Showing posts with label egyptian art lessons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label egyptian art lessons. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In the Art Room: Walk Like an Egyptian

Our amazing second grade singing and dancing to a rewrite of the Bangles hit "Walk Like an Egyptian."
 Well, here it is, folks, the final installment of The Art Show. It seems like a million years ago that I shared  Part 1 and Part 2 of our school wide art show with you. I decided to save my favorite part of the art show for last: the second grade production "Walk Like an Egyptian."

This year, in the art room, our theme was Ancient Egypt. I chose that theme because of an amazing exhibit at The Frist Center for Visual Arts. Not only did my second through fourth grade students visit this exhibit, but the entire school studied Egypt throughout the year. My first graders created Egyptian Landscapes and Nile Crocodile puppets. The third graders created a life-sized sarcophagus. Egyptian god portraits were created by my fourth grade students. And the second grade created Egyptian collar necklaces and gave this magical performance.
 I wrote this short and silly play set up just like the game show "Jeopardy". The program began with the two hosts (shown on the left) kicking off with the song "Walk like an Egyptian" Our fabulous music teacher rewrote the lyrics to The Bangles song (you know, because that little bit about "smoking on a hookah pipe" just might not go over well) and taught the kids the lyrics. One of our incredible second grade teachers taught the kids some sweet dance moves.

After that intro, King Tut (our friend in the middle) comes out as the Alex Trebek of the show. He lobbed questions, as well as some jokes, at the contestants: Cleopatra, a Mummy and Queen Nefertiti. The kids sang a rewrite of Steve Martin's "King Tut" ("he's my favorite honkey" didn't seem like the best thing for the kids to be singing, 'specially since dude was Egyptian). The show ended with the mummy busting free of her bandage strips (er, toilet paper) and stealing the show as well as winning the prize of 100 shabti (shown on the right).
After the production, the kids were all smiles, even the toothless variety.
 The play was a ton of fun and a huge hit, especially with the performers. They lit up the stage with their excitement and enthusiasm. It was such a delight to work with the incredible music, P.E., second grade and many other teachers in the school to make this play possible.
Egyptian collar necklaces are now the latest in second grade fashion.
 My part in preparing the kids for the program was the costuming. I knew I wanted to keep it simple for the parents, so I asked the kids wear over sized t-shirts, shorts and sandals on the day of the performance. During art class, we studied the history of Egyptian jewelry with a focus on Egyptian collar necklaces and scarab beetle jewelry.
Okay, I'm not a macaroni-art kind of teacher but I will admit, this was kind of fun. If you do this, do not use the textured pasta as it cracks when it dries.
 One group of kids was given a wide variety of colorful pasta that they glued onto their gold-painted cardboard collars. We chatted about patterning and design.
 Once the glue dried, we added designs to our necklaces by printing. The kids used cardboard, q-tips and marker caps dipped in gold paint to create their unique designs.
 Knowing that they were going to be wearing their creations in their performance, the kids really worked hard on crafting beautiful necklaces.
The little actor that played King Tut is the son of one sweet mama. She came up with the pipe cleaner idea as a way to hold the necklaces on. She simply hole punched, fed the pipe cleaner through one side and twisted to keep it in place. The other side she left like a hook. This way the kids could take their necklaces on and off on their own.
 Some of my other classes created these scarab beetle necklaces. For these, the kids used cardboard to cut out the shape of wings. These cardboard shapes were then wrapped in tin foil and then colored with sharpie. Can you guess what the beetle's body is...? One of the many uses for bottle caps in the art room!
Two proud Egyptians showing off their necklaces.
I love the anch design, don't you?
 This program was such fun and a great way to kick off the art show. However, having an art show AND a performance on the same day most certainly gave me some new gray hairs. So, while I'd love to work with these amazing kids and teacher on another production again...let's just say I might pick a less insanely busy day. Thanks for dropping by.

Read more »

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #17

Blue Monday: Egyptian print dress: etsy; metallic belt: H & M; metallic shoes: Anthro (someone had ripped the bows off the shoes so they sold 'em to me for $20!); headband: super awesome Peachy Tuesday
In honor of the school-wide Egyptian-themed art show and the premiere performance of Walk Like an Egyptian by our second grade stars, I decided to go all Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus with my outfits this week. That's right, I'm All-Egyptian, All-the-Time with the exception of Field Day Friday.

