Visual Arts: Inspired by Van Gogh

The Ontario Curriculum of Visual Arts for grades 1 and 2 encourages the exploration of lines, colour, and a variety of media with which to create art. For one of my lessons created on the remote teaching platform, I thought students would enjoy a break from math and literacy to create a little and work with paint.

After asking them to watch some videos – in French – on the life and art of Vincent van Gogh, I asked my students to use the painting titled Starry Night as an inspiration for their own night scene.

In order to determine whether the project was possible, I decided to do a painting of my own. I laid out my materials for the project: acrylic paint, a paintbrush, a jar of water, a pencil, a sheet of card stock, a plastic fork, and a copy of Van Gogh’s painting.

For my first step, I lightly penciled in what I wanted to paint. I looked to the original painting for inspiration, knowing that I would not be able to copy the original exactly.

To recreate the lines seen as in the original painting, I used a plastic fork. For the lines to show up, I noticed that I had to layer the paint thickly onto the card.

I painted section by section and then used the fork in specific areas before the paint dried.

I enjoyed the activity and found it calming. I am hoping that the children I work with will find it calming as well – especially those who enjoy creating art with paint.

I like the effect of using the fork on the painting and am now thinking of other ways in which my students can practice this technique.

The acrylic paint is a bit sticky to use – or maybe it is because the paint I had was a little dry. The next time I do this activity (hopefully when in the classroom), I will attempt the task with tempura paint. It would be interesting to make a comparison and to see which medium is more effective.

My final product is not bad for a first attempt though it it nowhere near to what my daughters (who are art students) would produce.

I now look forward to seeing what my students create.

Have you attempted to recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Measurement of Area

In grade 1 and 2, children are introduced to the concept of area. The learning goal of the activities I prepare for them is for them to measure the surfaces of objects using non-standard units of measure and in class I usually offer them math manipulatives such as pattern blocks and interlocking cubes. Parents, however, do not have these resources at home so I had to be a little creative with my task when planning a lesson for my students to do at home.

The curriculum does not state precisely what unit of measure children are to use, so I instructed the children to use a household object. I showed them an example that I did in which I used forks:

In addition, I gave my students the sentence starter to use when they wrote down their response. Translated, the sentence states: I measured a(name of object). The surface of the (name of object) is (number used) (name of household object used).

I liked seeing my students’ innovative choices of units.

Food played a role in some responses:

As did the games they play with:

Other responses included the use of business cards, Lego, and toilet paper rolls (I loved this one!).

I am sure these children will not forget what it is to measure the surface area of an object – even when thy have to use standardised units of measure in the higher grades.

What would you use to measure the surface of an area?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. During the month of April, we are challenged to share photos featuring #squaretops)

A Word Collector

I was so happy when I saw that The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds had been translated in French which meant that I could use it in my classroom. I love the story about a little boy who enjoys words so much that he collects them. Eventually he makes sentences with his collection; and when his collection gets too big, he shares the words with everyone.

This week I read the story to my grade 1 and 2 students and afterwards I opened a centre at which they browsed through some books and found words to record in a notebook. My plan is that at the end of every week, my students will take the notebook home in order to practice reading and writing the words they have collected.

The children love the activity – especially as they are able to write using colorful gel pens. This is one task that they will all complete with joy!

This week I am grateful for authors and illustrators who create stories that inspire my lessons and centre tasks. It always makes me smile to see the children enjoying both the stories and the activities.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is part of my Gratitude Challenge and is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Monster Drawings

My teaching on adjectives using the book Je Veux Un Monstre!  by Elise Gravel did not stop with colouring monsters. (If you missed my post on colouring in monsters, you can click here) The next step in the learning goal was for the students to draw their own monsters. I loved the drawings they came up with – they were so creative. After completing their drawings, and colouring them in, I was happy to see the children using the adjective anchor chart I had up on the wall as well as the key rings with vocabulary cards attached to write down the adjectives they would use to describe their monster.

After noting down adjectives, the next step in the task was to write sentences to describe the drawn monster. After correction, students created their neat copy. These I put up on the wall outside the classroom for everyone to read.

We have stopped working on descriptive writing for a while as we finish our inquiry on structures. When I re-introduce the need to use adjectives, we will be describing objects and living things that can be found in the world.

Which is your favourite monster?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to The Escapist Colouring Club. You are welcome to join us and share some colouring work)

Monster Colouring

The age group that I teach love colouring and always welcome an opportunity to use bright colours. For a recent activity on writing, I asked them to colour and describe a monster. Using the co-created poster of adjectives, they wrote down adjectives of their choice to describe their monsters. .

