Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Art Lesson With Older Kids: Oval Penguins and Owls

As I was wracking my brain last night to come up with a good project for the Kids' Art Class today with the older kids, I turned to The Crafty Crow, a blog with all sorts of kid crafts.  There I found a link for a project for making penguins using the classic "potato print" method.  I liked the project, but thought the potato prints would be a bit too easy for the older kids' class (maybe I'll use it for the younger kids...I pinned it to my Kids' Art Class Pinterest board for later).  So I adapted the project a bit and had the older kids use some oval stencils I have.  As I created the example, I decided that the same ovals would work to make an owl as just needs bigger eyes! (and "ear tufts").  So each kid did an owl as well as a penguin.

The sample project I did before class
And the penguins in the snow were fitting for today, since we had our first real snow of the winter (finally!).  I had to brush off my car and shovel the walkway and everything!  I'm sure I'll get sick of it in a month, but for now I'm happy there is finally snow on the ground!

I cut a 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper into quarters.  I gave each kid a 6x6 square of colored paper (sky blue for the penguin, navy blue for the owl).  I thought the colored paper would be a nice touch.  Sometimes it's boring working on the same old white paper and it's nice to have a good background color without the kids having to worry about coloring the sky themselves.

We did the penguins first.  First they trace the ovals (They had to take turns, since I only had one sheet of oval stencils).  Then they paint them...the big one black (dark brown for the owls), the smaller one white (light brown/grey for the owls).  Then I had them paint the "snow" underneath for the penguins (a tree branch for the owls).

My original example didn't have any flippers/wings, since I wanted t keep it as simple shapes and imagined the penguin/owl with their flippers/wings tucked in at their sides, but the kids insisted on painting them on.  I indulged them and gave them creative license to go ahead and paint them on.  It's a difficult balance between letting kids be creative and making them stick to the instructions.  I don't want to squash their creativity, but I want them to learn to follow directions as well.

They then cut out a triangle for the beak, and squares for the feet...then glued them on, along with some googley eyes.

The finishing touch was using some rubber stamps & paint to create snowflakes for the penguin.  We did stars for the owl picture...although one student asked to do snowflakes for the owl since it was snowing outside!  Again...I chose not to squash her creativity.

One student asked to paint his owl's beak and feet, instead of cutting and gluing the paper.  He said he wanted to practice his color-mixing and painting.  I feel like using the cut-out paper looks neater, but I couldn't say no when he was taking the initiative to practice his painting skills!

All inall, it was a fun project for all, and the kids did great!


Francesca DeCaire said...

I spent yesterday working on penguins as well :) Must be something about the snow.

Such a wonderful thing you do - working on art with kids. LOVE IT.

Art Activities said...

Lovely pictures and awesome kids work!!!

Susan Link said...

Like the added touch of the googley eyes!

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GlowWorm said...

Letting them add their personal touches is what makes the final pictures fun to look at--just like when you make things yourself! I'm glad you let the creativity flow!