Showing posts with label kindergarten art lesson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kindergarten art lesson. Show all posts

Monday, March 17, 2014

DIY: What Does the Fox Say? Sweater Stole

So if you've been hangin' around this blog for a while (seriously? don't you have, like, laundry to do?) then you know I have a super serious felting addiction (by the way, this is slightly off topic, but if you are "addicted" to something, do you ever refer to that thing as "addicting"? Because my mom does. Example: {actual quote} I can't eat just one Red Vine because they are addicting! Really? Why am I surprised. This is the same person who started saying "Chew That!" while the rest of the world was saying, "True Dat!" Eh, you say tomato, I say you're addicting to crazy.)

Er, where was I? Ah, yes. My addictamacation to needle felting and the fact that every other blog post features something I've stabbed (with a felting needle, people!). Don't believe me? Well, if I've counted correctly, I do believe this here is my 11th felted creation. It's all that stabbing, kids. It's such a stress reliever. 

In case you'd like a peak at those Felted Creations of the Past, here you go:

It all started with this holey sweater in my closet that I thought was the perfect canvas to give felting a go. That was followed by my Put a Bird on It number and my attempt at copying an Anthro sweater...twice. After that, I ventured away from sweater felting and stabbed a wool beret and a skirt thus creating The World's Tackiest Art Teacher Outfit. I then felted my cat, a dog and an owl. I took a summer hiatus (working with wool isn't real fun in the summer heat) but then this winter I was back at it, stabbing a Starry Night dress and a van Gogh's Sunflowers sweater.

I told you! It's totes addicting! I mean, I'm addicted because it's addictive. Oh, whatever.
So when an art teacher buddy of mine suggested we felt a fox stole sweater, the stabbing commenced. Our inspiration came from the super presh etsy shop dandyrions. These adorable sweaters and shirts have faux fox and raccoon stoles that are actually made of felt fabric and appliqued on. Insane cuteness. We decided to go the felt roving route for our foxy stole.

Now, I don't think I've ever done a super fabulous job of explaining the process of felting to you. To remedy that, about a year ago, I made a series of short clips where I chat about the supplies needed and the process of felting. I'm hoping these videos prove to answer any felting questions you might have...even if they are terribly goofy.
This sweater DIY really does date this video! By the way, after seeing some ridiculous prices on needle felting supplies at my local big box craft store that shall go unnamed (rhymes with "Fichael's"), I did a wee bit of homework and found most of the supplies available here. Dudes! This website even has little finger-protecting sheathes that look like finger condoms (go here and look, I ain't makin this up). So gonna order me some of those!

My apologies for the lack of zoom in. I didn't think you'd wanna get to close to my wrinkly grandma hands.

Honestly, I learned needle felting by watching far better how-to videos on youtube than this. I just wanted you to see how stinkin' easy it is. What I was doing was pretty small and detailed...a big ole foxy stole? Much easier.
When attempting a sweater, I usually make a paper template, pin that to the sweater and create a felt outline, usually in 100% wool yarn (see the cat sweater). For this sweater, I was feelin' frisky so I just sketched it on in yellow chalk. With my cushion underneath, I placed the roving on top (in mass wads like I talked about in the video because it tends to "shrink" as you stab) and started punching. How do you know when you've punched enough? Take a peak at the back of the sweater. You should see a lot of roving. That's your sign that it's locked into place with the fibers of the sweater.
Adding the white for the muzzle.
Working on the details. One of the reasons I love this process so much is that it goes quickly unlike my other fashion-altering love, embroidery.
After the details of the face were complete, the rest came together easily. Even if it meant staying up a good three hours beyond my bedtime on a school night.
The following day, I happened to have one kindergarten class that is waaay ahead of the rest (how does that always happen?!). Since we'd been learning about drawing shapes...and I was wearing my foxy sweater...we read a sweet little book called Fox and Fluff and got our foxy drawing skills on!
For this activity, kindergartenland and I used black construction paper and drew with black oil pastels. Color was then added with oil pastels. I used the guided drawing directions from Art Projects for Kids. Most of the kids were able to finish off their foxes by the end of their 45 minute art time and they were so excited by their foxiness.
Oh, and my art teacher buddy who suggested we go on this fox-felting adventure? She finished off her sweater too -- and this was her first felting attempt. Now guess who's the newest member of the Addicting to Felt Club?

