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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In the Art Room: String Art!

Tonight, on Facebook LIVE at 8pm CST, I thought we could talk about how to prepare for a sub. I'll share with you what I do to insure that I'll won't come back to a Hot Mess Express. I'd love to hear your tips. ALSO...I have BIG NEWS about our LIVE chats that I think you are going to love love love! So I'll see you real soon.

My lovely and sweet (ahem) spring-break-ready third graders are starting their string art project this week. We have prepared the boards by painting them (we are using cardboard pizza rounds purchased in bulk via Amazon) and adding texture. We also punctured holes in them to prep them stitching. Next week, we'll sketch out our designs and start stitching. Here's the video I created to introduce the kids to this process. Feel free to use and share in your art teacherin' world.
Even if you don't do this project with the kids, you might wanna watch it for the needle threading trick alone. Or you can just follow me here and catch a short clip.
There are many methods of string art but I'll be introducing my kids to ones that I call Spectrum and Radiating Design. I found the above, the one I call Radiating Design, to be a little more taxing simply because you have to get more yarn to make the lines go all the way around the board. 
This one I'm calling Spectrum. This one is fun because you can use a lot of different colors. It's up to the artist just how much stitching happens within the design. 
 My third graders were at the end of this project when I introduced this new one. So during the second half of one art class, when they were finished with their candy sculptures, I had them quickly color, paint and scrape a texture onto their boards. 
Today, the first half of class, we did this. I had a handful of kids that were absent the day so they worked on coloring and painting while the majority did this. Thankfully, we had this project to also work on. Have I ever told y'all that I have a habit of having the kids work in exactly 37 projects at once? I ain't proud. 
The kids are stoked! I can't wait to share with you what they create. 
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In the Art Room: My Favorite Clay Lessons

Well, y'all, I gotta tell ya. It's been a long, exhausting but super fun and exhilarating week. Which can only mean one thing: Clay Week! I started doing a week of clay for the entire school a coupla years ago and now that we have it all down pat, we ain't never going back. The only thing I plan to change for next year: do two separate clay weeks, one in the fall and one in the spring. The kids love clay so stinkin' much that I want to give them more opportunities to explore! 

I spent this past weekend filming clay demo videos that I've been sharing with each of my classes. I did this for a couple of reasons: 1. it's so hard to demo clay and insure that each child can see. 2. I don't forget any of the details or get distracted by raised hands, talker-outers or whatever randomness that causes me to get off track and 3. the kids pay so much more attention to Television Stephens than Fur Realzies Stephens (which I take offense to but whateves). I've not added these videos to my YouTube channel yet because I'm too tired, y'all! Instead I thought I'd share with you my favorite clay lessons (with links to each lesson!) of all timez.

IN OTHER NEWS (by the way, if you know me even for a second, you know that "in other news" is my fave segue to totes off-topic-town), I've been keeping secrets from y'all. It's time I let the big ole cat outta the bag: I've been working with Quarry Books...and I'm writing a book! That's right! AND it's all about...clay! So...in case you noticed that the DIY's on this here blog have pretty much dried up to nothing that's because my weekends have been spent working on el book-o. I've been keeping it kinda on the down low because I didn't want to get too excited lest Quarry find out what a crazy I am and back outta the deal. But it would appear that they are in it to win it and so am I. I'll keep y'all posted...but I just had to share. 

AND NOW, back to my fave clay projects!
When it comes to Clay Week, I do love to have a theme. This helps with the teaching as I can reference the same visuals. It also helps when we put together the art show as there is a real cohesiveness to it all. The clay display is always in my art room. It looks so nice to see all of these thematic projects together! One of my favorite lessons for an Asian theme were these Painted Indian Elephants inspired by my art teacherin' buddy Debbie Flynt. Each one was so colorful and unique!
Another hit, especially with the kids, were these Chinese Dragons by my third grade students! So much creativity and imagination went into each and every one that this was def a kid fave. 
Pandas are so stinkin' cute. We've taken to watching Animal Planet's Panda Cam in my art room (along with puppy, kitten and otter cam...y'all, it's seriously the best thing ever). My fourth graders had a blast making these Pandas with Personality for our Asian theme. 
Because our art show is in the spring, I settled upon spring with an emphasis on Monet's Waterlilies one year! My fourth graders created these frogs with so much spunk and personality that they really were a true reflection of the young artist! 
Kindergarteners are a freakin' joy to do clay with as they absolutely love every minute of it! While we were working today, I heard so much laughter, happiness and discovery that it just made my day. We created these textured butterfly wallhangings to go along with our spring theme. 
Opening my kiln to these pretties, I remember letting out a squeal! They were so colorful and spring-like and the third grade had a blast making them. 
My favorite projects are the ones where the kids just go bananas with little details and creativity. That's what my second graders did with these cute and fun waterlilies.
One year, our theme was animals because we "sold" our creations back to our parents (for a donation) which we turned over to a no-kill humane society. This was a fun experience for the kids to see the power of being kind and art! My kindergarten and first graders created these sweet Pinch Pot Pets
My second graders used two pinch pots to create their own version of Pinch Pot(s) Pets! I love all the variety of ideas in this lesson. 
My fourth graders created these fun cat and dog sculptures. I love to encourage silliness and imagination in their works so that they really explore making a simple idea like a cat or dog their own. Again, this was a hit with kids and parents! 
Second grade created these tigers one year that double as a container. There's a pinch pot on the back of each tiger that was flipped upright to be used as a bowl! Our mascot is the tiger so this was a great tie-in with school pride as well as keeping with our animal-loving theme. 
And now for a batch of randoms. These fish were not tied to a theme but super cute. I love that clay can be a great vehicle in teaching texture. Such was really emphasized in this textured fish lesson for first grade!
Wall hangings can be a fun alternative to sculpture when working with clay. It's often difficult for the young kids like kindergarten town to create standing sculptures. So, with a focus on texture, my wee ones last year created these textured birds! This blog post has a how to video if you are interested.  
This is one of my tried and true favorite lessons that I used to do every year with second grade until I grew tired of it and moved on. I brought it back for an after school group last year and they loved their textured initial wall hanging!

What are some of your fave clay lessons? I am SO EXCITED about our clay theme this year and cannot wait to share it with you...it's gonna be the best one yet!
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

In the Art Room: Winter Mixed Media Masterpieces!

Brace yourselves, y'all. Wintertime is here and it's been non-stop winter-y projects up in my art room. Which can only mean one thingie: this here blog is about to be all sorts of frosty, freezy and fun projects galore! So many, in fact, that I'll be posting a couple each week so be sure to pop back by. The good news is these projects are Winter-y not holiday-y (my school is a melting pot so just focusing on one holiday isn't fair to all) so that means you can create these masterpieces until the snow melts and the flowers bloom! 
This was a quick and simple project that one of my second grade classes knocked out. They somehow managed to be ahead of the rest of my classes (doncha love when that happens) and I needed a lesson that would reinforce what we've been learning, introduce a coupla new techniques and only take the kids two thirty-minute classes. I created a couple of videos for you to either show in your art room or simply view on your own and share in your own art teacherin' way. I hope you find them helpful! You can always subscribe to my youtube channel for more videos like this one. 
For this project, our first order of biznatch was creating th background. The kids had previously worked with watercolor and splatter technique so they are pretty much pros at this point. 
In this video, you can see how I walked them thru creating with oil pastels, thinking about what makes an interesting composition, using the elements of art and both oil resist and wet-on-wet techniques. 
After our chat which I try to keep super short, the kids had just enough time to bust out the likes of these bad boys. 
I am learning that not all oil pastels are created equally. I've not ordered new ones this year (we are currently down to the numbs) but I'm learning toward ordering more Gallery brand pastels. I especially love the fluorescent ones, they are just so bright! 
Once complete, these are placed on the drying rack until the following thirty minute class. 
During the following class, the kids use white scratch paper to draw their birds. The kids are getting older now and no longer need me to direct them in drawing. However, some do like me to walk them through how to "read" the how-to-draw books which usually just entails a couple of reminders to break the objects down into lines and shapes. I also tell the kids that if they are feeling stuck or frustrated, to practice on a dry erase board until they feel they are comfortable enough to tackle their paper. 
I found a variety of how-to-draw birds and cardinal online and made several copies for the kids to get ideas from. As an artist, I always like to have a reference and I know many of my students do as well. I leave 'em as an option for the kids. 
Once the birds are drawn, the kids cut them out and commence gluing them in place. 
Because we created these right before heading in to Thanksgiving break, we worked hard to complete these in those two short art classes. Usually our projects take a bit longer...so this was a fun and fast alternative. 
Once complete, the kids use a Sharpie to sign their name so they can be hung in the hall for all to enjoy and for the artist to be recognized. There's just something so sweet about seeing a child's handwriting on their art. I always emphasis neat handwriting and placement. Artists always sign at either the top or the bottom...NOT THE MIDDLE (because, ya know, it's happened).
Once complete, we pop each one of these up on the T.V. via the document camera. We always cheer for the artist and pay them a compliment for their hard work. I love seeing the kids beam when we do this, it truly makes the "job" of teaching art worth while, y'all!
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

