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!
Kindergarteners were introduced to the concept of hue temperature. In our room, we use some phrases to remind us if a color is warm or cool. "Red like fire, orange like lava, and yellow like the sun!" "Green like dewy grass, blue like the ocean, and purple mountains majesty!" We painted our drawing of dogs and cats with "magic". (After using markers to color the animals, students used wet paintbrushes to blend the colors.) It's a fun surprise for the kids to see their marker ink move like watercolor :)
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?
Thank you to everyone who helped plan, volunteered at, or came to visit Wilson Creek's second annual art show. It was a fun night and a great reminder of how wonderful our families and community truly are in Manhattan SD 114. Here are some photos from the night.
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. :)
So this week kindergartners are working with colorful construction paper crayons (which are so fun and so easy!) We took a sheet of black construction paper, practiced using our rulers to make straight lines (and it really doesn't matter if the lines are wobbly - sometimes I have found that the projects look even cooler that way). Students use 1 row at a time to make unique linear patterns using simple shapes, lines, and colors. It was a good time to revisit types of lines and geometric shapes. A lot of students even wanted to incorporate letters into this drawing which was a good idea. They practice writing letters so much in class, I like that they wanted to carry that skill over to my class. :) I reminded them that their was always room for more detail, and that they could always make their patterns more complex. This activity held the students' attention well and filled an entire 40 minute class with no clean up time. I'm sure some of my students would have even used an additional class to add more! Above was an example I made. It was projected at the beginning of class and students thought it looked very difficult. By the end of class they were pleased to see that theirs looked just as complex and "difficult". But they all felt it was really quite easy to do.
Come follow me on Instagram! @steph-boersma or find class-related photos at #paintonourfingers .
Wilson Creek has made a big push to be more present on social media. You can find out what great things all of my coworkers are doing with their students at #wilsoncreeklearns .
First grade created some AWESOME hearts in art class. I noticed I don't have many pictures of the rubbing alcohol process, but that is probably because I was to busy enjoying the process with them. Students started by cutting out their hearts. I had some classes glue their hearts onto the black paper before they painted and some did not glue theirs down until after the paint had dried. You can see the one above glued down the heart first. I like the way the paint has traveled onto the black space. If we do this again, all classes will try it this way.
The trick to getting a good effect with the rubbing alcohol is to add it when the paper is extremely wet. So first graders tried out the wet-on-wet painting technique for the first time. The first practiced this technique on small hexagon-shaped paper (I will get back to this). Then, they painted wet-on-wet "watercolor" (we used tempera discs with a lot of water). They used little pipettes from the science closet to drip the rubbing alcohol on top. There were plenty of "oohs" and "aahs" from my little artists/scientists. Finally, students used scraps from the recycling bin to give their pictures a colorful frame.
The practice papers have been Mod Podged together onto 2 canvases that will be raffled as a set at the Wilson Creek art show! We hope to see you there!
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)!