I promise fourth grade is not being neglected- they are just one of the few grades that actually had a unit of study going on for more than two or three weeks. I introduced them to the element of value over a month ago and drilled the concepts of tints and shades into their smart little brains over and over. I love doing these value scales below. I gave them some creative options, rather than just filling in the boxes. Instead, they used patterns such as bubbles that got smaller and smaller or diagonal lines that got closer closer and closer together. Colored pencils worked well for this because you can get them really sharp for intricate details. Lastly, they filled in the letters of "VALUE" with actual shading.
The next class period, I went over how to draw three of the most basic forms in drawing- the cube/rectangular prism, the cone, and the sphere. (I'll be adding cylinders next year!!) They were required to draw four sets of these three forms, adding values/shading to each with a different kind of shading. If I remember correctly, we did hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, and blending. They did all of this with construction paper crayons on a neutral construction paper I did it again myself on a darker paper, and liked the results a lot more. The darker paper helps the crayons pop more.
To wrap up or unit on value, they did a final piece that gave them practice with practical use of tints and shades. I talked them about how when you look at a landscape such as mountains, the colors get hazier the further away from you they are. So, we drew a few sets of mountains doing just that. We began with purple acrylic for the foreground. Next, we made our first tint by adding a little bit of white. Last, we used mostly white with a touch of purple for the background mountains.
We let those dry overnight before going back over them with oil pastels. They blended oranges and yellows to create a beautiful sunset sky above the mountain ranges.
To further emphasize the concept of foreground, we used black oil pastels to draw the silhouettes of different plant life. I emphasized filling them in dark and using different sizes to show their spatial relationships.
I like the cacti because they were pretty easy for them to draw and stayed recognizable. For the trees, I reviewed "V" trees, but I almost think this one turned out too Halloweeny. Maybe its the bat flying around in the sky???
I loved how simple these were, yet they were packed full of teachable moments!