Square 1 Art stickers and brochures will be passed out in mid-March. The products are usually shipped back to us by the end of April.
Square 1 Art has been the Art Department's fundraiser of choice for many years now. Students create artwork and their families have the opportunity to buy a variety of products with their artwork on it. If families choose not to purchase anything from this fundraiser, each student will still receive a sheet of stickers of their drawing. And if families do choose to make a purchase, all the funds raised go directly back into the art room. Last year, Anna McDonald received new tables for the classroom and the Jr. High was able to replace a very old kiln. This spring, Wilson Creek was able to purchase another kiln! Without Square 1 Art and our generous community, we never would have been able to do this.
Kindergarteners learned about Pop Artist, Andy Warhol and his printmaking as they created these colorful prints of their cute little hands.
First graders learned about another Pop Artist: Romero Britto. They were asked to fill their background with two different patterns that represent them (their interests, what they are good at, their goals for the future, etc.)
Second graders also created self portraits this year. We looked at some Frida Khalo paintings and discussed how they each told stories about her life. They were asked many questions about themselves, and with those answers, they developed unique compositions that tell a story about who they are.
Finally, my third grade kiddos once again were given the theme "under the water", and they blew me away with how creative they got.
Square 1 Art stickers and brochures will be passed out in mid-March. The products are usually shipped back to us by the end of April.
Happy belated Valentines Day! Here at Wilson Creek, our little kiddos love celebrating special days of any sort. If you were lucky enough to be in the building during the 100th day of school, you would have seen all our little people dressed up as 100 year olds (which is the sweetest and funniest thing you can imagine)! I am lucky that I get to share in the celebration of these holidays in the art room. This is my 7th year of teaching, yet I am still surprised by how far in advance we have to start any holiday-themed project. We started these clay hearts at the end of January which should have given ample time to finish, wrap, and send these lovelies home. But throw in some absences and the polar vortex cancellations and this became something that had to be RUSHED! I am so thankful for having a grandparent volunteer who jumped right in and helped me wrap all of these. She is the best!
So this is how we created these:
Students practiced rolling clay into coils and balls. They then wrapped their coils into spirals. They arranged these pieces of clay on a pieces of cardstock that had a heart copied on it. They then pressed the clay together and blended the entire surface smooth. When they lifted it off the paper, the other side still had the pattern on it. (Side note: you may notice that there is some pieces of paper stuck to some of those hearts. If you just let the clay dry, that paper peels off easily.) We used air dry clay which unfortunately is pretty brittle. But our school is in the process of something GREAT that will alleviate that issue for future clay projects ;) . If your child's project does break, I suggest using hot glue to fix it. An even better solution is to cut out a heart from cardboard from a cereal box and hot glue the pieces to that. I ended up having to do that for a few...
Students used tempera paints to add color. Each student was given a paper plate with white paint and their choice of two other colors. They were encouraged to mix tints of their colors, but it wasn't a requirement. Before the clay dried, we poked small holes in the top so these can be hung up. I also experimented with giving some of these a clear acrylic wash on top. I think it really helped the finish and will do it for all of the classes in the future.
2018 has come and gone, but here are some projects that have yet to be posted! Enjoy!
Third graders learned about Frank Lloyd Wright and more specifically, his prairie-style stained glass windows. They looked at his use of repetiotn and uniform shapes. They then created their own designs using geometric shapes of colored celophane. This lesson was one I found on the United Art Supply website.
In December, second graders were able to explore the art of printmaking. Through generous donations from a couple of grandparents, our classroom is equipped with inking plates and brayers. Students created their own design for their styrofoam printing block. They then began printing on a variety of colors of paper with gold, silver, and black inks. They chose their best prints and were encouraged to arrange them together in a balanced way.
First graders created paper mache Christmas ornaments with newspaper and art paste. It was a polarizing experience; while many kids LOVED dipping their hands into the paste, there were the students who thought it was GROSS (although I think they secretly loved the change of materials). After their ornaments dries, they paints them how the wished with tempera paints.
Kindergartners used air dry clay to create small pinch pots. They used tempera paint to add color. I dipped each in a clear acrylic solution to seal the paint and give a glossy finish. They were so proud of these cute creations!
