This year I am attempting to set up a framework where art history is touched on in every grade level and when the librarian at my school showed me this book, I was very excited to use it. The second graders loved reading it with me! This book opened the door to them seeing how two artists created their work so differently.
After reading the book the first day, the students looked at a book about Picasso and saw some of his portraiture. They worked on drawings using both a forward look and the profile of a face and drew and colored (if they had time). I helped them by pointing how how strange Picasso chose to draw and had them practice saying, "Weird is GOOD!" so that they wouldn't get hung up on 'right and wrong' or perfection. One of the things I had experienced with these second graders is the dreaded "Eraser Addiction" that wastes all 40 minutes of my classtime. The drawings were pretty great (as you'll see below).
The next class we spent some time looking at a Matisse book and talked about how he liked to use big shapes and how his shapes were similar but not all exactly the same. I focused again on having things not be 'perfect.' Also, I had them use a new medium, oil pastels. They were able to color over other colors with ease, which made it easier for those who had trouble staying in the lines. The students were able to create art without feeling nervous of making mistakes.
In the final class of the unit, the students were asked to "Wrap It Up." A few of them took that literally and as they made their comic strips about what we did as a class, they used 'wrap it up' day represented by presents. I kind of love these kids. The acrostic poems were a bit trickier because of their lack of spelling knowledge and their desire to input random words that happen to start with the letter. So it ended up being a poetry lesson as well.