Thursday, October 27, 2011

Form Drawing - Autumn Leaves

We have been doing some forms from Form Drawing by Hans Niederhauser and Margaret Frohlich. These have turned out to be too complicated for my students (I teach a combined 1st and 2nd grade) so I am moving to anther resource. But since I found a picture book that was a perfect match for one of the forms (figure 3 on page 3), I just had to share it! And I promise that you will enjoy reading this book on its own, even without the form drawing.

The book is called The Little Yellow Leafby Carin Berger. It is beautiful (the illustrations are exquisite) and simple. My students were completely absorbed by this lovely picture book. When we were done, they all drew a collective breath and asked if they could nominate it for an award.

At the AWSNA conference over the weekend, we did an activity in freehand geometric drawing where we were given golden paper and yellow, red, and orange stick crayons. The participants were asked to draw a freehand circle. Then, without talking, we went from station to station, "greeted the circle that was in front of us," and went over it with our own crayons, trying to smooth out any bumps. Trying to make it better. This continued until we arrived back at our starting circle. It was lovely and very profound. What struck me most was how much the collaborative effort improved the circle AND how much doing a circle over and over helped me get better and I was then able to improve the circles of others. So I brought this activity to my class today. We used the candlelight colors and as a story I talked about the many festivals around the world that use candles as part of their celebration. Our school celebrates Halloween and the Latin American festival of the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) so we have been looking at similarities and differences between the two. And a look at candles and light is timely, too, Halloween-pumpkin-carving being our activity for tomorrow afternoon. All around the world, the festivals are about light and also about community -- just like our form. Even a birthday cake is an example of this.

If you want background information on festivals around the world that celebrate light, Celebrations Of Light : A Year of Holidays Around the Worldis a nice resource.

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