13 May, 2011

Monet in the morning and at noon, Claude Monet by the light of the moon

Hey!  Look at this post!

When looking at images of Claude Monet's water lilies, you are sure to notice some of them look very similar, but have differences in color.


Or look at this example.

Our class has learned that Monet liked to paint at many different times of day,
 looking at the same objects or places in many different kinds of light.

Hmmm, I thought to myself.  How could the children paint the same thing, in different kinds of light?  

Ah ha! I've got it, glasses!

I rescued an old cardboard box from our recycling bin, and cut it into three rectangular pieces.  I cut two eyeholes into each piece, and then taped some pieces of lighting gel over the eyeholes.  I pulled the pieces out of some sample books my DH brought home.  I used some darker blue pieces for one pair of glasses, a warm orange for the second pair, and a rosy magenta for the last pair.  
My hope was that wearing these glasses would simulate the light of different times of day.  The magenta was to simulate the cheerful morning, the orange, the fading afternoon light, and the blue, twilight.

I demonstrated how the children could do as Monet did, and paint the same thing at "different times of day," by wearing the glasses.  I set up our little Monet scene, with the little wooden Japanese bridge and the felt pond with water lilies next to some paper, water color paints, brushes, and of course, the glasses. Each child could choose which time of day he or she wished to paint.

The children loved wearing the glasses!  

Here is one of my students (whose mother happily gave me permission to use his picture.  Thanks, F!) He wore the dark blue glasses. 

 Here is his painting.  He told me it was raining on the pond, in his work.

Here is another student, working on bridge shapes.

The children were also very interested to see that the colors of paint in the watercolor box were difficult to distinguish, when they were wearing the glasses.  They kept looking at the colors, pulling the glasses up and down again.  

The children also wore the glasses when checking out our visiting turtle, 
"cooking" in our housekeeping area, and while block building!

If you need to simulate times of day or different lights, indoors, I would recommend this "glasses" method.  It worked out very well, and boy the children loved these glasses!

Happy Weekend!


We made quite an IMPRESSION

This week, our class continued our study of Claude Monet and his Impressionist works.  The children have been especially interested in his paintings of water lilies.

The children created their own Impressionist works, "ponds" with water lilies.  They are gorgeous!  Here's how we did it!

First we headed outside, with more gear than you can shake a stick at.  (We spent the whole morning out of doors, so we needed quite a few supplies.)  For the Impressionist "ponds" art project we brought these materials:

  • large white construction paper
  • squirt bottles of white, green, yellow, and blue paint
  • a couple of sizes of rolling pins
  • a clothes line
  • clothes pins
  • and a hose for the clean up!  : )

Each child chose how much paint, which colors he or she wanted, and in which order they should be squirted.  (I actually did the squirting, and although I would have chosen for them to do it themselves in other circumstances, we didn't have any small squirt bottles, and our paint is almost gone as it is so close to the end of the school year.  So, we made do and all went smoothly.)

After the paint was applied, each child chose a large or small rolling pin, and rolled away.  The look of the paint when it is rolled is fabulous, and if you have never tried this, please do so immediately! The children love it and the results are too great to be missed!

Check these out!  Nifty, right?

The next day the children used liquid watercolors and crumpled tissue paper to make lily pads and flowers.  Each child "floated" his or hers in their "pond" from the previous day, and voila!

I think even Claude Monet himself might be 
impressed by these Impressionist masterpieces!


09 May, 2011

Monet Math

Here is a little Monet math activity I whipped up for my students.  It goes along with our study of Monet and his various paintings of water liles, and with this song:

5 Green and Speckled Frogs

5 green and speckled frogs,
Sat on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs.
Yum!   Yum!
One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were 4 green speckled frogs.
Glub!  Glub!

Then there are 4 frogs in the next verse, then 3 etc etc.
(If you don't know this song, here's a link where you can hear it.)

The idea here is that students can do a variety of activities, based on their ages, interests, and abilities.

Younger students can:

Place the cards in increasing or decreasing order,

  or place the cards as they sing along with the song.

Students can place our toy frogs on a log too
(if we can tear them away from the sensory table frog pond!)

Slightly older students (almost everyone in my class falls into this category now that we're nearing the end of the school year) can do a little bit of subtraction work, with these cards and a little "worksheet."

