Sunday, May 27, 2018

First Grade Gardens: Using Green Screen and AR to Put Students IN their Artwork

"Our First Grade Gardens" has become one of my very favorite projects in the STEAM Lab. This week was our annual gallery opening and I realized that I never properly shared the project here.

My friend Cara started this project in her first grade classroom.  It started as a mother's day project. When Cara got a grant to expand the project to the other first grade classes, I got involved. While it started with painting the canvases in the STEAM Lab, I came back with a "what if" that would have sent most people running, and Cara worked with me to sort out the details.

Cara and I will be sharing a poster session called AR + Green Screen = App Smashing Success at #ISTE18 but here is an overview of this particular project. (Photo credit to Cara for the awesome posters!)

Each first grade class read the book "My Garden" by Kevin Henkes as part of their author study project.

In the classroom the students designed their own themed garden and then paint their imaginary gardens on canvas. The awesome first grade team delivered the sketches to me and my part of the project began.

In the STEAM Lab each student used his or her sketch to paint the design on a canvas using tempera paint. Students used paint pens and glitter glue to add the details.

Using Google Slides, students typed up their gallery descriptions. These were printed and posted in the gallery next to each painting.

I used the PhotoScan app from Google to take a good picture of each canvas. Using the Green Screen app by DoInk, we recorded a green screen video using the picture of the canvas as the background. Our green screen is a green bed sheet that we hang using clothespins. We drape a second green sheet over chairs to give the illusion that students are sitting on an object in the painting.

Using HP Reveal Studio, I set the photo as the target and the green screen as the aura. The auras are saved to a campaign that is shared with the parents.

The end result is something like this:

This year we were able to work with FAU's University Galleries to display the student work at the Ritter Gallery. It was AMAZING!

We had a family help us with the set up. Both parents are artists and had the skills and equipment that we lacked. They met us at the gallery last weekend to hang all 54 canvases.

Tuesday night was the big night. Our student artists got dressed up and came with their families to view the art in the gallery. It was the third year we have done this, and each year is better than the last. The venue was spectacular. We have already reserved a date for next year.

It was a lot of work, but it was a lovely way to celebrate our students!