Art, for me, has always been a way to relax and unwind, but did you know that it also can help with reading and be a practice in perception?
According to Clara Richmond in her web article called, How Art Education Can Help Students Improve Reading Comprehension, there are plenty of “professionals that take art classes in higher education to broaden their understanding of things, even if they are not so-called ‘artists.’ The example she gave was of a chief surgeon who in addition to his medical degrees, also has an art degree. He credits art education as ‘training in observation,’ allowing him to see and be aware of things he might otherwise not be.”
We will be creating a sculpture of sorts, little fish swimming among the sea grass in an “aquarium.”
This is a thorough art project for kids because it includes: painting, coloring, drawing, and cutting skills. And it provides a perfect pet, beautiful to look at, but requiring very little care!
- 2 white sheets of card stock for the grass and the fish
- Black marker (or other dark color)
- Print out of grass and fish
- Clear carton from 1 lb. strawberries (washed out and stickers removed)
- Watercolors or other paints (or crayons, markers, colored pencils)
- Paintbrush (rounded for this project)
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- Book: What’s It Like to Be a Fish? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Wendy Pfeffer
- Video for preschool age and early elementary: * FISH * | Animals For Kids | All Things Animal TV
- Video for elementary age: Fish | Educational Video for Kids
- Lesson Plan: Fish in an Aquarium
Step 1: Print out the fish and grass on card stock.
Copies are provided at the bottom of the lesson. You should be able to print the fish on both sides of one sheet to get them on the front and back of the card stock.
Step 2: Draw more grass and fish.
Start at the dots and draw more grass like the ones at the top. Be careful to stay inside the box and make sure you stop at the dot, because a tab is necessary to get the grass to stand up.
Draw any kind of fish inside the boxes so they will fit in the container. To get the fish on the other side, tape the sheet to the window and trace the design. It is helpful to use a pencil and lightly draw the fish and then go over the pencil with a marker to outline the fish.
TIP: Make sure when you draw the fish that the body and tail do not meet at a point. Otherwise, the tail might fall off when you cut it out.
Step 3: Paint the grass.
Use a variety of light and dark green by adding more water. Also we painted from the bottom to the top, making it look like sea grass. Notice there is no need to stay within the lines because we will cut off all the excess.
Step 4: Cut out the grass.
Carefully cut out the grass so that you have 6 different groups. BE CAREFUL to KEEP the TABS at the BOTTOM OF THE GRASS on each side.
Scissor tip: Hold the scissors steady, cut slowly, and TURN YOUR PAPER, not the scissors.
Step 5: Tape the grass tabs to the outside of the container.
Open the strawberry container after it is cleaned, dry, and the labels are removed. Stand up the grass and let the tabs come out of each slit at the bottom, bend the tab, and tape each one with a small piece clear tape to the outside of the container.
Step 6: Color the fish.
Use markers, paints, crayons, or colored pencils to color all the fish on both sides. You can make them the same on both sides or change the colors on each side.
Step 7: Cut the fish out.
Cut the fish out neatly.
Step 8: Arrange the fish among the grass and close the lid!
Rearrange them or add more!
Now you have the perfect pet!
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Feel free to send me pictures!