We stayed very busy during the month of October. Kindergarten continued to practice the fine motor skills of tracing, coloring, cutting, and gluing. They also explored colors, and textures in a fun and bright Cassie Stephens lesson.
This was a Cassie Stephens lesson that we used in kindergarten. It covered texture rubbings, watercolor resist painting, and the students practiced their letters in a new way - painting!
Kindergartners also practiced a variety of fine motor skills when they created their apple still lifes. They closely examined the colors on real apples while they colored their drawing with oil pastels. They also practiced centering their drawings first on black paper and then on a "frame" paper.
First grade celebrated Hispanic heritage month by looking at Mexican and Aztec sun art. They then created their own mixed-media suns with radial patterns.
Second grade spent October creating these awesome clay bells! They used air dry clay and texture plates to make these. They painted them with tempera paint, so I gave them a "bath" in watered down acrylic medium to give them a clear coat protectant. The students loved the satisfying sound of their ringing bells! :)
Third grade also created 3-D art in October as they made their paper mache flower vases. Each vase armature was built with an empty plastic bottle at the center, so these vases are water tight and can be used to hold fresh cut flowers. And they look AWESOME!
September was such an exciting month in our classrooms! First graders learned how to weave with paper strips, second graders took their knowledge of weaving and expanded upon it by making mini yarn tapestries, and third grade explored the fiber art of embroidery. While these grades were focusing on weaving, stitching, and tying knots, our new kindergarten friends were getting to know the routines of art class as they created a couple of fall-themed paintings.
First graders created colorful painted paper for their weavings. When dried, the papers were sliced and students began to weave in their strips of paper. They then used a variety of decorative edge scissors to create thinner strips that were incorporated as well. After that was done, students were allowed to use hole punchers and yarn scraps (these were left over from the second graders' weavings). Students were so inventive and impressed me with their creative approaches to the second half of this project! And it was clear that they were all very proud of their creations!
Second grade used small cardboard looms to create their mini tapestries. They each wrapped their warp strings and wove their weft strings in. They made sure to have all of the ends of their weft string hang on the same side (which would later become the fringe at the bottom). They took 3 classes to weave this project, tie their ends and remove it from their looms. I assisted them by hot gluing popsicle sticks onto the backs. The students finished this lesson by twisting a wire onto the stick so that they could be easily displayed on their walls at home!
Over at Anna McDonald, third grade explored another form of fiber art with their free form embroideries. The students learned how to make running stitches, back stitches, cross stitches and french knots. They practiced each on a small piece of burlap and looked at how other artists have used needles and thread to create amazing designs (from molas from Panama to contemporary fiber artists). Students were allowed to stitch any design or image on their final piece of burlap.
Kindergartners spent the month of September learning the routines in the art room. We practiced how to use glue bottles, how to use scissors, how to trace shapes, how to color with markers, and how to properly use and clean paint supplies. We will review these procedures all year as we keep creating!
As I am writing this, I am realizing that while we made collages, painted our landscapes, and created our leaf paintings with bleeding tissue paper, I barely took ANY photos! The two painting photos are both from last year, oops!
We are all finally getting into a nice groove in the art rooms. Second grade learned about painter Paul Klee and his use of geometric shapes. They had an open ended project where they were to draw anything they wanted (using geometric shapes like Klee). Instead of using a pencil, they experimented with drawing with glue. This required them to turn any "mistakes" into beautiful oopses since there was no safety net of an eraser. I will post their final results after they add color. :)
In Kindergarten, I once again started the year with the book "Lines That Wiggle". Students learn about a variety of different lines. After practicing these lines, they turn their creations into monsters just like the monsters in the story. They all did great!
Welcome back to another school year at Manhattan! I am very excited to be returning from my maternity leave and to see my kiddos who I have missed very much. And this year, I have the privilege of working in the same building where two of my daughters attend school.
There are a lot of changes at both buildings as our school district keeps growing. One of the changes is that I will only be teaching K - 3 this year. We keep adding new sections of classes to grade levels every year, and I am now full time between my 4 grades. Ms. Bellinger is returning for her second year and will take over all of 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th.
