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St. Paul


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First Grade

First Grade Projects

 Who We Are

 Central Idea: Family uniqueness contributes to diversity

 In art we discuss families through textiles.  We first look at fiber arts around the world.  We look at why each culture has some sort of fiber arts.  We then look at how fiber arts and textiles showcase the culture of the group.  A big part of culture is families.  We then start to hone in on quilts—a textile used by many cultures around the world.  We learn basic sewing and each student makes a family quilt square that contains signs and symbols.  We then construct the quilt to express the connections between the different families within the class.

How We Express Ourselves

 Central Idea: Reflection strengthens appreciation.

 In their classroom, this unit is their art and creativity unit.  Since I teach art, we focus on creating a creative way to introduce themselves to their class and the kindergarteners as it is the first project we do in art.  We do this through puppets and performance.  They create a puppet that represents themselves.  They then create a performance to show the kindergarteners.  It

Sharing the Planet

 Central Idea: Microbes impact survival.

 In this project we connect microbes to Pointillism.  Pointillism uses color theory through the application of dots to create a larger image.  We learn about microbes, what they do, what they look like, and if microbes are good or bad.  We talk about the size of microbes and where we can find them.  I then show them a piece of Pointillistic art.  I ask them how this artwork could possibly connect to microbes. We then learn about Pointillistic art which heavily relies on color theory.   We then learn a bit of color theory like complementary, analogous, primary, and secondary colors.  They then create a piece of artwork of an object using Pointillistic techniques.  We think of the dots as microbes though. 

How the World Works

Central Idea: Technology increases efficiency 

This project utilizes simple machines create a painting machine.   We learn the simple machines and they create ideas of how that simple machine could put paint on paper. We then figure out how to put all of those simple machines together to create a painting machine.  Each student then uses the machine to create a painting. 

How We Organize Ourselves

Central Idea: Wants drive trade.

 This project is a clay project.  We start by looking at currency from around the world.  They learn the similarities and differences between those different currencies.  They then learn how money is created.  They learn that it is an artist that designs what each piece of money looks like.  I then ask the student to create a coin and paper money design.  I tell them that they can make the money that they would want.  We then learn about the clay process—how to set up, the rules of clay, the tools of clay, and how to clean up.  They then make their coin and paper money designs out of clay. 

Where We Are in Place and Time

Central Idea: Environment impacts human shelters.

 For our project we focus on architecture around the world that offer shelter and homes for families.  We take a tour of the neighborhood to discuss what the shelter looks like locally.  We then look at shelters in America in different regions.  We then look globally at different shelters.  We look at the materials they are made of and why there are differences between shelters in different places.  We end by making a class shelter of materials found at Highland Park.