Monday, January 27, 2014

A Favorite Common Core Connection

Common core is the big buzz around schools and teaching so over the summer I planned a few ways that I would use to connect art. One of my favorite lessons that I'm doing is paper mache puppets for a Readers Puppet Theater with second grade. Over the next couple of weeks I will show and tell how they are doing. Students are all excited about every aspect of this unit!

Our first step, naturally, was Paper Mache!

Students love the mess of it all! Even when they complained, they really meant- This is awesome!

Next, students paint the puppet heads white and to decorated their puppet bodies. I recruited parent volunteers to sew puppet bodies over the holiday break and that was a HUGH help!

I'll be posting our next steps soon so please check back to see their progress!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Have You Tried A Choice Based Art Lesson?

I'm always up for trying new things and I've been wanting to do a choice based art lesson for as long as I can remember. Whats held me back? The structuring of it! I just couldn't get my mind around how it would work....for the students and for me, the teacher.

So I feel like I finally organized a lesson in such a way that it will work for both parties. I'm doing a choice based Portrait lesson with my 4th grade and have just begun the process. I decided to use a restaurant theme and made a menu that outlines this process.

We began last week with a "Tasting" An art medium tasting that is. Students rotated through 3 tasting tables to simply explore 3 possible materials; printmaking, tempera paint and collage. I also had 3 examples of art made using these materials so they had some idea of the possibilities.

Table 3 was printmaking. Students used pre made cards that had various materials you could use when making prints....yarn, foil, cardboard, foam, bubble wrap, etc....

Table 1 was Tempera Paint. At this stop, students followed a recipe to create skin color. They made both a light and a dark flesh tone sample card.

At Table 2 students make a sample card of a few different paper options when creating a collage.

To culminate our tasting students gathered with their sample cards and decided what medium suited them for creating their portrait masterpiece. I was thrilled to have students from each class fill all 3 mediums.

When asked about their thoughts on the Art Medium Tasting event students said they LOVED the experience! Next week we will have our Appetizer event: Sketchersice. Students will rotate through 3 tables to discover 3 ways to sketch a portrait.

Check in next week to learn how it all went.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3 Steps to Guaranteed FUN

Its always fun to be with Kinders.....everything is fascinating and fun to them.  This project is a real winner when it comes to a guaranteed good time. I like to do this in conjunction with Halloween since it has a creepy feel but is not necessarily Halloween.

1. During our last class, Kinders made crayons by peeling and breaking them to fit into pumpkin shaped baking forms. To conclude the crayon making class, I read Scaredy Cat Splat (this prepared them for our upcoming class) For our next class, we talked about Texture and how to create crayon rubbings using a glue line spider web (I created these for them).....thinking about that spider in last weeks story :)

2. Following the spider web rubbings, Kinders used model magic and learned to mix 2 primaries to make the secondary colors. We made a large purple ball, a medium orange ball and a small green ball.

3. Lastly, they constructed their spooky spider completed with 8 hairy legs!

A super fun, super easy and engaging lesson. I concluded class with a reading of Dem Bones....a fun filled 55 minute class!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top 5 Favorite Art Projects

Variety is the spice of life.......and the art room! I love to provide my students with the opportunity to experience various materials and to see the many different ways there are to create. In this age of technology, its real work to capture the attention of students and to show them everything worth doing doesn't always involve a computer or some sort of screen to sit in front of.

Here are my top 5 projects:

5. Newspaper straw sculptures. I have used this activity for years during Family Art Nights, Parent Art Days and at art day camps with students in grades 2nd through 5th and it is always a success. A great collaborative project!

4. Painting on Canvas. Students love to use canvas. It gives them a professional feeling and work just looks amazing done on this support. I've used canvases on many projects where the culminating activity was to hold an evening event. Love, love, love canvas.

3. Felting. I've done felting with all age levels including kindergarten and they all enjoy working with this material. I like to do this activity in the spring to coincide with spring sheep sheering. They learn how wool is gathered, different ways to dye the wool and all the various ways people use wool. Our projects involve natural and kool aid dying and a collaborative "story quilt"

2. Chalk Pastels. The vibrant colors of chalk pastels make it a favorite with students. I use chalk pastels with 2nd through 5th grade and each level does an impressive job. Chalk pastels are a hit with families too. I find that these are some of the most "framable" of all projects probably due to the awesome color.

1. Paper Mache! Most art teachers I know steer clear of paper mache because of the mess and space required for sculptures to dry. Its true. Its a big mess but if you love it like I do, you will just go with the flow and enjoy the crazy ride. Students LOVE paper mache even when they moan about the gooey, stickiness of it!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You've got 3 Minutes- No Talent Required

Get your pencils and paper....put your creativity hat on...
Turn the timer and GO!

Thats how you "play" Whatchamadrawit! Want to give it a try? Well, here is the card I pulled for you:

Draw a person with super long legs, super short arms and a super big mouth.

I just received this in the mail on Friday and will add it to my growing list of prompts to use with students once they have completed a project. 

Super fun. Very silly.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Pledge to the 3 R's

After the pledge each morning, students also recite a pledge to be respectful, responsible and ready to learn. They may not follow this pledge everyday but I do think that speaking to this does sink it.

During the first weeks of school I had the 2-5th graders think about what these 3 R's mean when they come to the art room. Of course there is some overlap of classroom and art room behavior but there were a few things that were different.

I took their lists and then created these to post in our art room.

These posters haven't yet made it to the wall yet since I'm working on moving things around to fit them in. I have limited wall space and want them to be visible so we can refer back to them as needed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Who knew Carrots were Creepy?!

I love a good book! I find it challenging to introduce students to books they have not yet heard over and over again so I am constantly searching. Some turn out to be great while others are just okay. But, I think I discovered a great new book to read to my young students in celebration of Halloween.

Its not a Halloween book really. But anything orange and has the word creepy in it works!

Great illustrations of carrots with Jack-o-lantern like faces. 

Be sure to check this book out! 
I'm thinking of doing onomatopoeia drawings with my second graders either quickly in our sketchbooks or if time permits, as a quick project. Great to connect CC with art.