Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kindergarten Still-life and Science!

Most people probably don't think of the art room as a hot spot to teach science. That's a shame, since it can be easily integrated to most everything happening in here.  Kindergarten artists spent time learning about the parts of plants in art, using photographs, paintings, and real flowers to examine.

After being able to identify plant parts such as leaves, stems, petals, and seeds, we also discussed how to tell where in its life cycle a plant is. Does it have a bud, a big healthy bloom, or is it losing petals and drooping? Kindergarten artists can tell you what all of those signs mean for the plant. They also used that information to paint their own still-life of flowers. Students can also tell you about the job each plant part has- collecting sunlight, absorbing water, attracting pollinators, and so on.

One of the other ways that we used science in this project was experimenting with color. All of the students had access only to the primary colors in this project, and worked with a partner to discuss the colors they observed in each plant part, and tried out mixing their primaries to achieve a color match. As with any scientists, it took many of them a few tries.

Students used their knowledge to create works that had plants at varying parts of the life cycle.  In the picture below, lots of petals have fallen and landed on the table.  The upright, strong stems are fresher, and have more petals.

Students also learned to overlap their shapes to make it appear that their vase is truly sitting on the table, not floating above it.

Artists discussed different textile patterns that they could include for their table as well.

Our art process began in pencil with the vase and table, and then added the centers of the flowers (they noticed a lot of flowers have circular centers) with a handful of circles in varying sizes. On that same day, students mixed watered down paints to create the pale backgrounds, painting around the vase, table, and circles.

On the next day, artists mixed tempera paints to match each of the plant parts, beginning with the stems and leaves. After that, they used the color wheel to help mix browns for the seeds, and added the petals. Once the flowers were completed, students painted the vase and table.

 The science of plants! The mixing of the colors! These Kindergarten paintings are framers.

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