One of the many things I love about Kindergarten is being able to use art projects to teach concepts and lessons. (Someone please reassure me that this is also appropriate for Third Grade! I will be so sad next year if I am frowned at if and when I do art projects in my new classroom!)
Every Wednesday, my students particpate in what we refer to as a Classroom Meeting. This is basically my approach to Bully Prevention, Conflict Resolution, Community Building...whatever you want to call it. Here is what we did today:
1 - I opened up the lesson by asking the students a couple of questions: "What is a leader? What are some qualities of a good leader?"
2 - I read aloud Swimmy by Leo Lionni.
3 - We had a discussion about Swimmy and what made him a good leader. We brainstormed ways we could be more like Swimmy. We talked about how the fish worked together as a team to reach a common goal.
4 - The students worked together to splatter paint a large sheet of white butcher paper with blue paint in order to create "water." (However, it was difficult to see the fish on the white paper, so I might suggest using blue butcher paper and then using white paint to splatter.) I recommend laying down extra butcher paper underneath your art work to catch any fly-away splatters. Or if you are lucky enough to be in a warm climate, paint outside!
5 - The students used an art technique called "crayon resist" to create their own unique and special fish. First, they colored a design on their fish using crayons. Then, they used water color paints to paint their fish.
6 - I was planning on having the kids work together to put their little fish together to make a big fish (just like the fish in the story), but this lesson and project ended up taking up a ton of time as it was, so I just did this last step by myself after school.
We had fun with this lesson. Give it a try in your own classroom! If you do, I would love to hear how it goes. Have fun and thanks for stopping by! :)