I showed them images of elephants. I also read the book Elmer by David McKee
Intended Grade Level(s): K-1
Estimated Class Period(s): 1 or 2
Materials Required: 12X12 white paper at least #80 weight, rulers, pencils, examples finished elephants to reference
Goals and Objectives: The goals of this lesson are to use a variety of colors and tempera paint with control, use shapes and lines in a composition.
Kindergarten PP 1.A Produce a line using crayon, pencil, or marker EP 1.A Identify and use lines 1.B Identify and use shapes I.E Identify and use color
1st Grade PP 1.B Apply paint with a dragging, not pushing motion EP 1.A Identify and use straight, curved, thick and thin lines 1.B Identify and use triangle, circle, square, rectangle and oval shapes 2.A Identify and demonstrate the concept of middle or center AP 2.A Identify the following in artworks: lines, shapes, colors, patterns
Project (Steps, Examples, etc):
1. This is a very simple, successful and straightforward project for little ones.
2. All of my kindergarten students seemed to be familiar with Elmer. I read the book Elmer (there are many in the series to choose from).
3. Demonstrate how to draw an elephant. Start with the trunk. Make a candy cane line and a backwards candy cane line in the middle of the paper. Then extend both lines beside each other, parallel. Close with a a sideways 'm'. Draw a circle around the top of the trunk for the face. Draw a big 'c' on each side for the ears.
4. Add eyes, tusks and lines on the trunk for texture. I showed them to draw the eyes below the 'candy cane curve.'
5. Some students chose to add eye lashes, bows, peanuts or a crown on top of their elephant.
6. Demonstrate how to trace over lines with a sharpie marker, make a black circle in the middle of the eye, color the white of the eye and the white part of the tusks with a white crayon (pressing down hard).
NOTE: If students made their elephants too small, (especially kinders) tell them that the small one could be the baby elephant and to just make another 'mom' elephant on the white area of their paper...that usually helps them and keeps them from getting upset...it also means you don't waste paper by giving them lots of chances.
7. Painting could be done during another class time....I actually had my students draw their elephants at the end of another project so after I read Elmer all we had to do was trace in sharpie and paint. I had an Elmer tracer ready for free time...if students finished early, they could make a little Elmer using crayons to take home.
8. We painted with tempera cake paints. I encouraged them to use yellow first, paint their elephant using any colors they wanted, but save black for last. I also demonstrated that they could paint their elephants with gray, I showed them how to mix black and white and gave them a choice. I encouraged them to paint the background black...but most just went with whatever they were feeling at that moment, they didn't plan it out too much.
It is always interesting to see the variety of results that I get with a project like this.
I always model and demonstrate my own elephant at the front of the room.
I show examples of what students in other classes have done and point out thing that are 'good' and 'bad' about each one. No matter how clearly I explain, someone always makes a mess of their paper.
I have 11 classes of kindergarten. Most students were successful with this project. Their little drawings were precious....and they were able to keep control of the paint...few ruined their project once they added paint. Oh yeah, we did this before Christmas--I am really happy with the results!