Grabbing and maintaining a 5th graders attention is probably one of the more difficult aspects of this job to me. They are at such an interesting age and are struggling to find the balance between being a kid and being a teenager. One thing that catches their eye every time is when they get to use bright colors. The brighter the better with them.
They had been asking about doing a project featuring animals for a while so when I sat down to plan I went back to their list of ideas from the beginning of the year to see what animals were on there. Frogs was at the top. I love frogs and with all the different types of frogs in the world I knew there was a good opportunity for lots of color. In my hunt for inspiration I came across the artist Nick Gustafson and loved his work.
We spent the first day of the project just in discussion. I had originally planned half a class for this but the kids were so interested in the modern ways artist can sell prints of their work and loved looking at how much a canvas print costs compared to a note card or a even a throw pillow.
The next week we got started drawing. I guided them through drawing the frogs and making them large on the page using these steps:
Once complete we spent some time practicing with the chalk and discussing ways to keep it from making too much of a mess.
It took the students about three 50 minutes classes to finish these up and some got very frustrated working with the chalk but over all everyone agreed that it was a great process and experience.