If you have been reading my blog, you know that I absolutely love using art in my teaching! I am NOT an art teacher; rather just a teacher that truly believes that children learn best when they are creating. I guess an Art teacher would tell me that what I do with my kiddos is NOT art, but I believe that art comes from the heart and if my little ones believe that what they created is amazing, then I am their biggest fan! I KNOW that my kinders are learning when they are creating and I know that ANY teacher can get out the glue and construction paper and keep learning going and stay within the framework of the Common Core. I want to share a few EASY and Common Core based activities with you that are based on creativity.
This one is easy peasey! All you need is construction paper, glue, and a pencil. Sometimes I give my students pre-cut shapes and other times, I just cut squares and rectangles and they must turn them into circles, triangles, and trapezoids. This is an AMAZING activity to practice CCSS K.G.6 I can compose simple shapes to form larger ones.
I give my students a set of directions similar to this: Using squares, rectangles, and trapezoids, create 2 houses on your paper. Using triangles and rectangles, create 2 trees. Use a circle to create a sun. I have these directions up in the classroom and then I let them create. This is an INSTANT math lesson! Woo hoo! And they are having a ball doing it!
After making our observations, each child is given a white 12" x 12' piece of construction paper. They use their pencils to sketch a large flower and then use paint to create their flower. Beautiful!
After completion of the flower, students write some sentences about what they learned about Georgia O'Keefe as well as their opinion of her art. CCSS W.K.1 AND 2 I can write an opinion piece about a particular topic. I can write informational sentences about a particular topic.
Another easy project...... After reading Tops and Bottoms, my students created a garden with vegetables that grow on the top of the soil and vegetables that grow under the soil. After creating their picture, they wrote a math problem - science and math! CCSS K.OA.3 I can decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 in pairs.
In this activity, we read "Snowman at Night" by Caralyn Buehner and then my students painted a picture of their favorite part of the book. When their picture was complete, they wrote sentences about their favorite part. (I don't have an example of their words -sorry!) CCSS RL.K.S I can retell a story. I can use drawing and writing to share my opinion of a book.
Here is my final idea and this one was fun... We discussed the word COOPERATION in social studies. At the conclusion of our talk, I paired my students up. I gave them black paper and oil crayons. They were to work together to create ONE picture. What this meant was that one partner could not draw a house and another one draw a tree. They had to decide together what they were going to draw and HOW they were going to draw it. They did not receive their crayons until they gave me a rough idea of their plan. Each partner in the pair had to tell me at least one detail about their plan. I wish I would have taken more of these pictures and I wish you could have heard the conversations going on! Wonderful collaboration!
Once they completed the MAIN IDEA of their picture, I allowed them to add details to their picture. Here you can see after they made their bird, they added a sun and a cloud. To add a writing component, partners work together to write a story about their picture. CCSS SL.K.1 and SL.K.1a
I can participate in a small group and discuss a topic. I can follow agreed upon rules for discussion and collaboration.
For more Bright Ideas, visit the blog of Jen Bengal; owner of Out of This World Literacy! She will be sharing ideas for keeping kids engaged in their learning!