May 23, 2012

Art Beyond the Classroom

It's summer and time to bring art outdoors! I have no problem doing this with my 15 month old, who humors me by scribbling on the sidewalk while I doodle (she's a great excuse to doodle in the front yard), but a class of 20+ kids has me confined to assigned seats and routine! But, it is my goal to bring at least a few of my classes outside to create.

Have you brought any of your art classes OUTSIDE to create? What was your experience? Want to share a lesson idea? 


Rachel said...

When it was all of a sudden a beautiful day I would take my classes outside to draw the playground!

Kristin said...

ah memories, when i taught in the US, in the wintertime for Art Parties we'd go out and make forts or snowpeople. then i'd water down big buckets of tempera and we'd paint them.

Unknown said...

Hi Erica!

Being that this was our last week of school, I took all of my classes outside to play cuz it was so beautiful and sunny. I had purchased 2 buckets of brand X sidewalk chalk and let one 1st grade class use them. They burned through 12 LARGE sticks in less than 30 minutes! So, I decided that was a bust and I won't be doing that again anytime soon. All they were doing was grinding the chalk into the pavement and no matter how many suggestions I gave them for ideas of what to draw, they were just trying to destroy the chalk! Oh well, Stella still looks cute enough to eat!


Gigi said...

Yesterday, I gave my students a brief Powerpoint presentation on Jackson Pollock and showed them a short video of him working. The video is on the SFMOMA website:
I laid down a couple of drop cloths outside and had the kids spread out & drip paint on card stock (grades 1-4) / poster board (5-8 grades). The kids had a ball and really experienced some of Jackson Pollock's magic by being able to walk around the canvas. We also listened to the same jazz music that JP listened to. Great experience with my older students, I had them sign the posterboard with their hand prints. The younger students (grades 1- 4) did not sign the canvas w their hands. I wished that I had planned a secondary lesson (even free drawing) for kids who wanted to end the lesson early to 'play' because we were outside. I did not have this issue at all with the older students, just the younger ones. I will be doing this again. Hope it helps. We used LOTS of paint! No paint brushes, we used palette knives, forks & popsicle sticks with paint that I pre mixed into tubs.

Unknown said...

Rachel great idea for those classes who have stellar behavior. That sounds like a lot of fun.

Princess Artypants, you are such a cool and memorable teacher! I hate the snow! that is amazing.

Pat, I did this one year with the green team after school program my friend and I lead. The same exact thing happened except they weren't grinding them. They were writing messages on the sidewalk about "green" ideas. we quickly ran out of a HUGE box of oil pastels before we could finish coloring our earth!

Gigi, I love the link! Thanks. I think I have to put one year in between the Jackson Pollock experience I had last year. I had a bunch of FABULOUS Kindergarteners, I mean wonderful. But one boy, who I consider to have found his passion in art at age 5, would NOT put down the paintbrush when the stop signal was given. He was in a total zone. I was partly cheering him on as an artist, but as a teacher (which I am obviously first and foremost) I thought what a disaster! After getting in a few extra paint splats, and another kid following suit, I thought, wow, if this was a different class that would not have gone as smoothly!!! I LOVE that class, everyone else sat down in shock until the novelty wore off and they followed suit!

Gigi said...

Oh, so I remembered that last year I gave the kids a Davinci lesson & took them outside to sketch nature like he did. I cut them all pieces of cardboard that were a little bit bigger than their drawing paper. This gave them a surface to draw on and they sketched the flowers in our gardens. I had them take masking tape and stick it to their clothing to make it less sticky. They used that tape to attach their drawing paper to the cardboard. I think this would also work well with a Gerogia O Keeffe lesson.
I kept the cardboard to use again.
I also did the sidewalk chalk art and tied it into a Julian Bever lesson, if you have never seen his work, it is amazing. link:
I don't remember the art as being amazing by any stretch but, I introduced the kids to a new artist and got them outside.

Unknown said...

Uh Oh Pat another typo sorry I meant, chalk pastels;)

Gigi thanks! I'm so excited for you! Congrats on starting your own new art blog. You are right, most important is to just GET OUTSIDE!!! Get the cardboard out:)

Katie Morris said...

I planned to take all my classes outside last Monday and Tuesday but the week before the kids were getting so out of hand that even after I mentioned outside Art class the last week of school, only a few K-3 classes "earned" it. We did some sidewalk chalk work (with guidelines), painted with water, and finished up drawings on clipboards. I took some 5th graders outside to work with stencils and spraying water... I'll post about that later!

Phyl said...

How did I miss this post??

Anyhow - before we moved into our new school building (12 years ago)I taught in 2 classrooms in 2 buildings, both on the ground floor near doors. I used to take primary kids outside to draw the beautiful tree in front of the primary school, and at the end of the year we went outside with chalk to color on the pavement. In the middle school, I took kids outside for all sorts of drawing activities.

Fast forward to my current school building - I'm at a far end of the 2nd floor. During the school day, we cannot enter or exit by any door but the main entrance, and you have to take a walkie-talkie. So just to get the kids outside takes a huge amount of time, stopping in the office for the walkie-talkie and then walking all the way to the front door, and then all the way around the back where it is beautiful. And then do it all in reverse. It's so aggravating, and God forbid you forget something, or someone needs the bathroom!

When we used to go outside to plant 'Pinwheels for Peace' after taking a half-dozen classes outside one at a time, I felt like I had run a marathon.

In the fall, our school garden had beautiful sunflowers, planted at my request so I could use them in VanGogh lessons. Each time I'd want to get fresh flowers I got more frustrated. I didn't have the time to walk all around the school. I asked the security guard if I could go out the back door just to get the flowers and come back in and he said NO. So in the end, I cheated. The computer tech room faces the garden, and the gals in that office understood my annoyance and put a chair up to the window for me. I had to climb on the chair to climb out the window, and then she had to hand the chair out to me so I could get back in. Luckily we didn't get caught, and nobody got a photo of me with my butt hanging out the window. Since I'm a klutz it wasn't a graceful act and I'm sure wasn't a pretty picture! And then I discovered bees were coming in with me... EEKS.

Anyhow, needless to say, I did not take anyone outside to draw in the garden this spring, though it could have been lovely. :(