A common theme among art projects is Van Gogh's series of paintings of sunflowers. Being the end of summer, and contining the "basics" theme for September, I had the kids "paint" a still life of sunflowers. Instead of paint (which honestly is hard to do with 19 kids and 30 minutes and little prep/cleanup space) I had them use oil pastel. It was also school picture day, so I wanted to do something that was a tad bit less messy for all these beautifully dressed kids. If I had honestly remembered the school pictures when I made the schedule weeks ago, I might have chosen a completely mess-free project. But the kids did good, and I hope the parents did not scream when they saw them!
I tried to emphasize cool vs. warm colors, as well as getting the kids to use their eyes and draw what they saw, not what they think a vase of sunflowers look like. As in Van Gogh's painting, I had three different looking sunflowers in the vase. One had a dark center, one was all fluffy and the other was tight and all yellow.
The kids, for the most part, did a good job of actually looking at the flowers, and many did a great job of interpreting the vase and an imaginary background!
Here are some of the 3rd-4th graders work:
Here are some of the the Kindergarten-2nd graders. What was enlightening about this young group was the difference between a 5 year-old and a 7 year-old. The young ones really don't get the concept of a still life and drawing from life: they just draw pink flowers and some squiggly lines. The second graders really look and count the flowers and use the "right" colors. All that progression in just 2 years!