Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stop Motion Animation

My third grade students are having so much fun learning about stop-motion animation.  We are using an app on the ipad called My Create.  It is from the makers of SAM Animation.  It is a little pricey but works really well.  You can also add music and your own voice if you want.  I chose not to have the kids add any sound because I was going to piece all of their little movies together in imovie and thought it might be distracting with all the different sounds.  Also, we have a large screen tv in our library to display our movies  but cannot have any sound.  I just wanted to introduce them to the process of stop motion animation and this project was perfect. 
The first class I introduced the lesson and students practiced drawing different sea creatures.  Some chose to create realistic ones and others were more imaginative.  Final drawings were made, outlined in sharpie, and colored in using color pencil.  I asked them to experiment with the color pencils trying some blending, shading, textures or patterns.  We created the ocean backgrounds using liquid watercolors and salt.
All of the filming was done in one 40 minute class.  I wanted to make something to hold the ipad and keep it steady while they took the pictures.  I found a few tips online about creating stands that would allow the ipad to become a document camera.  I wanted something easy and inexpensive so I ended up using metal shelving from Lowe's for 6$ a piece and milk crates.  They worked great.

We saved all of our movies to Dropbox and then I was able to import them into imovie and piece them all together.  I shared some free stop-motion animation apps with my students and many of them have made their own movies at home.  We are going to use our ocean backgrounds and sea creatures from this project to create underwater collages.  I will post the collages when they are finished.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

African Necklaces

I saw the perfect lesson on Pinterest for my third grade African art unit.  It was from Once upon an Art Room.  Here is the link: 
 We looked at the beautiful beaded collars created by the Maasai tribes.  Each student created their own pattern using lines and shapes.  Next, the pattern was transferred to a paper plate and painted using tempera paints.  We are lucky to have a visiting artist who will be teaching our students about African drumming.  The students will look great wearing these at the assembly!

Maasai Beaded Collar 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

African Textiles

In March our school is having an artist in Residence who will be teaching us about African Drumming which inspired us to create artwork about African Textiles.  First grade students learned about Kente Cloth.  We watched a video of an African boy weaving and looked at lots of pictures of the woven cloth.  Students created their strips and decorated them using different types of lines and then wove them into a black piece of paper.  I saw a version of this lesson on Artsonia.  Here is the link:
Second grade students created printed patterns inspired by African Mudcloth.  I found this great site that explains the process of making the cloth:
We used cardboard and white paint to print the patterns and oil pastels to add some color.  Here is a little video of a student working on their pattern.  I used the imotion HD app on the ipad to make it.

Fourth grade students looked at Adinkra cloth.  We watched a few youtube videos of the cloth being stamped as well as some photographs of the cloth and stamps.  I printed a sheet of the Adinkra symbols and their meanings for my students to use.  Each student chose a piece of cloth (recycled from a past project) and used the symbols and sharpie to decorate their cloth.  The students will wear these when they are doing their drumming.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Clean-up Comics

We had some fun using the ComicBook! app in art class.  Students were given the assignment to create a short comic that would teach the younger students some of our clean-up procedures in art.  We started by using a blank template to storyboard our ideas.  Next, students drew pictures, made props, or figured out how they were going to photograph their story.  Some students chose to work in groups which was a little easier for them to set up and take the pictures.  The next class we brought the ipads in and turned our storyboards into comics.  ComicBook!  is a great app.  It does cost $1.99 but I think it is worth it.  I tried looking for free comic apps but they just weren't that great.  This app has fun photo effects, speech bubbles, stickers and lots of layouts.  They kids had a blast.  Here are a few of the finished comics that didn't have any photos of kids in them.  
Here are examples of our story boards: 

Final comics: