Saturday, December 8, 2007

4th Grade Paleo-Art

I believe the ideal art program is a perfect balance of structured activity and free activity. In this case the structure was in the analysis of complex objects (dinosaurs), breaking them down into basic shapes and the mastery of watercolor techniques. The freedom is in doing whatever they want! I love it when they write about what's in their drawings to explain them. These kids have such great imaginations.

Third Grade Watercolors

Third grade art classes were inspired by the Dinotopia books of James Gurney. In his books, dinosaurs and people exist peacefully together. My students' visions of such a place were not always quite so peaceful. They wrote fantastic stories describing what was happening in their pictures. In the upcoming week, I hope to post some of them below the pictures.

Students drew with pencil, then went over the lines in pen and ink. They then experimented with the watercolor techniques of wet-on-wet, drybrush, puddle painting, and thirsty brush.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Second graders discussed and experimented with texture. First they drew dinosaurs. They placed texture plates under the drawings and colored with crayons. They then painted over the crayon drawings with watercolor. I think they achieved some interesting effects with this technique that look good on dinosaurs.

1st Grade Paleo-Artists

These marker drawings are by first grade students.

Kindergarten Art

Dino Daze was first and foremost an art show of student work. Over 900 works of art were on display representing the efforts of 600 students. I'll show just a little on this site, starting with the kindergarteners.

More Views of Rexie

Rexie is a five foot tall plaster dinosaur who currently welcomes students and visitors in our school lobby. Mr. Wales and Mr. Haines (MU student teacher) constructed him with some help from students using pariscraft, acrylic paint, with a whole lot of wood, cardboard and newspaper. And, let's not forget masking tape!

The Sculpture Gallery

To prepare for our Family Fun Night and Art Show, fifth graders put the finishing touches on their plastercraft dinosaurs and put them on display in the library.

Look to the Skies!

On Dino Daze Family Fun Night, a pterodactyl, a pteranodon and an archaeopterix zoomed overhead. These were a few of the fifth grade plastercraft projects.

We Made the Papers!

One of our local newspapers sent a reporter to write about Dino Daze. Apart from a mistake on the name of James Gurney's book Dinotopia (he calls it Utopia), it's an excellent article.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sculpture Gallery

The library was our sculpture gallery for the evening. I considered calling it a dinosaur petting zoo, but some species of dinosaurs prefer that you respect their personal space.

Make Your Own Fossil

Students at this station used seashells and toy dinosaur to make their own fossils in a slab of clay.

The Lava Lounge

Those poor unsuspecting dinosaurs were just looking for a warm place to take a nap. Little did they know a volcano was about to erupt! Nothing is more fun that adding vinegar to a baking soda/red food coloring mixture and watching for the eruption. This activity was made possible by Mrs. Yonkin, Mrs. Chacona, and Mrs. Fisher with the help of pseudo-vulcanologists like David Wales and many others.

Posing with Rexie

Our Rexie is very photogenic, and many people couldn't resist standing next to our T Rex to get their photo taken.

Fossil Finds

Our local gem and mineral club, Che Hanna was very generous with their time and resources to set up a Fossil Find Station. With the help of a girl scout troop, they helped students sift through sand and find fossils, prehistoric shark teeth, shells, etc., which students could then identify using a chart. They also got to keep their treasures!