In the Art Room: Creating a Rousseau-Inspired Mural with First Grade

Hi, friends! I mightah told y'all that we're on a bit of a Rousseau-tiger-y kick at my school these days. If you follow me here, I've shared tons of photos of my young artists tiger-tastic work. Last week I shared the relief sculpture tiger pieces created by my fourth graders. I'll be certain to share all the deets on the other projects as well but for today, I thought I'd start with y'all the biggest hit: The First Grade Henri Rousseau Jungle Mural!
 A lil back story: we have our school Open House after the first month of school. I try my hardest to have a work of art hung by each student for the occasion. The last couple of years, we've done Dot Day. This year, I decided to opt for a different theme: Henri Rousseau's jungle paintings. I chose this for a couple of reasons. I'm emphasizing that Art is an Adventure and that artists are too! Also, the tigers are our school mascot so it looks fab-o and school-spirit-esque to see them plastered on the walls of our school. Having an over-arching theme for all grade levels really helps me keep my learning targets in line (5 different art lessons is enough! You add 5 different themes/topics/cultures/etc. and my lil mind is blown). So, Rouseau-inspired tigers it was!
 And first grade totally nailed it. To start, we began the school year by painting and texturing papers. The first grade was allowed to pick from a variety of warm colored pieces of construction paper. They added white, yellow and red to these papers in any way they decided. These were used as the basis for our tiger drawings. To better explain the process, I created a video! This video is in kid-friendly format so feel free to share in your art room with your students. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the video! I created this just for y'all...so please let me know what you like, what you'd like to see more of and if you'd like me to pretty please stop. By the way, sometimes my videos go up on my youtube channel before they debut here. If you subscribe to my channel, you'll be the first to view...lucky you! 
 In case you can't stand the sound of my voice, I've got snaps of the drawing steps. I drew with the children while they sat on the floor with their papers and oil pastels in front of them. We emphasized each element of art as we drew. This was a great way to introduce the elements of art by demonstrating them in our drawings!

 When using oil pastels, I always emphasize that we are not to wipe the oil pastels as they'll smear. My fave oil pastel brands are Sakura but I do love Gallery's fluorescent oil pastels. That's what's used on the eyes and the nose. So bright and the viscosity is very smooth. 

 We used black last because it can be the most disastrous as far as smearing goes. The kids were really excited to use black as suddenly their drawings came together. 
 I love the sweet personality of each tiger! Once the drawing was done, we used our green painted papers to create leaves for our tigers. These were added either in front or behind our tigers. 
 From there, we added a tail and glued that to the back of our tigers. 
 We used some scrap paper to create the tails. 

For the tail, we talked about line and the kids drew any kind of line they wanted. Then they created a parallel line to follow the first.
 
 Then zigzag stripes were added.

Once the tigers were complete, the mural was ready to be created. We spent one 30 minute class painting huge sheets of bulletin board  paper green. The kids loved it! They called it a Painting Party and attacked those large sheets of paper with a ton of energy.
The following class, we dialed it way down and talked about pattern. I started an organic leafy design on each paper that was green and a star pattern on each paper that was blue. The kids were given small brushes and asked to create a pattern of the original design. 
 The next morning, I got to school about an hour before it started, got super jacked up on coffee and busted that mural out. I laid 12' sheets of paper on the floor, one for each class. 
I started by gluing down the night sky papers with my high temp glue gun. Then the land papers were added. To finish, I went over each land form in either black or white paint. 
 HOWEVER, once the tigers were added, they completely vanished into the busy background! I was so sad! So I decided to outline each of the tigers in black paint. Again, this took no time because I had injected coffee straight into my eyeballs. Turns out you can run laps around the universe if you do that, who knew?!
And, viola! By the way, here's a peak at our Jungle Lounge and here's a look at the mural that this one replaced. Thanks for dropping by, y'all!

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