Since completing our in-depth study of foreground, middle ground, and background in unison with landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes (as seen above), second grade has been getting their hands dirty, LITERALLY, building their whimsical pop art sundae sculptures in the style of artist Claes Oldenburg.
Oldenburg is a Swedish American artist who creates works of art that blend reality and fantasy. Oldenburg adds humor to his work and asks viewers to think about everyday objects in new and different ways. He takes familiar objects such as typewriters, clothespins, and food and lifts them out of their usual environments. He places them in public parks or museums and asks viewers to interact with them freely. He makes things soft when they should be hard or large when they should be small. Here are a few of the works we discussed as a class:
Sticking with Oldenburg’s style of thinking a bit abstractly about everyday objects, our students have designed fanciful ice cream sundaes from common household items such as cotton balls, beads, yarn, pebbles, and a whole lot of paint.
Students began with a menu order form and were asked to select the ingredients they were hankering for—but it wasn’t that easy! Before students could begin assembling their concoctions, they had to add the price of their ingredients accurately using decimal notation. I was so proud to see how comfortable the majority of students felt about confidently tackling their math assignment. Good work second grade teachers! It’s nice to see children feeling successful in math. Check out a sample menu order form here:
We donned our rubber gloves and lathered the strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla flavored paint to our cotton ball scoops. We showered plastic beads on top for sprinkles, made wispy pillow batting whipped cream towers, adorned cute pom pom cherries, and pebbled for nuts. The chocolate and caramel sauces were squeezed from paint tubes. Students from other classes have been coming in to class with ice cream on the brain. A bit of our pop art sculpture process is documented below.
Students sorting their scoops by incorporating division into their designs. If we have 21 cotton balls each, how many go into each scoop if we want to make 3 even scoops ? 7!
Blending white and red paint in ratio to get pink for strawberry!
Three scoops will cost you $2.00.
Good enough to eat…but please don’t.
This guy brought up some extremely thoughtful questions when considering the work of Claes Oldenburg. He wanted to know if Oldenburg needed to get the permission of the city (police officers, residents, the mayor) to place his sculptures in the public parks. He also pointed out that Oldenburg wanted his artwork to be free for all, which is why he put most of them outside, and not inside an expensive museum with closing hours. I love thoughtful conversations like these!
More images of our finished sundaes coming soon. Luckily they won’t melt in the mean time.