Thursday, January 31, 2013

Flag Silhouettes

My second graders have started finishing up their final project in my Jasper Johns unit.  I only have three more students in class A who need to finish up, and then hopefully, class B will finish tomorrow!

For the second part of this unit, we reviewed what the American flag looked like and we talked about the symbolism behind the flag.  I showed students what the flag used to look like and we discussed the changes it went through.

Initially for this project, I was going to have the students trace their silhouettes with a partner, but they weren't being very successful.  I think that was in part due to the lack of flat wall space that I have available in my room for everyone to work at once.  I ended up calling students up, one at a time, to my smart board and I used the light from my projector to trace their shadows on their paper.  

I had the students paint the flag inside their silhouette, and then we painted the outside all black.  I took this as an opportunity to review how to paint with tempera paint.  We talked a little bit about craftsmanship and how to paint without making the solid black background streaky.  Some students grasped this concept very well, others not so much, but they all still look great!

For the final part of this project, I asked students to write a 5-sentence paragraph about the flag.  As a group, we brainstormed words about the flag and I wrote them on the smart board so that students wouldn't spell words wrong.  Unfortunately, I don't feel like I can devote a lot of classes towards the writing portion...we spent one full class period, and then most of today's class writing our paragraphs.  Some students did great on their own while others needed one-on-one help.  Eventually, I stopped worrying so much about spelling and punctuation and focused more on the content of their sentences.  I feel like this is a great way to incorporate the Common Core.  The shifts for the Common Core are all about getting kids to do more reading and writing, especially from factual information.  This helped the students reflect upon what they learned about the flag, recall some facts, and discuss symbolism.

Here are some of the finished products!  You can check out the rest of their silhouettes and paragraphs on Artsonia.  They'll be up in the next few days!

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