Showing posts with label kids art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids art. Show all posts

Monday, November 14, 2016

In the Art Room: Royal First Graders

Brace yourself. You're in for an overload of First Grade Fantastical Cuteness in the form of Royal Self-Portraits!
Like, riiiiiight?! I can't even, y'all. These selfies are so sweet it's like a lollypop dipped in Fruity Pebbles dipped in milk chocolate and covered in sprinkles (guess who has a strong sweet tooth? GUESS). My fab-o first grade artists completed these just in time for me to get them shipped off to Artome for their frames. And I'm so excited for these are totally frame-worthy. 

I don't often repeat projects but when I was dreaming up a self-portrait unit for all of my classes, I knew I wanted to give this lesson another go-round. I did have to alter the lesson quite a bit as the format of the Artome frames is half the size what I usually have my students work. Lemme tell you how we created these bad boys, er, royal dudes and dudettes. 
I'll break the lesson down for y'all...keep in mind that my classes are 30 minutes in length. This project took us about two weeks to complete. On the first day, the kids were given a 9" X 12" sheet of white paper and tasked to paint that paper the color of them. Before doing so, we read this great book:
In the book, a young girl paints portraits of her friends mixing up their unique skin color. The kids were given brown, black, white, red and yellow paint. We chatted about tints, shades and mixing up a variety of flesh tones. The kids painted their sheet of paper their unique skin tone. 

The following day, on that sheet of painted paper, the kids traced a head template in the middle of the paper and added two vertical lines for the neck. This was done independently and in pencil. Once complete, the kids met with me on the floor for a little guided drawing. We chatted about the proportions of the face and facial features. We drew together in oil pastel. When using oil pastel, I always stress to the kids to use black last and never to wipe their paper as it can smear the pastel. That was completed on our second day.
During our third art class, we cut our portraits away from the painted paper and glued it to a new sheet of 9" X 12" paper. We had a nice chat about painting hair: mixing the right color and creating texture. Once the hair was painted, the kids put those on the drying rack and worked on their crowns. For that, we used gold painted papers and crown templates. I had cut pieces of metallic paper (I found some metallic origami paper to be just the thing!) and the kids added jewels to their crown. I did chat with them about symmetry and balance when it came to the placement of the jewels. It's always good to pack as much educational punch into those lessons as we can!
Our fourth day, crowns were attached to heads and clothing was created. For our clothes, the kids were given a rectangle for their shirt and two squares for their sleeves. These were decorated with my favorite florescent oil pastels (really, where have these BEEN all my life?!) and attached at the bottom of the paper. 

Finally came the background! We used Crayola's water soluble oil pastels for that. The kids could use either warm or cool colors for the background before adding water to paint. 
Ta-da! You might have noticed that some of my fancier friends added coffee filters for a ruffly collar to their shirt, sparkly earrings and more jewels. They really had a lot of fun getting all kinds of royal for their selfies. 
Finally, they had to come up with a title for their piece. "Princess Cutie Cute" will forever go down in history as my favorite title for these precious masterpieces. I cannot wait to see them framed and in our Artome art show! Love to hear about your favorite self-portrait projects, y'all!
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Sunday, November 13, 2016

In the Art Room: Bebo Birds!

Earlier this week I shared with y'all a new video series I'm creating for my students called Field Trip! Our first 'trip was to hang out with folk artist and musician Bebo. Some of my classes took that virtual field trip this week and really enjoyed it. I am in the process of creating videos to accompany the field trip...and today, I'm excited to share with you the first one: Bebo Birds!
This project is geared toward my first grade artists. I really want them to explore textured mark-making. That will be our focus for the first day of this lesson. On the second day, we'll learn the difference between organic and geometric shapes. My goal is to teach the children that you can create anything with shapes. Keeping it simple will insure confidence and success for the least that's the plan. Of course, I'll keep you posted and share their masterpieces with you. In case you missed out on our field trip adventure, here's our 'trip to meet and create with the artist Bebo!
Such a fun guy and so giving with his time. I felt very lucky to have that opportunity to meet him and share his awesomeness with my kids. 
One piece of his that really struck me were these birds. I loved how fun they were. I also really loved the texture, the pattern and the use of shapes. I knew my first grade kids would not only enjoy looking at Bebo's work but also creating their own version of these Bebo birds. Here's our lesson:
I'm excited to work on more Bebo-inspired lessons in the future. I've got a lovely week off for Thanksgiving break and I'm thrilled to say we aren't going anywhere! I'll be traveling to Texas this week for their conference, which I'm stoked about (!!) however, I am a complete homebody so staying put for a while and working on my pile o' projects sounds like my kind of break. 

Love to know if you make Bebo Birds! 
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Friday, November 11, 2016

In the Art Room: Sandra Silbertzweig Inspired Portraits by Third Grade

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with y'all a video I created for my third graders. The video (seen below) introduced my kids to the colorful work of Sandra Silbertzweig and allowed them to explore creating a colorful and abstract self portrait. This lesson is currently  one of my faves! Check out how stunning these beauties turned out. All of my students are currently creating a wide variety of self portraits for our Artome fundraiser...and I daresay, these just might be my faves. 
For this project, we used:

* 9" X 12" black or dark blue construction paper. I would have loved to make these bigger but that is the size of the Artome frames.

* Black glue or black puffy paint. There are a couple of ways to create black glue. My friend Ginger creates black glue with a mixture of Elmer's All Purpose glue and India Ink. I created mine with a one part mixture of paint to two parts glue. The key is to use Elmer's All Purpose, not the school grade stuff as it's runny. Also, I had some students use black puffy paint which worked great. Another alternative is to use glue on black paper as it dries clear and will leave behind a kind of transparent line that the dark paper can show through. 

* Chalk. I'm a big fan of Koss Brand chalk which can be found on Amazon. It's pricey but GREAT. 
 This project took us two plus art classes to complete. On the first day, we watched the video, learned about Sandra and did a little guided drawing. If you watch the video, you'll see I left the drawing portion open to many levels of drawing alternatives. Once the drawing was complete, the kids traced their lines in glue. From there, if time allowed, we watched a bit more of the video as a kind of sneak peak to the following week. 
The real fun came with the chalk. In the video, I really stress how to use the chalk properly...and we do a whole lot of chatting about analogous colors. I really felt like this lesson was a wonderful exploration of color theory. 
 Here is how each table of four children was set up: a laminated colorwheel that I found online and two bowls of chalk, one warm, the other cold. Students were to use the colorwheel as I did in the video. Many of them took the time to pair up and lay all of their chalk out on the wheel. This way, they could easily see what colors were available to use. I love that they were so into picking the correct colors for this project. 
After the second day, several kids were not finished. This was fine with me...I mean, look at those results! The following art class, as they wrapped up their drawing, we chatted about how their artwork was going to be hung like work in a museum. I had them get a notecard and create a label for their work. On their label, they were to write:

Artists Name
Process or Description

The information from this card will be used as both an assessment and also info for their Artome paperwork. 
 Once all pieces were complete, I blew off the excess dust and sprayed them liberally with Aqua Net. I did that three times to insure the chalk particles were attached. I'm hoping hey remain as vibrant and colorful when they are framed. 
Because of our small format, I decided to opt out of having the kids add designs to their work. I had a feeling it might have gotten a little muddy if we did. If the pieces had been of larger format, I think that would have worked well. 
I'm so looking forward to this winter art show. All of the kids have been creating beautiful works of art! I'll be sharing the work of my other grades soon. 
Until then, have a bright and colorful weekend!
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Monday, October 17, 2016

In the Art Room: You Be You Mural Complete!

So, like, at the end of August, I shared with you my You Be You lesson inspired by the wonderful book of the same title by Linda Kranz. I did this project as apart of our kindness and growth mindsets theme with my first through third grade kids. It was fun, easy and a great way to reintroduce the elements of art as well as drive home some super positive warm fuzzies. 
Unfortunately, I suffer from a serious case of Squirrel-itis and got sidetracked from assembling this mural. However, right before Fall Break Eve, I conned my special area buddies into "helping me" with the mural (two hours later, my friend Ali was still glueing and outlining the fish in blue...thanks, buddy!) and getting it up on the wall. Yay! Another Mammoth Mural in the books.  
In case you wanna give this fun lesson a go, feel free to use the video. You are always more than welcome to use any of my videos in your art room. I try to update weekly (with an Art Teacherin' 101 going up every Wednesday-ish). If you subscribe, you can stay tuned. 
So...true fax: this mural was only supposed to be a You Be You tribute...but with so many fish created, I had to create a second mural. This one with the title of Linda's first book in the series. By the way, when the murals went up, the edges just felt a little meh. I picked up that cute border at Joann's and added it today. I think it makes a big difference. 
Right after the mural was hung...I discovered another bin of third grade fish sitting there all, "hey there, forget something, Stephens?" Looks like I have more fish to add to the mural!
When I have my students create large murals, we usually create huge sheets of pattern papers. We call this our Painting Party. I throw papers down on the tables and either I'll start a pattern motif of the kids will. They are to repeat that pattern until their paper is full. Once complete, I remove the paper and replace it with another large sheet. This gives me a nice big stack of fun papers to use when assembling the kid's murals. 
First grade fishes just swimmin' and swimmin'. 
After the murals were hung, I realized just how much our school walls (and ceiling!) are devoted to the artistry of our awesome kids. I think it's vital to showcase ALL student artwork (not just a hand selected few) for several reasons: 1. It tells your students that "Hey! You are awesome! Your artwork is amazing! You deserve to be seen by all!"; 2. It showcases your art program and the importance of the arts to your parents, faculty and staff. This is just one small nook that is full of their work from this year! You can see more of their monochromatic selfie mural and the fourth graders' radial prints
I think my favorite part of this mural is the message. I'm a big believer in you doing you. It took me entirely too long to really listen to my inner voice. I have spent a good portion of my life doing what I thought I was "supposed" to be doing and being the person who I thought I was "supposed" to be. Letting go of that notion and really being comfortable with who I am, what my interests are and where that takes me is now the place I find myself. I want my kids to get there faster than I did. I want them to know it's awesome to be who they are cuz There Is Only One You so You Be You! 

