Sunday, September 25, 2011

Andy Goldsworthy Inspired Color Wheels

The state of Missouri wants us to make a color wheel in 5th grade. But, Who wants a boring color wheel display where they look all the same? Not us!

First, we watched Rivers & Tides, a documentary that shows Andy making artwork. Students gave collective a "WOW!" with each piece of art he created. (That  gave me chills!) I encouraged conversation during the movie because some of the dialogue of the movie is kind of conceptual and over their heads. We discussed the "tools" artists use called media. We discussed shapes, forms, colors, and other elements of art while we watched. We also discussed permanence in art and why traditional artists strive for it and why Andy makes art that is so temporary.

Next we went outside. The kids loved collecting twigs in the crisp autumn air. I told them to only collect sticks that are "nature's trash". We never want to take living twigs off the tree.

The second class I set up stations where students worked together to paint as many sticks as possible. Students moved their bodies, not the paint, when they wanted to change colors; and only with my permission. We were a painting machine that day!

The final class we discussed Andy's favorite shape and form. My kids decided that his favorite shape is circle and his favorite form is an egg shape because of the repetition in his works. Then we talked about the order of colors in the color wheel and their proper order. Finally, I let them compose their wheels. Some got inspired by the glue-I think I would nip that in the bud next time, but sometimes when I see them being creative I just let them go with it.

What do you think? I think that the result is a less boring color wheel!