Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Dot

I was looking for a way to use value in a quick project for First grade after last week's fingerprint value scale turned out to be a success. Finally I remembered that I could adapt the Kindergarten lesson on Emphasis and kill two birds here.

I read one of my favorite books, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, to my first grade students. They were especially interested in the character Vashti's painting in which she made a dot by "not painting a dot". I gave them a small piece of card stock and asked them to draw a dot with a pencil, then cut out the shape. They taped this dot onto a piece of paper and I had them paint the whole paper with one color of paint, plus black and white. They quickly discovered that they could change the value of the color by mixing. The tricky part was getting them not to turn the entire paper a nasty gray... But I solved that by asking them to keep the black and white pots in their palette "pure" so that they would have some left over. Some of them followed those directions, some didn't. I am having such a hard time with this whole first grade group this's crazy.

Anyway, after their entire piece of paper was painted, they left it to dry. The next week, they got their paintings back and I had them draw swirls on top of the paint with white oil pastels. They could also use a pastel in the color from their paint palette if they chose. We discussed Emphasis and how the Dot would be the most important part of this picture, so it should show up really well. Finally, they removed the card stock dot and saw how they had made a dot by "not painting a dot." Here is an example of the results:

So far I'm happy with how these turned out. They have a little bit of a "Starry Night Quality, and you could probably do this lesson as a variation of that if you had the kiddos draw stars instead of dots. But I'm so over Starry Night lessons for personal reasons. ;)

On a completely unrelated note, I've started an Etsy shop. So far I've mostly got prints of my photographs for sale, but there are a few jewelry items there and I've got a couple more to post in the next few weeks. So here's a link to that if you're interested!

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