Okay, in all seriousness, I gotta know:

Were those clips helpful to you? Do you have any suggestions? (don't worry about hurting my feelings. I was told I have a mustache by a 4th grade boy. Pretty sure it doesn't get worse than that.)

Would you be interested in more video? (you know, for DIY's, demos and such. I promise I won't torture you with my standup comedy routine or my American Idol audition recordings.)

Are you now more inclined to give felting a try and would you like it I stopped writing in bold and italics? (fine, I'll stop.)

Thanks for your input, ya'll! Chat soon!

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Friday, February 7, 2014

In the Art Room: Winter Collage Landscapes by Kindergarten

Alright, to those of you in the Midwest, this looks awfully familiar, amirite?! I have buddies in Indiana whose children have missed so many days due to snow that they'll be in school until the end of June. THE END OF JUNE, PEOPLE! Meanwhile, in Tennessee, we've not had one single snow day. Like not even a speck o' snow. So it's a good thing my friends in kindergarten-land created these masterpieces as it seems this is the only snow we're gonna get.
Now, lemme give you the run down on my schedule with kindergarten. I see them for 45 minutes at a time every 6 days. And on that day, I have three classes of 'em back-to-back-to-Ima-bout-to-lose-my-mind-back. This project took us three of those art classes. Here's what each of those days looked like in brief:

Day #1: We looked at Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night. We chatted about the time of day he portrayed, what season it might be, how the elements of a landscape are background, middleground and foreground and the back story of the painting. In kinder-friendly terms. Then I asked them what his painting might look like if it were winter? From there, each kiddo was given a 9" X 12" piece of white paper and a paint brush. They were to paint any kind of line near the middle of their paper with turquoise for the background. This was then mixed with white to create a snowy tint. They continued to paint down their paper with a line for middle and foreground. Once those were on the drying rack, we met again on the floor to read a book about van Gogh.
Day #2: I showed up wearing my Starry Night Light Up dress! This got a lot of cheers (and even an applause when I turned the lights on) from my wee friends. This time, we shifted our focus from the elements of a landscape to the sky van Gogh portrayed. We discussed how he loved to use bold lines and shape in his work to convey movement. We talked about how we can create our skies anyway we like...but sometimes it's okay to be inspired by other artists. After all, van Gogh was inspired by Japanese prints! Students were instructed to pick a sky color from an assortment of blues, black and violets. From there, they cut their land from their white paper, glued it to their chosen background paper and created their sky with oil pastels. I encouraged the little artists to practice sketching their moon and stars on the back before tackling the front.

Day #3: On this final day, we covered so freakin' much. Because the students would be using shapes to construct their houses, I did a little pre-assessment at the door. As the students entered, I showed them a colored-in shape. They were to tell me the name of the shape and color. This proved to be a wake-up call to me. Some of them didn't know their simple shapes! Review to do!

Once we were seated on the floor, we did a vocabulary review with a technique I learned a long time ago from my amazing Aunt Kimmy. She's a teacher and when I was a kid, she taught us something called the Number Game (was that what it was called, Kimmy?). I changed it up a bit...and I call it The Clap and Slap. For this, we review vocabulary, read vocabulary and count the syllables in our vocabulary words. It goes like this:

Sitting criss-cross (applesauce, because, after all, this is kindergarten), gently tap your legs twice, clap your hands twice and alternate snapping your fingers. Those alternating snaps will be used to count the syllables in the vocabulary words. For example, we slapped, clapped and snapped out the syllables of: land(snap)-scape(snap), back(snap)-ground(snap), middle(snap)-ground(snap), fore(snap)-ground(snap). After each clap/slap/snap, the children were to hold up the number of syllables we just counted with their fingers. We did this with all our vocabulary: Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, collage, scissors, paper, glue, square, rectangle, triangle.
With the review behind us, I introduced the kids to bit of math with their house collages. On their tables were tin trays filled with leftover painted paper scraps (ooooh, pretty! Thanks for the idea, Painted Paper!) I had cut the papers into three different sized squares: 3" X 3", 2" X 2" and 1" X 1". I held up a square and we chatted about how many sides it had, how many angles, etc...and then I asked, how could I turn this into a house? The first response was that it needed a roof. I had them tell me all the ways I could create a roof and then I presented them with this: I want to make a triangle roof but I only want to cut my square one time. Who can I do that?
One genius always guesses: by cutting it from one corner to the other! And, viola! I have a square cut in half! And a roof for me and a friend.

