Adam, Brooke, Chrissy, and Tyler

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Moon Phases Art Lesson

I am taking an e-course from Patty from Deep Space Sparkle. She is a public school art teacher in Goleta, California.  She has so many fabulous ways to integrate art into your curriculum and offers many wonderful lesson plans on TeachersPayTeachers.  I have been learning a TON and part of my homework is to work with some of the art supplies she suggests using in a classroom.  However, we have to think of ways it would work with our curriculum and create a step-by-step lesson.  I loved the idea of using acrylic paint but at the same time had my doubts since it stains clothing.  Still, I love how "professional" it looks and I found a great online store to order small canvas for the classroom: Blick art supplies.  These would be wonderful for parent gifts : )

So, when I was thinking of our curriculum, my mind immediately went to our science units.  One of my favorite units to teach is our Sun and Moon unit.  The kids just love learning about outer space!  (Granted, I wanted to paint lighthouses and palm trees but that doesn't exactly go along with our standards!!)  One of the Sun and Moon standards is learning the phases of the moon.  How cool would our hallway look with hand painted phases of the moon using acrylic and canvas!!!  So, that's what I decided on...the moon.  Poor Brooke was my guinea pig for the project but I was quite excited when she said, "Oh my gosh mommy, this is SO cool and fun!"  And since she was a first grader last year, and because I'm a first grade teacher, that's all I needed to hear to know that this would work!

MOON PHASES- First Grade
Objectives: TSW identify the phases of the moon 
TSW create tints by blending acrylic colors with white
TSW create shades by blending acrylic colors with black
TSW create highlights using different color acrylic
Here is a step by step tutorial, with photos, on creating acrylic moon phases on canvas:
(Obviously I would start by reviewing the moon phases but this it just the "art part" of the lesson.)


Phases of the Moon (crescent, half moon, full moon)



Large and small paint brushes

Acrylic paint: black, white, blue, and yellow
Straws, toilet paper rolls, marker tops (anything that will create circle rings to represent craters)

Step 1:  Have the children draw a large circle in the middle of their canvas with a pencil.  Have the children decide on which phase of the moon they want to paint.  If they decide to paint a full moon then they will skip step 4 of the following steps.  If they decide on any of the other phases, have them draw the line needed in their moon:
 Step 2: Have the children paint the background black being careful not to paint inside of their pencil line:
Step 3:  have the children mix black, white, and blue to create a tinted bluish/grey color.  Have the children paint the part of the moon that the sun would be shining on.  Once they are finished, have them go back over the paint with pure white and/or blue to create highlights:

Step 4:  Have the children mix more black acrylic paint into their current moon color to create a darker shade of bluish grey.  This will represent the side of the moon that is facing away from the sun without blending into the background too much.

Step 5:  Have the  children create craters, with blue/white acrylic paint, using a straw, toilet paper roll, marker top, etc.  


Finally, have the children create stars using the opposite end of a paint brush and yellow/white acrylic paint.  Brooke even took it further and used a small, dry paintbrush to paint crossed in her yellow dots to make them more realistic!!
Here is the finished project.  Brooke was loving it so much she wouldn't stop for me to take a picture so this is my completed moon phase...crescent moon:

The finished moons would be great to use for a "cycle of the moon" game.  You could have the children put them in order.  I would definitely make sure all of the phases of the moon were being created.  You may need to assign each child a phase.  At first, I had Brooke draw her phase after she painted the black background.  She ended up with black paint all over her hands.  I would definitely have the children do this step, drawing the phase, during the first step.  If a child chooses or is assigned the full moon, then he/she would skip step 4.  You would also need to model for the children how to mix paint and how to create tints (add white) and shades (add black). 

I told you how much I really wanted to paint palm trees so I had to share my watercolor and acrylic palm tree.  This could be a great parent gift!

 I was also thinking of lighthouses which could go along with Our Community.  They could paint the Sullivan's Island Lighthouse!!  Here is a picture I painted using acrylic on canvas of the St. Joseph lighthouse in Michigan. 

 I will be creating 3 more step-by-step lessons in the coming weeks so stay tuned!



Patty Palmer said...

You are amazing! This is a great lesson! I love your "voice" too. Congrats on your 1st completed homework assignment!

Mrs. Jan's Artsy Kids said...

Hi Chrissy. Great lesson. I wanted to share with you a book that would go great with this lesson-especially for first graders. It's called "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me" by Eric Carle. I used it with my third graders this year to review moon phases. They really enjoyed it. Thanks for the lesson ideas. Jan

Kellie said...

What a great idea. Love the science aspect. And your additional artwork is beautiful!!