Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slithering Serpents!

My fifth grade students have been working on a drawing project for the past three weeks. We talked about what they knew about snakes and discussed the different types... venomous vs. non-venomous, different patterns, ones with rattles, ones without...etc  They are pretty good experts so our discussion was thorough.

I then asked students if I were to fill a box with snakes what would it look like? Would they all lay side by side? No! They were slithering over and around each other... thus overlapping.

Our goals for this project were to create a variety of snakes of their choosing (realistic and invented) and show their distance in space using overlapping.

Using pencil, we first began by creating 1 slithering (wavy) line across the paper. This is a spagetti line! Our snake needs more mass, so we began drawing the other side of the snake at one end and drew a corresponding line next to the first one. Then students drew a head. It could be round, pointed like a diamond, or any other shape they felt best suited the snake.

I then asked students to make sure their next snake ran under the first one. We started off once again with one slithering (wavy) line that ran into the first snake. Instead of drawing across the body with our pencil, we stopped and drew across with our finger, then on the other side of the body we completed the line with our pencil. Then students finished the snake with another wavy line and head.  Students repeated this until they had 5 or 6 snakes.

Snakes could go off the page and come back in again on another side.
Students then drew eyes, tongues, and if they wanted rattles. Then each snake needed to have its own unique pattern. Students traced everything with a black sharpie.

Love the rattler movement in this one!

Lastly students colored these with colored pencils. The colored pencil is an excellent opportunity to discuss value you as well.

I like this project because it gives each students a lot of opportunity for individuality and has a very high success rate for everyone.

Another thing I've been up to with my students is.... My studio class students have been working on Recycled African Masks. We started with discarded cardboard, did some cutting and gluing to arrange shapes for the face, then painted with acrylic paints. Some students even added hair with shredded orange paper (former packing material). All so different!

I'm taking 27 fourth and fifth graders to the art museum in Montgomery on Friday. Eeek! I think we are ready, but these kids never stop surprising me. Wish us luck!

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