Sunday, December 31, 2023

25 of my Favorite Lessons for Celebrating Love!

Hello, beautiful humans!

Today I'm sharing my 25 Favorite Valentines/Love-Themed art lessons! From sub plans with handouts to clay and plaster projects, I've got something for everyone...including printmaking with kindergarten! Most of these lessons include kid-friendly videos, some have handouts and all are FREE! I hope you enjoy and...

Happy New Year!

I know next week means heading back to school...and it's just so hard to do after weeks off. I thought I'd try and ease the sting a little by offering up to you my favorite fun and easy lessons for celebrating LOVE as Valentine's Day is on the horizon. It's never too soon to start those Valentine's themed lessons and NEVER NOT a great opportunity to celebrate all things lovey dovey. Many of these lessons here come with a kid-friendly how-to video and, best of all, they're free! Just tap the highlighted link for more!

The above is a lesson I created for my kindergarten friends but it was so fun that I ended up doing it with several grade levels. It's that time of year when you really just wanna ease on back into art teacherin', right? So why not do so with a project where you just gotta get out one art supply (tempera paint and black oil pastels) and call it a day? It's much more relaxing that way...and when you are happy and relaxed, it will reflect in your teaching (and, hopefully, the students). 
One of my all-time favorite things to teach first grade is...paper weaving! And I know what some of you may be thinking: SERIOUSLY?! Yes...because I got it down to a science! They make the looms, we weave together on a big loom I created, we do this on the floor and help one's so fun! Here's the full lesson!
Nearly all of these lessons here are inspired by artists! Which means that students learn a little about both contemporary artists as well as artists of the past with these projects. Here we learned about Jen Stark!
For me, back to school after a long break meant back to the basics...a review of rules, routines and expectations. I cover all of that in my book Art Teacherin''s always a good time to get a handle on classroom management. No matter how could it is, it could ALWAYS be better, right? I share all of my tips and tricks in that book, if you are interested!

With that being said, I often just used simple supplies like markers when we return to school. But 'just markers' doesn't mean you can't do something super cool! Check out the video here on how we created these optical illusion hearts!
Of course, sometimes it's fun to just jump right back in with big and exciting projects! I've been all about the plaster and Celluclay in my own artwork lately...and kids do love it! More here.
Of course, back to school usually means PD meetings. One year, I convinced my admin to let me lead a workshop on creating these clay hearts with wings! I loved doing workshops with my faculty. It was a fun way to get everyone together in a relaxed way (which we never seem to do!) and enjoy creating and each other's company. To teach such a large group, I created a how-to video. 
As you know, teachers are some of the worst students (I'd insert a laugh emoji but we all know it's true!) so having a pre-recorded video will help!
I've never met a kid who didn't LOVE printmaking! But it can be daunting and super messy...which means a lot of clean up for us. CAN do printmaking with just markers and Styrofoam. Let me show you how we made these!
This lesson is probably one of my most popular Valentine's projects! I show you how to draw each of these cuties in videos you can find here. 
I'll also show you how to make easy heart stamps with scraps!
Wanna make these?! My fourth graders loved creating these giant candy hearts! I created a video for them (and you!) here. 
Wow! Did we LOVE creating these (see what I did there?!) And I have an easy method for you to make each one successful. You can check it out here!
This is a project I did with my second graders and they loved it! You can check out the video tutorial and lesson details right here!
Here's a fun lesson I put together to do in one class period! Well, for me, it took 2 classes as my class period is 30 minutes long. I did this with my fourth graders as a way to introduce them to four different one lesson! Check it out here.
Did we have fun with this one! We used old candy heart boxes and plaster to create our own faux chocolates. We also used tagboard and newspaper to create our candy boxes. It was so stinkin' fun. Full lesson here. 
Look how realistic! Did I mention we used puffy paint?! Everything is better with puffy paint.
I really like to work big with my students. The bigger the paper, the better! It's a challenge with storage...but it's so worth it. These hearts were created on huge squares of paper. We chatted about Britto and did a line review...
Speaking of line...if you need a book to teach (or review) line with your students, did you hear I wrote a children's book!? Yep! it's called Larry the Line. If you are familiar with my Larry the Line poem, let me tell you this is the longer more in-depth version with idea sheets to be printed and shared in the back! You can pick up a copy here. 
Big thanks to all of you that have purchased a copy and left a review! 83 5-star reviews is so amazing! Thank you all so much for the love and support. Okay, back to the lessons...
Another super popular lesson on my blog: My Chris Uphues Lesson! This one is perfect for a sub plan as it comes with a free handout.
Looking for a school-wide project? I have a ton of collaborative ideas on my blog (check out this post). This one involved each grade level creating a heart with a different medium!

