Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Second Grade: Agates

Second graders just learned about rocks in their classroom, including agates. I was asked to incorporate a rock lesson into my class and I chose agates because first- they're stunning, and painting all those skinny layers (of liquid deposits, I learned) encourages focus and sensitivity with the brush.  I first read them the gorgeous book, A Rock is Lively, and then students drew an organic shape on their watercolor paper and another organic shape inside for their crystal. They chose multiple liquid watercolors and started off by painting around the outer inside edge of their agate. They completed one lap with one color before switching to a different color and painted right underneath the first line and so forth. I told the students to be cautious about using too much water because the colors could bleed, which is a beautiful effect, but too much and the layers get all mixed up. Still looks beautiful though! I had students stop when they reached their crystal so the paint could dry before moving on. For the next class, students painted inside their crystal and immediately lay saran wrap on top and scrunched it to get that jagged crystallized effect. Students can also paint another layer of glitter paint so it sparkles like crystals, but it requires another drying time. 

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