Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In the Art Room: Mammoth Monet-Inspired Mural

Mammoth Monet-Inspired Mural measuring in at 12' X 9' and well over 10 lbs. This is one mural not to be contented with.
 Hey, guys! I interrupt this blog post to say that my third graders just finished some clay frogs after creating this mural...you can see them here.

Well, I learned my lesson. After creating a winter mural with the kids after break (that you can see here: http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2012/02/wishful-winter-wonderland.html ) and only having a short time to display it before it became passe, I started early on this here spring/summer mural. The kids and I had most of the mural put together before spring break, but I was so excited to see the end result that I sneaked in, glued down the last of the frogs and flowers and, with the help of our awesome custodians, got it hung up. I can't wait for the kids to see it when they return. Here's how we went about our creation.
Our inspiration: Monet's garden and pond at Giverny.
I introduced Monet to the kids with this book. I love this series of books and find that all of my students, kindergarten through fourth, enjoy them too. I know that there are video versions of the books but I don't enjoy showing movies in my room. And, honestly, I love to read aloud.

One of my favorite tricks to get the kids to remember an artists name is this: whenever I say the artist's first name, the kids are to respond with his last name. So, as I read, I'll say, "Claude..." and the kids all respond, "Monet!" It really helps with recall...most of the time. Recently, when we were playing The Smartest Artist (http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2012/01/smartest-artist.html), the question was, "who painted the Mona Lisa?" and I got "Vincent da Vinci!" Oh well.

After reading about Claude Monet, the kids spent a week creating clay projects that were pond-themed. So we had clay frogs, fish, waterlilies, butterflies and snails. I'll share these in an upcoming post as the kids have yet to glaze them. With our knowledge on ponds, the kids began creating the pieces of our mural.
A great rhyming book about a frog that ends up in Monet's garden.
 Here's a run down of who created what:
  • Kindergarten created the textured papers for the grass, flowers, cat tails and bridge. We learned all about mixing the secondary colors. They went on to create the three dimensional flowers too.
  • First grade created the tissue paper meets sparkle Modge Podge pond papers. They also drew the fish and the frogs. 
  • Some of the second grade classes printed the land with sponges, cardboard and empty spools for flowers. These are the background papers behind the kindergarten flowers. One class created the sky sponge paintings with the printed dragon flies. These kids also created the waterlilies on color diffusing paper.
  • The third and fourth graders are up to their eyeballs in weavings. Their task will be add insects once finished with their woven masterpieces.
A sweet little frog has found his home on a tissue paper waterlily.

First grade koi fish with a second grade waterlily.

Three-dimensional flowers with kindergarten. Yes, it's as crazy as it sounds. They got it...but it took us a while. Next time, maybe first grade.

For a full flower tutorial, go here: http://kristineldridge.com/blog/?p=5615

I had a sweet former student shadow me last week. I asked her to come up with an idea for printing dragon flies as my pre-spring break brain was spent. She used a toilet paper tube she pinched in the middle to create a horizontal 8 and q-tips for the body. The kids loved it.

I borrowed the sun from the winter mural. I'm thinking he'll make an appearance in all of our seasonal murals, what do you think?

I was told that this is a Mrs. Stephens Frog. I do love bows in my hair. Now I just need to get my nails done!

Mammoth Mural in all it's glory. Happy Spring!


  1. Anonymous3/27/2012

    WOW! You continue to amaze me! Now please get out of that school and enjoy your 14 er 12 days off!!!!!!

  2. Emily Browder3/28/2012

    Just too darn cool! You do the most unbelievable things with the kids, and we big kids LOVE helping when we can!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ohhh, it's gorgeous!

  4. oh my goodness. Whenever I read your teaching posts I just want to *make* my girl's art teacher read your blog! This is amazing. I adore the idea of including everyone to make the mural. I actually think I am going to send this to our pricipal as an idea for something to do to promote "community" in my girls' elementary. thank you!

  5. wellcome to Monet Print selection of Canvas art, giclee and canvas prints for a cheap price. Our Art is Better than GOOD!

  6. Its a very nice clay work!! I appreciate your artistic creativity, Actually art is a perfect way to implement your creativity with combination of multiple art supplies.

  7. What adhesive did you use to attach everything to the background? What are all the pieces attached to? It is magical!!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. I used hot glue to attach the artwork to a huge roll of paper. We have these 12' tall rolls of paper I glued everything to. I've also used bulletinboard paper before as well.


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