Thursday, December 4, 2014

Night Lights

My school is leadership skills, and we've started having leadership groups where multi-grade level students are grouped with teachers to hone in on a topic of interest in which they can become a leader.  I have seventeen 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in my group called the Clay Kid Leaders.  We are focusing on creating functional ceramic work that can help ourselves or others.

We just made these cool night lights.  They are meant to sit on a bathroom counter or maybe a dresser with an LED tea light underneath.  We made the form by wrapping a thin slab of clay around a school paper towel tube.  We then used another slab to close off one end.  The kids then poked holes in them and added designs.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Back at It!

Last week was my first week back to school after the birth of my beautiful daughter, Clara, in July.

I also loved getting to spend time at home with my two year old, Rex.  But alas, the time quickly came for them to spend some quality days at Grandma's house and for mommy to get back to school and make some art with her other kids! 

I was so incredibly lucky to have the most wonderful long-term substitute teacher EVER.  Mrs. Jen Lonzrick did really great work with the kids and I was able to walk into a happy classroom where kids have already gotten used to working hard at learning about art.  I gave Mrs. Lonzrick various lessons from wonderful elementary art blogs, and here is some of the great work that she did with the students.

The lesson for these awesome fall leaf prints came from Deep Space Sparkle.

The lesson for these pattern pumpkin paintings came from We Heart Art.

This Mondrian lesson came from Deep Space Sparkle.

This lesson, based on the book Sky Color came from Deep Space Sparkle.

I adapted the lesson for these relief sculpture fish (made with Model Magic) from Sax Art lesson plans.

This van Gogh lesson came from Deep Space Sparkle.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Back to School Prep! Mona Lisa Inspired Portraits

     I always do a project or two to hold over the summer for back to school displays.  This year, I did my Mona Lisa Inspired Portraits with first grade at Brimfield.  This time, I had the kids use 18" x 24" paper so that they would be bigger, and I have to say that I love them on this scale!  I also had the kids write speech bubbles saying things they wanted their portraits to say to students at the beginning of school.
Here are a few other lessons that I've done and held for back to school:


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Color Theory Names

     I've seen lots of versions of this project on various blogs and Pinterest, and here is my take!  The concept worked great for my third graders at Suffield because I focused on color theory for my SLO with them this year.  This was our culminating project where the students used the info we'd already learned about color families to create the artworks.
    They did the majority of the color work with watercolor crayons.  This worked great for mixing the secondaries.  They used metallic gel sticks (School Specialty's version of Slick Stix) around their tint/shade frames and they worked really well.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jungle Artworks Inspired by Rousseau

     I love Henri Rousseau and it's been a few years since I've done a project about him, so I thought it was about time!  In fourth grade at Suffield, we talked about Rousseau and how he would sometimes look at plants and trees that were accessible to him in France and make changes to them to make them look like they belonged in a jungle.  We learned about the parts of a landscape and then looked at and drew house plants.  The kids altered the scale of the plants to place them in the various parts of their landscapes.  
     They traced their jungle landscapes with charcoal pencils and colored with watercolor pencils and crayons.  After painting water over the watercolor media, they drew jungle animals on other paper and used 3D Dots to attach them to their landscapes.  The kids really liked doing all the different media steps involved with this project!  
     You can see that we used manila colored drawing paper for the landscapes. This is NOT traditional manila paper.  Watercolor crayons and pencils won't work as nicely on manila paper.  We did this so that the animals would pop even more on their white paper.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Eric Carle Inspired Collages from Suffield and Brimfield

     I don't often do the same projects at both Suffield and Brimfield because I like to do different things!  This one was so successful, though, that I really did enjoy doing it with both schools' first graders.  I love Eric Carle and have tried various lessons based on him over the years.  I often find his process difficult for kids to do well, but this lesson went very smoothly.

     We read 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle and talked a lot about his process to create his collages.  The kids started by collaging tissue paper with liquid starch onto cool colored pieces of construction paper for the water backgrounds. 

     The kids then used cake tempera to paint on top of their collages in places to really make it look like an ocean and a sky.

     We then painted various yellow and orange colors of tempera paint onto warm colored construction paper for our ducks.  I showed the kids a sgraffito technique using the opposite end of their brushes, and they really liked experimenting with that.

     I don't have any photos of the kids drawing their ducks, but I modeled the steps on my white board and they drew with me on the backs of their painted yellow/orange papers.  They then cut the ducks out and used either oil pastels or colored Sharpies to give the ducks their features.  In the future, I might stick with just the oil pastels.  Some of the kids used them additionally on their backgrounds and the results were really nice.