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Hands-on-Art Workshops

Jacqueline LaFitte, Cherryland Elementary School, 2016-2017 Project

Project Description: The Hands-on-Art Workshops project will introduce students to the life and work of 3 featured artist through stories, a demonstration, and a hands on art lesson. Students will learn about the artist working style, inspiration, and choice of media. The will produce a cardboard sculpture, a watercolor, and a painting. Visiting artist from the Junior Center of Art and Science will lead the workshops. Docents from the University of California Botanical Gardens brought native plants and replicas of artifacts for an interactive classroom presentation of how Native Americans used natural resources from the environment and how pollinators help plants to reproduce.


Expected Results: Each student created a work of art. The Cardboard Figures like James Castle became the topic of a fictional story they created after they named the character. The watercolor of SF Golden Gate Bridge painting taught an important lesson of perspective. Students wrote about a pretend day crossing the bridge with their family. The SF Silverspot Butterfly arcylic painting became the perfect gift for Mother's Day. Students wrote special poems to their Mother or Guardian to be added to a posters for as a present. T The docents from the Botanical Gardens brought several uses of tule like models of tule boats and baskets. They had a freshly cut long tule stem that they left for the class along with other examples of roots like the California Poppy which can be used to create orange dye. Students took notes and wrote summary paragraphs of the experience. The Pollinators in the Garden presentation is scheduled in June. Students have been studying food chain and plant reproduction. They will be prepared for the lesson.

Important Outcomes: Student's pride when their art work became part of a Cherryland Art Show. I appreciate the response of parents wanting to take the watercolor of SF Golden Gate Bridge to put in a frame. Cardboard Figures project opened students mind to use recycle pieces of things to create art, even cereal boxes.

Student skills and knowledge: It is important for 4th graders to learn to follow directions as a skill. Each art workshop challenged the students to follow directions to complete the art work during the session. I needed to get more watercolor to complete the SF Golden Gate Bridge project. Perspective is a difficult concept. Students worked hard to create one tower of the bridge smaller to look farther away. It is one thing to read about the Ohlone Indians and how they used tule. Students had an opportunity to touch and investigate using magnifying glasses small pieces of tule. They learn about the tubes in the tule and how the drying process was important to the shape need to made a canoe. Students learned it is not necessary to use pencil to sketch before using arcylic. The artist used oil pastel to sketch the butterfly. The oil pastel was easily hidden with the arcylic.

Project Award: $705.00

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