Water Conservation Awareness Posters

Making a poster about water conservation using an iPad app (PosterMaker), in the context of the drought California is going through and related to water in the curriculum, 4th and 5th grade.

material: iPads with the Poster Maker app., colored paper, markers, sharpies, colored pencils, scissors.

No is glue necessary: the elements can be moved around so different solutions can be worked and photographed.

How it works
Session 1 – 1 1/2 hour

1. Power point presentation showing different posters (taken from online images) about conservation of water. How does the message work? What are the principal elements? Text (message part one + message part two), image (photo, drawing).
The teacher asks how can we conserve water? The students answer and make a list. Then the teacher continues the presentation with a complete list, in which students can get new ideas.

2. The students work on the message of their poster. The message has to be clear and simple. What do you want people to do/not to do and why? If you only have a message about what to do or not do, the student is missing half of the message.

Session 2 and 3 – 2 x 1 hour


Elements worked on paper, photographed with the iPad
and integrated in the poster. 

During Session 2 and 3, the students work on their iPad.

1. Open the app.
2. the teacher do a brief tour of the app
– with presentation of the principal features.
3. The students explore the app
and the possibilities of how to express their message clearly. They work the text with the different options of size and types of fonts.
They compose images that they can photograph with their iPad and integrate in the poster. They search for images on internet that they upload on their photo album to use in their posters. They save different versions of the poster on their iPad.

4. Discussion
At the end of the 3rd session, each team of 2 or 3 students chose 2 versions of their poster and show them to the class through the projector and the wifi.
The class helps to make the final choice, by explaining why a version is better than another.

5. The posters can be printed to be displayed inside the class, uploaded on the school’s website, or sent to participate to a contest about water on the occasion of the World Water Day each year in March.

Art+Science: California Landscapes (4th/5th grade) Part I – drawings

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medium: pencil drawing/oil pastel drawing on all media paper

Vocabulary
science:
coastal region, satellite photo, Pacific Ocean, Bay Area, Wetlands, Redwoods
art: main lines, horizon, proportions

Science Curriculum
identifying some of the major physical features found in the coastal region where we live.

Resources
Material per student
: one printed color photo of a landscape, letter size and protected in a plastic sleeve, all media paper, pencil, eraser, a black oil pastel.

Instructions:
1. Power point presentation

I try to always use what is close to where my students live. In the Bay Area, I propose to the students to work from photos I have taken and printed, about the three major types of landscapes one can find around here: coastal, mountains and wetlands. They can recognize the places in some cases, we talk about places to go visit and it’s the occasion for an interesting exchange. Then, using a satellite photo of the Bay Area, the students can point the different places where the photos were taken.

We look at a series of photos of the main types of landscapes in the area.
Question
s: Can you describe them? Do you know where the photo was taken?

From left to right: Henri Coe State Park (left), the Wetlands in Sunnyvale (right), the Pacific Ocean at Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz.


We look at a satellite view of the larger Bay Area.

Questions: Can someone tell me where is San Francisco? Where is the Bay area? What is the blue mass on the left of the photo? Where is San Jose, Santa Cruz?

2. I handle the same series of images printed in color on a letter size paper, one per student.

3. There is a simple help the students can use: by placing their pencil horizontally, they can see if, for example the line of the horizon is above or below the pencil. By placing their pencil vertically in the middle of the photo, they can tell if the cliff on the photo is placed on the left of the pencil or on the right of it.

4. The students trace the main lines of their landscape

The Wetlands in Sunnyvale

The idea is to recognize the principal features in each of the photo. And the main difficulty is to understand the proportions in the landscape. There is a simple help the students can use: by placing their pencil horizontally, they can see if, for example the line of the horizon is above or below the pencil. By placing their pencil vertically in the middle of the photo, they can tell if the cliff on the photo is placed on the left of the pencil or on the right of it.

5. When this is done, the students trace the lines again, this time with a black oil pastel. No details.

See Part II here.

Art+Science: California Landscapes (4th/5th grade) Part II – Watercolors

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Short watercolor demo
I do the demo under the camera and it is projected on the screen. You can ask the students to gather in front of you.
The use of water is key: not enough is not enough, too much is too much! The best is to start with applying some water on the surface we want to color and then a little bit of color. If there is time, make some tries on a spare piece of paper prior to start coloring the drawing.
Use the ink already diluted on wet paper.
Use the ink not diluted on wet paper. Combine with another color.
Use the color not diluted on dry paper.

The students use watercolor inks to color their drawing

No detail here. At the very end, or when the paper is totally wet the following day, the students can  use a thin brush to paint details if they wish to.

Discussion / positive critique
Looking at what everybody did – all the different landscapes with all their specificities. What worked? What did you learn? Is there something you particularly, and most importantly, why?

The Wetlands in Sunnyvale
Notes
– always try to have a discussion at the end of each session
– The photos need to be printed in color at a letter size, one for each student and protected in plastic sleeves.
– For early grades, this exercise can be done with tempera paint. I do not recommend the use of watercolor inks before 4th grade.