We are eagerly awaiting a visit from author/illustrator Mike Lowery on October 24th to celebrate his new book Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Beasts. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve held a design-a-dino contest. Interested students picked up a blank design sheet from the library. They could design a new type of dino and list out it’s many features in the style of Mike Lowery’s new book or they could research an actual dino and include true facts. This was a very popular contest with students and we had to make additional copies of the entry form on numerous occasions.
It has been really fun seeing the student creativity in each grade level. Most students chose to create new dinosaurs and some of the designs and “facts” have been pretty humorous.
It’s going to be a hard decision as we choose 10 winners to receive an autographed copy of Mike Lowery’s dinosaur book. Every design will be displayed in our library windows at Mike’s visit. Take a look at just a few of the entries.
The art teacher and I are also collaborating together with our 3rd graders. Each 3rd grade class came to the library during art time for a cartoon study.
We started out by learning a bit about Mike Lowery and his new book through these two videos.
We watched this video up to the point where Mike talks about the new book:
Then we switched to this video to learn about the new book:
Then we set students up for their work session. Students were split between 3 tables. One table had books written and/or illustrated by Mike Lowery.
The other 2 tables had a variety of graphic novels from different authors and illustrators. At each table, students were supposed to see what they noticed about line, shape, color, simplification, and how text was incorporated.
As students looked at books and talked, Ms. Foretich and I rotated to each table and had conversations with students about their noticings.
If a table was having trouble picking out observations, we offered some models. For example, we noticed that many of Mike Lowery’s illustrations use dots for eyes and lines on eyebrows or mouths to create expression.
After students rotated to each table, we collected books and introduced a project. Students got to choose from 4 final products based on their observations from the tables. They could:
- Create an informational poster in the style of Mike Lowery
- Create a character and book cover for a comic in the style of Mike Lowery
- Create a self portrait in the style of Mike Lowery
- Create a one page comic
For this first session, students had time to select the project they were most interested and then create some initial sketches, notes, or story lines in their artist sketchbooks.
Now, students will begin working on their final project in art class and the final products will be displayed on the walls of our school during Mike Lowery’s visit. We can’t wait to meet Mike Lowery. Look for a post at the end of October about our visit.