Sunday, 9 April 2017

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

     We just finished a cool project that I wanted to share with all of you!  It comes to us from our Project Lead the Way program in our unit on structure and function. This year we coordinated with our art teacher, which was a wonderful opportunity for a true STEAM collaboration. 


Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


     To begin, the art teacher explored the process of mark making with the kindergartners and showed the children samples of various brushes. 


Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


     Some were even made of hay and natural deer hair.  They also were given a paper brush and asked to cut slits into the brushes to help them think about how different angles make different marks. 
     
     They then used these brushes to make marks and explore how the amount of paint and the features of the brush affect their art.   


Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


     Back in the classroom, we asked children to think about designing a brush that would first of all, function well, and secondly, make the kinds of marks they were interested in making. We then brainstormed a list of materials that they might use and drew design sketches.


Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


     The next day, we reviewed our designs, talked a little about the engineer design process (mostly about frustration and perseverance) and got to work.  They really enjoyed making the brushes and while a few did go for "pretty," most were intent on making a functional brush.


Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


     I noticed a big difference in the brushes they created this year! The background, built by the art teacher, was crucial to what they brought to the design process.  This taught me a lot about STEAM work and how content works together with process.  If they are not thinking about the particular object's function, then they are just making stuff!   

     The following week, the children brought their brushes to art class to test their designs.  The teacher modeled making his favorite mark, a flower-like shape. 


Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

     The children then chose their favorite mark and got to work.  They each made several marks and then selected their favorite! 



Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project
   
     When they returned to the classroom, they evaluated their designs and named one thing they might add or change if they were to redesign their brush.  They were very thoughtful about what worked and what didn't.  

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project
Find the design and evaluation pages here:

     Their work was then mounted and displayed for parents to view at our school's annual STEAM Expo.  Parents enjoyed seeing their child's work and finding out more about this project.

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


     We even invited families to "Make Their Mark" to provide an interactive component to our exhibit.

Kindergarten STEAM: The Paintbrush Project


     I truly enjoyed this project and learned a TON in working together with the art teacher! How can you coordinate with one of your special area teachers to design and carry out a project?

Thanks for stopping by!

Jackie

       


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4 comments :

  1. I love seeing the process your students went through for this project. Great pictures!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it - hopefully it was helpful to you and your work with children!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your joy and enthusiasm with the children in paint brush making!

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    Replies
    1. You are so welcome - I hope it was helpful to you!

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