This two-part lesson for first graders is one of my favorites. I love the collage aspect of this project. It requires at least three 40 minute classes or 2 one-hour classes.
Materials for Background)
12" x 18" watercolor paper
Palettes of liquid watercolors (blues, yellow, green, ornage and brown)
Oil Pastels (white, green and brown)
Materials for Scarecrow:
Colorful craft paper
Assorted small buttons
raffia or yellow paper for "straw"
pencil, scissors and glue stick
The first phase involves oil pastels and watercolor paint. I prefer to use liquid watercolor for this project, rather than watercolor pans, as the results are pure, not muddy. After looking at pictures of fields and farmland, the kids are instructed to draw a few lines in oil pastel. We start with the horizon line, add a few vertical lines for the fields and wavy, horizontal lines to break the large fields up. The kids use a white oil pastel to draw the sun.
The students paint the sky blue and watch the clouds appear like magic. Green, orange, brown and yellow watercolors are used to paint their fields.
An easy way to make the scarecrow is to use templates. They're easy to make and reduce the level of frustration most kids get when trying to cut out a perfect pair of pants. I cut out simple shirts, heads and pants from cardstock. We add patches, buttons and raffia to our scarecrow and give him a big smile.
Making and assembling the scarecrow takes a little time but one time savor is to help the children tape (instead of gluing) their scarecrow to their Popsicle sticks. Of course, many children will glue it themsleves, but if you have extra adults in the class, put them to work!
(From Mrs. Ranson's 1st grade class at Foothill School: L-R Katie (top) Fiona, Karina, Lauren, and Julian)