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Arts & Activities - Page 26

ature is all around us, and can be the inspiration for some excellent creations in the classroom. How can we bring these rich natural elements into the art class? As I was exploring a hiking trail, I came across a large piece of bark from an old oak tree. The bark lay there curled up into a never-ending spiral of exquisite texture. I instantly thought of how my students would love to see this. When a project idea comes to you, it is a good idea to write it down in an art journal. I began to write down my observations and thoughts about the great texture and vivid color of the bark, and looked around for more “jewels.” A strong wind began to blow through the trees, the leaves began to rustle and for a minute, it was as if the trees had come magically to life. That was it! Trees that came to life! These elements of nature paved the way for an imaginative, cross-curricular lesson about textured trees with personality. My kindergarteners and first-graders had previously completed a unit on Henri Matisse, and his free-form shapes and collage technique, leading the way for the animated trees. I began the lesson by introducing the children to the N LEARNING ObjECTIVES Lower-elementary and special-needs students will . • • • • • • learn about the art elements and principles of design, such as texture, form, shape, color and pattern. identify and understand the art element of texture through physical and visual exploration. utilize the collage technique to create the bark of a tree. generate proper vocabulary to describe the word texture. use air-dry modeling clay to create facial forms. add two-dimensional space to a picture. Julie amy newly found tree bark. The students were enthused. As I circulated around the room, they had an opportunity for a tactile experience. They used their senses to see, touch and smell the bark. We learned our new art vocabulary word, texture. The students explored the visual and physical texture, and then investigated visual samples of trees and bark. One child shared, “Look at the bumps, shapes and lines.” Students began to show understanding of this exciting element of design. “Have any of you seen a tree come to life?” I asked. Many students said no. It was now time to show them otherwise. I played a short clip from The Wizard of Oz within my slideshow. Kids of all ages can relate to this timeless classic, which is so fitting for this lesson. I linked to a video clip wherein the trees come to life along the Yellow Brick Road. “I told you trees can come to life,” I said, smiling. The students were now ready to make the impossible possible. Diara Experiencing the Concepts by Timothy J. Kosta of Texture and Form 26 december 2012 • 80 years Do Trees have Personalities? x www.ar tsandactivities.com

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