Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oaxacan Animal Drawings - Kindergarten & Grade 1

I filled in as an art sub for a day at a school that only has kindergarten and first grade students. The art room is located in the basement, so the space and the age of the students does put a few limitations on what can be done. However, despite these things the assignment left was one that introduced the students to Oaxacan animal carvings. This Mexican art is really great for younger students because it focuses on two things that are so fun to teach to this age level -- animals and colorful patterns. First the students got to practice saying Oaxacan (wa-ha-can). Then they viewed images of the carvings, named off tons of unusual animals (this part could have gone on all day), and finally brainstormed types of patterns. The patterns were toughest because while the students understand color patterns (red/blue/red/blue), they had a difficult time embracing shape and design patterns.

With all the preliminary lesson discussion done, the fun could begin. The students began their animal drawings with the prompt to make the animal huge to fill the page before adding a baby animal or background. The drawings are absolutely adorable and very colorful. The students drew their animals themselves using basic shapes as starters, so sometimes it is hard to figure out what animal they were making, but that is part of the charm.

Here are a few results...

First, a few turtles -- which were a popular animal choice:


Next, a unicorn and a baby lion -- there were a few unicorns and even a Pegasus:


Truly, I am not sure what this one is:


And this is an iguana/lizard -- my sample that I did was an iguana, so this inspired a handful of iguana drawings throughout the classes:


Lions made the list of "unusual animals" and were a good trade-off for those students who would have preferred to draw a pet cat -- these two are ferocious:

These bulls were made by two students in different classes and grade levels -- I love how intimidating the top one looks compared to how docile the bottom one appears to be:


And finally, these two birds really take flight with their bright stripes -- other popular bird choices were parrots, penguins, and even Angry Birds:


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