Last Monday was my very first full-class lesson. My supervising teacher thought since Art is a once-a-week lesson it would be a good subject for me to take over. Immediately I thought about the lessons I had planned for my Bethel class (Teaching the Expressive Arts). Unfortunately not one of them fit into a 2nd grade lesson—rats!
Back to square one. What could we do that would be fun, an art concept I know something about, and would look good as I’m observed… I tossed around a couple ideas with my mom, but kept coming back to a t-shirt I had when I was in kindergarten. At church we had put our thumbprints (in paint) on a t-shirt, given them arms, legs, eyes and a smile, and then added text that read, “I’m thumb-body special”. I thought, why not do something with thumbprint art?
So, I turned to the state standards/guidelines for visual arts to see if there was a way to create a lesson that might connect thumbprint art to one of these areas of target knowledge. It turns out one of the “basic” standards is one about mediums. Perfect! And so, I planned a lesson that talked a little about the definition of “medium” in the art world. I pulled together a little PowerPoint to help teach the lessons and show examples of the new medium we were using—INK! The students were SO excited! J It was fun to talk about mediums, especially since one of the 2nd grade classes had just hung up their “Pasta-sauruses” in the hallway (pictures of dinosaurs made out of dried pasta), so we had a great example of another medium.
I learned that blue ink is a bad idea (that did NOT come off their fingers), and that it’s good to show a lot of examples. They started out with a small piece of paper and I taught them step-by-step how to create a spider and a ladybug. This was an opportunity to include some science knowledge, then we did an addition problem to figure out how many thumbprint critters we had created (math). Oh, and we talked about vertical and horizontal lines as well as symmetry as we created the ladybug’s wings. Check out some of the awesome thumbprint art in the pictures below. It sure is fun to walk by our bulletin board everyday when I first arrive at school and think about how well my first whole-class lesson went!