Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Sunday, October 6, 2019

In the Art Room: Favorite Fall Art Lessons!

Hey, y'all! It's finally fall-ish feeling around here and I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some of my very favorite fall art lessons! If you follow the links, most of these lessons include videos for you to use in your art makin' world. To kick it off, here is a fave fall lesson of mine: First Grade Woven Owls!
I love this weaving lesson so stickin' much! You can find all the details both in my fibers book or right here in my blog post
Here's another fun fall lesson that I did with my first graders but would be awesome with older grades too. This one involved learning about a contemporary artist, painting, collaging and printing. So much! Details here.
If you are looking to create something a little spooky with your kids, I KNOW they will love this van Gogh inspired haunted mansion lesson. 
Marker prints are my favorite! So easy, such little mess and so stinkin' pretty! You can find out all the details on this lesson right here. 
If you need a beautiful fall landscape lesson in your life, then here you go!
All of my students loved creating these Loud Mouth Monsters last year! It rated pretty high on the fave project list. You can find out more and see a video here. 
Of course giving thanks and showing gratitude is always perfect this time of year (and all times of the year, right?!). Here are my three favorite gratitude lessons!
Another fun fall printing lesson can be found here. Instead of creating the printing pans, you can always use Gelli-Plates! 
This lesson I have done with my students as young as first grade! They love it and the results are always stunning. More details here.

I hope these fall lessons leave you feeling inspired. Happy Fall, y'all!  

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

In the Art Room: Gallery of Gratitude Portraits!

After the holidays, with Valentine's Day on our minds, I like to have the kids spread a little love and cheer. I've got lots of lovey-dovey based projects in the works which I'll be sure to share. One project that really spread a whole lotta warm fuzzies was one we did a couple years ago called the Gallery of Gratitude. 
You can read all about it here. This project meant so much to the folks I work with. They were stopping in their tracks, reading the words the kids wrote about them, taking pictures, was AMAZING. We did it right before Thanksgiving to give thanks. I knew I wanted to do the project again this year...but missed the Thanksgiving deadline. So I thought it would be perfect for the winter...when we could all use some warm fuzziness. However, instead of drawing the portraits like we did previously, I decided we'd change it up a bit.
A while back, an art teacher (whose name I don't recall so I cannot give credit to -- so sorry!!) did modeling clay portraits with her kids and they were SO FUN. She shared the the kids looked at the author/illustrator Barbara Reid. Y'all have to check out Barbara's books and videos, so amazing. After watching her videos, I realized just how easy this would be for my fourth grade students. Here are the supplies we are using:

* Modeling Clay. The brand does not matter! And the stuff is CHEAP! So much cheaper than Sculpey and full of color. I bought some inexpensive variety packs from the craft store.

* Matte board. I used matte board because of the weight of the clay and I wasn't sure if it would warp cardboard. I happen to have a TON of matte board so it came in handy. I cut ours to 4" squares as I wasn't sure if the kids could do large pieces. They could have totally done it!

* Model Magic Clear Glaze. The thing is, modeling clay NEVER EVER dries as it's a combo of wax and oil. However, with a thickish layer of the clear glaze on top, it becomes pretty hard.

* HOBBY LOBBY METALLIC PLATES! Y'all! I saw these at the Hob Lobs a couple months ago and just about fainted. The perfect fancy frame, right?!

*Old school yearbooks. So we could look up the person whose portrait we are making.

* Names. These are the names of folks whose portraits we are making. We'll be doing a portrait of every person who works in our school building. 

Video demo I created for the kiddos: 
We started the project yesterday. We spoke a lot about gratitude, what it means, how to show it. Then I had the kids draw a name of a person who works at our school. I told them that if they were happy with the name they got, they could go to their seats and get started. If they didn't know the person and were interested in trading, they could remain on the floor. The kids remaining on the floor shared who they had and traded. A few kids were allowed to redraw a name if they had no clue who the person was...and I knew kids in my other classes would be happy to create that person's portrait. I did have a couple teacher's kids in the class who we all agreed should have first dibs on their parental units. Everyone was happy with who they were creating.
When I share my videos with my kids, I do not show them the entire video. Instead, I break it up into bits. For example, before we drew names, I had the kids watch the first part of the video about covering the background. Then we drew names and set to work. Thankfully, my heat was working and my art room was SUPER warm. This really helped with the manipulation of the clay. In the video, you'll notices I struggle a little because my heat was not working on the clay was super cold and hard. So crank up that heat for this lesson!
After completing the background, the kids came to the floor and we each announced which person we were creating a portrait of. That was fun and the kids were so excited. This is their last year at my school so many of them shared memories of the person whose portrait they are creating. We then watched the second phase of the video about creating a skin tone and creating the basic shape of the head, neck, ears and nose.
I will say this, a couple of kids made their head shapes super small. So I had those who "got it" go around and help make the heads a little bigger. For my next class, I'm going to have a head shape created out of paper and request that the kids place their clay on top and stretch it to that size...I think this will help make the heads bigger and more consistent in size.
I made sure to write down whose portrait was spoken for so that I could keep track of who we were creating and who still needed a portrait made. We might end up having a handful of extra teachers and staff...and I'll put my early finishers on those.
Here is my teacher example! I'll be certain to share our progress with y'all!
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

