If third graders finished painting their ceramic fish early, they were asked to work on a drawing where they practicing creating patterns with lines and shapes. They began with 5 intersecting lines that were drawn free-hand from one edge of the paper to another. They then had to come up with a unique pattern to fill each shape. This was an easy transition for early finishers since the directions were so simple. This could also be a good sub plan for the future. Since the tempera discs were already out, students were allowed to paint their designs if they had enough time (which most did not).
Third graders completed their ceramic fish and they look fabulous! Students created hollow form for the bodies by making two pinch pots, and attaching them. They learned about the kiln and bisque firing process as well as how to attach clay with the score/slip method. Everyday classroom items were used to create pattern and texture (marker caps, unsharpened pencils, paper clips, etc.) After the projects were fired, students used tempera disc paints as well as acrylics to add color and details. A coat of clear spray paint was used to seal them up.
I love the natural sunlight that the art room gets at Anna McDonald. There are many mornings in the spring that I don't even turn the lights on!
The expressions and personalities of these fish had us all cracking up!
I love Charley Harper! Mid-century illustrations are the best. His simple, minimalist style easily lends itself to collages. Students were asked to come up with an interesting composition that had at least one bird. We focused the lesson on balanced compositions and focal points. Their work is as unique as they are. What's not to love?
Third grade spent some time studying Vincent Van Gogh and his famous Starry Night painting. Using tempera, oil pastels, and scrap paper, they each recreated this masterpiece. I was inspired by Deep Space Sparkle, and modified one of her lessons. They all ended up so different and beautiful.
Van Gogh lived a troubled life and was never given the acclaim he deserved in his life time. It is important for my students to know this as it may help define their outlook on art as well as others' opinions. Students discussed the importance of making art that YOU like. The world may change it's opinion on what is "good" at any moment. Thankfully, Van Gogh did not stop painting just because critics did not care for his style.
We also watched a short video that explains that Van Gogh may have been more in tune with fluid dynamics than present day scientists. It's pretty interesting.
Students practiced leaving visible brushstrokes like Van Gogh as well as double-loading their paint brushes.
So we spent a few weeks talking about Van Gogh and his work. But I am not going to kid myself. Twenty years from now, there will be just one fact that I can guarantee every student will remember from this lesson. If you teach art, you know what that is. :)
Square 1 Art is a phenomenal fundraising program. Students create artwork on an 8.5" x 8.5" square and the company scans all of the images into their data base. The original artwork is returned to each student along with a complimentary sheet of stickers with their artwork! Friends and family then have the opportunity to shop the personalized products from the catalogue. Any purchases help support the art department here at Manhattan 114. We have used this fundraiser to buy extra clay, leather, specialized painting supplies, books, and so on. More information regarding order forms will be sent home next month. :)
The projects that each grade level worked on:
K: We painted peacocks. We used rulers to create a "fan" pattern for the feathers.
1st: Students created radial symmetry patterns. We started this project by tracing 3 circles on to the paper, and the students took it from there!
2nd: Students drew their name with details to describe themselves and their interests.
3rd: Students used iPads to research their "underwater" drawings.
4th: The theme for these drawings was "plants and animals". Students used their iPads to help research this.
5th: Students used their iPads to research their "insects, amphibians and reptiles" drawings.
ACCESS students K - 3rd: Students used tissue paper and colorful painted paper to create a collage of any subject they chose.
This was so easy and so fun. Students used scrap pieces of cardboard and some yarn to wrap colorful ornaments. Most of the yarn was secured with masking tape (which is hidden in the end) and a very minimal amount of hot glue was used.
Sometimes my daughter, Anna, tries out new projects with me. She used some of her own beads and do-dads to complete this. Seriously, this is easy enough for preschoolers, but fun enough for older kids as well!
I have wanted to introduce the contemporary artist, BANKSY, to my students for a long time. I have hesitated because I wasn't sure how to present an artist who is controversial in this nature (law-breaking vandalism). In the worst case scenario, students might see this as my personal consent to vandalize "in the name of art". That was the main reason why I kept putting this idea on the back burner. It was when I found out that the theme for Anna McDonald's school year was "stomp out bullying", that I decided to make this work. He was a prime example of an artist who stands up to social injustice, and uses his art to spread a positive message for change. I used some of his lighter, funnier pieces to start discussion. From his paintings' content, the process he goes through to make his art, to the question of morality, students have never had more to say about a particular artist. We watched a couple short clips, as well. This one is about an elementary school that receieved an original BANKSY. This one is about another street artist, Moose, who creates "reverse graffiti".
The image above led most of our discussion on street art and graffiti.
So this is what we did. We first made the brick background by sponge painting brown tempera on red construction paper. We used white paint to add the grout lines.
In the next class, we talked about typography and stylizing letters. Students then used chalk to add color to their words. They cut them out and glued them to their backgrounds.
These kids had some great messages.
