St. Augustine’s : 2 Coloured Portraits and Paper Puppets

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Art Room Hour

We had last week’s work spread out on the tables for them to look at again, inviting them to an “Exhibition”. We also had last week’s visual resources on the table as part of the exhibition. We used these to discuss things we liked about the various portraits, focussing more on colour this time and telling the children that we had decided to give them a chance to paint their portraits as some of them had started looking for colour the previous week. Once aproned up, each child was given a palette of primary colours plus black and white, a small and a large paintbrush, water, blue tissue and an A2 sheet. We encouraged them to fill the page and they all set to with enthusiasm. If they asked for advice re colour mixing we assisted. If they were happy making colour discoveries alone we let them at it. It was clear that their experience of working with glazes in the Art Room on previous occasions was standing to them here, they were comfortable and confident with the paint. Soon the agitation of their arrival had calmed and everyone was focussed and at work. The adults were enjoying the variety of the children’s approaches and the rich use of colour. Afterwards we photographed all the work and the children helped with the clean up.

Classroom Hour

After lunch, in the classroom, we looked again at the “puppet show curtains” one of the girls had made last week and I invited them to make characters to go inside. I showed how they might do so by drawing the characters onto the water colour paper using the coloured pencils they had enjoyed using the previous week. This week, however, none of them took up the invitation to add water to them as they had tried the previous week – I think they were too eager to get the puppets on stage.

The teacher felt cutting them out might be too much of a challenge, so we asked the children to cut out as much of it as they could and then she and I finished off using my paper knives and cutting mats, this allowed for one or two to work independently. During the process we chatted about who the characters might be. A couple of the boys chose to make “mini me”s perhaps inspired by the portrait sessions. Once they were cut out we used double sided tape to stick them to lollipop sticks, one on the body and one on a hand for simple gestures. I made a rough demo, describing it as such, and showed how the character could appear and disappear from the stage.

When they began work I set up the curtains one of the girls had made the previous week, on one of the tables turned on its end and supported it with cartridge paper and wooden skewers. One of the boys cut out the shape in the middle so that the puppets could appear there. Everyone was very pleased with this arrangement and excited to perform, so as soon as they were ready we arranged the chairs opposite as an audience and the children took turns to go up in pairs. We didn’t have time to do much with them, but it was interesting to see that a pair of puppets discussed personal space as the children had been asked to consider earlier in the session, and there was lots of laughter and enjoyment. I asked the children to leave the puppets with us in the hope that we might have time to return to them again, and invited the teacher, in whose care they were left, to use them also with them if she saw fit. I won’t be able to return to them again till February so we exchanged seasons greetings before I left.

Materials

Art room hour.

School to provided:

Primary colours of paint, plus white and black.

Palettes for mixing, water containers

Thick and thin brushes

A2 sheets of heavy cartridge paper

Toilet /Kitchen / Blue roll

Aprons / overalls

Newspapers for table

Classroom hour

School to provided:

A5 sheets of water colour paper

Scissors

Double sided tape

Lollipop sticks 2 per child

The coloured pencils we used last time

Child’s puppet show curtains from previous week.

Niamh brought:

Paper knives and cutting mats

Camera and tripod

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