Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kindergarten Poinsettia Paintings

Poinsettia plants are native to Central America, where they flower in the winter. The ancient Aztecs called them 'cuetlaxochitl'.

The poinsettia was made widely known in the states because of a man named Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first Ambassador from the USA to Mexico in 1825.  While visiting the Taco area in 1828, he became very interested in the plants, sending some of the plants back to South Carolina, where he began growing the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens in the states.

Although we do not go over religious stories in class, there is a Mexican legend about how Poinsettia's are popular during Christmas, which you can read here.

-8" x 10" white paper
-Cut sponge shapes (flower, petals, and leaves)
-Paper plates
-Red, yellow, and green tempura paint (set up on separate plates)
-Pencils (for name on the paper)

Kindergarten students LOVE to paint...alot.  Unfortunately, it's one of the trickiest materials to manage, even if you're in a classroom or cart and on your own with almost 30 students to manage. The first objective is responsibility with materials.  Students should be instructed to wait their turn for colors, place the sponges in the correct colors, and to not "over paint" their pictures.  If you've seen an entire kindergartener's painting turn brown from sponges, you know what I'm talking about.  The second objective is composition.  Have the students start with the center yellow, then use the red for petals, and finish up with the green leaves.  Done!  Demonstrate to students how to fill their space with the red petals to show a focal point in the painting.

Here are some finished examples!

Managing Clean-up
When students are finished, use wet paper towels or handiwipes to clean hands, which will save on sink disruptions.  I always use winter-based coloring sheets once students are finished.  Paper plates are easy to toss once you're finished, which makes clean-up easier on a cart.

Here are some poinsettia coloring pages I found just with a simple Google search!

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