Friday Two Cents: Media Literacy Inquiry


 

This week I had the opportunity to “Captain” a class for the first time in the sense of setting the curriculum for the students, in a kindergarten class, as a teacher. Last week I followed the plans the teacher had laid out but this week I was able to plan for the week. During the first week, I was able to observe the students and I discovered an area they were interested in; superheroes. From this information I was able to create a program to help the students explore this subject while helping them in other subject areas such as media literacy, language and art.

If we are doing heroes, I though why not start with one of the first stories based on a hero. Therefore I started the week by introducing them to a picture book called Hercules. It is based on the Disney movie version. It is about 100 pages so we read only a few pages a day and I had my special bookmark to help us remember where we left off. The students loved this story and every morning they would ask when are we reading the story of Hercules.
artWC

Warm and cool colour art


I then helped them to start thinking of colours as warm and cool with an art project. They would create a sun in the sky, divide the paper by drawing two horizontal and two vertical wavy lines and then colour it with warm and cool colours (the sun warm and the sky cool).
We then explored the world of heroes and villains by using characters they were use to from the media. I told them media are things they see and hear from movies, television, radio, newspaper, magazines and the Internet. We focused on the characters from the Marvel, DC and Disney universes and they came up with a comparison chart of what makes a hero and villain. They came up with words such as good, happy, helpful, smiling and kind for the heroes and bad, evil, scary, fights, steals for the villains. I also asked them if they noticed the colour of the outfits each group wore. They came up with light or bright colours for heroes and dark colours for villains.

Media Anchor Chart

We than had group activities where they would create their own superhero. One day it was a male hero, on the second it was a female. We noticed that there were more male/boy characters then female/girl. I then had them talk amongst themselves to come up with a few female character names. They came up with a few and we wrote them on post-it notes and placed it on the chart.
We also explored the idea of violence in cartoons. I showed them the scene of Charlie Brown trying to kick the football but Lucy moves it at the last-minute and Charlie goes flying. It may look funny but I asked, ‘How to you think Charlie feels?’ I also showed them a scene from Peter Pan when Peter and Wendy meet the mermaids. They said that the mermaids look like the heroes but after they saw the video they said that they were mean for picking on Wendy, pulling her hair and getting her wet while Pan just laughed. Scenes like that may look innocent but I asked how do you think Wendy feels. They said the mermaids were bullying her and Peter should not have laughed. They were very aware and we had a little discussion about it.

The final project for the inquiry was to create their own hero or villain. I gave them a choice of a male or female character outline to create their own character. I reminded them about the colours they should use for their character to make them look like a hero or villain. The results were amazing to see.
We finished the media literacy inquiry with the final project but the students wanted to do more. I told them that I will have the chart up for them and we can use the iPads to help them explore more during the last week of school. We also finished the story of Hercules and as a bonus I would bring in the DVD of Disney’s Hercules for everyone to watch. They were all excited and could not wait for next week.
Next week is the last week of school and the students are engaged and excited to learn more. As a teacher and can’t think of a better compliment they could give me.

 

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Varcher


As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters had to have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the past few weeks I posted the student’s original character, the villains and my version that I gave to them. Now its time for the heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 02 – Varcher

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with, yet this student knew what they wanted. This was the first archer character I had seen from any student. I was not sure if he wanted to recreate the Hawk Eye character from The Avengers but he said no he wanted to create something with a bow and arrow.

I started his character similar to an assassin / Robin Hood character. I gave him a large trench coat and his clothes were coloured in an earth tone. His bow was very traditional made of wood or bone. I then finished it off with wavy hair.

I showed the student his character and he was happy with it and he mentioned that it looked very similar to Robin Hood. I asked if that was ok, he said yes that was what he wanted. I hope you enjoy the second hero character from Heroes VS. Villains – Varcher.

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Shadow


 

As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters had to have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the past few weeks I posted the student’s original character, the villains and my version that I gave to them. Now its time for the heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 01 – Shadow

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with, yet I was not sure where this student got their idea. I asked and I cot the impression that his character was very similar to a ninja. Therefore I created a lean figure that looked stealthy ready to transform into any form. I used the same colour theme as the student for that ninja look.

I showed the student his character and he was happy with it. I hope you enjoy the first hero character from Heroes VS. Villains – Shadow.

