In art class we explored LINES, one of the basic elements of design, through sculpture and painting. Ms. Kara nearly jumped for joy when two young artists walked in the door and asked, “are we going to sing the line song again?!?” Well, yes friends, yes we are!! J It was wonderful to know that they not only remembered it from the week before, but had been practicing it at home!
Our camping scene that Mr. Benjamin drew on the chalkboard this week gave us a perfect opportunity to revisit landscapes and the idea of a horizon line. Upon drawing the students attention to the camping scene, N exclaimed “do you remember the horizon line?….there’s one (as he ran up and pointed to the horizon line drawn on the chalkboard)!” I was, and still am, a very proud teacher!
Children were also invited to explore the properties of lines through “dancing lines” this activity allowed children to manipulate and create their own lines while moving, laughing, and noticing nuances of a curvy, wavy, or a twirling line.
A table full of materials all representing lines such as pipe cleaners, wire, buttons, spools, yarn, or popsicle sticks, invited the children to bring their own ideas as they experimented and created line sculptures! They were also able to make connections and draw from the book we read during circle time “Lines that Wiggle” by Candance Whitman as they wrapped lines to attach two popsicle sticks together or threaded lines through buttons holes. Through experimentation, children learned the possibilities of creating with lines are endless!
Young artists used homemade play dough to stick and poke a variety of lines into it, making their own line sculptures. The play dough gave the children a base to create vertical and 3-dimensional sculptures. L realized he could use his “line” to cut the dough!
We explored 3-dimensional lines with our mirrored soft structure that can be manipulated into a variety of lines and shapes….a straight line, a curvy line, a zig-zag line and even a “rolled up line” exclaimed S!
Some of the children decided that their line sculptures could be interactive, so they took them to the light table for some dramatic play. This exploration of imagination was wonderful to see as the children worked together in making new worlds, buildings, etc. for their sculptures!
We also explored lines through painting on the easel. Children, armed with brayers wrapped in yarn, used big gross motor movements to roll the brayer creating lines up and down their paper. They enjoyed rolling the brayers in paint….a little yellow, and a little purple with some pink….”makes a rainbow!” G exclaimed as she rolled her multi-colored brayer across her page. Children experimented with color mixing…”it changed! I made a new color!” P announced proudly. S, E, and A all had the idea to bring some of the items over from the line sculpture table and began using wooden spools and wheels to stamp lines and shapes.
Finally, some friends explored drawing lines with markers and rulers. We discussed the different jobs of the ruler…measuring and helping us draw straight lines. We also worked on the proper way to use a ruler. Children were invited to create their own work of art using as many lines as they could think of…wavy, zig-zag, dotted, criss-cross, diagonal, vertical, horizontal, spiral….so many lines!
In music class this week, we went on a camping adventure, and even went searching for owls! The first thing we do when we go camping is set up our campsite, and our campfire. The rhyme “Chip chop” helped us to chop up the wood for the fire. The students enjoyed finding and picking up imaginary sticks and building a campfire, then we all sang songs around the fire! After building our fire, we were hungry, so we sang “Five little hotdogs.” This rhyme is great for encouraging kids to anticipate the final note (“BAM”), which they clapped and shouted once they had picked up on the pattern.
We introduced the concept of instrumentation this week using the song “This land is your land” by Woodie Guthrie. First, Mr. Benjamin played and sang to teach the song to the class, and then we all sang it together. First with the guitar, then adding in some body percussion (i.e., hand claps, lap patting), and finally we transferred the song to the tuned instruments (i.e., xylophones, metallophones). Each layer of instrumentation added such wonderful elements to the mix.
One of the main goals of music education for preschool age children is to learn steady beat. A fun way to encourage this is to go marching, so we pretended that we were little ants, marching around the studio as we sang, “The ants go marching.” We emphasize the importance of the “rest” in music by stopping to tie our shoes each verse. Another way to encourage steady beat is to play a simple bordun, which is a steady beat played on xylophones. Our big bass bars were ringing out with a wonderful sounding bordun.
Reading the book “In the small, small pond” by Denise Fleming helped us to learn about some of the actions of the animals in the pond. This very rhythmic book is great for encouraging steady beat, because each page follows a simple duple meter with four beats per page. We waddled and waded as the geese paraded, and circled and swirled as whirligigs twirled!
Then, we heard the story/song of the “Owl Moon”, a story of a little girl and boy that go out with their parents one night looking for owls. When you’re out looking for owls at night, you gotta be quiet so as to not scare away the owls, brave so that we don’t get scared, make your own heat when it’s cold by rubbing your hands together, and you gotta have hope that you’ll find one, and keep looking. Luckily for us, we did find an owl in the studio! We sat very still and quiet and looked at the owl before it flew away. Bye bye owl, see you next time!
Bringing out the gathering drum, we sang “Nibble nibble mousekin” with the hand movements on the drum – first the mouse nibbling away, then the breeze singing in the trees. This is a wonderful short rhyme that children are drawn to, and is great because it helps children feel steady beats in duple and triple meter. Then, we made the drum into a boat and sang “Row, row, row your boat” and the said the poem “Golden Boat” with the accompanying hand symbols. Then, finally we sang the “Goodbye Song”, which some students have now dubbed the “Bye Bye Song,” and we hear that some have started singing this song at home! Thanks so much to all our creative students for another great week!