And in honor of my Egyptian ensembles, I thought I'd share with you some Ancient Egyptian history. When it comes to Egypt, I'm like a regular Encyclopedia Britannica -- and for those of you born after 1995, I'm like a regular google search. Read carefully, there's a quiz later!
Love this dress. Picked up from the fab etsy seller Hollie Point Vintage.

The color of the print reminded me of Egyptian shabti. These little figures, usually no more than a few inches tall, were believed to spring to life and become servants for their owner in the Afterlife. Hundreds were usually found in the tombs of pharaohs and queens. Image found here.

Trying Out a New Backdrop Tuesday: I thought I'd show you something other than my classroom or my front step. Just a little corner in our front room. Egyptian print dress: etsy; belt: made by me; shoes: Urban Outfitters

I love this dress and the seller was especially kind and excited to know I'd be wearing it when teaching los kiddos. For that reason, you must check out Vintage with Appeal.

The print on this dress reminded me of images I'd seen of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. This book was placed in the tomb of the deceased. It consisted of spells that were believed to help the dead in their journey through the underworld and to the Afterlife. Image found here.

Wednesday: blue shirt: Target; embroidered top: Urban Outfitters; Egyptian skirt and belt: thrifted; sandals and necklaces: Target

So my students all know an adapted version of the Steve Martin classic King Tut. And I'm only mildly offended that they refer to me as "King Nut".

King Tutankhamun was most famous not only because he became king at 9, but also for his mysterious death at age 18. His tomb was found completely intact in 1923 by Howard Carter. The Egyptians believed that those that tampered with tombs would become victims of bad luck. A mysterious number of people died after the unearthing of Tut's tomb.

Art Show/Performance Thursday: dress: etsy; belt: thrifted; necklace: Target; shoes: Clarks; flower: made by me

Another fab etsian. Can you tell I scooped up all of the best Egyptian dresses? I've already started searching etsy for next year's theme! Please visit this lovely shop, the owner of Oh, Dear Things is just the sweetest.

The anch is featured all over my dress. It's the Ancient Egyptian symbol for life. Found here.

Field Day Friday!: So, I'm standing in line at Starbucks getting my morning tea...dressed like this. A posh mom walks in with her elementary-age kid and stops dead in her tracks, giving me the once over. Meanwhile, her kid, who is smiling at me, is wearing a private school shirt. And I'm dying to say to her, "That's why you pay the big bucks, lady. To keep yer kid away from the likes of me." Shirt: tie-dyed in my art room, shredded and beaded by me; skirt: anthro, gift from a friend; tights: amazon; shoes: Earth shoes

Nothing goes better with tiger-stripe tights than a tiger stone scarab beetle ring. The Egyptians saw the scarab beetle (also known as the dung beetle) rolling balls of dung across the sand. From this they gathered that the beetle was responsible for rolling the sun up and down everyday. In their mind, the scarab beetle was the symbol for rejuvenation. Ring found here.

Read more »

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In the Art Room: Croc-O-Nile Puppetry

Sweet little first grader with her crocodile puppet.
This is a bitter sweet post for me. Today is Lauren's last day in my art room. Come Monday she'll be off being an incredible art-teacher-to-be somewhere else with some other lucky art teacher and her students. I look forward to seeing what she'll do in her new assignment but certainly wish she could stay. I thought I'd share with you one of the many amazing projects she did with the artists at my school.
Lauren reading a book on crocodiles snagged from the library. Did you know that there are 14 different types? And that they have 3 eyelids? And they carry their newborns around in their mouth? Me neither.
When Lauren began student teaching, my first grade students were beginning a paper weaving unit. And while the kids love weaving and learn so much from it, I'm always at a bit of a loss as to what to do with the completed weavings. One year we turned the weaving into the body of a fish. Another year we used black paper and cut out the negative shape of a butterfly to go over the weaving. This year I knew I wanted to stay in keeping with our Egyptian theme. So when I saw a photo on pinterest where a teacher had used the weaving as the body of a crocodile, I knew that's what I wanted to do.
After Lauren read crocodile facts to the kids, we had Kyle the Crocodile come out and ask the kids questions. The puppet is by folkmanis and is extremely realistic. If they kids answered Kyle's questions correctly, they were able to touch his which point I had him whip around and nip at the kids' nose causing complete crazy fun chaos.
I shared with Lauren the photo on pinterest and my crocodile puppet, she said, "Can the kids make a crocodile puppet?" I kinda thought she was crazy but told her to make a mock up and see how it would work. I swear in a matter of 15 minutes she came back to me with a completed puppet that involved so many different media and learning experiences we just knew it had to happen. If you scroll down to the last photo, you'll see Lauren's example.

