I read one of the Smart About Art books on Degas to my 2nd grade students. The students learned that Degas started to use pastels in his work when his eyesight started to fail. They also learned what he had in common with and what was different from the other Impressionist artists. The book classified Degas as an "inside" artist and the others as "outside" artists. After the book, the students started to plan a drawing of just about anything they wanted that would be completed using pastels. I asked them to just lay out their drawings pressing lightly with pencil so they would have a plan. In the second class period, I demonstrated using pastels to draw. I was really glad the OT happened to be helping a student out in Art class on a demo day because she verbally pointed out how I held the pastel between 2 fingers where I hadn't thought to say it. After she said it, it was easy to remind students how to hold the supplies to make them less messy. I did ask the students to try adding more than one color to a shape to see how it added texture and interest.
This was all part of my getting back to the process over the product movement. I don't see any reason why all the students would need to draw landscapes, for example, to show what they learned. It was much more interesting to all of us when the students were allowed to make more choices.
|Are your students as in to volcanoes as mine?|
|This student is really fascinated by the Titanic. He used it as the subject for a later project as well.|