Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chameleons ARE Cool!

Inspiration for this lesson comes from  Deep Space Nine's Chameleon lesson.

We started Sm'Arties lesson this week in a reading circle.  Chameleons are Cool, by Martin Jenkins, has colorful, happy illustrations by Sue Shields.  I read this to the Sm'Arties, pointing out the pictures. Lest they think the colors in the pictures were exaggerated, I showed them Chameleon, Chameleon, by Joy Cowley with photographs by Nic Bishop. 

We drew the chameleons in pencil first.   I gave the children templates of the chameleon body to help with the step of sizing him big enough on the page, and to give us equal starting points.  Then we added the head features, including the characteristic down-turned mouth, the curling tail, feet, and ridges.  Limbs to hang onto completed our pictures, which, in spite of starting the same, were unique. 

We left the moms inside tracing our pictures with Sharpies (this also speeds things up).  Outside in the beautiful central Florida sunshine, we painted on little squares of paper to demonstrate wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, salt sprinkle, and alcohol spray techniques.  Then we tried to catch papers as they blew away.

It was time to paint chameleons.  On the advice of the wonderful art teachers who post such beautiful lessons, I bought some watercolor tubes - I love them!  This is much easier than trying to liquefy the cakes of watercolor. 

 Another windy gust!  Catch everything!

We used wet-on-wet technique for the stripes, and wet-on-dry for the little stripes on the eyes.  The children got to order the special effects:  "I'll have alcohol spray and red paint splatters,"  or, ""I want alcohol sprinkle and salt sprinkle." 

 I took Ms. Patty's advice advice to keep the background simple, and just had the children add smeary backgrounds.

Here are some really cool chameleons.

1 comment:

  1. Really fun project. I love how no 2 chameleon look the same. The kids are so creative. It was great fun for them to experiment with the different water color techniques. And what a gorgeous day to be outdoors!