Fifth Graders combined art, social studies, writing, and technology in the creation of this work of art. The students first used colored tissue paper to collage a bottle. They designed the first and last name of their explorer, chose one of his voyages to illustrate, and researched facts on the computer. Along with their explorer report, students were responsible for compiling their technology research elements. Using a picture of their explorer as a reference, students drew portraits showing how values can be created with drawing pencils. This portrait and the names were collaged to the bottle. Fifth Graders then glued their typed reports to a colored piece of construction paper, rolled it up, and put it into the finished bottle. Instead of tossing them into the sea, the projects were then ready to share.
Sixth Grade began Explorers in a Bottle, a great unit using design skills and portraiture that we do in conjunction with Fifth Grade's Social Studies Class. Sixth Grade has had a ball experiencing gesture drawing! Each student poses as the rest of the class attempt to quickly lay in the action, form, and pose of the model. Basically, it is a method of training hands to sketch what the brain has already seen. Staying "focused" means sustained concentration. They may take as long as two or three minutes, or as short as five seconds, depending on what the focus of the exercise is. The fast pace of gesture poses help an artist "loosen up" to avoid a stiff drawing style. Ask them to do one of you!