Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Colorful Planets

Art Lesson: Planets on Oil pastel/Crayon Resist Technique
Skill: Smudging

I think it is important that kids learn how to smudge and use oil pastel so I had this lesson for my third graders last week.


1. 8x11 sheet of paper
2. circular patterns (my kids used tumblers, scotch tapes, coins, and other circular objects that they have with them)
3. pencil
4. oil pastel
5. paint brush
6. blue water color

1. Trace circles on your paper. The circles could have different sizes. (You can also draw a sun to identify the light source.)
2. Color the planets with oil pastel. Create a dark area on the side of the planet facing away from the sun.
3. Smudge to blend the colors together.
4. Draw some yellow/ white dots or stars on the back ground.
5. Paint the whole paper with blue.
6. Let it dry.

Here are some examples of my students' output.


This week, I had a short discussion on magic realism in my art class. Drawing out the imaginative juices out of their brains was an easy task. They had all these wonderful ideas about magic realism.

Magic Realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction in which magical elements are blended into a realistic atmosphere in order to gain a better understanding of reality (Wikipedia). It is characterized by fantastical elements, plentitude, hybridity, metafiction and sense of mystery.

With the definition above, i asked my students to draw something that could be classified as Magic Realism. I didn't really wanna limit what my students wanted to do so I allowed them to express their creativity without boundaries.

Here are some of their works:

Monday, March 7, 2011

10 Lessons the Arts Teach (by Elliot Eisner)

1. The arts teach children GOOD JUDGEMENT about qualittative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

2. The arts teach children that problems can have MORE THAN ONE solution and that questions can have more than one answer.

3. The arts celebrate MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES. One of tehir large lessons is that there are many ways to SEE AND INTERPRET the world.

4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. LEarning in the arts requires the ABILITY and WILLINGNESS to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

5. The arts make VIVID the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can KNOW. The limits of our language does not define the limits of our COGNITION.

6. The arts teach students that SMALL DIFFERENCES can have LARGE EFFECTS. The arts traffic the subtleties.

7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which IMAGES become REAL.

8. The arts help CHILDREN LEARN to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them FEEL, they must reach into their POETIC capacities to find the words that will do the job.

9. The arts enable us to have EXPERIENCE we can have from no other source and through such experience to DISCOVER the range and variety of what we are capable of FEELING.

10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults BELIEVE is IMPORTANT.