This Britto-inspired lesson was another collaborative we did was a sub plan! Check out the lesson video and process here. 
Looking for an easy one day lesson!? Look no further, I got you right here!
Check out these scrappy hearts made by first grade! This was actually a lesson with a focus on positive and negative space. The kids were so excited by the negative space their cut out hearts created that we filled the space with tissue paper on plastic. More here. 
Aren't they so pretty up close?
And this is what we did with the hearts we cut out! Just black and white painted designs. Simple and so pretty!
Do you want to explore printmaking with kindergarten students but you don't know where to start?! Try this easy and fun lesson on for size!
Once your students are done printmaking, you can take the hearts and create THESE! Aren't they so pretty?!

Got scraps of painted paper laying about?! You're an art teacher, of course you do! Spend some time teaching the kids how to cute out hearts and create these cuties! Use them to hang as mobiles, put them in windows, send to faculty as love notes...the possibilities are endless. Details here. 
Last but not least...check out these James Rizzi birds! Full lesson with video here. 

Thanks for dropping by, y'all! Know that it's TOTALLY OKAY to ease on in to this new school year. The slow you go...the more they will GROW, I promise! Slow it down, focus on what matters and enjoy art teacherin!

Love ya!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Christmas Tree Skirt to Lady Skirt!

So, incase you didn't know: I have a little bit of a thing for taking Christmas tree skirts and transforming them into lady skirts. I've been doing it For-Eve-Ah. In fact, you can check them out here...
And here...
Here too...
Oh, look, another one...
And just when you thought we were through...

And, I'm sure you can believe this, there's even one more that I didn't document here on my blog! I taught a group of teacher friends years ago in an after-school sewing class how to make one!'s been a while. And, since then, I've started creating more video. So I thought it was time for me to update this DIY and create a video how-to! Here ya go:

It's a video that's kinda all over the place so my apologies for that. But it truly is SO EASY. Just remember the following:

* Get a skirt that's 48" and it should be long enough. There are tons on Amazon but...since Christmas is quickly approaching, check those After Christmas sales for tree skirts when they are super marked down!

* Measure your waist and add 2 for the seam allowance. 

* Fold the skirt 4 times so you have 8 pieces of fabric folded over.

* Take your waist measurement and divide by 8.

* Using a tape measure, start at the top of the folded skirt and make your way down until you hit that measurement across the top of the triangle (the video shows this best). 

* Use a small round plate and chalk to draw the curve onto the fabric and cut.

That's the most important steps to remember as you begin. In the rest of the video, I share how to make a waistband and add a 10" zipper. Although, to be honest, if you need a zipper how-to, I recommend watching another video as I failed to film a portion of that! I swear it hit record! So sorry. 
Just remember: no one is gonna get that close and see small stitches that might drive you bonkers. I mean, shoot, even if you skip the zip and use VERY STRONG velcro (we don't want any wardrobe malfunctions!), you'll be fine. 

Merry Christmas, friends!

BY THE WAY...I've not officially shared here even though I've been meaning to...did y'all know I wrote another book?! I finally turned my poem Larry the Line into a children's book! I made it longer, illustrated it it is! It's gotten over 80 5-star reviews from teachers and I'm just so thrilled. You can get a copy here, if ya like!

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Monday, October 30, 2023

Let's Draw! Candy Corn...that's also a Vampire!

Let's Draw! A...Vampire Candy Corn because...why not? 

Let me show you how in less than two minutes:

See? Wasn't that super easy and fun?! 

Want to draw more Kooky Candy Corns? Well, just tap the link for a download to this drawing sheet and enjoy!

Friday, October 13, 2023

DIY: Pumpkin Planter!

Hey, y'all! Last week I shared that I created this Skull Planter. While at the same time I was makin' that mess, I also created this cutie! I finally got around to painting it and thought I'd share the process with you.

If you are looking for the supplies I used, mainly, Celluclay, you can find it here

Okay, now for the process!

Now I don't plan on keeping him out all year like my skull planter so...I did just drop a plant inside that was already in a smaller planter. That way, when the season is sadly over, I can just take it out. However...I love his happy face so much that I may keep him out past Halloween!
In case you would like to see more things I've crafted from Celluclay (and maybe a little inspo for spooky crafts), check out this blog post! 
Everything about this season makes me so happy. Including this guy!
Thanks for letting me share!
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