Go On a Picnik
Last year, I began doing some collaborative projects with our art teacher. I guided the students in exploring books and how they are constructed: what does a cover look like, what’s on a title page, how do illustrations help tell the story, where do authors get ideas, etc. We then explored illustrators and how illustrators create their artwork. We focused on Chris Soenpiet who uses live models and photographs from different perspectives to help inform his painting. The Kindergarten students then used these lessons to create their own story, artwork, and book covers with the art teacher. In this series of lesson, there were times where I was the lead teacher with the art teacher assisting and times where she was the lead teacher and I was assisting. This one opportunity has inspired more collaboration between the two of us.
Soon, I will be working with fourth grade students using the photo editing website Picnik. The art teacher and her student teacher have worked with students to explore popular culture. Each student has selected an object from popular culture to draw. These drawings will be scanned into the computer and loaded into a file for students to pull from. Students will use Picnik to edit their photo in a variety of ways. Picnik offers many free styles of photo editing, but there are also premium features for a low monthly fee. Each photo edit will be saved and dropped in the art teacher’s drop box. Finally, . the edited photos will be printed and students will use many forms of their original drawing to create a collage representing an object from pop culture.
For this particular project, most of the instruction on pop culture has been done by the art teacher, and I am taking the lead on the technical aspects. I’ve enjoyed collaborating with one of our special areas teachers and have found it to be a rich area for collaboration. I know we will find many more projects to do together in the future.
Check out Picnik for yourself. How might you use this program in your own educational setting?