Sunday, January 8, 2023

Favorite Lessons for Valentines Day and Celebrating LOVE!

Let's talk all things Valentine's and celebrating LOVE, shall we? I'm putting together A TON of lessons in this post from weaving to painting, sculpture to clay all for your heart-themed pleasure. So, let's get started!

This Jen Stark lesson was one my students really enjoyed last year. You can find all the details, including a video, right here
I did this lesson with my kindergarten and third graders last year and both LOVED it. It's so open ended and allows for big messes and exploration. Try doing this on large paper for big, colorful results. I just happened to have a ton of this large yellow construction paper so that's what we used! Full lesson with video right here. 
Wanna do some printmaking? I've done this lesson with first and second grade in the past. Each one is so sweet and allows students to really spend a lot of time exploring printmaking. A hit, I promise! Lesson right here. 
This lesson is one that everyone seems to love! AND each one of these adorable critters comes complete with a how-to-draw video. SO, all ya gotta do is hit play and walk away! Here's the video right here for all animals!
Of course, it's the Year of the Rabbit! So you could use that rabbit drawing to celebrate. 
If you are looking for a weaving project, here's one that my first graders have done nearly every year. It's a great way to introduce weaving and a little sewing too! All the details with plenty of paper weaving videos here. 
My fourth graders LOVED making these! These giant candy hearts were so fun and made quite the impact when we displayed them with a huge candy heart box. Lesson with video here. 
Follow-up blog post can be found here. 
If you want to go a little smaller in scale, you could try this candy heart drawing on for size! Info with video here. 
Many artists have been inspired by the shape of hearts to create their art. In this lesson, students explored four different artists and a variety of media. It's a fun one and we did it in one art class! Lesson with video here. 
Kindergarten had so much fun exploring printmaking with these hearts. We used a book as our inspiration. Lesson here...and check out the lesson below for the follow up project we did!
Aren't they gorgeous?! AND kindergarten made them, y'all! All the details here. 
Can you really celebrate Valentine's Day without celebrating the work of Britto? My first graders reviewed pattern and line with this lesson. We also used bleeding tissue paper and paint sticks for this. So, lots of mixed media! All the details can be found here. 
What's Valentine's Day without a box of chocolates? We learned about the artist Peter Anton and created plaster chocolates and a papier mache box in this lesson. Video right here!
Looking for simple and FUN? Try this Chris Uphues-inspired lesson. This post has a video and a free handout! You can thank me later. The kids LOVE this one!
Feeling ambitious? Try on a school-wide collaborative! In this, my students, kindergarten through fourth grade, each created a heart using a different medium. You can find out who made what and how it call came together, here. 
Several years ago, I had to do jury duty so I created this lesson for my students to do with my sub. That's right, this here is a SUB PLAN. And she rocked it! And so did the kids, of course. Video lesson here. 
This heart-themed clay project is one that I lead the faculty and staff at my school to create. It was an Our Heart Gives Them Wings project and it was so fun to come together as a staff and create. Here's the video I made for the staff to view. 
My second graders used foil and celluclay to create these hearts! I love them, they look so very Jim Dine-y, don't you think? Video lesson and more details right here.
Need a fast and furious, one day art lesson inspired by an artist? This one IS THE BEST! The kids get messy, explore chalk, learn about J Goldcrown...what more could you ask for? Video and more here!
My first graders used up scraps to create the hearts you see above and below. We also learned about positive and negative space. This was a fun one and the results were so stinkin' pretty! Lesson here. 

AND more Chris Uphues love for y'all. These were collage hearts created by second graders and they were just the cutest thing! We added them to our heart printed background, seen below. Lesson here. 
Whew! AND there you have it! I hope you find something here to get you to Valentine's Day! BUT I really believe we can celebrate love all year 'round, don't you? Enjoy!

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Monday, January 2, 2023

Favorite Winter Projects for After Winter Break!

Happy New Year! If you are anything like me, you've spent ZERO time thinking about returning to school next week. Like, I mean, my brain has been switched to ANYTHING-BUT-SCHOOL mode. As it should be, I say. Until, that is, the end of break sneaks up on me!
So to put your cute little head at a tiny bit of ease, I thought I'd share my favorite winter lessons here in this blog post. Be sure and tap the highlighted link to each as many feature the full lesson WITH VIDEO. For free, of course. Cuz I'm a giver, y'all. 