So began our crocodile puppet lesson. The first part of the lesson involved the kids creating their looms. We create our looms together on the floor. Using 9" X 12" paper, the kids fold their paper in half "hamburger" style. On the opposite end of the fold, they make a very small fold 1" from the top. That small fold is the "stop line" for their cutting. Using scissors and starting at the bottom fold, they cut a vertical line to the stop line, thus creating what looks like a pair of pants. We take each paint leg and cut from the middle to the stop line creating four equal parts. Finally we cut each one of those creating eight parts. Including math terms like half, fourth and eighth is always a good idea.

For the weaving portion, we had the kids create patterned strips of paper. If you look closely at the weavings, you'll see that the strips of paper (er, wefts) have a smaller paper on top of them. This created a kind of texture for the crocodile's body.
The printing idea for this portion of the lesson came from Cathy Topal's Thinking with a Line.
After the weavings were complete, students began their work on the other parts of the crocodile's body. They learned that the crocodiles use their tail for defense. To create the shape, the kids were shown how to fold their paper "hot dog style" and cut from one angle of the rectangle to another with a diagonal line. Open the paper and viola! triangle.
Yeah, this is pretty much how my tables look. Scissors out, pencils on the table and messy hands. It's the art room, I like to keep it real.
Lauren also spent some time chatting with them the difference between printing (when you press something down and pick it back up) and painting (when you press something down and move it around). They also reviewed their line vocabulary.

After printing, students began creating the pieces of their crocodiles face. They created eyes, a nose, feet and teeth. Crocodile bits were kept in envelopes with students names on them.
Inside the mouth of the crocodile is this little mechanism. The kids folded these without any problem. We used 12" X 18" sheets of cheap manilla paper. Here's how:
  1. Tri-fold the paper
  2. Fold the tri-fold in half creating a "V"
  3. Take the ends of the "V" and fold back creating a "W"
Squeeze the openings and you'll see two pockets. This is here your fingers go. Speaking of fingers, look at my old lady hands, ew! Guess my dreams of begin a hand model are over.

I've used this puppet fold for many puppet-y projects with the kids. They love it and get really creative.
Once the puppet mechanism was created, the kids had to cut out large four triangles from 9" X 12" paper. Two cream colored ones to be glued to the inside of the mouth and two green for the outside.
Gluing on the crocodile bits. Both the eyes and the nostrils were created with a "foot", or a folded end, so that they could be glued down easily.
The expressions on each croc was hilariously unique. This one is waiting for his limbs and his teeth.
The kids cut out four legs with the help of a template. Sadly I didn't get a photo of any with their teeth in. Small white triangles were cut out and glued inside for teeth.

This project took many art classes. As some of you know, I have half an hour classes so we had to take baby steps with this project. But the end result was worth it. It's one of those projects the kids won't soon forget.

In line for the Crocodile Parade.
For the end of the project, Lauren had students go on a crocodile parade. She had come up with a tale to of how a polar bear had stolen their baby crocodiles. The students followed the paw prints of the bear (paper prints that Lauren had strewn throughout the school) until they found their crocodile babies. The kept the babies in their mouths like they had learned crocs do and used their tail to fight off the polar bear. The kids loved every minute of it.
Lauren with her crocodile puppet example.
Sigh. So that was the amazing crocodile puppet project created by this amazing young art teacher. I'm so sad that she's leaving, you don't even know! I'm sure crocodile tears will be flowing at some point today. She's promised to come back...and when she does, I'll be certain to photograph her outfits. Best wishes at your new school placement, Laruen!
Read more »

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In the Art Room: Hump Day

After a long chat about fore-, middle- and background, we glued our camels into our Egyptian Landscape Collages. Here's a kid that really got the concept of objects diminishing in size.
What would be more appropriate to chat about on this here Hump Day then a one-humped camel (which are called domedary in case you didn't know) and his habitat? My first grade artists finished up these Egyptian Landscape Collages last week and I thought I'd share them with you. I've been doing this landscape collage lesson for years but always with a connection to our current theme of study. With Egypt being our theme this year, a desert landscape was what we created.

