Monday, June 29, 2009


Summer Camp plans for the field trip to Annmarie Garden:
(this is the second of 2 weeks; the first week is Portraits)


Wednesday – introduce topic

This week we are continuing the art topic, leading up to the field trip to Annmarie Garden on Friday. Begin today by making homemade playdough. I recommend that you double the recipe to ensure that you have enough for each child. An adult will need to cook the playdough in the downstairs kitchen or at home and then bring it upstairs once it has cooled slightly for the students to add the coloring and glitter. The color mixes best while the playdough is still warm. (As an aside, grape Kool-Aid powder does NOT make purple, it makes black.)

After making the play dough, allow the children some time for free exploration with it. Then let them know that you will be talking about sculpture today. Ask the children make a cube shape with their playdough. This is sculpture. Then ask the children to make a ball with their playdough. This is kinetic sculpture (it moves). There is a wonderful example of kinetic sculpture at Annmarie Garden called Three Red Lines.

Read Norman the Doormanby Don Freeman to inspire students! Art is any creative process which expresses a feeling or idea. Today we will make kinetic sculptures to express the feeling JOY. Read a poem or two about the joy of summer from Summersaultsby Douglas Florian. Then follow that with the “Standing Mobile” activity from Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning)by MaryAnn Kohl. Students should focus on expressing the feeling of JOY with their sculptures. (Use Styrofoam balls cut in half as the base of the sculptures).

Finally, read Sandy's Circus: A Story About Alexander Calderby Tanya Lee Stone, about an artist who specialized in this art form.

Thursday – explore topic

Again, we are talking about the connection between feelings and art. Start today by playing charades. Ask one student to get up and SILENTLY act out an emotion and have the other students shout out guesses to try to identify the feeling. The first child who is correct gets to be the next “on stage.” An alternative way to play this game is for the child to tell the camp counselor (by whispering in his/her ear) the feeling he or she plans to act out, then get up in front of the group to do it. As the other children begin to guess the feeling, they come up and quietly whisper their guess in the camp counselor’s ear. If correct, they are allowed to join the first student “on stage.” Once three people are on stage acting out the feeling, the other children can call out their guesses. This is particularly interesting because different people can express the same feeling in different ways and this is one of the things that makes artists different from one another.

Next, read the story Where the Wild Things Areby Maurice Sendak. What feelings did the little boy have and how did he express them? What imaginative tools did he use to help him work through his feelings? Do the “Stocking Mask” activity from page 98 of Making Make-Believe: Fun Props, Costumes, and Creative Play Ideasby MaryAnn Kohl.

If there is extra time, have the students try to guess what feeling each other’s masks are meant to convey. Let them act out stories using their masks and borrowing each other’s masks as they change their feelings. For example, ask a child to pretend he has been caught in a rainstorm while wearing a “cheerful” mask, then have him borrow another friend’s mask and act out the same situation with a mask showing “grumpy”.

Friday – make field trip journals

While waiting for the field trip, introduce the children to tessellations. Let them look through examples of M.C. Escher’s work (in M. C. Escher: The Graphic Work). Then do the activity “Tessellation Design” from Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning)to decorate the cover of this week’s field trip journals. Have each child write his/her name on the back of the artwork. Fold and hole punch 8 ½ x 11 white paper, punch artwork to match (to be journal cover). Tie ribbons through holes. Have each child write the name of the field trip destination, the date, and his/her age on Page 1 of the journal. Have each child write a prediction of what he/she expects to see and do on the field trip on Page 2. Take the journals and a pencil for each child so that he/she can take notes on the field trip.

Materials List

Cream of tartar
Cooking oil
Unsweetened powdered drink mix in various flavors/colors
Iridescent glitter
Wax paper (to cover work surface)
Plastic baggies (for children to take playdough home in)
Craft wire
Styrofoam balls cut in halves
Bits of paper, foil, stickers
Old clean pantyhose
Wire coat hanger (one for each mask)
Yarn or string
Optional scraps for decorating, such as buttons, craft fur, curled ribbon, fabric scraps, felt scraps, googly craft eyes, needle and thread, paper scraps
Construction paper
Square shape to trace (box lid, block, etc.)
3 hole punch
8 ½ x 11 inch white paper
Ribbon in various colors

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