Art Docent in Training - My Very first Lessons

Wow! It's been awhile since I clicked away on this keyboard. Let me tell you what i've been up to as of late. I've been learning how to teach art to kindergarteners! I'm a volunteer art docent for my daughters kindergarten class. I will be doing at least 2 lessons each month, which i've named "Featured Artist of the Month", and "Let's Create". The Art Docent Program at the school i'm volunteering at has over 80 prints around the campus, and each grade level is assigned a particular set of prints each year. Our job is to expose the kids to the art, and do a project related to the print. Well one lesson a month isn't enough for this art minded I asked the teacher if I can do a second lesson with the kids just for fun, and she gave me an excited yes! Oh happy, joy, joy!
My class was assigned I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth for October. I showed the kid's the print, and asked them 3 questions:
What's going on in this picture?
What do you see that makes you say that?
What more can we find?

Then we read the poem The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams that inspired Demuth and asked the kids if after hearing the poem if they see anything else in the picture. They all pointed out the fire truck. After some great discussion, we made a mixed up alphabet and numbers painting. I had the kids write the numbers and letters they've been learning in class using a white oil pastel on black paper. I encouraged them to rotate their paper so some letters were upside down, and sideways giving them a mixed up effect. After they were finished, I gave them a rainbow of tempera paint colors, and asked them to paint in the black spaces of their paper. Most painted over everything, which was fine with me, I think a few of them had never even held a paint brush before.

Last week, we had 2 days of "Let's Create". The kindergarten teacher i'm working with loves art, and she gave me 2 1/2 hours to do our Owls project, over 2 days! And the kids had so much fun with this project. This project came straight from Deep Space Sparkle, Snowy Owls.
It seemed like the perfect project for Fall, spooky owls, to go along with the pumpkins and scare crow projects that were already part of this months curriculum.

The first day, I had the kids gather around on the carpet, and I read the Dr Seuss book Sam & Gus to set the mood for painting owls. Then I demonstrated how to draw an owl showing them different wing options, and how to add tree branches and a moon. Then all the kids went back to their desks, and I had to show several of them how to draw an owl once again. Some of the kinders followed my drawing step-by-step, others worked through their drawings on their own and very quickly.

After they were finished drawing their owls, they returned to the carpet and I showed them how to mix the primary colors to make green, orange, and purple. I had them mix their own paints for the sky background letting them choose either blue or magenta. I gave them a plate with red, blue, and white paint and let them mix it on their own to make the sky color of their choice. They loved this! They did such a great job painting their sky's. After that, it was time for recess, so the kids headed out of the room and I hung around to get set-up for the splatter painting! When the kids came back in I had their tables all cleaned up and back to normal. The teacher continued on her lessons, and let me pull kids out 2 at a time to join me at the splatter paint booth, where they got to make snow on their paintings. This was fun, and not nearly as messy as it could have been. I only had to hold back a few hands from flipping painting over their heads back across the room. If you've read any of my art posts before, you know that I don't mind a good art mess, that's how you know the kids were enjoying the process!

The next day, after the snow and sky had dried, I had the kids paint their owls, and add eyes, beak, feathers and other features to their paintings. Then I encouraged them to outline everything in black like Patty did on Deep Space Sparkle. Mine didn't go over quite as well, many owls turned black, but we went with it. These little artists were so proud of their work, and enjoyed the process and that's what this is all about!


My art lessons this month were inspired by Deep Space Sparkle, and Art in the Big Green Room. I am so thankful to all the great art teacher bloggers who so willingly share their art projects with people like me who are just getting started in this art teaching adventure. Thank you!

Deep Space Sparkle - Teaching Art 101. I came across Patty's blog Deep Space Sparkle when I was searching for art lessons for kindergartener's, and our very first "Let's Create" lesson on Snowy Owls came from Patty's blog. I loved everything about it, so I wanted to learn more from her. I purchased her Teaching Art 101 online course, and i'm just getting started on it, and i've learned a ton already.

Art in the Big Green Room - My class was assigned Charles Demuth, Figure 5 for our first lesson, and I ran across this post on kindergarten abstract alphabet painting, and I thought it fit perfectly. We talked about how Demuth used numbers and letters in his art, then the kids got to use their favorite numbers and letters in their own art.

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