Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Charcoal Leafless Trees by grade 4

Fourth graders learned to draw branching trees. The medium was charcoal pencils (both black and white) on a choice of gray or black paper.
The kids added all sorts of fun details and individuality.
As usual, some kids are still not done. What do you do when you are ready to move on and there are still kids who need to finish? Especially annoying to me is when kids are absent because parents take them out of school on extended vacations, and then expect you to bend over backwards to get them caught up with the rest of the class. Sigh...

9 comments:

  1. Wow!! these look AMAZING!! Do you show pictures or photo's of trees for inspiration??

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  2. Oh my.... These are breath taking! What a marvelous idea! I am putting this in my save pile Phyl! VERY nice!

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  3. O-o-o-o ahhhh! I want to try this too with my 4th grders!Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Glad you like them. My fave is the leaping bunny in the first pic.
    No,Lori, we're not working from photos (got lots of trees right outside!). Basically, I show them what will happen to a lollipop or broccoli tree when the leaves fall off, and they realize it doesn't look OK. We drew trunks that narrowed toward the top, and erased places along the way to add branches. Then we branched the branches, and so on. We talked about how the branches could pretty much go in any direction, depending on the tree, but that the branch couldn't be fatter than the tree. I encouraged them to bring branches to the edge of the paper; some did and some didn't.

    Some years we do the trees as a color/painting lesson, some years charcoal, some years ink, etc, but always bare branching trees. The highlight of this lesson with charcoal is definitely the chance to use kneaded erasers. Two rules: they don't "fly" (in other words, don't throw them) and they don't leave the art room. The kids love these erasers and honored the rules. They thought they looked like little dog turds (their description, not mine). They love getting charcoal all over their hands, too!

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  5. I agree. It is especially annoying when parents pull kids out and then expect you to go out of your way to catch them up. Can't they just work after school in the classroom? You're in there anyhow prepping, right? Anyhow, what I do when some kids are finished and other kids are only half done is I create self directed lessons. These lessons are either an extension of the lesson we already did or it's prepping for the next project. For example, I am doing miniature paper mache animals. For the kids that are finished, they started sketching objects I picked up from the garden getting ready for learning about Georgia O'Keefe.

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  6. Of course, I'm partial to trees -- but these are ALL awesome!

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  7. These look great! I have issues with students working at different paces or absent therefore in the past few years I designed sketchbooks for each grade level to work on when others are finished or if there is a sub in the room. The sketchbooks review concepts and ideas we study and free draw sections. they have been very successful and released a little stress off me.

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  8. Oh my! Those are really beautiful! Aren't children amazing?

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