We started off today’s session by talking about what we see from earth when we look up at the night sky? The children all were asked to spend some time last night looking at the night sky for homework! Sharon had also posted some lovely views of the night sky from the skylight window of her home in Belfast. The children took turns to tell Sharon about what they had seen and we had some great descriptions. A few thought they might have seen a planet as there were a few stars which shone brighter and seemed larger than the others. Erin and her dad spotted Orion the Hunter’s belt and also they saw the North Star. There was a lot of interest in the solar System. We had watched a short kid’s documentary video clip yesterday on the solar system.
Our first activity was to use charcoal and rubbers to try and recreate what they had seen in the night sky. These drawings were done using their hands and fingers to smear and smudge the charcoal on the page, then the rubbers were used to create points of light in the darkness.
The results as you can see from the photos above were really effective.
Then I gave all the children out a piece of a wax candle as Sharon wanted to explore using a variety of art medium with the kids. They were given a small piece of heavy duty paper and asked to make marks on it with their candle like the stars in the night sky. Then it was break-time and after break the children made a wash of colour over their card using a mixture of blue and black acrylic paint.
It was fun to see their reaction as their wax marks started to appear on the page. After a little bit of discussion we ascertained that the wax was actually waterproof and that was why the paint would not stick to it.
We then had an interesting discussion about a Van Gogh painting of the night sky at Arles, that Sharon had posted on the IWB. The children were drawn to the swirling patterns around the light and compared it to waves underneath the sea. There was a feeling of movement and the children tried to copy the tiny brush strokes in a circular movement in their next drawings of the planets orbiting the solar system.
The children then worked in groups to make a wax crayon drawing of the solar system which they then covered in a blue wash. There was evidence of good teamwork with both people agreeing on what format their picture would take and the results were really good.
Here are their team efforts with the wash of acrylic paint on top.
Having experimented with candle wax, wax crayons and the acrylic paint for the wash, Sharon then demonstrated how the children could paint using water soluble wax pastels so for our final activity this morning the children had opportunities to experiment with the wax pastels as a drawing and painting tool to make a picture which would become part of a collage of the solar system. The children this time just chose one aspect of the solar system to draw such as a planet or a moon or a constellation. Then we joined all the drawings/paintings together to make one large picture of Outer Space. The children completed their drawings with a wash of colour to give it the impression that the paintings were indeed one large mural, and the results were very effective.
The move to space from exploring the sky and gravity has been a very enjoyable and interesting topic for the children and we are considering a trip to our local Planetarium in Armagh to get some hands on experience from the experts, which we can then bring to the remainder of our project.