I love outer space. So, when I found this project in the database for my county, I was excited to teach it to 5th grade. Our last project was based on street art so I thought I would tie that theme in and show the kids this video: http://viewpure.com/7pYO7CVbdhs. This type of art is very cool and I have seen it ‘performed’ live several times in downtown Atlanta by various street artists.
Week one was spent creating the background for our spacescapes by using chalk pastels and watered down white tempera paint. Students also used different lids, tubes, and cups to trace their circles.
They splattered white paint to create stars and noticed that some of the splatters looked like constellations. Students had the option to create planets from out solar system or their own made up planets. They debated what color Pluto should be and if Neptune is more blue or green. This was a great cross-curricular connection to science.
During week 2, we talked about VALUE, TINT, AND SHADE. Students contemplated the way that planets have one side that is lighter (facing the sun) and one side that is darker (turned away from the sun). I showed them how to achieve a 3-D effect by adding white and black to their colors to make their circles look like spheres. The students enjoyed combining different colors of oil pastels to create both realistic planets like Earth and made up planets like “puke planet”
After creating 5 planets, students cut them out and glues them to the background. They had the option to add rings, shooting stars, and even aliens! Students even added black holes, galaxies, and wormholes.