If you do not follow the Manhattan art classrooms on Instagram yet, please do! @paintonourfingers
A new change at Anna McDonald is the introduction of the team system. For my third graders, this is very similar from the family system they just left at Wilson Creek. So here is how it will work: Every student and staff member in the building will be assigned a team (all Chicago sports teams). *I am on the Bulls!* Also, the team assignments will NOT be by class, rather each student will be assigned to a team. That means that each class will have students from all five of the teams in the building. Mr. McWilliams created this system for Anna McDonald after being inspired by his visit to The Ron Clark Academy. This system will create a school culture where students will work together across classrooms and even grade levels to earn points for displaying positive behaviors. It is also intended to give students a sense of belonging and pride in their school, their team, and themselves. We kicked off the school year with a fun dance party/assembly that introduced the team system to the students. It was so much fun!
Ok, so to tie into this new team system, third graders first week project were mystery grid enlargements (each being a cropped logo of one of the teams - The Bulls, The Blackhawks, The Bears, The Cubs, and The White Sox). I love these projects because of element of mystery. The moment they understand what they have created as a class is priceless!
I also got some pictures this week of first grade's monoprints. We used CDs as the printing plate, two colors of tempera, and a Q-Tip to make designs. In the next class, they will use construction paper crayons to draw more details on their pictures.
An ongoing goal for Ms. Bellinger and I this year is to broaden our curriculum to encompass as much media as possible for our students to explore. We are proud to say that fiber art is now integrated into all of our elementary grade levels.
3rd Grade made free-form embroidery stitching on burlap. Many students made this connection to their yarn weaving project from last year. Stitching is similar to weaving, but this project was much more open ended, allowing students to explore their compositions. Students also had to learn to thread needles and make a variety of stitches (such as backstitching and cross-stitching). Throughout this project, I had quite a few kids tell me that this was their favorite art project they have ever made! <3
4th grade created one of my favorite Cassie Stephens lessons! They used Chinet plates as a loom and wove a tree of yarn. Before they wove on their plates, they painted a foreground, middleground, and background. They all turned out so beautiful!
5th grade made some AWESOME radial weavings on hand-made ceramic looms. I love how every single one of these turned out! We used **air dry clay**, tempera disks, yarn, and embellishments. The students used gadgets to press textures and patterns into their looms and were asked to come up with a color scheme for their paint and yarn.
**So about the air dry clay...big mistake! We will made sure that all ceramic looms are fired in the kiln for now on for more durability! So many of our looms cracked and broke during the weaving process. Ms. Bellinger had the great idea to cut out cardboard to hot glue the pieces together and add extra durability. It fixed the issue, but was quite a time consumer to fix so many of these! I have high hopes for this project with regular firing clay, though. :)
I want to congratulate all of our amazing artists who chose to compete in the annual STR Holiday Card Contest. This year's theme was "My Holiday Dream". From kindergarten through fifth grade, we received 139 entries! Thank you for taking encouraging your child to be a part of this and supporting their love of the arts! The winners are usually announced in December, so we will now have to wait. Here's a peek at some of the fantastic artwork Manhattan kids came up with.
First graders started the year by designing buildings with basic shapes. I brought in Duplos and Legos for the students to dip in black paint and print on white paper. After the building was complete (and dry), students used crayons to add color and details. We then read the story "Iggy Peck, Architect" to learn more about what an architect is.
After the lego printmaking project, students learned how to weave with strips of paper. I showed my friend some pictures of this project and she was totally confused by how it all came together, so I think I will share.
First, I cut hundreds of "looms" in a variety of colors. Now I know that this paper is not technically a "loom", but I want my students to begin thinking about it as the frame that holds the weaving together. To cut these looms, I stack 4 sheets of 10" x 12" paper and fold them in half (like you would if you were making a book). I use a ruler to make a line 1" down from the open edge of the stack. Then I take the paper to the paper cutter and cut each stack 9 times (1" apart), cutting through the folded end and stopping at the ruler line. You might be thinking "Why 10"x12"? That seems wasteful when paper comes in 12"x18" sheets!" Well, I take the leftovers and slice them all into 1" strips that become the weft for the weaving. There is less waste on those 12" long strips when they are weaving the width of 10" as opposed to 9". Lastly, when students complete their first step of weaving, they then get to use "fancy scissors" where they cut extra strips in half vertically and slide them into their weaving either vertically or horizontally (or both!)
