Art+Science: Forces and Motion (2nd grade) session 1: Blow Painting

Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center

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Session 1 – Blow Painting
medium:
Watercolor ink on paper

Vocabulary
science
: push force, pipette
art: primary colors, abstract, representational

Science Curriculum
The way to change how something is moving is by giving it a push or a pull. The size of the change is related to the strength, or the amount of force, of the push or pull.

Ressources
material: all media paper, watercolor inks (primary colors), straw, cups and pipettes, paper plates.

How it works
1. I give a short demo.

2. The students used the “push” force to make the watercolor ink move on the paper. We used the primary colors, and the students got all the color combinations in between. There are several ways to make the ink move on the paper. The position of the body is important – we can blow parallel to the paper or on top of it and the force is not the same. When we blow parallel to the paper the ink make a path and can go far, depending on the intensity of the blow. When we blow above the paper, the force hit the paper: we get fine lines going in multiple directions. We can blow with or without a straw and the results are different too.

3. Group discussion. Looking at all the pieces on the floor, the students talk about the artistic aspects and the scientific aspects of the exercise.

Art+Science: Forces and Motion (2nd grade) session 2: Gravity Painting

Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center

Session 2 – Gravity Painting
medium:
Tempera paint on paper

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Vocabulary
science
–gravity force, friction
art – primary colors, secondary colors, abstract, process

Science Curriculum
Gravity is a pulling force. Motion is the act of moving.

Ressources
material: cardstock paper, tempera paint (primary colors and secondary colors)
video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6egUsZvWu4 about gravity work by new York artist Holton Rower.

How it works

1. We watch a short video (3mn) of New York artist Holton Rower, who works with gravity.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6egUsZvWu4

2. I give a short demo about the process we are going to use, which implies no use of tool, just the force of gravity.

3. The students experiment with the process.

4. Group discussion at the end of the session: we talk about abstract art and how it is open to interpretation. We talk about what we were seeing in the paintings. The students share their experiments/thoughts about gravity and paint, we comment the different results in front of us. We talk about the factors which matters when there is friction: in this case fluidity of the paint and smoothness of the paper.

5. After the art class the students write a few words about their experience.

Art+Science: Forces and Motion (2nd grade) session 3: Ball Painting

Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center

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Session 3 – Ball Painting
medium: Tempera paint on paper, plastic balls and marbles

Vocabulary
science
–motion, friction, documenting
art – action painting, abstract, process, documenting

Science Curriculum
Objects in motion. Force changes the way an object moves.

Ressources
material: all media paper 15″x11″, tempera paint (primary colors and secondary colors), cardboard box the same size as the paper (one for two students), plastic balls (bouncing type), large marbles.
video: Jackson Pollock at work http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/249

How it works

1. We watch a very short video showing Jackson Pollock at work.
– One of our art words is action painting. Pollock broke the rules of painting by painting without the brush touching the canvas.
– Another art word is process. Pollock’s process includes a lot of “paint in motion”, splashed and dripped by the energy of his gesture. Pollock definitely used forces in motion in his process. Using the same process over and over, he made many pieces with a different result each time.
Documenting the process: when we see an art piece, most of the time we do not understand how it was made. Seeing the artist at work is invaluable to understand the process and it is extremely recent in history.  So that’s why today we have teams of two students, one making a painting, the other one documenting (videotaping) with an iPad. We talk about how to videotape, trying to stay still while things move in the frame.
2. I give a short demo
What are the material we are using today? (They are on the table: cardboard box, all media paper, plastic balls and big marbles, paint). They are the material necessary for our process. There are primary and secondary colors to work with. The students are free to use as many colors as they want but I tell them that interesting results can be achieve by only using 2. They have to try and see for themselves. I show them how to pour the paint on the paper (to try to avoid large unmanageable pools of paint in the middle of the paper!). I make 2 balls roll in the paint and on the paper. The balls start tracing their trajectories. The motion of the balls changes when I change the way I move the box. I asked them to think about the fact that they would have to stop at a certain point, their piece would be finished. How do you know that? How not to work too much a piece?

3. The students work on their piece, taking turns.
It is interesting to see that for a lot of students, documenting the process was only about what was going on inside the box and not necessarily about the movements of the person making the piece.

4. End of the session discussion (science aspect/art aspect of the project and special words).

5. After art class art class the students write a few words about their experience.

Do More With less: Wonders with small means – circles (B&W)

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This exercise is about using limited material and only cutting circles. The students start cutting (without tracing) and then grow a cluster of different circles, adding by proximity. They can glue right away or wait and see what happens with the composition. Some students are more comfortable with gluing right away “and not loosing any circles”. The table becomes pretty messy so yes, the circles can disappear!

Some students, very quickly cut other shapes than circles, which is fine, although I am asking them to try to “only” use circles and to see what happens. It is about finding out that a lot of things are possible with very simple means. They can play with the size of the circles, they can cut the center and leave a thick or thin contour, they can make concentric circles. The possibilities are endless. In the process I am asking the students to pay attention to the paper, and to avoid discarding paper which is still usable.

