Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Drawing – Fishbowls

The children draw large fishbowls, then fill them with fish and glue on tissue paper “water.” For ages 3 to 6. Plan 1 to 2 sessions.

KEY IDEAS
  • Working with contour lines
  • Looking at shapes and patterns
  • Drawing large and filling the paper
LANGUAGE
contour lines, shapes, patterns

YOU WILL NEED
  • Black crayons or permanent markers (non-toxic and odorless)
  • White drawing paper (approximately 10 x 14 inches)
  • Very light blue tissue paper
  • White glue thinned with water
  • Small containers for glue (one for every two children)
  • Inexpensive ½- to 1-inch-sized brushes for gluing
  • Newspaper to cover tables while gluing
  • Pictures of fish and/or a classroom aquarium
  • A large fishbowl
THE PROJECT
Preparation
  • Add small amounts of water to the glue until it can be spread easily with a brush. Put the glue into containers, planning one for every two children.
  • Tear the tissue paper into approximately 1- to 2-inch pieces.
  • Collect pictures of fish.
  • Set out black markers or crayons and white paper. 
  • Set out newspapers and fishbowl.
How to Begin
Drawing the fishbowl
  • Explain to the children that they will be drawing large fishbowls and then filling them with fish. Instead of drawing the water for the fish, they will be gluing on blue tissue paper.  
  • Hold up a fishbowl and trace your finger around the outside edge of the bowl. Tell the children that the line around the edge of the bowl is called the contour line. Point out how the contour line changes at the top of the bowl for the opening, and at the bottom of the bowl where it sits flat on the table.
  • Explain to the children that they should use their whole paper to draw very large fishbowls.
  • Have the children use black markers or crayons to draw their fishbowls. If using crayons, encourage the children to press hard.
Drawing the fish
  • Show the children the pictures of fish. Discuss the parts that fish have in common, such as their bodies, fins, tails, scales, and eyes. Looking at a variety of fish, discuss the different shapes of these parts, and the many patterns on the fish.
  • Have the children fill their fishbowls with fish. 
Applying the tissue paper “water”
  • Show the children how to apply the tissue paper “water” by brushing glue onto a small area of the paper. Lay a piece of the tissue paper on top of the wet area. Gently apply glue over the top of the tissue paper, making sure the entire piece is moistened, including the edges. Be careful not to use so much glue that it puddles on the paper. Repeat this process for each piece of tissue paper added.
  • Tell the children that it's important to put only a single layer of tissue over the fish, with the exception of overlapping the edges of the paper. Since the tissue loses some of its transparency as it dries, the fish will disappear if too many layers are applied.
  • Explain that since fish live in water, each fish should have some tissue paper "water" on it.
  • Cover the work area with newspaper and distribute the brushes, containers of glue, and the torn pieces of tissue paper.
  • Have the children cover their fish with the tissue paper “water.”
NOTES
  • This is a terrific project to do after a trip to an aquarium.
  • It’s important to test that the color of tissue paper is light enough to allow the drawings to show through after it dries.
  • If black crayons are used, encourage the children to press hard, and be sure they understand that too many layers of tissue paper will make their fish disappear.
  • Expect a great variety in the sizes and shapes of the drawn fishbowls. For example, the same fishbowl was used in each of the artworks shown in this lesson.
  • For a fun display, cut out the fishbowls and mount them on construction paper cut slightly larger than the fishbowl. Display them along a wall, directly over a shelf.
LET’S TALK ABOUT OUR WORK
  • Discuss the contour line of each drawn fishbowl.
  • Are the fishbowls large and filled with fish?
  • Discuss the many different shapes and patterns of the fish in the fishbowls.
What the children might say...
  • My fishbowl is small, but I only want little fish in it.
  • I’m going to draw some fish food, too.
  • My fish lives alone, so I don’t need to draw any more.
  • I drew water with my black marker and now I lost my fish.
  • I drew a lot of fish. Do I need to cover them all with tissue paper?
  • I've used up all my tissue paper, but I've only covered one fish!
  • My tissue paper keeps sticking up.
  • My paper is swimming in glue.
What you might say...
  • If your fishbowl is too small, you won’t have enough room to draw little fish.
  • It’s a good idea to fill your bowl with fish, and if there is time, you can add fish food.
  • Since we want to fill the bowls with fish, maybe you could draw one of several different kinds of fish.
  • Only use the marker to draw your fish. If you forgot, perhaps there is still room in your fishbowl to add more fish peeking through.
  • Since fish live in water, it's a good idea to put some tissue paper "water" on each of your fish.
  • Remember to put a single layer of tissue paper on each fish, overlapping only the edges. I have more tissue paper, if you need to try again.
  • When brushing on your glue, be sure to go over all the edges of the tissue paper.
  • Only use enough glue to hold the tissue paper flat on your paper. If your glue puddles, brush it over to another section of your paper, and use it to apply the next piece of tissue paper.
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