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Character Education

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Digital Learning

Collaborative Art

So excited to share this little tip for getting your art on in the great outdoors while the weather is still good! I love to do this collaborative art project with my students at different times during the year: when we have a lot of almost empty paint bottles and need to make room for new supplies, when we are studying the works of Eric Carle or Jackson Pollock, or when the art bug bites us and we just feel like creating something special together.

All you need is some paint (tempera or acrylic), brushes (optional), and some paper that you'd like to use up - roll or single sheets. I have also done this with a long roll of canvas (other fabric is fine). More about how we used the painted canvas in another post! Please follow my blog so you don't miss it!

The photos here are from a year-end use it all up event following a fun field trip. We had an extra hour to soak up at the end of the day, and decided to soak up some sunshine while we worked!
Three (Count 'em - three!) classes of awesome fourth graders cooperated on this project.

We carried all of our extra paint, our brushes, and our random papers from the scrap box outside to a shabby part of the playground beyond the soccer field. We talked a little about the way some artists choose to work, like Pollock who just squirted and scattered and flung paint at his canvas, and like Eric Carle who created tons of individual randomized watercolor, tissue, and acrylic paintings to use as collage pieces in his illustrations.

Eric Carle at work:

Jackson Pollock at work:

 After a brief "town meeting" outside to review techniques and establish some simple rules like not flinging paint at other kids, we got started.

We carried our masterpieces indoors to dry overnight when we were finished. We used drying racks, the entire floor of our large group instruction room, and our fourth grade hallway. We came in early the next morning to gather our art before others stepped on it, or felt it was in the way.

Teachers cut the masterpieces into manageable squares and students used those squares to cut out multi-layered flowers. Haikus, diamantes, and cinquains were hand-written into colorful copy-paper circles to be placed at the center of each flower and added to our portfolio books.

 And that's it! Great way to use up extra supplies before they dry up, and easy way for kids to get their art on in the great outdoors!

For more Bright Ideas to make your teaching life easier, more efficient, or just more fun, be sure to check out some of these posts!