Image pulled from
We began our lesson with a nice long chat about sunrises and sets. We looked at photos, artist renditions, and discussed personal experiences before creating our own. Each student was given a 12" by 18" piece of paper folded in half lengthwise. On the top half of their paper, students painted their sunsets. During their second art class, we discussed the horizon line and how objects near that line appear to be smaller. With that in mind, we painted our clouds, small near the horizon, gradually growing in size as they approach the top of the paper.

Would you like one hump or two? The two-humped camels (called bactrian) are found in Central and East Asia. So apparently this one migrated to Egypt.

The following art class, we began the textured paper for the desert sands. This time we had a wee chat about creating tints of colors and textures. Each student was given a new sheet of 12" X 18" paper folded in half lengthwise. They were to create a tint of brown on each half of the paper and create a texture with the texture combs. If you don't happen to have texture combs, you can easily make them from stiff pieces of card stock with small notches cut out of the bottom.

It's just not a kid's landscape unless something is levitating. I totally dig the floating pyramids.

Once both paintings are complete, the collage process begins. Now, I've done this project many times and the first time I did it, the collage portion made me want to whack my head against the wall. So to save you some head-whacking, lemme tell you how I explain it to the kids:
  1. Tear a strip of paper off of your textured and tinted paper lengthwise.
  2. Put glue around the edges of that paper. Place it directly on your horizon line (this way, no white space can be seen between the sky and the horizon).
  3. Continue to tear strips and glue down. Overlap the brown papers so there are no white paper gaps.
  4. When you run out of paper at the bottom to glue the land to, you are finished!

This idea to create pyramids came from the book Dynamic Art Projects for Children. If you teach children, this book is a fantastic source for art project ideas.
Once the landscape was complete, we began creating objects for the land. We kept these bits and pieces in an envelope labeled with our name until we were ready to glue them down.

To create the pyramids, the kids folded a rectangle in half, cut across it diagonally, opened the paper and viola! we had a triangle. To make it look three-dimensional, we laid a piece of scrap paper over the triangle, drew a heavy brown line in oil pastel and then smeared the pastel toward the edge of the triangle. We used oil pastels gifted to us from Paul deMarrais. You must see his beautiful pastel landscapes (and pick up some of his hand crafted oil pastels!) here:
The How-to-Draw sheet that I made multiple copies of and had ready at the tables.
Once our pyramids were complete, we began our study of camels. We read a book about them, looked at this amazing stuffed one that our librarian happened to have and proceeded to draw together. I firmly believe in guided drawing (meaning, I draw something on my paper, the kids attempt to replicate on their paper). Art teachers that I have met are either firmly for or against this idea. My rational is this: you wouldn't hand a kid a math worksheet and just tell them to have at it without explaining to them the concepts first, right?
I love how the little camel's legs are firmly rooted as if to say, "I'm not taking another step! This walking on three legs business is just too complicated!"
So as we are drawing the camels together, we are looking for the shapes and lines within the object, discussing what we see and drawing them. After we have created one camel together, the students were given the above How-to Draw sheet and asked to draw as many camels as they'd like in their landscape. They used the sheet as their starting point and them proceeded to draw walking legs, multiple humps, etc. Again, we kept them in our envelope.
Another beautiful Egyptian sunset. I shared similar images with the kids to help them understand the concept of a silhouette.
On our final day, students were given back their envelopes and their landscapes. We had a chat about fore-, middle- and back ground, diminishing size and silhouettes. Then the students proceeded to assemble their collages. Finally, we were finished! I have this habit of creating the World's Longest Art Projects...but I have myself convinced that it's okay. We learned: painting, color mixing, texture, collage, drawing, shading, etc. So, it's really about five projects packed into one, right?
As I said earlier, I've done this project many times before. When we were learning about Japan, the landscape was vertical and filled with origami houses. One year we learned about Medieval times and created a green landscape full of castles. The original idea came from a SchoolArts article many years ago. That teacher had created a sea scape, using blue textured papers. The possibilities are endless-ish!
Read more »

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In the Art Room: Egyptian Style

Portrait of the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis created by one of my fourth grade students. I love that the artist embossed the goddess' name in hieroglyphics at the bottom of the frame.
For the record, let me just say that this lesson is not mine. I found it on pinterest, which lead me to artsonia. The image I found there showed that the middle school-aged students had watercolor painted their gods and painted their frame with metallic paint. As you can see, I altered the lesson some. It has taken my fourth grade students quite a bit of time but they are finally seeing the light at the end of the Never-Ending-Project tunnel. The kids and I are both pleased with the results so I though I'd share my version of the lesson.

