Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Skylines Continued and the Wednesday Effect- RES

Sometimes you think you know where a project is going. For example, I felt pretty sure that the Skyline Prints reflected in water were rather awesome, and my students loved them as well.

But let me back up. I teach at Richmond Monday through Wednesday, and see one grade 4 homeroom each day. So on a Monday, the first time I teach a lesson, I learn a lot of new things. Holes in the lesson that I didn't see coming, gaps in understanding or in technique, and ways I can fix them for the next time I teach the lesson. This is one thing that is wonderful about being an art teacher- I don't have to wait until the next year for a "do-over", to teach a unit to another group, like a homeroom teacher might.  I get to do it again the next day.

This is what I refer to as the Wednesday Effect. My teaching by Wednesday is full of lots of new insights and possibilities, even ways to take a project in a whole new direction.  I worry that my Monday classes are losing something because of this, but actually what it does it gives them the opportunity to critique what I am doing, which is extremely important.

Back to the skylines.  I stood over the garbage can on Monday, looking at all of their used print plates from the Skylines, feeling sad that the lesson was over and that the plates were tossed.

On Tuesday, I stood over the garbage can again at the end of class, but this time I pulled them all back out.  And lined them up.  And then Bam! An idea hit me. It was long after studenst had left, but I inked and printed all of their plates onto one long sheet of white paper. So lovely.  So waiting for children to draw on it.

And so, on Wednesday, students finished their reflected print and inked their plate an extra time to create a group city mural, a great lesson extension and possibility for group work, which I always get excited for in the art room.  With crayons grade 4 artists added elements you might expect (or not) to see in a city. It's a little long to photograph the while thing in one shot, so here are some highlights, and you can visit RES to see the rest in the grades 3 and 4 hallway.

Tornado descends upon the city

While lightning flashes in the sky

And Godzilla comes to wreak havoc upon residents.

But soon the sun comes up over the hills

And the city is graced with balloons, a rainbow, and an airshow! The end.


  1. Oh my gosh, this is FABULOUS! I love it when an instant inspiration like this just hits, and the kids are as excited about it as you are. And you can definitely see their enthusiasm in their solutions! Godzilla! Tornados! Just terrific. I will be pinning this!

    1. Thanks Phyl! They had lots of fun with it, and it looks terrific in our long hallway. Building group work and cooperative decision-making into projects is an area I love.