Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Learning Our Lines with Piet Mondrian in Kindergarten

                                                          (an image of Piet Mondrian)

Piet Mondrian was a dutch painter who created non-representational form which he termed Neo-Plasticism. His paintings were created with  a white background with a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors.

In the beginning of the school year, I like to start out with the simplest of elements with the kindergarten students: lines!  This project is also a good way to introduce the three primary colors as well.


-10" x 10" white paper
-12" x 12" primary color paper (red, yellow, blue, and even some black)
-1 1/2" x 10" primary color and black strips of paper
-a writing utensil for student names


My main focus for this project is to have the students identify lines that are vertical (up and down), and horizontal (side by side).  After identifying the two lines, I also discuss the primary colors that Piet used to create his works of art.

This project takes one 40-minute class period to discuss and create.  I start by showing students a poster of Piet's "Composition II in Red, Yellow and Blue (seen above)," and discuss the lines seen in the painting.

After showing students the painting, I begin to show how they can create their own composition piece using pre-cut lines.  I like to have students work with me on creating the piece, so I ask the students with each strip of paper "Which was is vertical?"  "Which way is horizontal?"  and I even try sneaking in a diagonal...which I hear students say "No!!!!"  Kindergarteners are so much fun.

This is another opportunity I use to show how to use a glue bottle responsibly.  I don't use glue sticks in my room, so I start all the kindergarteners off right away with the glue bottle.  We go over the "just a dot, not a lot" trick, and practice twisting the orange tip, not the white cap (I use elmer's glue bottles).

After students complete their Mondrian compositions, they glue the 12" x 12" colored paper to the back for a frame, and they're complete!  Since open house is within a week on school starting, this is the first and only project I have completed for display in the hallways.

You may get a few students who miss the main concept, so try keeping your eyes open to correct those who start going diagonally!

Then you get students who don't quite finish enough of their project...

This looks about right!

Here are some videos I had found on Pinterest and Youtube to use with any Piet lesson!

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