Art : Dinosaur Project

Can You Match the Dinos?
Gretchen Gobin, Art Teacher, The Congressional School of Virginia
Grade Level: 1st Grade

The Bulletin Board I selected showcases a First Grade project I taught which included making a three dimensional dinosaur from found wood and subsequently drawing the sculpture. The initial challenge for the students was to make a creation that resembled a dinosaur and could also rest on its legs. Each child was given the same amount of wood, although the pieces varied slightly in size and shape, and were then directed to assemble and reassemble the pieces until they determined how to keep their dinosaurs stationary. It was a process of trial by error as they improved their original designs to meet this goal. The children then painted their dinosaurs a single, unique color by mixing paint. They then mixed a secondary, complimentary color to create a pattern, much like a camouflaged skin or hide. They also painted eyes on the head of the creature to further demonstrate the clarity of their design. The second part of the project was to draw a still life of their dinosaurs. As a result of their familiarity with the construction and how the pieces interlocked (much like bones), they were capable of drawing with ease and accuracy. To complete the drawing the students created a background comprised of simple patterns and used a single lighter or darker watercolor for the foreground to contrast with the background. When completed, I situated the 2-D work next to the 3-D work and placed a sign alongside which asked the viewers to "Find the Matching Dino" (as seen in the digital photo). This Bulletin Board provided the first grade with the ability to see their work as an exhibit, as well as providing the school with an interactive exhibition for all who walked by. It became an engaging source of artwork that was both informative and entertaining.

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