4th Grade: Becoming Art Critics

The fourth graders chose an art piece that captured their hearts and minds.  They were asked to research the artist behind the piece, the history of the piece itself, and the art style of the piece.  The kids also had to use the elements of art to critique their chosen piece.  Below are the kids Thinglinks.  Enjoy their work.  They used Chatterkids, PicCollage, Adobe Voice, Google Slides, and Thinglink to create their finished projects.

4th Grade: Perspectives

In 4th grade we continued our study of art.  We examined a piece by Vermeer called The Music Lesson and took notes based on the Elements of Art, that we researched a couple of weeks ago.  It was fascinating for the kids (and me) to see how deliberate Vermeer was in creating this piece.  We also started researching the different art movements, or isms.  We have briefly covered cubism, pointillism, and realism.  We will finish up our research next week in preparation for a project the kids are going to do on a particular art piece.

Last week the fourth graders puzzled through a Quote Quizzler by DaVinci, “All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.”  The kids uncovered the quote and then thought about what it means.  We then read a wonderful poem, “The Blindmen and the Elephant.” The kids read the poem once looking for unknown words.  We discussed these words as a group.  The kids read the poem a second time, making note of comments they wanted to make, questions they had, and connections they found.  We met in a Socratic Dialogue and had a wonderful discussion on the deeper meaning of the poem.  

This week the 4th graders created a plan for writing their own “Blindmen” stories.  They hopped onto their Google Accounts to get started.  I loved all of the ideas that they had, so be on the look out for some great stories next week.

4th Grade: Vermeer

I have mentioned that in 4th grade we are working on Mysteries and Masterpieces, so a great way to jump start our thinking and see patterns between the two is through Chasing Vermeer.  This week the 4th graders had a chance to discover that Vermeer was a real person, a real artist.  I used Google Classroom to share two biographical links about the artist.  The kids had to read both links and take notes using the Depth and Complexity icons.  After researching the artist the kids opened a Google Slides presentation and looked at his art.  They took note of patterns they saw.  They then opened a Google Draw lesson I assigned through Classroom and they record the patterns and drew a simple image that reflected the patterns they saw in Vermeer’s work.  Not all of the kids are finished, but below are a few that were turned in via Google Classroom.

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4th Grade: Guernica Continued

We had early dismissal today, so our time was limited, but still productive. We looked again at Guernica by Picasso.  We looked at the small flower near the bottom and discussed how that could symbolize hope or rebirth in the face of destruction, or as Molly says, “There is hope in every dire situation.”

The students shared what caused them to feel true outrage.  They considered how they could represent growth and renewal in a Guernica-like art piece.  Each student sketched out a plan and then started to create.  It is interesting to see their varied perspectives.

4th Grade: Mystery

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science.  


In 4th grade we focus on developing our gifts and talents and to understand how these gifts can impact and give meaning to our future.  We do this through a study of mysteries and masterpieces, so what better quote is there to start off our year than the one above.  Einstein’s quote will weave it’s way throughout everything we do this year.

Last week we brainstormed everything that came to mind when we thought of the word MYSTERY using Padlet.  It was exciting for the kids to see the fluency of ideas and how they could be organized in so many different categories.

This week, the 4th graders broke into groups to think more about Mystery.  They researched the definition, created a symbol to represent mystery, researched examples of mysteries in the world, etc.  Next week they will create a finished project that shares what they have learned.

We have also begun our first novel, Chasing Vermeer.  This is an excellent way to connect both art and mystery into our class.  The 4th graders participated in a quote quizzler, “We all know that are is not truth.  Art is a lie that makes us realize truth; at least the truth that is given us to understand.’ by Picasso.  We discussed what we thought this might mean and most of the kids agreed that it is all about perspective and the way that we see things through different eyes. It connected beautifully to Chasing Vermeer.  The kids also found a way to connect it back to our initial quote by Einstein.

We have had a busy couple of weeks in 4th Grade GT.  I have loved working with these amazing kids and look forward to all the learning and discovering we do throughout the year.

4th Grade: Art Styles

In 4th grade we studied the idea of being a master at something, developing our gifts and talents.  We looked at the elements of art and then studied the different Isms in preparation for our visit to the McNay where we would see true masters at work.  The 4th graders were given different art pieces that they had to research.  They had to learn about the artist behind the piece, as well as the art itself.  The kids also had to act as an art critic and examine the piece with the elements of art in mind.  Here are their Thinglinks on their art.  Just hover over the picture and click on the different buttons to enjoy their work.

Art Styles by 4th Grade

In 4th grade we have been investigating various art styles.  The fourth graders chose an art style that they were interested to research.  They created a presentation showcasing their information.  After studying their style, each student was given a camera and asked to take one photograph around school.  Once I printed the pictures the kids cut their picture in half.  They glued one half to a piece of paper.  Then they recreated the other half of the photograph using the art style that they researched.  It was neat to see the kids at work.

Art Styles on PhotoPeach















Nick H.

Fingerprint Fun

In 4th grade we have been learning about Mysteries and what better mystery is there, than the mystery of who we are.  We jumped into this discussion through our study of fingerprints.  We learned that every fingerprint is unique, with different twists and turns, just as each one of us is unique.  We bring different gifts and talents to the world.  The students explored their fingerprints and then created an abstract piece of art based on one of their prints.  The 4th graders then wrote a poem showcasing how they are a fingerprint.  Enjoy their work below.

Thank You, Mr. Horch

On Tuesday I was able to surprise my 5th graders with a wonderful gift, hand crafted stained glass angels created by my wonderful grandfather in law.  He is an incredibly talented man.  I am in awe of his many talents.  At the age of 91 (92 in February) he has the most incredible yard you have ever seen.  One that he maintains on his own.  He also has also surprised so many people, friends, family and strangers alike, with his stained glass works of art.  He is someone we could all learn from.  I am blessed to have him in my life.

It was thrilling to be able to share his talents with my fifth graders.  It was a gift to see the excitement on their faces, as well as the awe when they found that a person created each one of the angels.

I have had the pleasure of working with many of these kids for 5 years.  Whether I have had them for 1 or 5 years, they all mean so much to me.  I am lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them, as I am with all my precious students.

Have a happy holidays!  Enjoy the break and the gift of time with family.  I look forward to seeing the kids in January 2013!


Mrs. Germadnik

Fingerprints: Part 1

Last week we had the opportunity to learn about fingerprints and how they are unique to each individual, another reminder that our differences are to be celebrated and used to our advantage.  The fourth graders researched the different types of fingerprints and their subcategories.  After their research it was time to put their new knowledge to the test by studying our own fingerprints.  Each student gathered their 10 fingerprints and used a jewelers loupe to study their prints in more detail.

This week the kids chose the fingerprint that they found the most interesting and put it on a balloon.  They blew the balloon up, which allowed them to see a blown up version of their print.  They referenced their balloon as they began creating an artistic interpretation of their fingerprint.  The pictures below show them in action.  I am excited to see their finished products.