Giraffe's Can't Dance has to be one of the most popular art lessons out there for Art teachers. And for good reason- the project teaches so many skills and they always come out so fun and whimsical!
I started by reading the book, "Giraffes Can't Dance" (by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees) to my class. It's a charming story about how being different is okay and how you can still be good at something even though you have to go about it a little "differently."
The project is done in two parts: the painted background: exploring value changes/gradations, tints, and landscape techniques. Then the giraffe part, which is drawn on a separate sheet of paper and cut out.
So I demonstrated how to create a value change in the moonlit sky- this was fairly tricky for some kids but after some practice they got the hang of it. We used tempera paint.Towards the bottom of the page they added some distant hills (blue + white = tint) and then the grass. For the grass, the students mixed their own shade of green using the blue and yellow and white.
You can use this lesson to reinforce or teach background, middle ground and foreground.
On regular white paper, students drew their dancing giraffe. I gave them a handout with giraffe pictures so they could have something to reference from. We discussed how to get a sense of movement in the pose. The coloured these using coloured pencils, then outlined in thin black marker. Finally, they were cut out (I had to cut out some of the inside cuts with an x-acto knife) and glued onto the background paper. Students then chose to add movement marks, some added white stars, and some wanted to add some glitter glaze for some extra 'pizazz'.
This project, by far, garners me the most compliments when I hang these up on the bulletin board. Staff, students and parents all love them! It's a guaranteed crowd pleaser!