Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Kindergarten: Still Life Drawings

Posted on: March 15, 2010

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         Kindergarten: Plants

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Still Life Drawings

Cost per student: $.15 (includes the cost of oil pastels which will last all year)

Materials: oil pastels, sturdy paper (I used a mix of printed-on-one-side cardstock and cut up colored file folders), lots of natural items like pine cones, vegetables, dried flowers etc, some vases and fabric, examples of still life oils, pencils

Students will draw what they see to create a traditional still life portrait

Elements of art: line, shape, color

Vocabulary: still life, subject

1. Begin the lesson by showing kids some photos of well known still life paintings. Talk about what they have in common; look at the subject matter and talk about why painters might have wanted to practice painting stationary, consistent objects. We are studying plants, so I had kids point out the items that were parts of plants.

2. I set up mini still life scenes at each table; if you have a small group of kids it would be nice to have them set up the scenes themselves. In the interest of time, I set up 2 still life scenes on each table so every kid would have access to examine something right in front of them.

3. After each child chose a piece of paper and put their name on the back in pencil,

I did a quick tutorial of how to peel oil pastels and how to blend them. We talked about how they were different from and similar to crayons, and how they might stain clothes, so we pushed up our sleeves.

4. I instructed kids to draw what they saw in front of them, to pay attention when choosing colors that were similar to the real objects, and let them go!

Reflections:  Kids came up with a wonderful variety of interpretations of the still life scenes, from concentrating on a single element (one carefully shaded apple!) to very intricate pictures incorporating every last detail. They really liked using the oil pastels since it seemed like a grown up art medium.

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