Thursday, 30 April 2015

Colourful Mountain Contour Maps

First things first, I have no idea if the title of this post is correct. The project is a kind of topographic, 3D model contour map thing. If you know what it's called, please comment! I've seen the activity done on some other amazing sites like this and this. To fit in with our mountain topic, this project enabled children to work in pairs to create their own model. It was a bit challenging for some but in the end I was very pleased with the results. Generally, I found that the children who normally find art a bit trickier with drawing/colouring excelled and those who normally find art a bit of a doddle struggled with this (always nice when things get turned on their heads)

The class learnt about contour maps and how latitude could be shown. They looked at real-life examples from mountains that we've been studying and then produced a contour map sketch of their own mountain. This was then used to create their own model by following the steps below:

- Coloured A4 card (LOTS OF IT). I looked into using foam-board but unfortunately the costing just wouldn't work if providing for 90 children across the year group. Cheaper coloured card and having children in pairs seemed the most appropriate choice
- Scissors
- Glue
- Rough paper for sketch

1. Sketch out your contour map. I told the children that we had enough card for each pair to guarantee 5 layers but as they are building, they can swap their left-over card with others to enable them to use different colours for added smaller layers on top.

2. Cut out your sketch.

3. Use your cut-out sketch as a stencil to cut out the same shape in coloured card.

4. Cut the first layer out around your sketch to leave you with your next layer.

5. Use this new stencil to cut out the shape from a different coloured piece of card.

6. Keep repeating this process until you have cut out all of your layers from card.

7. Cut strips of card and bend them into a 'Z' shape. Glue 3-4 of these between each layer to raise it up and make it 3D.

8. Assemble all of your pieces and you will end up with a 3D contour topographic model map thing :)

Here are some of the brilliant results:

I love all of the bright colours and creative designs. Some groups really went all out to create very interesting, complex shapes. Excellent job, Year 4, especially considering that these were completed in around an hour and a bit.

Next post will be a project that's been done by every art teacher blogger, but I just had to give it a go myself!


Friday, 24 April 2015

Zentangle Landscapes and Mountains

Another week, another art project linked to our "Misty Mountains" topic. When in need of an incredible activity, Pinterest is always my first step. I've pinned almost 1000 different ideas now (go check them out!) so all I need to do is flick through and I normally have a few ideas that are relevant to our studies. The ever-reliable Miriam at Arteascuola had posted these wonderful landscapes a while ago which I felt would be perfect for helping the class learn about the element of line.


- A4 paper
- Thin felt-tips or gel pens
- Zentangle pattern handouts

1. We looked at pictures of landscapes first of all and I then introduced the class to zentangles. We looked at some pictures of animals and other objects that had been filled with the patterns and they were fascinated. I had found a lot of step-by-step tutorials for patterns and spread them around the tables. The class was given 20 minutes or so to try out different tangles and see what worked for them.

2. On a new piece of paper, pupils followed a rough guided drawing to give them the foundation of their picture with rolling hills, mountains and a sunset. They first drew along in pencil and then went over the lines with a black marker.

3. Children then followed different tangle patterns (some made up their own) and slowly filled in their landscapes. I advised trying to use only 1-2 colours in each section but some of the children fancied being a bit more creative than that!

The most successful were the children who were incredibly patient and careful with their intricate patterns.

Excellent as always. I seriously love teaching art lessons. Today we made a contour map/3D mountain model thing. Look out for the post because the results are worth looking at!


Monday, 20 April 2015

Artistic Clocks for Maths

This isn't really the usual kind of thing I post on here, but I thought these clocks we made in maths were more than deserving! In my maths set, lots of the class find time very challenging so I did some research into a few different activities to help us read clocks and understand the hours/minutes.

I came across this activity and knew it would be very beneficial for the class.

We gave it a go ourselves and here are our results:

Well done, maths group!


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Preparing for the new topic

We're into the second week of our Easter holiday and thoughts are now turning anxiously towards the continuation of school. Our next topic is entitled Misty Mountains and my LSA (Mrs Webb) kindly volunteered to come into school over the holiday and rustle up a topic learning wall. There have been some clues about Mrs Webb's hidden artistic abilities but this definitely blew me away when I first saw it.

She's made it interactive so that the children can match up definitions. There's also space to display other artwork we do over the next few weeks and space for post-its where children can write down things that they'd like to find out about.

Well done and thank you so much! The children will be so excited when they see it on Monday.