Thursday, April 28, 2011

Symmetrical Vases, Second (NSE) and Third Grade

A terrific lesson I saw on (a wonderful site with great lessons)  This lesson starts with a white piece of paper folded in half. The students draw HaLF a vase on the fold and cut it out. Then they paint the vase with blue tempera cakes. When the vases are dry, glue to the yellow paper and use liquid tempera to mix the paints and add the flowers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jazz Pictures, Third Grade

I got this lesson from School Arts a few years back. Its called Hot and Cold Jazz. I start with using real instruments borrowed from the music teacher and lots of photo copies of different musical instruments. We sketch and plan three different plans using about four or more instruments. One of the instruments has to break the picture plane.  Most students choose a guitar or piano keys to do this. We aim to paint one side HOT (color theory lesson) and one side COOL although as you can see, I allow for experimentation. When they are finished the students apply a glitter paint to the entire surface.  Okay, I'll say it again...a favorite!

Lighthouses, fourth Grade

One of my personal favorite mediums, but a difficult medium for young artists especially those that have been working in tempera and used to "Loading a brush with lots of paint."  I'm having a love hate relationship with these lighthouses. I've taught them twice now and I'm looking for ways to improve.
Points to remember
*VERY light pencil drawing
*Don't paint two areas at the same time that will touch
* Use tiny amounts of paint and layer and layer

Friday, April 22, 2011

Picasso Bouquet, Kindergarten

This is the third year I've done this lesson.  I believe I got the idea from Incredible Art Ideas.
It starts with a quick color lesson where the students place circles of color at the top of an 18 x12 paper. Great chance to check to see what students are still struggling with colors and top/bottom/side etc. Then they dip their fingertip in the paint to make the stem and paint the side of their hand to make the leaves. FUN!!The next class we add SHAPES on the colored flowers.  Next they find color paper to match their skin type.  Note...I don't interfere with their choices in skin color.  They trace their hands, cut them out and glue them on the bouquet.  Shhhh...  these usually end up as Mother's Day gifts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

i Paint, Fifth Grade

This is the lesson that I probably receive the most feedback from others in the building. And it's always "How did they do that?"  Based on Apple's ipod campaign several years ago using silhouettes.  I show the students several ipod examples and then they work on an idea or pose using a paintbrush in their hand. I then take a picture and print them cheaply using gray scale or fax copy.  I show them examples of graphite paper or good old fashioned carbon paper (I do share how that's what was used before copy machines were made...GASP)  The students then trace around their body picture onto color paper and use a fine detail brush to fill in their bodies.  I got this lesson from an old issue of Arts and Activities.

Texture and Shapes, First Grade

This is usually a project I do with First Grade in October but I just came across the pictures and think it is one of those magic moments for young students.  I have a stack of texture plates that I got from either Nasco or Dick Blick.  The students place the texture plate under their paper and rub with crayons. For the students that have never done a "Rubbing" it is a true magic moment.  I wish I had the time to take them outside and find texture on concrete, bricks or trees.  The next class I use plastic bottles, corks, and plastic type lid to stamp colors.  I asked the staff to save laundry tops, they work great with the plastic lip for young students to hold on to. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Printmaking, Third Grade

One of my favorite projects, and yes I'm known to say that about several but really these are beautiful.  The great story about these is that the foam was FREE! Yes, always ask parents what they do or where they work! This year I was given over $200 in foam that would have ended up in a landfill and now two grade levels at THREE schools are making some incredible prints.  These were made by Third graders at CE and PKE.  I have two schools of 4th grade right now that are working on sea animals
in a larger pieces of foam. 
In the past two weeks I was given some wonderful color paper, a large amount of mosaic tiles, paint chip samples and tablecloths.  Last summer I was given over 1,000 plain tiles.  Storage is often an issue but the money that is saved and of course I feel as though we are being good stewards to our planet!
YES, huge fan of UPCYCLING!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Wooden blocks, foam blocks and wooden shapes with the trays are all a FAVORITE of every grade level. I'm fortunate to have most of these at all four schools. My students use them when they finish early on a project.  They ask me before they get them out and I know that sounds like an interruption but it's better than if I announce at the beginning of each class "You can use the blocks if you finish early". Then they all would hurry just to get to the blocks. I usually have a day or two per year where we spend the entire art session just using and creating with the blocks. 

Clay Flowers, Kindergarten, Young Fives

I saw an artist on use lace on clay and just loved the idea.  I have several flower cookie cutters and smaller ones too.  The students take a slab of clay and use those great PVC pipes to roll them out. After they use the cookie cutter, they place lace over the shape and roll again.  We did this last week and today we glazed our flowers. I will post the finish flowers next week. These are So sooo beautiful!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

NSE, Clay Masks, Fifth Grade

Clay Masks, Fifth Grade

The drying phase, this is where I run into trouble. I have almost 100 fifth graders at each school. So finding space for them to dry is a challenge. I like for each mask to have a subtractive and additive component but as you can see some student will skip the additive portion.  I also show them how to ball up a small piece of newspaper to give the mask a curved appearance.  I was really pleased with how the masks turned out this year.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Clay Masks, Making the pattern, Fifth Grade

Jim Dine Hearts, Second Grade

This is such a fun lesson in color!
The students fold a 12 x 18 piece of paper in half hot dog style, then hamburger, then bring both ends in what I call "Party in the middle."  This will create 8 boxes. They then outline the folds in permanent marker and add their hearts.  I have Alpha cakes in six colors.  The key is that they can't repeat the same color twice. All is well as they fill six spaces and then...we start to mix, Oh what fun.  I love to hear them say, "Oh, look what color I made!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Art Room Management

A few tricks I use to keep the classroom organized. This year I am using a portfolio for every class (fancy words for poster board folded in half) At one of my schools I keep them on a shelf designated for that grade. At two of my schools I have nice drawers that I label for each grade level. 
I am trying to Google the name of the teacher who shared the Whole Brain Thinking idea of the five rules of the art room, no luck. If you know please send it to me.
I also use a bucket for my younger grades.  Most of the schools are aware of "Bucket Filling." The idea of filling another person's bucket with kindness instead of being a "Bucket Dipper."  My younger students LOVE that I draw a bucket on the board and if they come in very quietly I am known to add a surfer to the water. 
I also pick different artists each year to hang from the center of every table. It's a great way for the students to be exposed to various artists. I hang the prior years artist by the window. I love when the students say, "Oh last year I sat at the VanGogh table."

Positive Negative, Second Grade

I've done this lesson every year with second grade.  Each student takes a 12 x 18 piece of construction paper and a stack of 6" x 4.5" black paper.  The black paper is folded in half, then a design is cut. The student then cuts down the fold and glues the positive shape down, then its negative.  It takes some students a few tries but the others who grasp it quickly always help out.

Picasso Faces- Pre draw, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade

Our PTA and Clarkston Foundation supported our school in a special Picasso assembly. To prepare the students we studied pictures of Picasso's work and then made our own Picasso insprired faces.  We had a lively discussion on his art, especially the Weeping Woman.  The students love to make observations on why she is crying and why her face is white/grey.  I did this lesson with first grade, second and third grade. Finished examples to come...

Blue Dog inspiration, Fifth Grade

Inspired by the art of George Rodrigue, a wonderful artist from Louisianna.  I showed the 5th grade students a Powerpoint of his work and then set out a few dozen pictures of dogs.  The students made a few selections and then sketched them in their sketchbooks.  We used tempera paints and then finished with black Craypas.  These are a few examples from PKE.