Today the Grade 4, Guinea Fowls (see photos below) started painting their bicycles (Bicycle Project). The kids had some choices to make before starting. These they had to write on the back of their art, circling the colour they would use inside the bicycle. This way they will have a record for the next lesson when they continue their art piece.
To use opposite colours (also known as complementary and contrasting), related colours or monochromatic colours. Of course our children need to understand what these terms mean in order to choose and many of them do as they completed a colour wheel and colour scheme exercise in their art books earlier this year. So parents ask your grade 4 child if they know their colour schemes and what they chose for their bicycle.
This is a step up from the Opposite Colour Dog they did at the beginning of the year. In that project I was quite prescriptive, allowing them to only choose which set of contrasting colours they would use individually. They should now know the difference and can therefore make their own choices.
The background will be a different tones of the chosen colour for each of the negative spaces in and around the bicycle. The children are only given the primary colours and white. They are mixing their own secondary and tertiary colours for themselves. Let us never think that art is a place to just play. So much learning goes into each lesson. It is the mess aspect that makes it such fun. Just look at our list of skills being practiced in one lesson:
- active listening
- applying the previous and new knowledge
- care of tools
- colour mixing
- compromising – they work in a group around one plate of paint
- correct use of tools and paints
- interpersonal skills
- knowing colour schemes and how the colour wheel works
- managing conflict
- problem solving – how to draw the bike, how to mix the colours I want.
- shared responsibilities and consequences – especially if we play the quiet game and the group is demeritted for excessive repetitive talking, cleaning up and setting out
- staying focused
- time management
Most of the time they have no idea of all these learned skills and that is what makes art in particular so exciting and so vital to the growth of the mind and character of the person no matter their age.