Sunday, January 22, 2017

Organic Shape Monsters

First graders have been pretty busy in the art room learning lots n lots about shapes. Shapes?! Yes, SHAPES. We are much too big for stick people. Yes sir, no more stick legs and arms for us! Before Christmas break we learned all about using geometric shapes in our drawings, designing very geometric nutcrackers together. Geometric shapes are used a lot in math, have very formal names like Octagon, Rectangle, Diamond, and Triangle, and are usually symmetrical (you could fold them in half and both sides would look the same!). Now that we're back in school, it's time to learn about another shape family, organic shapes! Organic shapes are pretty different from geometric shapes. They're WiGgLy and curvy, they're often not symmetrical, they typically don't have fancy names, and they're found in NATURE! Your hands and feet are organic shapes, so are clouds, lakes, ponds, and PUDDLES! First graders agree that puddles are a big favorite, so we like organic shapes a lot! To introduce organic shapes we listened to Rita Moreno read "I Need My Monster" by Amanda Noll on YouTube. Her voice is great, and she reads this so well! The kids were totally absorbed in the story...

We LOVED all the different monsters in the story and talked at length about the types of claws we saw (some of them looked like little rocks on the end of sausage fingers), the teeth we saw (some were only on the bottom), the ooze, the tails (some were long and some were short), the lumps and fur and eyes....Then we set to work creating our very own shape monsters! We started out by drawing an organic shape on our paper. Not too small, and just about any wiggly blob would do! We thought about arms and legs and tails....does it have to have legs, or could it move like a snail and leave an ooze trail? If it's going to have legs, does it need more than 2? 4? What about horns? How about 1 eye instead of 2, or maybe 6 instead?! We brainstormed a lot of really good ideas! Some monsters had big lips for kissing you good night, but be careful, they drool! 

We traced our awesome drawings with sharpies, erased our pencil lines, and then learned how to use washable markers as paint! That's right, you can use them instead of watercolors, which is pretty cool if you like to paint and don't have paints at home (if you don't have brushes, use q-tips!). We colored in the bodies of our organic shape monsters and got a little scribble happy! Scribbling?! In the art room?! In this case, it worked out just fine. We used water and brushed over our marker scribbles to blend our colors together, and it filled in all the white spots left by our scribbling just perfectly! Some chose to add little sprinkles of salt to their wet marker paint, knowing that it causes a mottled effect. When they were dry, we cut them out and glued them to a colorful piece of construction paper of our choice. These first graders sure are proud of their work, and so am I! I love how different each monster is, don't you?! We'll be applying all we know about geometric and organic shapes in our next big project, so stay tuned!

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