Thank you, Linda Kranz, for the powerful message!
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

In the Art Room: How Did I Get Here? (with a GIVEAWAY!)

Did anyone else have these yarn painting kits as kids? I obviously loved 'em, look at that ridiculous toothless grin. The surface was tacky so you just placed the yarn where you wanted kinda like the 80's American version of Huichol yarn painting. 
 So last week I just kinda casually threw out the question: Do you think your kid-interests have had an influence on your adult-interests? Y'all. What I heard back from you was a resounding YES. Your Tinker Toys instilled a love of sculpture; your Fashion Plates have you stylin to this very day; your giant collection of naked Barbies have lead you to long walks on nudist beaches. But I got to thinking (which explains the burning smell)...what else in your formative years built the foundation of the person you are today? I keep thinking of the Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime: 
And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, Well...How did I get here?
"I hate rats.!!"...really? Cuz, you know, most people freakin' LOVE rats. And where in my 2nd grade life had I ever even encountered a rat, anyway? Did the rat outbreak happen to devour the Grammar Police because this wee paragraph woulda been under arrest, y'all.
 So, how DID you get here? What people, places or Mattel toys brought you to where you are today? Who inspired that passion in you to create, teach, stitch, cook, whatever-it-is-you-do-so-well? I'm nosy and I wanna know. So I've got a lil proposition for ya. I'll share my story if you share yours...AND if you do, I'll be placing your name in a drawing for a Brand New Car Spiral Art Kit!
Here's how you can enter the giveaway:

Share your story in the comment section below! 
Let us know who/what/how you were introduced to the creative passions you have today. Was it a teacher? A relative? A combo of a buncha stuff? 

Your name will be tossed in a hat and the winner announced in about a week on Sunday, August 31st! I'll (re)share your tale in a blog post and send you the prezzie shown above: A Spiral Art Kit!

Why in the world am I doing this? Because, man, as an art teacher, it's my overwhelmingly-intimidating job to inspire a passion for dreaming, imagining and creating in my students. By doing a little digging, I thought we could all learn how lives have been changed so we could return the favor to those who's lives we impact. Whether you are a teacher, a parent or that super cool aunt/uncle, I know you want to share your passion with the wee folk in your life. What better way to learn how them from our own past? 

So, what's your story?
Remember back in the good ole days when we could dress up on Halloween in elementary school? I just knew I was gonna be a vet when I grew up so I dressed as one every other Halloween. Oh, by the way, that Grim Reaper haunted my nightmares until about a year ago. 

 Well, since you (didn't) ask, I'll tell ya mine: I went to a very small elementary school that I have the fondest memories of. The only problem with the place was that we never had an art class. I knew I liked to draw but I was never exposed to art in school. Thankfully, they still taught penmanship back in those days and that was my creative outlet. I struggled with reading and was miserable at sports but man! did I have some of the prettiest cursive in all of elementary school land. It was the closest thing I had to drawing and I worked on those purple ditto sheets like it was my job. 
Updated version of letter to moms: "Dear Mom, You can be happy, my house is NEVER clean. Love, Cassandra". Whenever I talk to that lady, she always tells me, "it's okay, you are so busy with much more important stuff." Thanks, mom!

Thankfully, the parental units tapped into my creative outlets. They signed me up for drawing classes (even if I was the only kid in there with a buncha blue hairs...and I ain't talkin' hipsters, ya'll) and bought me craft kits. But it wasn't until I spent a couple summers with my grandma that I discovered my true love: crafts. In her wee trailer, that woman had every kind of craft supply imaginable. She taught me to cross stitch, embroider, create beaded jewelry, you name it. I remember the embroidered design I created that once finished, she stitched into a pillow for me. It sat proudly on our couch until I caught the stomach flu and tossed my cookies all over it. Ah, memories. 
Lil known fact: I was The Big Wheel Champion of Joliet, Illinois in the 1980s. This picture only shows what became the tip of my trophy iceberg. The only thing that stopped me from continuing my rein were those dang legs. They got so long I looked like a freaking praying mantis on a circus trike. I'm willing to bet my retirement that my mama still has those trophies in her garage.
When I hit fifth grade, I had a teacher that was like no other. She had a love for space (this was 1985, the year of both Haley's Comet and the Challenger) and art. That passion of hers was so contagious that I began drawing more, collecting all things space-themed and even wrote a couple of ridiculous plays (that she allowed us to perform). I honestly felt like she believed I was someone special. And maybe she did...or maybe she just had that amazing magical teacher touch that inspired all of her students to believe in themselves. Regardless, as a teacher, she had the greatest impact on my life and for that, I'm forever grateful. 
Isn't making a kid feel like a superhero a teacher's job? Such a tall order...but I'm willing to bet money that some of your stories will include teachers too.
I could go on and on with more stories of awesome teachers, painting professors (Barry, you are the best!), friends and fam that have inspired me along the way but I'd much rather hear from you! So if you have a moment and would be so kind, please drop me a line in the comments with your story. Remember, I'll enter you to win a Spiral Art Kit because I totes believe in a good bribe.

Chat with ya soon!

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