What a wonderful group of grade fours! They were very intense about their art…from the very beginning until the very end.
I began the class by asking the students what makes people scared of spiders. We thought about why they have become a symbol and decoration for creepy times like Halloween. We shared all of the types of spiders we know about from library books, movies, stories and experience. We talked for a while about Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.
In their visual journals, the students designated a BEFORE page and an AFTER page. I asked them to draw a spider, with their own knowledge and understanding and idea of what a spider looks like. It could be entirely imaginary or be based on something they’ve seen before. They were asked to add as much detail as possible.
The variety of interpretations was amazing. I love love love their BEFORE images.
Next, I showed the students a YouTube video…great guy…easy going and enjoyable script, “How to Draw a Red Back Spider.” I have never been a big fan of HOW TO DRAW books, but honestly, when a class is swelling to 29 to 32 students…the YouTube Video is a way for the teacher to filter around the classroom, assist and support students. If you are doing a demonstration/explanation at the front of the room, with your back to the students, really you are less engaged with them and more being a ‘bit of a show off’. I’m laughing as I type this. Do what you want! It’s just that, very late in the game, I’ve discovered that these little videos are superb for the Depiction part of a lesson.
This guy is great.
The very same students who had created the BEFORE drawings posted above, drew the following AFTER depictions.
I didn’t have a lot of time for prep…was busy eating up a bowl of homemade leek and potato soup, so I grabbed black and white paint and orange paper and so began the expressive portion of the lesson.
Using chalk for drawing, the students were asked to use their sketches in order to create a Red Back Spider on a web. The red spot could be coloured after both the spider and web were painted…using a red Mr. Sketch marker.
The resulting BLOW OUT session was remarkable! A great time seeing students show their own spin on the subject. I only wish that I had my Canon with me. But, this will give my readers some ideas.