Saturday, January 19, 2013

VanGogh Unit for 5th Grade

Now that we are done with our checkerboards, I've decided our next unit in 5th grade will be Vincent Van Gogh!  I LOVE Van Gogh!  He's probably one of my favorite artists.  I'm excited to do this unit for many reasons...I'm incorporating a project I did my first year of teaching, but I'm really expanding upon it and trying to incorporate the Common Core.

After my post-observation, I've realized that I haven't done a very good job so far getting my students to write in art class, so I'm working on trying to change that for all of the units coming up. Here's what I plan to do for our Van Gogh unit!

1.  I've already presented my power point to the students and we've discussed Van Gogh's life a little bit.  I'm using my September/October 2012 issue of Scholastic Art (first check for Common Core!) and the elementary worksheet that came with it.  I've decided that I'm not going to spend an entire class filling out the entire worksheet, but I'm going to split it up as we progress through the unit so the questions and articles we read make more sense to the students.  Most of the worksheet discusses the elements of art that Van Gogh used in Starry Night, as well as how the elements work in other arts of work, such as Picasso's Old Guitarist from his blue period.

2. After we read the article about Van Gogh, I'll have the students draw out their next painting, which will be in a monochromatic color scheme.  I think I'm going to give them two options: either do a still life similar to Van Gogh's sunflowers series, or do a landscape similar to Van Gogh's, with the swirly skies.

Here are some of the projects from my first year of teaching.  I did these with 5th grade as well with a monochromatic color scheme, but I only allowed them to do a still life of a vase with flowers.



3. After we draw out our sketch for the painting, we will continue with the worksheet and talk about color choice.  We will discuss how color can create an emotion.  Before we do the painting, I will have the students create a monochromatic ice cream painting, where we will talk about tints and shades.  This will be the workup for mixing colors and such.

4.  Finally, I'll give my demonstration of how Van Gogh tended to mix his colors directly on his canvas as he painted, not always on his paint palette.  We'll discuss how to create texture in our art (I'll have the students use acrylic paint for this painting) and then we shall paint!

5. For the last part of this unit...I'm REALLY excited.  I've never attempted anything like this before in art class, but we'll see how it goes.  The kids are really excited to be learning about Van Gogh so I'm hoping it will be successful!  I showed students the YouTube video of Don McLean's Vincent set to Van Gogh's artwork.  I have created a worksheet of the lyrics with writing space next to each stanza.  We are going to attempt to decipher McLean's lyrics in connection with Van Gogh and his life. (Second BIG check for Common Core!)





This will definitely be an interesting unit...especially since I'm doing it with "the group", but I think it will go well!

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