Saturday, November 23, 2013

guided drawing with three year olds: elephants

We spent a week with Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. We spent a lot of time on elephants. The different types, their color, habitat, etc. In the book we talked about how most of the elephants were grey except Elmer and one of the children asked "What is grey?" And so we made our own elephants.
 The first thing we did was a guided drawing exercise. If the children were a little older (these are new threes) I would have a book out with pictures and we would discuss the colors and shapes of an elephant. Instead, I showed the pictures of the elephants in Elmer and showed them the bodies and asked about what shapes they saw. We did a big circle for the body, a small circle for the head, triangles for the ears, and lines for the trunk and tail.
Next I talked about our previous color mixing experiences and how we made tints by adding white. I explained that grey is made by mixing black and white. I let them squirt their black and white paint onto a tray and then had them choose one other color to mix in. As they were mixing, one of the children told me "this is a tint of black!". Before painting, we flipped the drawing over so that the children would paint the back of the paper to allow me to cut around their drawings.
 Painting in action! We would hold the paper up to the light to see if we could still see the lines of their drawings If they did, they would add more paint. This one here has a little bit of red paint mixed in.
Here are two of our elephants. Aren't they fantastic?

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