Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flower Power



A lesson about Georgia O'Keefe, that old chestnut. But wait...kindergarteners, even the most sophisticated among them have probably not yet heard of the Doyenne of Very Large Flowers, although they may have seen her flowers on a mug or calendar. Excellent.
Plus I can introduce a vocab word like "organic" in a way that helps them tie a word to art and nature instead of soy milk or cheese sticks.

You can always count on Ks to respond to beauty, so when they see O'Keefe's dramatic flowers, they are fittingly moved when shown some examples. To set the tone beforehand, we read the book The Flower a sort of dystopian tale for tots, haunting but ultimately hopeful, of a world devoid of flowers...until one day...

Drawing, cutting, tearing, gluing...all important skills to be practiced and refined. Skills that are not assessed on any high stakes testing that I am aware of. Making aesthetic decisions about color, shape and placement. Allowing children the freedom to create their own interpretation of a flower, while getting a glimpse into the creative mind of a woman artist who blazed her own trail. All this makes for some colorful tributes.


We start out by drawing an "organic shape" around the paper, making sure we use the whole page or as much as possible! We want these flowers to be big!

Glue it down, using delicate finger action.

Ah ha. Someone likes the idea of a tulip. No problem. The world of flowers is diverse and all inclusive.

Now it's time to add the eye of the flower and the radiating lines to create petals.  

Attention to detail like this would make Ms. O'Keefe very happy, I am sure.  She was once an art teacher.

Next, glue on (if you'd like) some crumpled tissue paper to make some texture for the eye of the flower. Makes it easier for the bees to hang on and do their job.

A bouquet of flower heads. Gorgeous.

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