Kindergarten has now completed their first two art lessons at Wilson Creek! We started the year off by talking about lines. As in the past, I read "Lines That Wiggle" to the kids and then we practiced drawing a variety of lines. Students then used their paper filled with lines to start assembling their very own line monsters like we saw in the book. Googley eyes that were donated to the classroom were the perfect finishing touch!
Following this lesson, we jumped right into reflective landscapes. This was a great opportunity to talk with the students about proper painting technique and how to keep our paint materials looking brand-new all year. Mrs. Bellinger and I ordered brand new Royal paint brushes this year and are doing our best to keep the supply looking nice. At this point, my kindergarteners are washing their paint brushes better than my Anna McDonald students!
Students used folded paper to paint a fall scene in front of a lake. With this lesson, students learned the vocabulary "landscape","reflection", and "balance".
After such a gorgeous summer, it was a bit hard to get into "school mode". It always seems so bittersweet. Although we don't want to stop going to the pool and having late night cook-outs, the time always comes when we have to say "good-bye" to summer.
The great news is we have so much to look forward to in the art department! I am happy to welcome Ms. Kim Bellinger as the new Jr. High art teacher. She will also teach most sections of 4th and 5th grade at Anna McDonald. She is in the process of starting a blog for her classes, and I can't wait for her to show you what they will be working on!
Also, thanks to our Square 1 Art fundraisers, Anna McDonald, as well the Jr. High, will receive brand new tables for the art room. These should arrive next week. I will definitely post photos! :)
So at Anna McDonald, students creating painted paper on their first art class. This painted paper then became community materials for all grade levels to create decorations for their music performances.
Third grade was given the task of working in groups to create giant paper flowers. Constructing a flower included many steps and required many hands. Group activities have proven to be great first week lessons in the past, so I thought I would try it out. These kids worked so well in their groups, and it really shows! I can't wait to see their flowers on display for their November music performance!
These Wayne Thiebaud inspired drawings were the perfect way to end second grade's art experience at Wilson Creek. I would be sad to see these kids go, but I always have the pleasure of seeing them again in third grade over at Anna Mac! For the second grade teachers at Wilson Creek, this is a sad time of the year where they have to say goodbye to students that they won't even get to see pass in the hall next year. And this class of students is phenomenal. We wish them all the best of luck in their future school transition!
Another one of their final projects was a collaborative effort (which can be found all over Pinterest but I think originated with this teacher!). First, they watched this video of bubbles in slow motion. Then, each student had a piece of 12" x 18" black paper. They used lids to trace their circles and oil pastels to add the colorful translucent shine and reflections. The most fun part was spreading out on the floor and planning the placement of the bubbles (which were to float from one student's drawing to their neighbor's. These are currently hanging as a large mural outside the P.E. doors.
First grade took on a high school level challenge as they drew and shaded solid figure forms. The two objectives of this lesson were for students to recognize the difference between shapes and forms and for students to be able to create a variety of values with their crayons. These students are quite impressive, and actually accomplished much more than that!
We took one day to practice sketching the forms. I used the overhead to show them step by step for each form. The next class, students were asked to draw the forms on their final papers. Most students stacked the forms -in what looked like very unstable towers :)- and some even added colorful backgrounds.
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).
Mrs. Schueler's fourth grade class got to learn out Claus Oldenberg's and Wayne Thiebaud's work before they created their delicious ice cream papier mache sculptures.
Students created their armatures using paper cups, newspaper, and masking tape. They then took 2 classes to apply the papier mache. In the past, I have only given one class for this. Boy, did that second class make a difference! Students were able to slow down, smooth everything out, and get at least 4 good layers on. These cones are STURDY!
Finally, they used acrylic paints to bring their flavors to life!
Kindergarten classes covered texture and symmetry as well as practiced cutting, gluing, painting, and printing as they created their painted paper butterflies. Recently, I introduced Mrs. Maher to Laura (of Painted Paper Art) and we have been sharing our love for her awesome painted paper projects. We have so many questions about how she does what she does, and maybe some day we will join her at Art Scouts and ask them all! ;) But until then, I am trying to add a bit of her colorful fun to some of our lessons!
