Friday, May 18, 2012

Heading outside for art

The only logical thing to do on a beautiful May day, only 9 days before school ends..... on  a Friday no less, is to go outside.  It had to be done.  We all knew that if we didn't we might all go MAD.

And we wouldn't want that, because one Mad-person in the art room is PLENTY.

So, I gathered my wits and my art supplies and the 3rd grade and 2nd grade went outside to draw.  Clipboards in hand, watercolor pencils, brushes, pencil sharpeners, and water in a bin and off we went to the little circle of covered picnic tables known as the outdoor classroom.  The sort of remind me of covered wagons pulled into a circle for protection.  I'm not sure what they need protection from, but you get the idea.
I gave the kids a "challenge" to find a dandelion. Which they of course looked at me like I had lost my mind entirely- of course this was on purpose, so they would think about what I was saying!!  Or because I was one pleading whine to get a drink away from running to my car and speeding away before the official end of the 3rd to the last week of school.

Dandelions in hand, they gathered around me and they took a good look at their dandelion, and as they gazed upon the wonders of a little yellow flower, I began to draw it.  We talked about how the stem is not just green, but is in fact brownish and green and some places a little yellow.  We looked at the next part- the green part under the flower, that has little hooks in it.  They noticed the colors in that as well-  blackish, reddish, greenish.  We then went onto the yellow flower and saw a few colors in there as well, all the while I was drawing for them.  They got their pencils and started their drawings, and later I showed them how to use a barely wet brush to dissolve the watercolor pencil and make it look like paint.  They discovered that if you dip the pencil into the water, it makes a different kind of look, too!  They are very smart.

And they absolutely ROCKED their observation drawings.  Most added the leaves that have an arrow shape at  the end- coming up from the ground, just like a real dandelion.  And then the put in grass and the sky and often the sun.  They did so well.

We are artists!!

It turned into a wonderful afternoon, filled with some artistic joys!  AND it is FRIDAY!!!


  1. Their drawings show they were 100% engaged and using their keen observation skills... something that will help them as they develop their writing skills. What a great idea, an outdoor classroom. How long is your class period with 3rd graders? This year I was granted an extra five minutes, extending time with 3rd-5th to 40 minutes, but was cut back five minutes with prek -2nd for a 30 minute class. The kids barely have enough time to get into their work before I'm telling them to clean up. I've been asking for more time each year, and this year was given the 40 minutes with 3-5. Nice watercolor pencils, too, btw.

    Hang in there... end of the year is just around the bend!

    1. My classes are all one hour long. I know how lucky I am to have that!! It was a really good afternoon. I hope that it will be that nice on Monday so I can take the rest of the 3rd grade outside, too. we shall see!

      The watercolor pencils are fine, but I think they can be a little insipid. I do prefer the regular prismacolor, but I save those for hs. and the kids needed an additional hook for a Friday! :)