We did the same routine when cutting out a rectangle for our door. Some kids decided to use the other half of the rectangle for a chimney. Then I touched for just a moment on little details like door knobs or window panes...or anything else they came up with. 

Once the details of house making were discussed, we talked a bit about the placement of our houses. What sizes will the ones in the foreground be? How would that compare to the houses in the middle and back ground? The kids quickly picked up on the idea of creating houses in varying sizes. I asked them to create at least three houses in any size they liked.
"All of my houses are teeny tiny because they are in the far away background!" Making houses THAT small takes skill, people! I love this mini-villlage in the distance!
A whole lotta foreground houses.
When I asked this artist why there was a tiny house in the foreground, she said, "That's not a tiny house, that's the DOG'S house!"  Silly me.
I love everything about this whimsical piece, especially that hill and the big starry sky.
AND NOW FOR ONE LAST ANNOYING ATTEMPT AT SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: I'm so thrilled to be nominated for Art Ed Blog of the Year...and I'd be super honored to have your vote. But you don't have to JUST vote for me, you can vote for multiple art blogs. If you've not checked out the line-up, there are some incredible blogs on the list! If you'd consider a vote for mine, I'd be just so super happy. 


 Visit here to check out those blogs and cast your vote.
Thanks, kids! Chat with you soon!
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Self-Portraits as Artists

If you've ever been in art school, then you know there's always that one dude that's always givin' the girls that one look. Thankfully, on a kindergartener, it's rather cute.
 Greetings from kindergarten-land! My wee artists finished off these self-portraits last week and I'm so excited to share them with you. My kinder-artists create a self-portrait every year but this time I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted them to portray themselves as artists, complete with apron, paint palette and brush.
Yes, that is a paint brush. Not...anything else it might resemble. Note to self: next year, have the kids paint the brushes brown to make them appear less doobie-esque.
 I began this portrait lesson as I do every year, with a reading of The Colors of Us. I love how the author chats about how we are all different and beautiful colors, even equating our coloring to delicious foods. After that, the kids return to their seats and trace a head shape onto their paper to which they add a neck and ears. From there they chose a color from a variety that is the color of them. Once painted, these are put on the drying rack until next time.
To the kids, I refer to this as Funny Faced Fred but behind his back, I call him Freak Face. Again, kinda reminds me of the creeper dudes in my art classes. I mean, just check out his myspace page (ha, made you look). Despite the crazy looks, this silliness really does teach them a great deal about expressions. And, of course, they love Fred.
 The following art class is spent looking at a variety of portraits. After chatting about those, I bust out Fred to talk about how we might portray our emotions. Once I give a demo, the kids set to work on their self-portraits with oil pastels. 

From there, we cut out the self-portraits from the original paper and glue to them to a 12" X 18" piece of white paper. We spend more time looking at ourselves in the mirrors to see how we might paint our hair. On our portrait, that is. Although we do our fair share of getting paint where it shouldn't be in Kindergartenland.
I know what you are thinking: What's with the blacked out teeth? Well, five years of age is when we start losing our teeth...and it is an event that must be documented. So we always block out our most recent tooth loses.

With our portrait portion complete, we move on to "getting dressed for art". The kids added a 12" X 6" piece of construction paper that they had rounded the shoulders and created a collar for. I recycled our messy mats and turned them into aprons that the kids glued to their shirts. 
Creating the paint palette turned out to be a wonderful review of color mixing and our friend Roy G. Biv. Once that dried, we added it, our paint brush (an art straw that we frayed and colored one end of) and a die cut hand (after three weeks in self-portrait town, I was not willing to spend an art class having them trace and cut out their own hands). 

Our last step was to recall our study of lines and patterns from the beginning of the school year. Using our tempra cakes, we decorated the background and, ta-da! one adorable self-portrait as artist complete. 

After we finished, I had this exchange with one of my students:

Little Dude: Mrs. Stephens, I am going to be an art teacher when I am big, just like you!

Me: Cool! And then I can retire and paint all day.

L.D.: What does retire mean?

Me: It means I don't teach anymore.

L.D.: But you can't do that! I am going to teach in the art room with you!

Well, shoot! How can I ever retire now? I mean, how much fun would it be to teach with one of your students? Well...on second thought...

Thanks for dropping by!
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