The final results of our "Material Self Portrait" are brightening the hallways around the school. Students worked hard to express their identity and think metaphorically through non-traditional materials and enjoyed learning different collage and painting techniques. Students are now challenged to write a great artist statement to help their viewers understand some of their processes and ideas.
One of the art standards we achieve in Grade 1art is about applying meaning to and discussing works of art created in the classroom while focusing on selected elements of art (e.g., shape/form, texture, line, color). Introducing students to the art critique is a great way to get them thinking about what they do, how to give constructive feedback, and how we can "read" an artwork. This can sometimes be a frustrating experience for little learners though, especially those who are new to English and struggling to pick up essential vocabulary. This simple activity was the most successful version I've tried.
Students were given "stickers"of the elements of art we focused on in their giraffe paintings : line, color. and pattern. We laid out the paintings around the room and walked around looking for the work of art we thought was the best example of line while a song played. When the music stopped, students put their sticker on the chosen art work and returned to their seats. We repeated the process for color and pattern. When everyone had finished we looked at the work of the students who had the most stickers in each category and discussed why we thought they were successful. Everyone seemed thrilled to have achieved a sticker from their classmates (everyone got at least one from one of the categories) and ELL students enjoyed sharing their work. I was thrilled to see how students were noticing many ways to use those elements of art successfully.
We had a little help from their favorite song to get excited about moving around.