So we talked about the illustration some more and the children chose paints that they would use on the background. They also decided that everyone should get a few swipes of the colors and that they would all mix together if they all worked together! I LOVE Expeditionary Learning! So I picked sticks and the kids came up and swiped or blotted or did what they felt would help make the background look like a "nighttime" sky.

They also started to cut and place some of the brown tissue onto the abdomen to see how the colors would look together.
The next step was to cut the tissue paper and fill in the picture. The children did all of the cutting (except for the stars and the legs) ... they decided an adult should do those! (Little did they know I got that RED star in Kindergarten for cutting!!!!)
They added the eyes and mouth which made the Firefly come to life!
We took a gel pen and all signed our names - discreetly - around the lower part of the wings and abdomen.
 We framed it and hung it on the wall in the hallway for Everyone to see! We even hung it a week EARLY! Yay for us!!!!!
 Manara Academy 2013 - 2014
Mrs. Eckroat's Kindergarten Class
Eric Carle Project - A Very Lonely Firefly
It truly is amazing what can happen when you face your fears!

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