Saturday, December 20, 2014

In the Art Room: How to Draw Penguins!

Ask any teacher, "What's the worst time of year to teach children?"

And, if you can get that biggie-sized glass of grape-flavored adult bevvy out of his/her hands long enough for 'em to answer, they're likely to say, "The time before a break. Particularly winter break. NOW GIVE ME BACK THAT SOLO CUP!"

So, what's an art teacher before winter break to do, you ask? Come up with something that is 1. Not so taxing. Judge if you wanna, Judge-y Pants but, c'mon. I mean, a teacher's got presents to wrap (oh, what am I saying, s/he's not even started shopping yet!), a room to tidy (as if that ever happens) and countless Tacky Christmas Sweater parties to attend. Not only that but there's a classroom of chillins to keep entertained which brings me to 2. Something that will hold the kids' attention until the bitter end. 

Friends, look no further, I do believe I have just the solution for you. Enter first and second grade penguins! 
Hurray! Originally this lessons was just for my first grade kids. I only saw them for one more art class this week. They're actually in the middle of another project where the next phase is painting. But, c'mon. If I prep all that paint, it's simply going to dry out before we return and can use it again. So I decided a lil one-day guided drawing thing might just be what the doctor ordered (really? A doctor ordered a penguin? Is this doctor even certified?!) 
Now, as stated, this lesson was meant for my first grade friendies. However, when my second grade class waltzed in and spotted these bad boys, they were all, "When are we making that?!" and "Why didn't we make those last year?!" After I explained to 'em that I only do the fun lessons with the classes I like (heehee, yes I say that. After a beat, they always give me a "hey, wait a minute!"), I asked them if they'd like to draw a penguin too. And after a resounding "yes!" we did just that. 
So here's a lil visual of the directions we followed to make our variety of penguins. I went over the steps to drawing a Cool Dude/Dudette Penguin, one with ear muffs and one wearing a bow. While the kids enjoy guided drawing, they really love having choices thrown in the mix. 
After we finished our drawings, we laid them all out on the floor for a little chat. The kids are always so pleased with themselves and their drawings that they naturally wanna show them off. We take turns saying something nice about each work of art. 
Like how this cool snowboarding dude has a rad patterny scarf that matches hit rad patterny snowboard.
Or how this sweet pony-tailed penguin appears to be twirling in the air.
Or this sweet sleepy penguin just snoozing in the snow.

You'll have to lemme know if you give this penguin project a try. I assure you, your lil friends will love it!

And now, for today's giveaway...
This doll and some super fab artsy fabric! I've had this doll forever with the idea that I'd make an artist doll out of her/him. And yet, I never did. So, now I challenge you to do it! Here's how you can enter to win this stash:

1. Tell me what you'd make with him/her and how you'd use it in your classroom (I just might have to steal the idea and make one myself!).

2. Leave your email in the comments. Some of you are forgetting that lil step and I can't consider you without it! Sadly, it's my only way to contact the winner. So don't forget, friends.

As for the winner of yesterday's giveaway...congrats to Victoria Smith! Yippie! I'll get that vintage book out to you soon! 

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png


  1. I would make it look like me! Then it would move around the art room like and elf on the shelf doing silly things in the art room!!

  2. ooppps!

  3. email

    First comment not showing? Doll would be used to teach children to sew, create and design fabric, math skills measuring to create patterns, fine motor skills cutting and strengthening confidence with making decisions and collaborating with other children.

  4. I'd make a bunch of dresses/outfits and tiny wigs, and I would switch them out depending on the artist that the kids are learning about.

    1. oops, also erixalm at gmail dot com

  5. She would dressed to the nines and put in our silent auction fundraiser!

  6. I would create one for my two, to enjoy!

  7. I have an 'art star' and this doll would be a perfect addition to the fun. I would take my student's picture and put it on the doll's face! Fun fun fun! Kellycreatesart at gmail

  8. Anonymous12/21/2014

    I would make myself and the doll matching dresses. The day before I was out, I would wear the dress and tell my students that even though I wasn't physically in the classroom, I still would be here.... in doll form. It would be wonderful! I teach elementary, middle and high in the same room. Elementary kids would believe, middle schoolers would laugh, and high schoolers would make fun of me! It's great! Something for everyone! Happy holidays!

  9. I teach high school, so I would incorporate the doll into still lifes for painting and drawing. I would also have my photography class create a graphic novel in the adventures of this doll (students can name and dress up) maybe we could even sell the book for a fundraiser?

    What a great idea to do a few giveaways, you're so creative and inspiring!

  10. I would like the kids choose. Dress it like a famous artist, famous art teacher (me haha) or some other creative and amazing idea they come up with, then it would be come our classroom mascot. Fun idea!
    Martine (

  11. I would make her our Mona Lisa mascot! Dress her up...have her read to the kids...move her around.. You know, creep em out a bit!

  12. Loveee the penquins! We did Gingerbread Characters all week which worked perfect since all lessons finished up this week!! The doll is adorable and perfect for me to use it as our Classroom Mascot. I would come up with a name and have her change outfits every so often and have her in all areas of the room on various days. Kinda like the Elf but not so annoying to move every single night!!

  13. Forgives if this comment shows up 2x, I would use this adorable dollly in my art play box to help inspire kinders to kindness. She's so simple...and dear. How could they not want to care for her? (PS. your foil leaves have inspired my own art practice...can I send you one in thanks?

  14. Anonymous12/21/2014

    I would sew clothes for the doll so that each month I could dress it up like a particular "Artist of the Month" My k-5 students would love it!

  15. The dolly would be our Art Room Color Fairy "Spectra". I would dress her up in outfits to coincide with some of our art lessons, such as specific artists, Cultures, patterns or colors.

  16. I would add some crazy hair and a colorful clothing and use her to grab the attention of some of those chatty little ones.

    Mary Lee

  17. I would make a mini-me and changeable aprons out of the fabric! I think I would make the doll nod when the kids are doing the right thing and shake my head in despair when they are acting up!


  18. I would have her be a traveling art teacher, like I am, to accompany me to all 3 of my elementary schools. Then I would coordinate her outfits and accessories to go with lessons I am teaching, and have her to share the information about the lesson with the kids. It would be fun to have the kids guess what she would be wearing for her next visit, and give out art related prizes for the winner(s).

  19. I would create a mini artlady and make her the star of some art ed stop motion videos for class!

  20. I really like this lesson. I hope you don't mind that I linked to this post on my blog about art sub lessons.


Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.