Not only do I enjoy seeing their colourful monsters, but I love that the children have managed to describe their monsters using the classroom resources in the language that they are learning.

Do you enjoy colouring with markers?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to The Escapist Colouring Club. You are welcome to join us and share some colouring work)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Fulfilling Week

Weekend Coffee Share | Nerd in the Brain (4)Good morning to you and welcome. A cup of something warm would be appreciated as it is still a little chilly outside. Afternoons are warming up and some brave people – and many children – are going outside in their short sleeves.

The past week has been busy and yet fulfilling. I am getting everything ready so that I can put a final mark next to the work my students have done during the second half of the year. I have read with most of them, given them their final writing “test’, and organised all their work. In the upcoming week I shall listen to them speak with a view of giving them a mark, and complete the final Science activity for the report card. I am hoping by the end of next week to have all of the marks recorded so that on Friday (the PA day set aside for reporting), I can complete my report cards. If everything is in place and I focus, I know that I can do it!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I tried a new activity with my students during the past week and it worked very well. For our inquiry on animals, I took out non-fiction books on a range of creatures from our school library. I asked the children to choose a book to do research on an animal of their choice. With the help of sentence starters, they took down notes to record the information they had found. With this information, they wrote a paragraph which I then corrected.

Researching Animals © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

The fun part of the activity was when the children worked on their neat copy. They typed their paragraph into an app using the iPad. I had previously taught them how to use Piccollage and many of them were able to work independently.

They chose their background, font, and searched on the Web for appropriate pictures. I enjoyed reading their final copies as much as they enjoyed making them.

Next week, we will move onto the life cycles of animals. Once again, children will be researching their animal as well as using the iPad. But that story will be told next week.

Today the sun is shining and the skies are a beautiful pale blue. I am going out now to buy some groceries, pop into the library, and then go to my Zumba class. I look forward to the rest of my day (which will include some time relaxing and reading). May you have a wonderful day too.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Nerd in the Brain)

Children’s’ Illustrations

Correcting my students’ work is not always easy. Often I find myself sounding out their words and reading what they have written aloud. There are times when I am unable to figure out what they have written and call the person to come and read for me. I need no help, though, in ‘reading’ their illustrations.

Children’s Illustrations. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Yesterday I was correcting some work and I could not help but smile at some of the detailed illustrations that I saw. It is easy to understand why some children are so proud of their drawings.

What has made you smile this week?

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Grateful for Many Things

Last week in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I encouraged my class to think about those things for which they are grateful and write them down. Here are a few of my favourites:

I am grateful for my family because my family is nice. (grade 1)

I am grateful for my family because my mom and my dad help me when I need help. (grade 1)

I am grateful for living in Canada because there is peace here. (grade 2)

I am grateful for my brother and my father because they look after me. (grade 2)

I am grateful for my family because they adore me and I adore them. (grade 2)

The class discussion and the written responses showed me that we are never too young to be grateful for what we have in our lives.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for colour coding

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)

The Eiffel Tower

I am currently doing an inquiry on structures with my class. One of the first activities was for the children to choose a structure from around the world, look for the shapes within it, and then draw what they saw. One of the choices was, of course, the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower, seen from the champ de Mars, Par...
Eiffel Tower, seen from the champ de Mars, Paris, France Français : La Tour Eiffel, vue du champs de Mars, Paris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four children chose to replicate this well-known structure – one of whom had learned that his ancestors were from France during the Inquiry “Tout sur Moi” (All About Myself).

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Drawings of the Eiffel Tower. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

The drawings have been posted on the bulletin board outside my classroom and are being admired by many passers-by.

Have you tried drawing the Eiffel Tower?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post has been linked to French Friday during which all things French are shared.)

Project on an Ancestral Country

During the Inquiry on themselves, my students discovered where their ancestors came from. They explored their ancestral countries by using the Google App, looked through the atlas to see the shape of the country, and touched the country and its neighbours on an old-fashioned globe.

With each child I tracked the countries of their ancestors on a world map. When looking at the map afterwards, we noticed that we were a group of people who had history from all over the world.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Inquiry board on Ancestral Countries. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

The next step in the inquiry was for the children to find out more about one of their ancestral counrties. This they did by interviewing one of their family members. Their results were presented to me last week on poster boards and in an oral presentation.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Inquiry board on Ancestral Countries (2) © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

What I noted, as I was reading the work, that many families had come to Canada for the same reason:

IMG_7561
A message of optimism. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

Many families left their countries of birth in the hopes of finding a better life for their families. One hopes that their optimism bore fruit.

What are the countries of your ancestors?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to the weekly WordPress photo challenge. The prompt this week is optimistic)