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Visual Arts - Sample Activity

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Image of starts with the arts book

Getting to Know Me
Visual Arts Thematic Unit "All About Me"

Theme Focus/Art Skill:

Children identify and express personal characteristics and attributes while they explore the medium of collage.

Preparation/Materials:

Construction paper, scissors, glue, tape. Multi-cultural magazines, newspapers, and publications containing lots of pictures (e.g., catalogs).

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Procedure

Activating Prior Knowledge

Encourage children to share something special about themselves to validate the importance of an individual's interests, ideas, and feelings For example, ask: What things do they like best? What activities do they enjoy doing? What are their favorite toys, food, colors, and pets? What makes them happy? What do they do well?

Objective:
Developing oral language and concepts.
Respecting thoughts/feelings to promote positive self-concepts.

Communicating Through Art

Explain to children that they will be creating a collage about themselves by cutting and pasting pictures onto a page. Show an example of a collage. Demonstrate how to create a collage by selecting, cutting, and pasting pictures that express your own personal interests and ideas. Remind children to avoid using very large pictures that leave no room on their collage for other pictures.

Objective:
Exploring a different medium: collage
Building vocabulary: collage, pattern, shape, color

Invite children to look through the publications and choose one to work with. Encourage children to cut out pictures from multi-cultural magazines that express various aspects about themselves.

Objective:
Using tools (scissors) to develop fine motor control

Encourage children to use as many pictures as possible. Before pasting the pictures on the paper, have the children move them around to explore ways to create a pleasing design or pattern. Once the children are satisfied with the layout of their work, have them carefully paste their collage pieces to construction paper.

Objective:
Exploring graphic design

Schedule time for children to identify the work of their friends. Ask them to guess who created the collage by identifying the "clues" contained in the collage. For example, hold up a collage and say, "Can you guess who made this collage? What did you see in the collage that helped you identify him or her?"

Objective:
Demonstrating appreciation for the artwork of others

Wrap-Up Activity

Wrap-up the activity by making a list of the different interests that were displayed in the collages.

Learning Log

Have children draw a picture of themselves doing something they enjoy.

Objective:
Communicating through drawing

Assessment

When asked, children identify one or more special things about themselves.

Objective:
Using authentic strategies

Extension

Have children make a picture book about themselves, entitled, All About Me. Pages can show: this is my hand (trace hand); this is my foot (trace foot); I like to eat (cut out pictures of favorite foods); my favorite thing to do is (draw a favorite hobby). Note: This could be an ongoing project.

Children could cut out the individual letters that make up their names and paste the letters on a page to spell out their names.

Literature Enhancement

Read aloud and discuss with children:

  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • Cleversticks by Bernard Ashley
  • I Like Me by Nancy Carlson
  • I'm Terrific by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
  • Leo, the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
  • Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
  • When I Am Old With You by Angela Johnson
Objective:
Incorporating Children's Literature
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Learn Along At Home

Dear Family:

Today, during our Visual Arts Activity, we created collages about ourselves. We included in our collages things we liked best along with something special about ourselves. The vocabulary we used included collage, pattern, shape, and color.

Learn Along at Home with Your Child:

Here are some questions that you may wish to ask your child about today's activity.

  1. What do you like best about yourself?
  2. What do you like best about your friends, brothers and/or sisters, and other family members?

Consider the following activity to further extend your child's learning:

  1. Make a collage together. Use concepts such as your family, home, and things you do together, as a theme for the collage.

Literature Enhancement

Read aloud and discuss with your child:

  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • Cleversticks by Bernard Ashley
  • I Like Me by Nancy Carlson
  • I'm Terrific by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
  • Leo, the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
  • Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
  • When I Am Old With You by Angela Johnson
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