Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Going Fishing in Fourth Grade!

This is one of those "plan as you go" success stories...not exactly the best way to operate on a regular basis, but one that occasionally becomes one of my new favorites! The original idea was to do a fourth grade clay project with a fish theme, but schedule changes and a backlog of unfired, drying clay projects left me with no room for another grade level. Fortunately, the only hint I had given the students was that they were going to be "going fishing" when our symmetry projects were completed. 

The first day was for our "fishing expedition". The students got out their iPads and began their hunt for the perfect fish, based on its interesting characteristics, its form, and its color. Once "caught" the fish was inserted into the SketchBookX app for the creation of an outline drawing of the main shapes of the fish. Because we cannot print directly from our iPads, the files had to uploaded to Dropbox so that I could access them from my computer. This usually works fairly well, since I see the students once a week, giving me plenty of time to get the files printed. 

Most of the fishing and drawing was completed after two art classes, so to give me time for printing, we took the third class to create some beautiful salted watercolor paper. We taped the paper to the tables with masking tape to keep it from curling during the painting step. Liquid watercolors in blue, green, and turquoise were painted liberally on 10x14" multi-media paper, then sprinkled with kosher salt. As soon as the puddles were somewhat dried, the students carefully peeled off the masking tape and placed their work on drying racks.

The following week, we were ready to begin the assembly. The students used pan watercolors to add a little seaweed and other watery details, colored their fish print-outs with colored permanent pen and/or colored pencil, cut them out, and glued them in place. This final step is still underway, but here are a few of the first ones to be finished...success story!