Man and Animal – Block 1

We began this block with a talk about how the human body is formed. In short, we have three major parts: head, trunk, and limbs. The basis for this discussion, and our first week of Man and Animal was the file Hovering Between Heaven and Earth.doc in the Grade 4 files on her Waldorfhomeeducators Yahoo Group.

Our first day was spent doing a self portrait in colored pencil. This was supposed to be fun, but my daughter thought it was “the worst idea ever.” At last she began drawing, and saw her face smiling back at her… then it was “the best idea ever.” The second day we drew ourselves as celestial beings, with a sun head, a moon trunk, and star hands.

My self-portrait and celestial being, or star child.

4th Grader’s dry watercolor painting of her star-child. Notice the hand up high… eager to greet the world. We learn so much from our children through their art…

Here is my painting… a little more cautious when reaching out. And I only got my arm up that high at my daughter’s urging! I guess we can learn something about ourselves, too.

The second week we studied the cuttlefish (a head animal). I told the story from
The Human Being and the Animal World by Charles Kovacs. The children were fascinated by this creature… we had many ‘wows’ and giggles during this lesson. My daughter composed the summary of the cuttlefish.

My drawing and painting of the cuttlefish. The painting is a dry watercolor, but could easily be done as a wet-on-wet. At this point in the block we had an illness in the family and we had to take a break for a while, so my daughter never painted the cuttlefish.

The third week we studied the harvest mouse (a trunk animal). Again the story came from The Human Being and the Animal World.

For some reason I don’t have my picture of harvest mice, but here is the beginning of the summary. As you can see, I did not get very far.

4th grader’s wet-on-wet painting of the harvest mouse.

My harvest mouse painting.

Harvest mice made of clay. They are hiding in a little shelter, nibbling some corn.

We also talked about another trunk animal, the seal this week. We did not do a drawing or summary, but we did read the story from the Kovacs book and we painted the seals. Mine is the fat one on the left, and my 4th grader’s is on the right. I think I got this painting idea from Live Ed. We painted both the harvest mouse and the seal at the same time:

First we painted one paper with lemon yellow, and let dry for a little while. I like it best when it doesn’t get completely dry, but these dried and I it worked out fine. While the yellow was drying, we painted our seals. I used ultramarine blue and painted the ocean, leaving the seal white. Next we took water with just a bit of blue and painted the seal, so he would have a bit of color.

Now we went back to the harvest mouse and painted his stalks with an orange we mixed ourselves. The mouse was painted next, using red.

Finally we went back to our seals and added the details for the eyes, flippers, and fins. It was nice to do it this way, since the seal was such a simple picture. For most of our paintings I just do one at a time.

At my daughter’s urging, we also read ‘The White Seal’ from The Jungle Book.

And lastly, here are our clay seals. Mine is on the left, 4th grader’s in the middle, and 2nd grader’s on the right.

This entry was posted in Grade 4, Man and Animal / Zoology, Watercolor Painting. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Man and Animal – Block 1

  1. Kris says:

    Oh thank you very very much for this. About to start a zoology main lesson block with my son and working hard to find resources. I’ll link you back to my blog once it’s done so you can see..

  2. Kris says:

    Here is my first week blog post, we’ve finished our second week and now we have started on trunk animals –

  3. phanleminh says:

    This is great. Your work, your writing to share! I’m so grateful!

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