August 26, 2019

Fish Paintings: Kindergarten

I was so excited about my kindergarten students' paintings...
I shared some pictures of their efforts on Twitter!  To my surprise...Peter H. Reynolds shared my post on his page & commented on it!!! WHAT?!?!  If you don't know who he is...YOU SHOULD! He is the author of The Dot, "ish", and other amazing books!!  How encouraging to have him take notice of my students. is a screen shot of the Tweet.

I kick off the year with a fish unit!  We can explore different media while staying consistent with the subject matter we're creating.  I feel students are willing to explore media if they are confident in what they are creating.  Last week we created fish using markers, and this week we are painting using watercolor.  I don't know if I've ever had a group of students so focused & able to follow the painting "rules" so early in the year! It was just a delight to watch them work, explore color mixing, and be so proud of their art!  

I start the lesson reading a Pout Pout Fish book.  If your are not familiar with them...they are wonderful & your students will LOVE them!  I then have students return to their seats & review creating a fish using basic shapes.  While students are drawing their fish...I begin passing out painting supplies.  As long as you tell the students up front (and give a few gentle reminders after that) that they need to not touch the painting supplies until you tell them to do will be ok!  However, before I give them the "OK"...I do demo painting & go over the procedures and expectations.  

At least 5 more minutes than usual when you are painting with kindergarten!!!
Make sure you have a plan in place for getting paint, water cups, pencils to where they belong...and where you are going to place the paintings.  Drying racks are great, but kindergarten struggles to get them in the slots.  I'd find a flat surface...a couple empty tables...shelves...along the wall in a low traffic area on the floor.  

Here are some of the finished pieces!

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