Kindergarteners, 2nd graders, and 3rd graders have all just completed some pretty awesome self portraits! I am always amazed at how well these turn out. It is also such a confidence booster when students realize that they can draw themselves realistically! So here is what we did:
Kindergarten: NO MORE STICK FIGURES! We learned that our bodies are made up of shapes, not lines. We began withan oval for the head, and then used a series of other shapes to draw the rest of our bodies. Students were also asked to come up with one thing that made them unique and special. I used a pencil to put their sentence in their drawing. They Sharpie-d over their drawings and sentence before they practiced neat crayon coloring. Finally, they used the book "The Dot" as inspiration for their fun painted backgrounds. LOVE THESE!
Second Grade: These students took more time to think about the sizing, shapes, and placement (PROPORTION) of their facial features. Every time I tell second grade students that their eyes are in the center of their heads, they doubt me. It is fun to see the moment when they finally realize "Wait, hey! My eyes ARE in the center of my head..." :)
3rd Grade: These students learned about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. They used mirrors to look more closely at their facial features as well as portrait drawing packets that showed a variety of different eye, nose, and mouth shapes. They then used construction paper, construction paper crayons, and ink stamps to create a Mexican-inspired decorative frame for their portrait.
Third grade was the first class that Mrs. Borchert took over during student teaching. With much enthusiasm, she presented the artwork of Dale Chihuly. This was a group effort where students became a team and focused on the end look of the installation, rather than on their individual pieces. Using over 150 used water bottles, this became a lesson on re-using and re-purposing materials. **BTW, did you know that you could wash water bottles on the top rack of a dishwasher? This simple tip saved us a lot of prep time!**
Students first painted their base coat. To make prep easier, some classes chose from only warm color paints and the other classes were given cool colors only to choose from.
On the following week, students were given a painted water bottle and told to add details with a contrasting color from the same cool or warm family.
On the last day, students spiral-cut their bottles with scissors and attached them to a chain with zip-ties. All along, team work and collaboration was praised. The end results look awesome!
Third grade students studied the Central American style of weaving. They worked in groups at their table to paint large pieces of paper with a variety of colors and patterns. These patterns repeat simple geometric shapes in a variety of ways. For a finishing touch, students added yarn fringe to the bottom.
Welcome back! I hope you spent some time creating with your little artists over the summer break. Here is a picture of my 4 year old. Disregard the piles of laundry and other disheveled items in the background. Sometimes painting with your kid is just more fun than housework! :)
This week has been very busy getting to know my new friends, reintroducing classroom procedures to my old friends, and just getting back into the swing of things. Here is a quick recap of what we have started!
Kindergarten is learning about lines. We read "Lines that Wiggle" (such a cute picture book), and then learned about the different types of lines. We will create a short project with lines next week.
First grade was busy mixing secondary colors. We watched my all time favorite music video about primary colors and saw a couple pieces of Wassily Kandinsky's artwork. They will finish their oil pastel color mixing project next week.
Second grade took more time to look at Kandinsky artwork and discussed why they thought an artist might want to create abstract work. Then, they used tempera discs to begin to paint their very own abstract painting. We will continue this project with printing details. I will also read "The Boy Who Heard Colors" to them to give a fuller view of who Wassily Kandinsky was.
Third grade started out the year by learning about Central American weaving styles and creating large cooperative paintings. This was an idea I picked up from the High Shoals Elementary School art room blog. These are turning out so well and I am excited for you all to see them at Anna McDonald's open house next week.
Although I have not met with my 4th and 5th grade classes, we have great things planned! Fourth grade will be learning about weaving and make dream catchers. Fifth grade will be learning about the fun world of juxtaposition!
On another note, I am happy to introduce my first student teacher! Amanda Borchert is a student from Trinity Christian College with a background in graphic design from Southern Illinois University. She is excited to be here and will be bringing so many fun projects for all of the kids!
Third graders started this project by looking at images of real Aboriginal paintings to inspire poetic writing. They then chose an animal tracer to begin their own artwork. I am generally opposed to having anyone beyond Kindergartners use tracers, but I feel that this project is different since the focus is definitely placed on color and pattern choices. It also gives everyone a good foundation and a quick start.
Students then chose how to fill out their negative space with dots. The dots were created by dipping colored pencils into tempera paint. Once that was done, they were free to fill their animal with color however they chose.
**I want to start by saying that I do not remember where I saw this picture online years ago. I saved it for my Aboriginal Art PowerPoint to show my third grade classes. I tried to search for this image online in order to cite it, but I could not find it again!
My third graders were introduced to Aboriginal art this week. We started this lesson by creating poetic verses about the artwork shown above. (This was a new idea I picked up from the NAEA convention.) They were asked to list adjectives and nouns that came to mind when looking at this picture. Then, they worked in groups to combine these words in a poetic arrangement. Here are some of their awesome verses:
An exciting celebration with dots and swirls.
A colorful carnival of shapes and joy.
Mind-blowing colorful garden of dots.
Dark like the night and sad like the stars.
Super pretty, soft fireworks with trees in the dark.
An outrageous picture of colorful, striking flowers.
