Monday, November 21, 2022

Shape Castles in Paint, Chalk and Oil Pastel Inspired by Paul Klee and Mary Blair

Recently I shared that my students were doing Shape Stations (or centers) in the art room. I did this after the success of both our Dot Day and Line Study stations. I'm loving the exploration the kids are able to do and the kids are loving it...for the same reasons. Not to mention, it's just FUN to try a whole bunch of new ways to create in just a few art classes. Here's a look at our Shape Stations:

And what we did during our Line Study:

And some behind-the-scenes tips on these stations:

Here is a look at the Dot Day stations that started it all:

And since we did two days worth of fun:

Once we finished creating artwork from our line study (lessons which I've yet to share here!), I ventured into shape. Currently, I'm doing shape stations with 2-4th only as kindergarten and first are in the middle of other projects. I do think that these shape stations would work for k-1st except maybe the radial symmetry design. But it's always worth throwing the idea out there to see what the kids come up with, right?

Here's a little look at what the back table in my art room looked like after I began prepping for our shape study. Initially we were going to do some shape stamps (seen in the upper left hand corner) but after giving that a run through with one class, I decided it was too similar to the sponge stamping. We switched to the bleeding tissue paper shapes in the end. 
Now when I'm working through these station ideas, I also gotta start thinking: what are we gonna do with all of these papers and things we create? Here's a little look at what I've come up with...
First grade is currently working on the self portrait in the upper left hand corner. This is a lesson I've done many times, you can check out the lesson here. As for 2-4th, well...I am currently having them all work on those castles! We will all do printing with our stars...and do some embossing too...but as of right now, we are all learning about Mary Blair. Here's the video I created. 

The kids are enjoying working with chalk and oil pastel. I'm excited to give them another opportunity to really explore a variety of supplies. 

Above is my example and below is a class of I think thrid graders examples. I will say this...stations means the kids will often work quickly and not always at a slow and 'careful' pace. I'm fine with that. However, I did have a small handful of students later decide the wanted to redo theirs, knowing it was not their best work. I allowed that too. 

So far, we've gotten the castles chalked in and now we are ready for the oil pastel. 

Our backgrounds will be our bleeding tissue paper. Since winter is coming, we are turning it into a winter wonderland with snow...and a little bit of sparkle on the frame. Oh...and PUFFY PAINT. Everyone's favorite!
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Saturday, November 5, 2022

3 Fun Art Lessons to Show Gratitude

Over the years, I've done a handful of gratitude style projects that my students have not only enjoyed but really sparked joy around the school. I'm breaking these down from most involved to easiest incase you are uncertain which you'd like to do.

Let's start with my favorite: Gallery of Gratitude Modeling Clay Portraits!
For all the lesson details, you can visit my first blog post where I created a video I shared with my students. This introduced a modeling clay artist as well as walked them through the steps. 
I did this lesson with my fourth grade students. They could choose who to create a portrait of...but, as you can imagine, that got a little tricky. Several students volunteered to create a portrait of a teacher or staff member whom they didn't know well. We talked about how everyone in the school is important, their role in the school and how they make our school better. After the first two 30 minute art classes, we got about this far. 
You can see their completed portraits here, framed in a sparkly Hobby Lobby plate! Students also had to type up why they appreciated the staff member. This was printed on framed paper and hung with the clay piece. Many teachers still have these portraits in their classroom!
This Gallery of Gratitude was created by all of my students, kindergarten through fourth grade. My older students created the portraits while my kindergarten and first graders added the High Fives and the hearts. 
Here was the set up for my students to create their framed portraits. Teachers names were laid out as well as sparkly paper for the frame. 
Like the other project, students had to express their gratitude toward the chosen staff member. 
If you need a shorter lesson or one that is more student-focused, try this Tiny Gallery of Gratitude on for size! You can download it for free right here!
There is even a simplified version for younger students, also free, right here. Have fun!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Exploring with Shapes: Shape Centers in the Art Room

Hey there! Not too long ago I shared that I have been creating art-makin' centers or stations or whatever you wanna call them for my students. So far, we've made it through the Line Stations and have recently been using the papers there to create works of art. Now that we've wrapped up that (and the kids loved it so much I assumed it was a hit), we are ready to move on to shape! Here is a look at what my 2nd through 4th grade stations look like:
These stations are a little longer than the line making ones. So, for my 30 minute classes, students will get to MAYBE two stations before moving on. I'm keeping the format of them changing stations more open: if they are finished, they are to tidy their area, put away their artwork (with name on it, pretty please!) and move on to any station with an open seat. 

Just like the papers created with the Line Stations, these are just the starting point of our project. Each grade will create something different with their shape explorations. I've been sharing what my students created with their papers, you can check it out on my Instagram. Details to come, I promise!
In these centers, students will focus on geometric shapes. We will learn more about organic shapes soon. Cardboard printing expanded from line making to creating castles in this station. I can't wait for students to work on these later in class.

Students will explore cutting geometric shapes as well as printing them in this station.

Students learned about radial symmetry in this station. I had foam stars on hand...but may use different shapes with other grades. I'll keep ya posted! I'm excited how these turned out!

I have a ton of bleeding tissue paper shapes that we are creating a design with in this last station. I have plans for these...stay tuned!
Since my kindergarten and first graders are working on something else, I'm glad I have an empty table to pile everything on. It's...a lot to keep up with but the kids are having a blast and that's all that matters. 

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