Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In the Art Room: You Be You Collaborative Project!

Sometimes I do believe I am my own worst enemy. Despite the fact that the Monochromatic Self-Portrait mural is not up (and by "not up", I mean I've yet to even mount it!), I decided to plan another collaborative piece for the kids. Crazy? Def. Nobody ever said teaching art was for the sane. 

Y'all might recall that my theme this year is kindness which I believe begins with a love for oneself. After all, you cannot be a loving person without loving Numero Uno, right? And that's what I really love about You Be You by Linda Kranz
It's a beautifully colorful book (where the fish are actually painted on rocks!). Not only do I love the message and the illustrations but I love that I can (re)introduce my students to the elements of art with this fun lesson. Originally I was only going to do this project with my third grade. However, it was such a hit with them (and such a fast project), I decided to have second (and possibly firsties!) create a fish as well. The more fish the better our collaborative mural, says the crazy art teacher. Here is the instructional video I shared with my students:
Feel free to use it in your art room! My students had idea sheets on their tables that really let them explore a variety of possibilities. 
I encouraged them to come up with their own ideas. They are used to having "idea sheets" on their tables for inspiration. And, since there were a lot of directions given, I also provided a review of the steps on the tables as well...
In the video, I used oil pastels because that was all I had on hand at home. However, my school oil pastels are down to stubs so I gave the kids construction paper crayons to use. My third graders whizzed thru their drawing and coloring so fast that I decided to bust out the puffy paint because...PUFFY PAINT RULES.
These took us our entire hour with a little time left over to check out everyone's fish. Next up: painting the large mural that the fish will be placed in! I'll definitely share a follow up post as we work on that in the next week.
By the way, if you are curious about the circles the kids painted on...they were painted by first grade! First grade is wrapping up a dreamcatcher project where they had to use a paper plate (details on THAT project in tomorrow's Art Teacherin' 101 titled WHAT NOT TO TEACH IN THE ART ROOM. Spoiler Alert: it's dream catchers). The first grade painted paper plates and then the center was cut out to make room for their 'catcher. Instead of recycling them, I decided to have the kids use them for this project!
Let's talk about how cute and original these fish are, can we? This boy LOVED that his fish looked just like him, complete with glasses and missing teeth.
And this new student really surprised me with his level of detail. I thought for sure he'd color over all of his lines. I was happy to see that he took the time to color each section. This project served as a great assessment tool. 
This project was so fun that I'm thinking of having the kids do a follow-up project that involves them painting their own rock a la Linda Kranz. 
 By the way, I know I recently shared my I Can board on instagram and had some inquiries...here's a close up. I don't get too specific on my board because I ain't got time for that. I do find it's helpful both for me and the students to have this visual. 
By the way, the pencil and the notebook came courtesy of the Target Dollar Spot. I just used black acrylic to paint the grade level and puffy paint (again, because PUFFY PAINT RULES!) on the felt notebook paper. 
And there you have it, You Be YOU! Stay tuned for our completed mural...and be sure to pop by tomorrow for Art Teacherin' 101. 
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  1. Awww, what a sweet story! Thanks so much for sharing :o) I love when we can tie literature into our lessons for inspiration. Just finishing up some Mouse Paint this week...any suggestions for your favorite books about the farm? Thanks again Cassie for all you do!

    1. Hmmmm. Farm books. I'm sure there are tons but off the top of my head, I got nuthin!!

  2. Anonymous8/31/2016

    Hi Cassie! I have followed your blog since the summer before my first year of teaching. Thank you for all you do and share. Question for you -- did you cut out all the circles for the students? Or did the students cut out the circles? Kind of a random question, but I have 700 students sooo I always think about the prep time really seriously.

    1. Not a random question at all! Normally, I would NOT cut the circles. I would give the kids a template, have them trace and cut out. However, the outer rim of the plate was being used by 1st grade for their dream catcher (see this week's 101). I did cut those out for the first grade...which was not that hard as the plates are pretty thin (I just sliced them along the rim with an Exacto and cut the rest). Hope that helps! In your shoes, I would DEF have the kids cut it themselves!!

    2. Anonymous9/23/2016

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Anonymous9/23/2016

      Hi Cassie! Thank you so much for your wealth of knowledge! It just so happens I came across this book this summer and was planning a collaborative project myself. Thank you so much for your resources as they came in handy recently when I suddenly needed them. I ended up unexpectedly needing a substitute and having a hospital stay and I have to say your blog and hand outs came in handy! My students are creating a 900 piece You Be You mural for our "We Are Hopkins" night which is this coming Thursday and I have been out of commission since last Sunday. Our fish were made on black construction paper using construction paper crayons and we traced them with cds to make it easy on the substitute. Thank you again for your ideas!

  3. Hi Cassie! I used your idea for a fish mural for my entire school. Every student is doing a fish- grades k-5! They are coming out wonderfully- we used tracers for the bodies, but I let them add tails, fins etc. I read the 1st Linda Kranz book Only One You from your suggested book list. Thank you so much for all your amazing ideas- you really are a wealth of information (too bad the wealth doesn't translate to real wealth for you, huh?)
    Oh, I also now start my day with your "Hello my most amazing artists" call and response- works sooooo well!!!

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post, big fan. Keep up the good work andplease tell me when can you publish more articles or where can I read more on the subject?

  5. Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work.
    funny pictures


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