This year I am teaching art to Kindergarten and 2nd Grade. Since I don’t know many of the children, I chose a simple project for the first lesson, so I could assess the children’s level of skill.
Kindergarten art is really about exploring materials. I like to give them a chance to investigate new materials, teach them a few skills and create a product that is as open-ended as possible. Today I introduced the children to chalk pastels, as they are easy for little fingers to use and can be used in many different ways. Most of the children hadn’t used chalk pastels before.
To begin we talked about blending and what blending meant.
“It means mixing two things together ” said one child.
I showed them how to blend different shades of the same colour, from light to dark by drawing lines using the side of the chalk pastel, one underneath the other and then blending in a circular motion with their finger. We thought that these techniques could be used for pictures of sky, water or rainbows.
I also demonstrated how to blend colours by putting one colour on top of the other and the children went off to see how many different colours they could create.
I showed them other ways they could use the pastels. Making circular shapes and mixing two colours and using dots to make patterns. The children tested these out too. Some children experimented with different colours in circular motion. Which colours look like the sun and which colours look more like a moon? One child drew a car and we talked about how blending the wheels in a circle might make it look like it was moving.
” Mine looks a bit like smoke” said another child.
The final part of the lesson was to create a picture of their choice using some of the techniques we had tried. I made some suggestions based on some of the things we had been talking about. A sky with a sun or a moon, perhaps fire and smoke, a rainbow, water , trees and flowers or they could draw shapes and blend different colours inside the shapes. The instruction was to create a picture we could put on the board, not just a mass of blended colour. For some this was difficult, but once they had a blended background we encouraged them to put shapes or drawings on top.
I think they turned out really well but most importantly,they had a lot of fun and hopefully will explore chalk pastels further at their art station during free choice.
The 2nd graders who are already familiar with chalk pastels, created a project using a chalk pastel frame and a watercolour moon with silhouettes, from an idea by elementary art fun.
I love how they turned out, especially the vibrant colours of the moon and chalk pastel blending to create a spooky effect.
I think they would look even better displayed on a window with a light behind them.