Magazine article School Arts

Painting Patriotic Pride

Magazine article School Arts

Painting Patriotic Pride

Article excerpt

Patriotism is defined as the love and loyal support of one's country. My class discussed patriotism and how it can build a country's morale. Since we were all United States citizens, we discussed which symbols made us immediately think of our country--the flag, the bald eagle, soldiers fighting, the Statue of Liberty, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Uncle Sam, and just the colors red, white, and blue,

"If you had to do a painting showing patriotism to your country using the U.S. flag with its wonderful red, white, and blue colors, how would you do this?" I asked.

Some students said they'd paint a flag on top of a building, at a cemetery, or on a town square.

"What about thinking more abstractly?" I asked.

After I explained, students started naming things like hot dogs, apple pie, and red, white, and blue ice cream.

"Your task for this project will require lots of decision making. You need to formulate an idea that conveys patriotism using ordinary subject matter, incorporating the use of the U.S. flag. You can draw your idea on scrap paper to get it formulated, and then show it to me."

These fifth graders really took off on this idea. After they had done their initial sketch, we were ready to deal with the design concept a little more thoroughly. Each student had to incorporate a theme and an arrangement of detail and form, so the design would be personal, not just a replica of the flag.

Next, I handed out 11 x 14" (28 x 36 cm) white paper and asked students to try filling the paper with the design they had chosen as large as possible. Stretching, turning, and rotating the design in space gave new looks to somewhat ordinary items such as glue bottles or slices of pizza. Then, they sketched in shapes representing the American flag.

With the sketches completed, students decided how to colorize them using crayons and tempera paints, Most students chose to use crayons for the subject matter--slice of pizza, airplane, snowman, etc. …

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