Let's start off with some ambitiousness, shall we? If you are feeling up to it, might I recommend this tree weaving lesson? In my book, Stitch and String Lab for Kids I share how to create the evergreen tree weaving but you can also find the details here, just flip the plate upside down!
A lesson that my students love (and everyone who gives this one a shot!) is this Jen Aranyi-inspired winterscape! We create ours on cardboard pizza rounds found at Gordon Food Service (I'm lucky to have one down the road) but they could just as easily be created on white paper! If you are on a cart and want less mess, try doing the sky with the marker/water method, found here!
Want to introduce your students to printmaking? I love this printmaking lesson that could easily be done with kids of all ages. Okay, look, I'm not gonna lie: I often do the same lesson with multiple grade levels. It's much easier with my 30 minute classes that come back to back (with up to 8-9 classes a day). So, go easy on yourself! If that's what you do, just know that I'm right here with you! Lesson details here. 
This fun lesson introduces students to a wide variety of media from bingo daubers to chalk to...watercolor! Lesson details with video right here!
I did this project with my first graders and they always love it! We work big, 12X18 paper background but you could definitely work smaller, like even half that size. No bingo daubers? Try Sharpies!
This lesson for my kindergarteners is similar to that of the penguins which leads me to my next idea: do similar lessons! Less supply prep and less worry on your part. This year I have made an effort to clump lessons by supplies. I'm too old to be runnin around like a waitress, y'all. Lesson with video here. 
If you feel like tucking into a long lesson, this one might be for you. You know, there's something to be said for long means less planning. You could shorten it, however by just making the snowglobes much smaller! Lesson with video here. 
As soon as we return to school, I plan to have my students dive into clay and create clay mugs! Our tradition has been to drink hot chocolate from our mugs once complete. This was inspired by an art lesson we did where we created hot chocolate collages! If you have no kiln, creating these collages and then celebrating with a hot chocolate party may be an idea for you! 
Here's a look at our mugs! Every grade level, except kindergarten, does this every many of them have a collection of mugs at home! We also do another clay project but this one is easily their favorite. Lesson with a couple of videos here.
It's the year of the Rabbit! Did you know? If you need some quick lessons for your younger students, I piled a bunch of them in this blog post, check it out! 
Need even more cuteness? Here's another lesson that your kids WILL LOVE! My students had so much fun with this one and couldn't wait to take their kittens home. Lesson with video right here. 

Okay, need more ideas? Well, I actually have MUCH more! Just visit here where I did a deeper dive into all of the winter-y lessons on my blog. AND if you want to jump ahead and start working on art for Valentine's day, check out this post. See ya soon!


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Monday, November 21, 2022

Shape Castles in Paint, Chalk and Oil Pastel Inspired by Paul Klee and Mary Blair

Recently I shared that my students were doing Shape Stations (or centers) in the art room. I did this after the success of both our Dot Day and Line Study stations. I'm loving the exploration the kids are able to do and the kids are loving it...for the same reasons. Not to mention, it's just FUN to try a whole bunch of new ways to create in just a few art classes. Here's a look at our Shape Stations:

And what we did during our Line Study:

And some behind-the-scenes tips on these stations:

Here is a look at the Dot Day stations that started it all:

And since we did two days worth of fun:

Once we finished creating artwork from our line study (lessons which I've yet to share here!), I ventured into shape. Currently, I'm doing shape stations with 2-4th only as kindergarten and first are in the middle of other projects. I do think that these shape stations would work for k-1st except maybe the radial symmetry design. But it's always worth throwing the idea out there to see what the kids come up with, right?

Here's a little look at what the back table in my art room looked like after I began prepping for our shape study. Initially we were going to do some shape stamps (seen in the upper left hand corner) but after giving that a run through with one class, I decided it was too similar to the sponge stamping. We switched to the bleeding tissue paper shapes in the end. 
Now when I'm working through these station ideas, I also gotta start thinking: what are we gonna do with all of these papers and things we create? Here's a little look at what I've come up with...
First grade is currently working on the self portrait in the upper left hand corner. This is a lesson I've done many times, you can check out the lesson here. As for 2-4th, well...I am currently having them all work on those castles! We will all do printing with our stars...and do some embossing too...but as of right now, we are all learning about Mary Blair. Here's the video I created. 

The kids are enjoying working with chalk and oil pastel. I'm excited to give them another opportunity to really explore a variety of supplies. 

Above is my example and below is a class of I think thrid graders examples. I will say this...stations means the kids will often work quickly and not always at a slow and 'careful' pace. I'm fine with that. However, I did have a small handful of students later decide the wanted to redo theirs, knowing it was not their best work. I allowed that too. 

So far, we've gotten the castles chalked in and now we are ready for the oil pastel. 

Our backgrounds will be our bleeding tissue paper. Since winter is coming, we are turning it into a winter wonderland with snow...and a little bit of sparkle on the frame. Oh...and PUFFY PAINT. Everyone's favorite!
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Saturday, November 5, 2022

3 Fun Art Lessons to Show Gratitude

Over the years, I've done a handful of gratitude style projects that my students have not only enjoyed but really sparked joy around the school. I'm breaking these down from most involved to easiest incase you are uncertain which you'd like to do.

Let's start with my favorite: Gallery of Gratitude Modeling Clay Portraits!
For all the lesson details, you can visit my first blog post where I created a video I shared with my students. This introduced a modeling clay artist as well as walked them through the steps. 
I did this lesson with my fourth grade students. They could choose who to create a portrait of...but, as you can imagine, that got a little tricky. Several students volunteered to create a portrait of a teacher or staff member whom they didn't know well. We talked about how everyone in the school is important, their role in the school and how they make our school better. After the first two 30 minute art classes, we got about this far. 
You can see their completed portraits here, framed in a sparkly Hobby Lobby plate! Students also had to type up why they appreciated the staff member. This was printed on framed paper and hung with the clay piece. Many teachers still have these portraits in their classroom!
This Gallery of Gratitude was created by all of my students, kindergarten through fourth grade. My older students created the portraits while my kindergarten and first graders added the High Fives and the hearts. 
Here was the set up for my students to create their framed portraits. Teachers names were laid out as well as sparkly paper for the frame. 
Like the other project, students had to express their gratitude toward the chosen staff member. 
If you need a shorter lesson or one that is more student-focused, try this Tiny Gallery of Gratitude on for size! You can download it for free right here!
There is even a simplified version for younger students, also free, right here. Have fun!

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