Friday, September 28, 2007

Caricature Idol

Last spring, when American Idol frenzy was at its peak, I did a unit on caricature with my fifth grade classes. They enjoyed choosing to draw one of the contestants in the Top Ten that was either one of their favorites or one they really wanted to see go. While I did this unit, I did my own drawings of each of the Top Twelve. Some were not more than quick sketches, but these are the ones that turned out best and that I spent a little more time on.

The kids also wrote a paragraph about who they wanted to win and why, or who they thought should be voted off or why. They really got excited about writing about this hugely popular show. I think if I do it next year, I'll even design a rubric. They'll be able to earn a 2, a 3, or a 4.

2= Fair. Paula loves it!
3= Good. Randy thought it needed some work, but you're still one of his dogs.
4= Great. Even Simon thinks it's awesome!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Challenge #5: Draw an Instructional Comic

Our challenge this week at 52 Comic Challenges is to draw an instructional comic.

I ask each of my students to bring in an old shirt from home to use as a paint smock when they come to art class. It's just one old shirt that they can keep in their home room locker and bring each time. You'd be amazed at how few bring them in, even after sending notes home, etc. Yet I still get notes from parents who are upset about paint on their children's clothing!

I made this instructional comic to send home with my students to remind them to bring a smock. Hopefully it's a fun way to get their attention and help them remember. We'll see if it works!

The Mighty Andar -- Taking Care of Business

Consider this entry "extra credit" for Challenge #3 of 52 Challenges, "Draw a Song".

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Draw a Song - Updated!

Now you can read a comic with musical accompaniment!

*(Note: I've changed this entry, so that you can listen to the song while reading the comic. The clip is from a concert, so there's about two minutes of instrumental before you get to the song. You may want to start the video about two minutes in.)

The art of music often inspired other artistic endeavors. What happens when we mix comics and music?
At 52 Comics Challenges our assignment this week was to "Draw a Song". We were to pick a song that has lyrics and a strong visual motif and illustrate a portion of it in a 1-2 page comic.

Well, I think I chose something a little too ambitious to try to complete during the first week of school! I've always loved the music of Mark Knopfler, former front man for Dire Straits. The lyrics of many of his songs could stand alone as poems. I chose his song "Cannibals". To me it's always been a song about a father and his son's love for each other, and the things we sometimes say to kids just to get them to go to sleep. You'll notice I had to add another page! -- and that I had to move a couple of lines in the song around.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Challenge #4: Draw a Biography

This week's challenge at 52 Comic Challenges was to draw a biography in comic strip form. I have about six pages plotted out, but only one page completed. As I finish more pages, I'll update this blog post on the Life of Monet.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

T.A.I.L.S. Comics #42: "Let's Get Truckin'!"

I try to make my T.A.I.L.S. comics flow together in multi-part stories. This isn't always easy since the themes are dictated to me. For instance, the basketball issue was followed by the "trucks" issue. Then will come "Caves & Caverns" followed by "Cars". How will I do it? Stay tuned to find out!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Comics in the Classroom

I got a call from someone who saw my website Tuesday -- from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockridge, Massachusetts! It's come to their attention that I've done some workshops on the use of comics to teach in elementary schools. They've invited me to present at their Educator's Symposium in January. This is in conjunction with an exhibit they're having on the Art of the Graphic Novel. My presentation will probably be on how I use comics in my classes to integrate art with writing and reading and the use of the literary devices of hyperbole, alliteration and onomatopoeia.

This is a huge thrill for me. I've always wanted to see this Museum, and this particular exhibit sounds like it's right up my alley.

In a similar vein, I'll be presenting on this topic at the National Conference of Teachers of English in New York City in November.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Origin of Andar -- In Living Color

Dan surprised me one day when I looked at the computer and saw he had colored this. I think it looks nice with color added.