Students used sponges, bubble wrap, old toothbrushes, and other odds and ends to create pattern and texture on paper. As I learned years ago, these paper MUST be seen as "community" paper from the beginning. No name-writing necessary. :) I also give each class a limited paint pallet, in my attempt to acquire an equal amount of all colors by the end of the week.
The following week, students chose 2 papers each to create the wings. A bunch of different shaped tracers are made available to the kids. They fold the paper, draw or trace their shapes, and create symmetrical butterfly wings. It is up to them from there, how they will add to their design.
On the third class, students chose construction paper frames that were a little larger than their black paper. Using their "painted paper skills", they chose their own tool to add add paint the frame. By the fourth class, I realized that the most striking frames were those with the sponge printing, and tried to steer kids towards those. Those old toothbrushes and oversized paint brushes couldn't compete with the depth and detail of sponge paint!
And now, as any art teacher would, I am hoarding a giant bin of scraps I can't bear to part with. I am sure we can do something with this! ;)
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!
As the first grade teachers began to prepare for their fairy tales unit, they came across this cute lesson. It was a great tie-in with what first grade had just learned - "point-of-view" and its effect on drawing. This was such a simple lesson, and very fun! Students are now know they can represent space in pictures by drawing things smaller in the distance. :)
I am feeling awful that I don't have more pictures of the K Ocean Unit in art class. :( Students created 3 projects that went along with what they are learning in the their classrooms. We drew these tried and true sharks and practiced following sequential steps in drawing. We designed our own fish in another class where students impressed me their knowledge of the parts of fish. In another class, students created their own jellyfish sculptures with plastic cups, bubble wrap, plastic ribbon, and neon tempera. There are now hundreds of jellyfish swarming the kindergarten hallways :)
First grade was introduced to still life and asked to look closely as they drew a fruit bowl on their table. Since we used clear containers, students were asked to imagine their own bowl design. Students focused on overlapping, placement, size, and proportion of their objects.
Students practiced double-loading their paint brushes to mix their own colors. This technique is fantastic to do with this subject, because there are so many hues in fruit. Students not only had to closely examine the fruit when they drew it, but as they painted it, as well. :)
Finally, students used black paint and detail brushes to outlines their fruit. This outline helps not only to "clean up" their lines in the paintings, but to allow the colors to really "pop". Just like Cezanne :)
Inspired by Mary March's Identity Tapestries (photograph of one above on the left), Anna McDonald School took part in a group activity that is intended to show how we are all connected despite our differences. With the planning help of Mrs. Ciurej, this string wall was painted yellow (the character color of "RESPECT") and titled to remind students that although we are different, we most celebrate and respect one another.
This board is filled with pegs that each have a statement that students may or may not identify with. Some examples are "I wear glasses", "I am competitive", and "I sing in the shower". Each student chose their own color of embroidery floss, knotted it to their teacher's peg, and looped the string around the statements that apply to them, creating their own path of identity. At the end of each string, students tied small washers (that were so kindly donated from Whitmore Ace Hardware in town). On this washer they wrote their name, initials, or short message.
It is currently up in the air as to what will be done with this board in the future. But for now, this crazy web of string is a visual reminder of the community we are here at Anna McDonald.
I want to start by saying this was a lesson I stole and adapted from a fellow Instagram art teacher. :) @foxchapelart has the best ideas for elementary art!!! First graders saw images of Picasso's guitars and Bearden's musicians before they created their own mixed-media art. Students discussed what different music would look like if we could see it. Rhythm was introduced and students were asked to incorporate rhythmic repetitions in their backgrounds. And students were super thrilled when the sequins and glitter came out :)
Thank you to all of our amazing families who continually support the arts in Manhattan! The Lincoln Way art department always holds a fantastic show where hundreds of pieces of art are on display for the larger LW area community to see. It is an honor to have some of our students participate. Mrs. Ambrosini and I are always impressed by how many Manhattan families come to attend this! Thank you :)
I am hoping that some of our fantastic families have some materials they wouldn't mind donating the the art room! :)
Here is a list of items that I am looking for:
Styrofoam egg cartons
Gears, washers, nuts and/or other small pieces of hardware that could be used in a Steampunk project
Circle cardboard from frozen pizza packages
I will be looking for these materials throughout the end of the school year. Thank you!
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)!