I am currently cycling through some of my favorite art show projects of the year, which include a simple Rothko drawing/painting for Kindergarten and a Titanic watercolor painting for First Grade.
The art show theme this year was time travel, so I incorporated a ton of multicultural and art history projects with the students. It was, an undertaking... fun, exhausting, and exhilarating all at once. Here is a sampling of some of the projects from this year's show:
I found that the most successful projects favored abstraction and simplicity, and worked well with K/1 students from a developmental standpoint. Also, students loved the Star Wars Pompeii, and Titanic projects, because they are fascinating, cool spaces in history and pop culture that really need no motivation.
I have repeated the Rothko project with all of the Kindergarten classes... Not only is it an amazingly simple study of shape & color, but the students got their hands waay dirty with my go to art materials- chalk pastel and fluorescent paint!
After a brief discussion of Rothko, we begin drawing rectangles in varying sizes and configurations. Some of them got really carried away with this... More boxes, more shapes, I tried to let it go and not be too specific with how many boxes they made or if they incorporated other shapes... Exploration!
We discussed color theory a lot with this project... Contrast, warm/cool colors, complementary colors, gradient blends, you can really drill down how important color choices are with this project.
As as they completed the chalk pastel boxes, I had them finish with tempera paint... The brighter, the better. Again, the goal was to paint in between the boxes, but if some of the students paint over the boxes a little and it looks awesome... Why not?? What you will wind up with (if you give them a little wiggle room) if a class full of unique Rothko projects that each have their own personal footprint (or handprint I should say!)
It is worth noting that you can complete this project on one class period, or do an extension of this project the following week (see second picture below)
So, in a couple weeks the artwork will slowly come down and the school will look very empty. It's hard to believe that it will be the close of another school year and next year, a new group of Kindergarten students! I think this would be a perfect project for the beginning of the school year, which I would consider incorporating for next year.
This summer I plan to post ideas for new art projects, and progress on my own ceramics/paintings. I am looking forward to sunny summer days without rain! ☀️