Red fireworks bursting in the sky, showing the feeling of anger.
This was such a fun way to open up dialogue about this style of art before I even gave them any information on the topic. I am excited to post their Aboriginal-inspired artwork when it is completed!
My third grade friends and I have been busy the past couple of weeks making fish out of clay! We watched this fellow's instructional video, and then got to work. Although I really liked his concept (and accent), we had to tweak our projects a bit. Instead of just joining pieces of clay together (and hoping for the best), we secured everything with the "score and slip" method. We also took more time to focus on how to make a variety of texture with different tools. My students all seemed very proud of their creations and can't wait for them to be fired in the kiln. I will post pictures of the finished, painted pieces. :)
For years, it has been a tradition for second graders to design their very own castle drawing. We talk about shapes and 3-D forms, texture, details, and line variety. As they grow up, many students ask to revisit this assignment and draw new castles. It has worked out wonderfully that my 2nd and my 3rd graders are able to work on this assignment at the same time. Since third graders have already gone through this project, they come up with even more creative ideas the second time around. Since third graders only had one class to work on this project, they did not finish it. These drawings will be kept in the table folders for them to return to and work on when they finish other projects this semester.
Third graders were introduced to Charley Harper, modern art, and minimalism as they created these beautiful collages of birds in winter. We talked about non-migratory birds and why other birds fly south for the winter. Some students chose not to use cardinals, blue jays, or other typical birds of winter as their subject, and created their own imaginary birds.
Square 1 Art is a fundraiser that the art department has participated in for many years. We are able to buy a lot of extra supplies, materials, and art books because of the money raised by Square 1 Art. Each grade level has a project or drawing theme that they work on just for this fundraiser. Even if the child does not place an order, he or she will receive a sheet of stickers with his or her drawing on it!
This year, kindergartners are creating colorful pictures of their silhouettes. We are discussing proper painting techniques, different lines, and patterns.
1st graders are drawing bright radial patterns. We are discussing radial patterns (of course), analogous colors, and adding details.
2nd graders are creating word art that describes themselves, their interests, or what they love about school. We are discussing negative space, analogous colors, patterns, and tints.
3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are creating their own unique compositions based on these themes:
3rd - Under Water
4th - Plants or Animals
5th - Insects, Reptiles, or Amphibians
All of these grade levels are discussing focal points, space, details, and borders.
Projects will be due early February and more information about ordering from Square 1 Art will follow shortly after.
STR Partners had a very hard time coming up with winners from all of their entries this year. Between our Gold Winners, Silver Winners, and Special Recognition Awards, we had 18 students recognized between Anna Mac and Wilson Creek! Mrs. Ambrosini and I are very proud of all of our students who participated in this contest! Good job, guys!
Printmaking was introduced to third grade. "Mirror images", "brayers", "deep etching", were some of the terms and concepts discussed. Students used styrofoam plates to create a print block of an ornament. After some practicing, they picked some of their favorite prints to glue on to their project. They created the texture in their background with....FINGERPAINTING! Tons of fun had by all.
Third grade was introduced to the pencil transfer technique with this project. They drew a piece of candy 1 time and had to then transfer 4 times onto a larger sheet of paper. In the style of Andy Warhol, students then used neon tempera to add bright colors.
Last week, students were given the task of enlarging a "mystery drawing" from a 1" x 1" square to a 6" x 6" square. The grid technique for enlarging was introduced to make this a bit easier. Students then were asked to make predictions of what image was being created as we pieced all of their drawings together. This led in to the next project: Andy Warhol inspired paintings of candy. Those finished creations will be posted soon!
If my third graders finish their landscapes early, they have the option to draw a haunted house or try this spider web zentangle. This may be a bit difficult, but I know they are up for the challenge. If a student is ever looking for doodling exercises at home, they should check out this site which has a bunch of beginner zentangles.
Third graders learned about Ted Harrison by looking at his artwork and discussing his style (not quite realistic, not quite abstract, but a bright and simple style that is distinctively his). We talked about background, middleground, and foreground as students drew their own landscapes with liquid glue. After the glue had dried, students used construction paper crayons (one of my favorite media for this age!) to add bold color to their black paper. I will add more pics next week as they finish these. :)
STR Partners is the architectural firm that designed Wilson Creek. Every fall, our students participate in their holiday card contest. This year, the theme is "My Holiday Selfie". Looking at drawings (K-5), I definitely think we will have a few winners this year!
Third graders started out the year by creating abstract flowers inspired by Wassily Kandinsky. The flowers were displayed by class.
Next, third graders began creating portraits. Correct placement and proportion of facial features was the focus of this project. These selfie portraits include not only drawing, but hashtags that express individual interests. They then gave their selfies a "Paul Klee filter" with wet tissue paper. I found the inspiration for incorporating Paul Klee on Pinterest (my favorite teacher tool!)
I am a K - 5th grade art teacher at Wilson Creek Elementary and Anna McDonald School in Manhattan, IL. I am also a mother of two little girls (who share my love of art)!