Don't let the picture fool you. This photo was taken at the begin of the year before the dementors, er, students entered the scene. Now there's a drum kit where the rugs were and the third grader's half-painted sarcophaguses (sarcophagui?) drying all over the floor.

Our year long theme is the study of Ancient Egypt (really? I had to tell you that? I'm kinda like Mrs. Obvious, if you've not noticed). I chose this theme because of the Egyptian exhibit at the local art museum that the majority of my students field-tripped to.

Portrait of the Ancient Egyptian god Horus.
 This particular unit began with a sit down in Ancient Egypt where the students were told the story of the two gods portrayed on my window, Isis and her son Horus. In case you don't know the story, it goes something like this: Jealous brother Seth decides to take down his brother Osiris. Builds him sarcophagus, convinces him to climb inside and suffocates him. Wife of Osiris, Isis, sends her eagle-headed son Horus to avenge his father's death. That's what she's chatting with him about on my painted window. Confused? Well, the Ancient Egyptians believed in hundreds of gods, some animal, some human and some a combo of both, all with strange tales of their own. Needless to say, to the average 10 year old, the stories are fascinating.   
Ancient Egyptian god Osiris who is often depicted the color green. We're guessing it has to do with all that suffocating business.
After learning about the Ancient Egyptian gods (with an emphasis on the fact that these are false gods), students were given a handout with a list of about a dozen gods, their back story and their image in profile. After they chose one that piqued their interest, they began to sketch out their god in pencil and trace their lines in sharpie.
Learning the fine art of metal tooling.
From there, I introduced colored pencils. I briefly chatted with the kids about coloring and let them have at it. It was a total disaster. After creating such beautiful drawings, I was disappointed that their coloring skills were lacking. Or, rather, their art teacher had failed to teach them some important things about shading, value and blending.
So I backtracked. I created a colored pencil coloring sheet (don't stop reading, hear me out) that involved creating a gradation of values. There was also a little review on color theory. Some got it and applied it to their drawings and some didn't. But it did improve their application of colored pencil greatly.

Once the gods and goddesses were complete, I introduced the kids to Ancient Egyptian symbols. We looked at symbols we see and recognize everyday (hearts, peace signs, smiley faces, etc.) and discussed how the Egyptians used symbols as well. Using a 3" by 4" piece of styrofoam, the kids chose a symbol that they felt related to their god and engraved it into the foam.

I love the tooled metal design on this frame.
As you can see from these drawings, the ankh was a very popular symbol with the kids. When printmaking, I set out two trays of ink and brayers for each table of four students. Working with a partner, the kids printed for several art classes. One day we printed with metallics and the next, we tried our hand at rainbow printing, which they loved. It was an absolute mess and sometimes frustrating for both the kids and myself. But by the last day, they were printmaking fools.
Last week, we started the metal tooled frame. I have five rolls of tooling metal in red, blue, green, gold, and silver. We chatted about embossing, looked at Egyptian patterns, recalled hieroglyphics and symbols. With dull pencils and a foam board for cushion, the students managed to complete their frames in just a few classes. I've been dangling the carrot of weaving over their heads, so they are more than ready to move on. I began assembling the works of art yesterday in my excitement to see what they would look like. 

I don't know if you can tell, but the images of the gods are three dimensional. Pieces of foam core were glued underneath to raise them up. I also hot glued the metal frame to the construction paper because the edges are sharp and that metal gets as hot as a mother with hot glue on it. Oh, convection, how I hate you.

In all, I thought this was a pretty successful project. We managed to learn about drawing, shading, printmaking, metal tooling and just a smidge of Ancient Egyptian history. I am so thankful for pinterest and the art teacher behind the original lesson.
Read more »