The exercise which follows is: Wonders with small means – circles (color).

Material
12×18″ black paper, white paper, scissors, glue.

Do More With less: Wonders with small Means – circles (color)

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This exercise follows the previous one: Wonders with small Means – circles (B&W), but this time with colors. It is all about circles again: small, large, full or just the outline, concentric: the possibilities are endless. It is also about rhythm: how do the colors play together, how do they play with the different sizes of circles and with the space of the background. The students start cutting (without tracing) a circle and grow a cluster of circles. And see what happens.
They can glue the circles as they cut them, or wait until they think their composition is done.

Colored paper is available on a separate desk and students are welcome to pick the colors they want. I am asking them to pay attention to the way they cut the sheets, to share if possible.

Material
12×18″ colored paper, good quality colored construction paper, scissors, glue.

Do More With less: Wonders with small Means – strips

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This is the third exercise with “small means” the students worked on and it is also about finding rhythms, using only one shape. This time using paper scraps that I always keep when I cut paper for the art classes. The paper scraps/strips come in many colors and different length and width. The students are welcome to take all the colors they want or only one or two, to cut the strips and to compose any combination.

Some of the students worked on two different propositions for this exercise.

See also
Do More With less: Wonders with small Means – circles (B&W)

Do More With less: Wonders with small Means – circles (color)

Material
12×18″ colored Canson paper, stripes of colored paper, scissors, glue.

Colored squares – shapes – swaping colors – contrast (this session with the 3rd graders)

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One session – one hour
Material
– 2 sets of colored paper squares.
– Scissors, glue.

Each students gets 2 sets of six colored paper squares. The students arrange the first set as they wish and glue the squares. They then cut shapes directly in the second set of squares and organize them. I encourage them to try as much as possible different combinations. Once they like the result, they glue the shapes.

Colored squares – shapes – swaping colors – contrast (this session with the 5th graders)

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One session – one hour
Material
2 sets of colored paper squares.
Scissors, glue.

Each students gets 2 sets of six colored paper squares. The students arrange the first set as they wish and glue the squares. They then cut shapes directly in the second set of squares and organize them. I encourage them to try as much as possible different combinations. Once they like the result, they glue the shapes.

Collage (this session with the 3rd graders)

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One session – one hour
Material:
– a selection of colored paper (solid colors origami paper works great for collage. That day I gave them black, dark purple, dark orange and light yellow)
– pieces of printed brown bags from grocery stores (that day: Trader Joe’s recyclable bags)
– a photo (landscape) from a magazine
– a page from a paperback book. That day I gave each of them a page from the French version of “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, about Johannes Vermeer.
– a low quality brush,
– liquid acrylic medium (the glue),
– containers for the medium – one for two students (the number needed depends on the way the tables are laid out in the classroom).
No scissors.

Because the sessions are short, I prepare as much as I can before each session. In this case I gave each student an ensemble of papers they could use as they wish. I cut the brown bags into pieces because the students’ tables are so small, not many things can fit at the same time on them.

I encourage the students to tear the papers, see what happens, to start composing on their page without gluing, to make changes and so on. Once they feel like starting gluing, they use the brush and the medium. The medium is applied first on the paper, then the piece of torn paper is applied on top and then another coat of medium is applied on top of the piece. And so on.

This session creates an enjoyable mess and the students love it! Tearing the paper is a very nice part of the exercise. At the end of the session, we carefully put all the collages on the floor next to each other to look at them. Seeing the various results obtained by the students by using the same limited materials is always a nice surprise.

Collage (this session with the 5th graders)

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One session – one hour
Material:
– a selection of colored paper (solid colors origami paper works great for collage. That day I gave them black, dark purple, dark orange and light yellow)
– pieces of printed brown bags from grocery stores (that day: Trader Joe’s recyclable bags)
– a photo from a guide about Arizona.
– a page from a paperback book. That day I gave each of them a page from the French version of “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, about Johannes Vermeer.
– a piece of a map
– a low quality brush,
– liquid acrylic medium (the glue),
– containers for the medium – one for two students (the number needed depends on the way the tables are laid out in the classroom).
No scissors.

Because the sessions are short, I prepare as much as I can before each session. In this case I gave each student an ensemble of papers they could use as they wish. I cut the brown bags into pieces because the students’ tables are so small, not many things can fit at the same time on them.

I encourage the students to tear the papers, see what happens, to start composing on their page without gluing, to make changes and so on. Once they feel like starting gluing, they use the brush and the medium. The medium is applied first on the paper, then the piece of torn paper is applied on top and then another coat of medium is applied on top of the piece. And so on.

This session creates an enjoyable mess and the students love it! Tearing the paper is a very nice part of the exercise. At the end of the session, we carefully put all the collages on the floor next to each other to look at them. Seeing the various results obtained by the students by using the same limited materials is always a nice surprise.