Right around this time of the year (February to March) Kindergarten makes a general shift in their fine motor skill development. They no longer struggle to hold the pencils, they know the procedures, they are more confident knowing the basics, so they are generally ready to start making some really cute art. This is the time that I focus on one of my favorite little critters – the owl.
We read some books about owls, we might watch a YouTube video if that is available, because we cannot find any owls around here in nature. Kids love owls though. Artsy owls are everywhere – on clothing, bookbags; my carpet for story time features an owl with a pink background.
When starting any new art medium, I take a day to teach some techniques with the medium. For chalk we practice layering, blending, little stokes, using the end of the chalk and using the chalk laying down, and whatever else comes to mind. Students then create whatever they want before we go onto the actual project so they get to know their materials. Chalk can be very messy so having a moist paper towel on hand is helpful. Chalk is also a great medium because it also erases. Just make sure you have erasers set aside for chalk as chalk is not very friendly to erasers.
For the owl lesson, I start with a direct drawing activity. I teach the children how to draw three or four different kinds of owls.
Students then practice drawing their favorite on a big piece of scratch paper. I want them to practice drawing big because on their final I want them to fill the entire paper.
Students can choose which shade of blue paper they would like, their owl, and what they want to include in their background. Here are the results of what my students made this week:
Pretty adorable if you ask me. They look awesome matted on black paper, just in time for the art show.