McKinley Elementary

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Art in Action

Students in Mrs. McEwen's fourth grade class have been enjoying art lessons
and supplies provided by a grant from Art in Action. Students were beyond excited
when the box of supplies arrived! They could barely contain their excitement when
we opened the big cardboard box containing sketching pencils, artist erasers,
watercolor paints, wire for sculptures and other goodies. Lessons for 4th graders
are all aligned and integrated with Common Core standards in various content
areas. 4th grade lessons center on Modern Art and we look forward to learning
about artists such as Matisse, Rodin, Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, Diego Rivera and
In the first lesson, students learned about surrealism. We studied Salvador
Dali and discussed abstract art. Students analyzed and discussed Dali's painting,
Swans Reflecting Elephants. Students communicated with one another about how
realism and fantasy can be combined to create abstract art.
Students were excited to create their own surrealist scene. They were able to
use different mediums. First, they sketched their ideas in sketchbooks that they
made. This was the first-time many of them used artist graphite pencils! They used
their imaginations to draw "chimera" animals that combined parts of different
animals like a bear with a lizard's tail. Next, they transferred the imaginary animals
they created onto large construction paper. They used oil pastels to re-create their
sketches in color. Finally, they used watercolor to wash over their oil pastels to
create their surrealist masterpiece. Students in Mrs. McEwen's class are very
artistic, creative and most have true passion for the visual arts. We look forward to
upcoming lessons! Stay tuned...