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Friday Two Cents: Ancient Greece Inspired


I recently went to see the newest super hero movie Wonder Woman. Apart from the fact that I loved the movie and character, I love the fact that the comic book character was inspired by the myths of ancient Greece. After watching the movie I felt inspired to research some aspects of the character and then draw the Amazonian Princess.

Wonder Woman was created in 1941 by a psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston. He was a great believer of the educational value of comics and wanted to create a superhero character that would use compassion over violence. The original artist was Harry George Peter. Together they created a character that has been a great inspiration to millions of girls and women.

I for one love the character and when you add the ancient Greek mythology to the mix, I am hooked. Many aspects of the character come from Greek mythology.   She is an Amazon Princess, mentioned in such tales as Homer’s Iliad. The comic book story lines mention the Greek gods and their background story of how they  created the Amazons. As well her own creation story involved the Greek gods, not to mention the fact that her primary advisory is Ares, the god of war.

You add all these together and it is no wonder I am drawn to Wonder Woman. I hope you enjoy my Ancient Greek inspired drawing of Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman

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Comic Strips: The Beauty Of Their Dreams


 

The latest publication of the newsletter has been sent out and with it the last comic strip of 2016-17 ‘The Craziest Things’ along with it. The June comic strip is a culmination of the year’s drawings of the students in the graduating class at my school. Every month I create a comic strip with the students in the grade 5s in a situation that I have observed them doing. I sometimes take a little creative license but in many instances, what you see is what happened.

But like I said, the June comic is a culmination of the year and these children will be graduating to a new school to begin the daunting task of fitting into middle school. Yet for the last comic of the school year I like to create a scene with a farewell message or words of wisdom to the graduating class. You can see a few of the previous years in the comic section on my blog. One year the scene was a class photo, one was about different people you meet in your life and another was about shooting for the stars.
This year I went for the theme of the beauty in their dreams. Dreams are what drive many people; from the dream of getting that dream job to a family. Dreams help inspire and drive many people to do their best and never give up. I thought of an endless road that can allow your mind to wander. To help you dream of the endless possibilities one could experience. Therefore I placed the students on that road and wrote …

 

The future belongs to those who believe

in the beauty of their dreams.

Good Luck Class of 2017!

 

A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. The future is for those who can believe in their dreams.

I hope you enjoy The Craziest Things: The Beauty Of Their Dreams.

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Elelctra


 

As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters had to have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the next few weeks I will post the student’s original character and my version that I gave to them.

Villain 08 – Elelctra

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with, yet this student knew that she wanted to create something very unique. She wanted to make a character with wings but different then what we did in the class and from what the other students did.   I asked her, “What other wings could you use to fly?” and I had her look through my character guide of the Marvel universe characters.

She finally decided on bat like wings, something along the lines of a vampire. I showed her a few examples and she them came up with the style she liked. In the end her character looked very much like a winged vampire, with bat wings and dark hair.

I decided to draw the character in an action stance such as leaping up to take flight. I wanted to show her wings in that type of pose. I also wanted to show the long black hair she had drawn. The dress was simply modeled after the dress she had drawn.

The student handed in the character about a week early; therefore I had time to draw my version in my sketchbook while the class was still underway. During the next class she asked to see something in my book and she saw the character.   She asked me if this was her character but she had a smile from ear to ear when she did. When I said yes, I did not know how but the smile grew larger. She loved it and wanted it right away. I said I would give her a copy when everyone handed in their character, then I would give everyone their character and a group image at the same time. She kept asking for the copy every class after that to show everyone her character to the other students. You could see the pride in her eyes every time show showed it to her friends. I hope you too enjoy the eighth character from Heroes VS. Villains – Elelctra.

 

Comic Strips: Just A Bit … Eccentric


This month’s newsletter has been sent out and with it the latest installment of The Craziest Things.

If you live in the Ontario, Québec or the east coast if Canada you just had a record amount of rainfall this past couple of weeks. Here in Toronto we had a month’s amount of rain in the city fall in just 3 days. Many of the rivers and local streams are all running high and even the lake levels are the highest they have been. With all this I was inspired to create a comic with a little funny joke. The funny thing is that the student acting a bit … eccentric, I can see them actually doing this.

I hope you enjoy the latest installment of, The Craziest Things; Just A Bit … Eccentric.

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