Friday Update: Week of August 27 - 31

One of my goals this year is to write a weekly blog post on Fridays that recaps what went on this week in the art room, so look forward to getting weekly updates right here!

Our first exciting news is that we have an "Invite to Teach" student this year in the art room!  For those of you who are not familiar with the program, "Invite to Teach" is a program at York High School that allows senior students (who plan to enter into an education program in college) to come into classrooms at elementary and middle schools in the district to get a taste of what teaching is like.  Our "Invite to Teach" student in the art room is Cam Best.  Cam takes lots of art classes at York, so we are excited to have her in the classroom to share her artistic knowledge, expertise and ideas with us!  Cam is here every day during 8th and 9th periods (which is 8th grade art class) except for Wednesdays, when she stays at York.

Here's a quick recap of what's been going on in class at each grade level:

Sixth-grade students started off the year with a block letter sculpture project, but we put the project on hiatus (some key supplies to complete the project hadn't quite arrived yet) in favor of starting our second unit, which is a drawing project.  Rest assured, we will come back to our three-dimensional letter sculptures later on in our six-week term - they will be made of paper mache, and then painted.  Currently, we are working on drawing skills and exploring blending and shading with colors.  Our concentration is mostly on how to achieve the illusion of three-dimensional form using traditional drawing materials.  These skills will be utilized in a final drawing assignment, which is a geometric pattern design drawing done in pen and ink. 

Seventh-grade students started the school year with a two-point perspective drawing (This was their first sketchbook assignment.)  We have since moved on to our first major painting unit, which is a still-life painting done in monochromatic colors.  We spent most of this week painting a value strip which gives us practice painting tints (color + white) and shades (color + black).  This strip illustrates how a color transitions from light to dark.  Students choose one color to do this: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or violet.

Eighth-grade students are working on a cross-curricular unit involving literacy!  We started out by completing a sketchbook assignment: students had to draw a scene from their favorite book.  Next, we will be making functional clay mugs using hand-building techniques.   These mugs will be glazed, and students will be able to use them to drink from!  The theme of this project is to decorate your mug using a favorite book or genre of books.  These mugs can then be used in English classes during sustained silent reading time in the library to drink hot chocolate or tea.  Another bonus is the earth-friendly recycling focus.  Students are encouraged to use their mugs instead of disposable paper or Styrofoam cups! 

As a final thought, I'd like to share my favorite news story of the week:

Did you happen to hear about the 80-year-old woman in Spain who took it upon herself to "restore" a fresco of Jesus at her local church, only to completely botch the job?  The pictures are quite humorous (in my opinion)... and strangely enough, she has developed a following of Internet supporters who think that her artwork is just fine and should stay as-is!  If you have a moment, please check out the link and the pictures above - hope you enjoy this story as much as I do!

Have a great long weekend!
- Mrs. L.
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