The second session of Preschool Art Party ends Monday, and it has been such a delight. With a class of 15 three to five year-olds, over a six-week session, we have created a cover and four internal pages to illustrate different concepts. Below is a scanned version of each page.
The classes I did were formatted like this:
We always sang "If you want to be an artist, clap your hands" with some silly things (ie give a high five, stick out your tongue) to start and finish class.
Class 1: color + books - cover - printmaking
Talked about books - their structure, etc, how we would be making books, and discussed color theory. We read Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin, and then did printmaking with bubblewrap and primary colors.
Class 2: This is me when I was a baby - watercolor + crayon resist
We read What Did I Look Like When I Was a Baby? by Jeanne Willis, and talked about what babies look like, and if they can remember anything from when they were a baby. Then I had them play with crayons and watercolors, and explained watercolor resist!
Class 3: This is where I live - texture
We read You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen. We discussed texture.
First we drew our homes with crayons on tracing paper, and then we painted and played with texture using anything but brushes to paint with tempera paint (ie corks, pipecleaners, popsicle sticks). Then, we pressed the tracing paper on to our painty paper to make cool textures.
Class 4: This is me when I’m grown up - collage
We did a review of the materials we have used so far, and then discussed collage; I showed examples, including The Right Word, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Then we read Through Georgia’s Eyes by Rachael Rodriguez, and they made collages of what they want to be when they grow up.
I had precut out some images from books and magazines for them to choose from, and then had them at smaller tables this time. The reason I did this was to build in some kindergarten readiness skills – sharing, selecting, and communicating. I asked them all why they chose what they chose. We also learned about gluesticks, an important life skill!
Class 5: Self-portraits - watercolor
Today we read Portraits by Claude Delafosse and Gallimard Jeunesse, and then created self-portraits. We looked at my face and talked about the shapes we saw there. I explained the concept of outlines to them, and looking at pictures of them I printed out, we drew outlines with pencil. Then, we painted with watercolor.
Self-concept is an important skill for preschoolers, and self portraits or art is a fun way to introduce it - plus I’m sure your fridge needs more decoration! Self-concept is the idea that you are a separate being from others around you, with your own likes, dislikes, and body. The “Terrible Twos” are an earlier iteration of that. Self-portraits, and art in general, is a way for them to define who they are, and builds their confidence.