Gathering Colours from Magazines and Old Books

….and then cutting them into squares, rectangles, circles and triangles to create buildings

The advantage of cutting out shapes from magazines or books is the added texture one gets. It is easier to just cut up construction paper but the act of looking for colour swatches in magazines teaches children and adults about the vast range of one colour (i.e., red can be cool (blue undertones) or warm (more yellow undertones), dark (with the addition of black) or light (by adding white) and vibrant or muted).

After a class of cutting and sorting colours we were ready to start cutting our shapes and layering  our pieces to create a collage of buildings. My grade threes were allowed to create a landscape of countryside buildings or a cityscape and they were encouraged to add foreground details and/or background details. The last step involved adding details with a black Sharpie and paint dots to make the whole piece come alive. The following are examples from one of my grade three classes.

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Nature Art at Camp Kawartha

….environmental messages from our grade 5s

Last week I spent 3 days in the Kawarthas with 59 grade 5 students.  The days were filled with great learning opportunities about the environment, survival practices from the past, games played by indigenous peoples and songs sung around the campfire. Most of the activities were outdoors and involved scavenger hunts, archery, night hikes, fire making and a game of survivor amongst herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. During free time the students could continue playing outside or pick up one of many games that were available to them in the lounge.

Every meal, students took turns setting the tables, serving the food and cleaning up, including washing the dishes using the large industrial dish washer. There was lots of food (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack) and no one needed to go hungry. The kitchen was impressed with how much salad this group ate.

After supper two of us were responsible for organizing hour long activities for the students to participate in before the evening program began. I took on the role of planning an art lesson. During the day I had students pick up things from the ground to use in a nature collage. Days before the trip I cut up about 80 pieces of cardboard to use as our background material and I brought bags of magazines and pieces of assorted papers.

I instructed the students to come up with a piece of art that gave some kind of message about protecting our environment from global warming or saving wildlife from poaching and/or loss of habitat. They were free to use any of the materials that I brought and the things that they found in the forest. The students were completely engaged and came up with some very interesting  works of art. Here is a sampling of their creativity.

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