Songs in the Key of Art is called "The Red and Yellow Blues". Since I tried to coordinate a lesson for each grade with one of the Songs in the Key of Art before the assembly, the Red and Yellow Blues was an easy choice. The lesson is one I've used before with Kindergarten and it's always a lot of fun.
On day 1, we listened to the song to review the primary colors before the students were given tempera paint in each of the primary colors, plus white, and asked to paint whatever they wanted! Some went for nonobjective themes while others painted portraits, houses, whatever their little hearts desired.
On day 2, the students were given mosaic squares to glue to their paintings. the squares could be used to define or add details. By the way, bottled glue holds these on waaaay better than glue sticks.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Before Greg Percy visited, I made a point to use one of his songs with each grade level. 4th graders listened to the song about symmetry (I think it's called "I'm Beside Myself" but I don't have the CD with me to check.) The songs covers two kinds of symmetry- bilateral and rotational. The 4th graders were excited to tell me that they had just been reviewing symmetry in math class so I guess the timing was good! After the song and a PowerPoint I made with images for both kinds of symmetry, the students' assignment was to "show me the symmetry!" They could make anything they wanted as long as it somehow showed a type of symmetry. The overall composition could have been symmetrical or the object the drew could have been symmetrical.
We all know that student combinations can lead to classes with very different personalities... three out of my five 4th grade classes were excited, got ideas right away and jumped right into their projects. I encouraged them to play with some geometric shape tiles I inherited if they were stuck on coming up with an idea. Two classes needed a little more guidance to get started. I showed them how they could fold a paper in half, draw a shape on one side starting from the fold, cut, and open to have a symmetrical shape to turn into something. I showed the same concept but with their name forming the shape and that was a popular option.
Some students stuck to formal compositions made entirely out of geometric shapes while others figured out how to represent something that's important to them... like Dr.Who!
Monday, May 20, 2013
I remember when I first ordered Tru-Ray sulphite construction paper- what a huge difference over the cheaper stuff that fades after a week in the hallway! I've ordered Pacon ever since but this was the first year I noticed the warm and cool variety packs. I think this is how I'll order construction paper from now on. I always order black separately since it seems to get used faster but I really like how these have a wider spectrum of color than ordering the same number of sheets in a regular variety pack. My students were especially pumped about the variety of pinks.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Greg Percy visited my schools on the last Friday in April to present his Songs in the Key of Art assembly. It was so much fun! I was able to get a substitute that day to play hostess. We started the day off at my intermediate school where I chatted with Greg while he set everything up, tested sound equipment, etc. I had an idea of what to expect from the assemblies after watching a few YouTube clips and I was not disappointed. The assemblies were an hour long but it flew by since it was not an hour of just sitting politely. Several songs were interactive- student groups were called to get up and "cha cha cha", volunteers got to play air guitar, and others got to pose as the pair in Grant Wood's American Gothic. Admittedly, at this point in the year, the majority of my 6th graders were "too cool" to look like they were having fun. I think they were determined not to have fun and participate. That's why I thought it was so funny to watch them obviously trying not to smile at the American Gothic parodies Greg showed during that song. I was also glad to see that some of the 6th graders were getting into the fun even though the "influential"students were watching them.
After the first assembly, we ate lunch with my principals and our librarian before heading to my primary school to get ready for the afternoon assembly. The K-3rd students were PUMPED! They had so much fun and at that age, they weren't afraid to show it. I've played some of the CDs in Art class since the assembly and they get excited all over again, responding like they did in the assembly and continuing to work on their dance moves.
If you've ever thought about trying to set up a Songs in the Key of Art assembly, I encourage you to go for it! I really think the rate was pretty reasonable considering Greg had to fly in for the show. If you have questions, he is really good to work with. As far as how I secured funding, I wrote a grant. There is a foundation that raises money to fund special projects for teachers in my district. All I had to do was write about the project I was proposing and how much it would cost. I included a lot of information from the Songs in the Key of Art website, how I thought it would get students even more excited about music and art, and even included state standards that the assembly would help meet, such as finding connections between the visual and performing arts.