First week back with Ms.Gorman’s 4th Class – lots of familiar faces and one or two new faces. We have decided that we will work on construction over the coming weeks. But I was going to start by breaking construction down – what do you start with? We discussed how a cube for example is made up of squares on each side. Squares are made up of lines. Lines are made up of dots or points. So everyone on their paper plotted ten dots. Then explored the different ways they could join these dots – directly and indirectly. With ten more dots we added a layer to the drawing using pen this time. For the next layer on the drawing using a hole punch we got ten dots to stick on top of the drawing. Now to connect these using the black card as the lines.
There was an explosion of ideas in the classroom as the drawings expanded up, around, weaving under, bridging over, linking through, twisting, arching, bending, folding and even using the holes in the paper to thread thin paper lines through. Fantastic!
As I began to take photos of the artworks we noticed the low sunlight of the cold January afternoon was casting long shadows which became another layer in our drawings. And some even created moving drawings moving the artwork in the sunlight so the shadows moved in waves.
Here’s Mya’s moving Expanded Drawing:
Great work 4th Class!
Lovely to start back with Ms.O’Connell’s Senior Infants Class – lots of familiar faces from last year and a few new recruits! We will be working on paint and colour over the next few weeks. So to begin we looked at all the different elements of painting – What paint are you going to use? Are you going to use the paint thick or thin? What are you going to paint on? What are you going to use to put the paint on? And that is all before you decide what coulour you are going to use! Or even what you might paint!
Using watercolour paper – which is bumpy and stiff like cardboard we started with just water – allowing the water to flow all over the paper. Then dropping in just the teeny tiniest drop of paint to and letting the paint flow where the water was flowing. Beautiful flowing paints!
Now time to add a second colour and let them mix and flow together to create and new colour…..gently and slowly the blue drops mixed with the red and there were streams of purple!
After break we looked at an image of cave painting and we looked at all the animals, figures, shapes big and small painted in the cave many thousands of years ago.
Here is some of our experiments in paint and colour.
Building on our weeks of puppet making – for our last workshop I suggested we would make some Christmas puppets. We would still be using the basic principles of our puppet making with moving limbs and this time a string pulling mechanism. We were going to be using card, brass fasteners to give the moving action and a stringing system so the limbs could move when the string was pulled. Once again with a template of head/ body/ arms/ legs we could customise the puppets and add a seasonal twist.
They could be Santas, they could be Elves. We had a really busy workshop and everyone set to and got cutting and connecting. There were protestations of not being able to thread or knots the strings but with a bit of holding and helping with each others – everyone in the class got a moving puppet made! Brilliant morning and everyone was very proud of their Christmas puppets.
Happy Christmas 6th Class Holy Family!
We had invited the parents/ grandparents/ guardians in to the class this morning to join us for our workshop and to help us make some Christmas crafts! The class had been chatting about the activities of the Elf on the Shelf so I decided to go for the classic bespoke – Santa on the Shelf. I had made a basic template without all his bits so we had a look and made suggestions as to what we could add to him – my one had no shoes, no hands, no belt, no buckle, no ears, no eyes, no fluff on his boots. So we reckoned he was not going to get very far without any of these bits! And one student suggested we add a base so they could be used as a container to leave out some biscuits and treats for Rudolph and the reindeer.
There was a lot of cutting, measuring, gluing, folding and sticking involved. One parent exclaimed – there’s so many parts we’ll never be able to make them! so I broke it into simple steps – starting with all the red parts and building up onto the other colours and folded parts. Everyone worked very hard and it was a really busy morning with everyone helping each other! Great team work and great joking between the parents. Everyone got one if not two Santas on the Shelf!
And no two are quite the same! All different but all Santas on the Shelf ready for action!
Lovely morning with First Class and their parents! Happy Christmas one and all!
Meanwhile over in 6th Class we were still completing our puppet characters – it has taken us a couple of weeks but the class have really got stuck in and worked hard to finish their puppets. Some are still a little creepy! But a little less so now they have clothes and costumes. So this week with puppets being painted, clothes being made and as with First Class it was time to start thinking about a set for the character and story lines, plot and action!
Some in the class decided to work in small groups and developed their sets together and began practising with their puppets seeing how to make them move and manipulating them to create action. It was such a busy day in the classroom with everyone completing puppets and making sets that we did not get time to look at any of the mini productions.
Looking forward to seeing the performances next week as it is our last week and also we have invited the parents, grandparents and guardians in to join us for the workshop.
At the end of last week we had only had a chance to look at a few of the sets under construction in First Class and hear about them. So this week we began by hearing from the rest of the students about the sets they were making. Then we talked about if there was anything we needed to add – some children were not in the previous week so we had to start the sets with them as well as adding strings. Anyone who had finished their set or background was now ready to create a story for their puppet character. We used the questions that Ms.Brandsma has been using to explore story writing – Who? Where? When? What?
And using “Once Upon a Time……..” to begin.
We used strips of paper divided into four frames to construct a story. As the stories began to develop everyone realised they might need to make more characters, props or details for their background and sets. Another hectic busy morning – I was really surprised that the class were working on these characters and sets for another week and still with more to add and create! A great buzz of creativity and working in the classroom!
After break we took some time to listen to four or five stories and watch the performances of the characters. We all gathered around – front row seats! And helped the narrator along with sound effects! Good fun and great joining in and laughing all around!
It was so busy that once again I did not get a chance to take any images.
Parents/ Grandparents and Guardians are joining us next week for some more performances and making some Christmas crafts!
After last week’s frantic construction of the string and clay puppets I was a little worried to see how they were this week. I met Mr.Watt in the morning, gravely he told me “About half of them didn’t make it….they didn’t pull through….what will we do???” We discussed whether we would make a simpler puppet instead. I believed that this is part of the learning and creative process. In essence the design for the puppets should work – and had worked for around half of the class. So as with any artistic process – we would have a look and review what went wrong and what could be saved or amended and if some needed to remake them we would have learned how to make them better and stronger.
For the puppets who had survived they could now be painted and clothes, hair added. As the clay is not air drying clay but technically should be fired – to make it a bit stronger once they had been painted they should also be painted with PVA glue – this would seal the paint and give a clear varnish. And then we had fabrics which could be cut and pinned to make clothes. Some pretty creepy looking puppets began to emerge….not helping my being slightly freaked out by puppets generally anyway! It’s something to do with the uncanny….
The class worked really well today, getting on with what needed to be done and helping each other – making repairs, painting, strings, sticks as necessary. A very busy day! And here is the big reveal – a sample of some of the creations…..