DIY: The Turkey Apron with Special Guests: Kindergarten Turkeys

 Do you know what it feels like to have children point and laugh at you? 
Chase you down in the hallways, look you from head to toe and run away, giggling? 
Call you names? Like "big turkey lady" and (for the not-quite-gettin'-it set) "chicken girl"?

If you do, then you probably fall into the "crazy art teacher" category. 
If you don't, well then, you're missin' out. Big time.

 I bring to you the DIY Who-You-Callin'-a-Turkey? (said in your best "whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" voice) Apron. And a welcome to my world.
 Now I don't normally go in for the holiday stuff in the art room for a coupla reasons. One, my little artists have enough projects going that by the time their procrastinatin' art teacher realizes there's a holiday approaching, there isn't time to create anything. And two, I'm not a big fan of holiday art. I guess I created too many hand-turkeys as a kid that it kinda left me with a this-ain't-art feelin'.

This week, however, my kindergarten friends managed to finish up their masterpiece which left me with one 1/2 hour art class to fill before our Thanksgiving break. Because we had just finished a project including shapes, I thought we could use our shape knowledge to draw our own turkey. The librarian loaned me this gem by the author of the Captain Underpants series. Being a vegetarian, I totally appreciate it's anti-turkey-eating storyline. 
I can't decide what I love more, those little dimply knuckles or that colorful turkey.
 We chatted about the shape of a turkey's head being like that of a small circle while his body is a large one. Details of the face were added as were feathers and his little legs. The kids had previously used oil pastels and recalled that you can overlap lines, hence the details created on the feathers.
 After reading the book and discussing how to draw the turkey, we were left with just enough time to create our own turkey-tasticness.
Love those knobby knees.
Can you say perfectionist? This girl is it.
Early finishers added an environment and some turkey friends to their background.
"Mrs. Stephens, you're a turkey!" To which I reply, "Who you callin' a turkey, turkey?" And it never gets old.
But enough of about the kid's creations, lemme show you how to turkey-ize yourself! I know you are dying to impress your friends and fam with your very own Turkey Apron. To create one, you'll need to rustle up the following supplies:
Please pardon the dirtiness of my apron. It's several years old and seen many a messy art class.
  • Yard and a half to two yards of a heavy neutral color fabric. Denim would work. I went with this gray fabric I had in my stash.
  • Variety of felt with corresponding colors of thread.
  • Buttons
  • Something for the belt and the loop around the neck. I went with some woven ribbon I had thrifted.
Need more apron-inspiration? Check out my DIY Art Teacher Rock Star Apron.
  1. I began by laying another apron on top of the fabric. I cut around that apron, leaving about an 1" for the seam. The seam was ironed under and hemmed.
  2. I then traced that same apron onto a large sheet of paper. This allowed me to sketch out my design and try it on in front of a mirror. Once I had the drawing complete, I used it as the pattern.
  3. After cutting out the pieces of my paper pattern, I cut them out again, this time with felt. To tack the felt in place, I used Witch Stitchery. 
  4. I set my sewing machine to the applique stitch and went to town. That part's easy. Just have plenty of thread on hand as you'll use plenty of it with that stitch. 
  5. Add the buttons, the belt and the part around the neck and Bam! You're a Turkey!
My turkey butt itches. Hat courtesy of my P.E. teachin' buddy.
I'm hoping you'll give this turkey apron a go. If you do, please let me know, I'd love to see what you created. If not, I totally understand. Only a crazy art teacher would walk around in a get-up like that. 

Happy (soon-to-be) Turkey Day!

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