Monday, March 21, 2011

Update and Neighborhood Collagraphs

Wow!  I've been gone for quite some time so there's much to update.  Second Graders are just about completing a big printmaking unit that coincides with their Social Studies unit about urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods.  We spent the first day of the lesson discussing all the things that make our community urban and the various things we see while traveling in it (the stores, cars, people, tall buildings, and so on).  We learned that geometric shapes (shapes found in Math) and organic shapes (shapes found in Nature) can be used in creating a collagraph plate of a part of our neighborhood using manila folders.  This took about two class periods.  Afterward I introduced the tools used in creating a print (brayer, printmaking ink, and of course collagraph plate).  We went over the steps in creating a print, and two by two I had students come over to the "inking station" and ink their plates while the other students worked on an activity sheet.  The fourth day students used pieces of scrap paper to create a symmetrical boarder around their print (we'll need a fifth day for all students to complete their prints, it's tough only having two brayers available!). 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Matisse Inspired Goldfish Bowl

These were created by some very talented Second Graders.  I was first introduced to this lesson by a lovely K-6 Art Teacher whose class I took over as a long term substitute last year.  Her version involved more coloring with crayons and painting with watercolors...however she did have the students include a window in the background and corners to indicate a room.  While blog surfing I realized that this lesson is quite popular and can be done in a variety of ways so I decided to attempt it myself with the students.  Although it is a very involved lesson with multiple steps (about 4-5 sessions) the learning is worth it.

Kindergarten Update and Pendants

Snowflakes that were begun the day before Winter Recess...simple oil pastel resist.

Textured pendants - one day for exploration and another day for creation of final piece.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Textured Mittens

First Graders just completed these lovely textured mittens.  We began by reading The Mitten by Jan Brett, which served as a great inspiration for the students.  They then were introduced to the word texture (the way an object feels) and began cutting up strips of various fabric.  On the second day we discussed the word symmetry and used the analogy of a butterfly as an example from nature.  We arranged our fabric strips from the week prior in a way that was symmetrical, thus creating a pair of matching mittens.  The third day students cut up glitter paper (made by brushing glitter glue on regular construction paper) and arranged their pieces to form a border surrounding their mittens...similar to the the borders surrounding Brett's lovely illustrations.  This lesson was inspired by the lesson found on the color, collage, and much more blog (, one of my favs!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Inspiration for Future Art Lessons

I'm dedicating this post to art lesson ideas gathered from some wonderful art teacher blogs from around the web!  I plan on creating lessons inspired by these posts and appropriating them to meet the needs of my students.  Thank you to all the art educators who constantly inspire me to try new and exciting things!

1st Grade 
2nd Grade
3rd Grade

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fundraiser Projects - Pre K

Pre K - Flowers

In order to do this project in a one hour period, I decided to prepare the paper beforehand using squares of bleeding tissue paper.  Normally I would distribute a variety of colored construction paper for students to paint on but because this was for a fundraiser and the paper was non-negotiable I opted do to this instead.  I chose a simple subject (flowers) and broke it down into simple shapes  for the center of the flowers and lines for the petals.  After spending more time with Pre K students I've decided that working in groups of 4-5 at a time would ensure that every student get an adequate amount of one-on-one time while working on their paintings.  It's quite difficult to manage 18 Pre K students on a painting project all at once!  Of course this means that projects would last longer and span a period of a few classes but I'd be willing to try if it means a higher success rate.

Suggested Materials
artificial flowers (daisies, roses, sunflowers) or photographs of flowers
sponges cut out into circle and petal shapes (for a stamping/printmaking approach)
medium bristle brushes
paper plates

Fundraiser Projects - Second Grade

Second Grade - Cat and Dog Portraits