While singing 5 Little Frogs, students can place the card with the 
beginning number of frogs, to the far left.

For demonstration, I started with the 5 card.

Then the students place a card to represent the frog jumping into the pool.  
It reads," - 1 = ."

Then the students have to count how many frogs remain on the log, and place that card at the end of the equation.

This also has a "worksheet" portion of the activity, where students may write their answers.  Even if they don't recognize the subtraction symbol, it is good writing practice, and it is fun to tie in with the 5 Frogs song.  It also doubles as a sort of "song sheet," reminding students of the words to the song, as they sing.

If you would like to use this little math activity, to further your students learning about frogs and Monet, feel free to download it here.  Happy subtracting, and happy singing!


03 May, 2011

Monet manipulatives

Our class is continuing our study of Impressionism and Claude Monet so I have made some new materials, and put out some old favorites.  
First, what's new:

This set (pictured above) serves a few purposes.  Firstly, it is a game I call Monet Memory Matching.  It actually isn't quite finished yet, but I am pretty excited about so of course, I thought I'd share.  : )

The game is a simple version of Memory.  There will be 12 lily pads with little creatures who live in ponds, needle felted onto the back.  (So far I have finished dragonflies, fish, and ducks.  I have frogs, frog eggs, and turtles still to go.)  Two children can take turns turning over 2 lily pads at a time, trying to find the match.  The child with the most matches at the end, wins.  (I have a plan to make a digital version, probably over the summer, so watch for that on this blog!)  Children can also move around the little Claude Monet.  ( I made him based on an adorable creation of Mamakopp's on Etsy, Crinkleroot.  He looked so jolly and just as I imagine Monet would have looked when he was enjoying time in his gorgeous garden.)  The jolly old Claude can cross his Japanese bridge and admire his beautiful pond, paint water lilies, or look for pond life.  

The last piece of this set is matching cards of some of Monet's paintings.  You can see that currently in our set, Monsieur Monet is hard at work on The Waterlily Pond. He might want to work on something else though, so the whole set of cards is a basket next to the pond.  If you would like to download your own set of these cards, feel free.  (They are pictures of paintings with the title below each one.  I cut the titles out and pasted them on the back, but you could also print 2 sets, and easily make them into Montessori style 3 part cards.)  Here's the file link.  If you like the cards and find them useful, please let me know.  I love feedback.  Thank you!

And some old favorites:

Here is Linnea, fresh from her trip to Monet's garden.  She has some clothing into which she can change, and a little basket for her lunch.

Linnea can also have a spot of tea, perhaps with a couple of frog friends she may have met in Monet's water lily pond.  I found this tiny set at a thrift store last year, and the children love it!

And a few more frog friends.  They could join the tea party, but they usually end up in the block area, completing complex frog obstacle courses.

 And here are some of my favorite children's books about Claude Monet.  I have linked them to Amazon.com, so you can look at a few of the pages.  I own a couple of the titles, but the others I check out every year, from our library.

The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by  Laurence Anholt
Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson
Katie Meets the Impressionists by James Mayhew
Once Upon a Lily Pad, Froggy Love in Monet's Garden by Joan Sweeney
Philippe in Monet's Garden by Lisa Jobe Carmack

I al also waiting with great anticipation, for the paperback release of Katie and the Waterlily Pond by James Mayhew.  It comes out this summer!  I adore the Katie and the . . .  series, and can't wait for this title too!

I'm sure you got the impression (pun intended!  lol) that I am a huge fan of Claude Monet.  If you did, you're right! Although I must confess it was not always so.  I used to think his work was way too overexposed for me (not art savvy) to really appreciate.  It just seemed to be everywhere.  I even saw a Water Lilies shower curtain, for Pete's sake!

But then I went to see Monet's work displayed at the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris, with my then 10 year old daughter.  We waited in line outside the museum for our scheduled time to view the works, so when we walked into the round room it was not too crowded.  It was quiet, tranquil, and just the way you would think it should be.  Honestly and without trying to sound too cheesy, I was converted to a believer.  I hope if you fall into the category I did a few years ago (and you too have seen too many soap dispensers, umbrellas, and shower curtains) you will give Monet another look.  Look at a high resolution image online of one of his works (this is one of my favorites), visit your local museum, or head out the door to Paris!  Bon voyage!