An integral part of the art program at P.S. 15 is a field trip to the Children’s Museum of Art, our program partners at the school. On Friday, January 24, 23 kindergarteners spent a morning in the gallery at CMA, where the main exhibit, “Tweet,” features birds of all sorts rendered in different kinds of media—from MetroCards to found feathers to water colors.
After students learned about some of the ways birds can be represented in art and what they symbolize, they got to make construction paper totem poles. They topped their creations with their own mythical bird.
Using chalk, students drew three half faces on the left side of dark construction paper, one on top of the other. Then they folded and pressed the paper in half to transfer the chalk from one side to the other, creating three perfectly symmetrical totem heads, the top one, to be transformed into a bird.
After decorating the faces with bright colors, students refolded their papers and clipped small chunks from the open edge, creating three distinct head shapes.
They decorated and glued wings to their bird. Once attached to the repurposed arm of a hanging file, the totems could be attached to the edge of a desk and would stand upright.
When asked what they liked about this project, students answered “drawing faces,” “the wings!” and, of course, “the colors”–bright chalk that glowed on the blue paper. One student explained that he liked getting to make whatever he wanted, and a lot of it. “What I like about art is that you just create a lot of stuff,” he said.
When the glue had dried and they were lined up on the tables, the class’ totems were bold, eye-catching and totally fly.