Saturday, September 26, 2015

Art Theme, Week 5 (Pattern)

I've seen Pattern on some lists of art elements but not others. I decided to include it because: (1) it also hits math standards, and (2) it seemed like a good fit for our studies of Alma W. Thomas this week.

If I'm really, really honest though, it was a rough week for our art unit. I'm not sure if the theme is wearing thin, if I'm directing things too much, or if it was just one of those random off-weeks.

Some of the challenges started with planning. As it turns out, there is no children's literature based on Alma Thomas's work. I thought about writing my own thing but could not quite sort out how to go about that in time for our lesson. So I resorted to a brief bio and a digital gallery of her work, which didn't hook the kids at all.

We also did an art project, based on this awesome post I found.

I had visions of these beautiful, colorful mosaics with all of the white spaces filled in with bright paint chips.

I gathered beautiful paint chips, cut them into random shapes, and sorted them by color.

I made glue sponges.

Paint chips and glue sponges!

And when I shared all of this with the sprouts, their reaction was "meh." They felt that the glue was too messy and the pieces were too small and this project was taking too long.

Second Sprout's paint compact chip collage.

They still made some cool artwork and experimented with a new medium, but it wasn't quite the result I had envisioned. And therein lies the problem. I went into this project with too many expectations and too much investment. The sprouts have their own ideas and their own tastes that didn't mesh with mine. Which is all perfectly normal and (usually) perfectly fine, but just so happened to bum me out this time. A lot.

Third Sprout's cool paint chip collage.

Thankfully, I don't think this particular frustration affected the kids. And in the grand scheme of things, this is a very mild thing to be frustrated about. But we had an off week in general, and the only day everyone was really happy was the day we took off to celebrate the autumn equinox. So we're going to take a break from our Art Theme next week and see if that improves everyone's perspective on things. I'm always so grateful that we have the flexibility to pause and breathe when we need it.

After our break, I think we'll try to pick back up with our theme by studying Vasily Kandinsky and the element of Texture. I'm hoping that the sprouts will enjoy the change of pace-- I know I will! Until next time,

Happy Learning!

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