Sunday, September 16, 2018

Turning Shapes into Art

 I was able to get several packages of these stencils at the end of last school year and could not wait to use them this year! They are incredible and quite durable. I love the different size options available with each shape.
Read students the book When a Line Bends A Shape Begins to inspire their lesson on using shapes to make art. I knew we wouldn't have time to create with shapes and also do a crayon resist......

 So the following week I read them The Strawberry Book of Shapes and it has some funny laugh out loud lines in it! Both books are available on Amazon, just click on the title to get there.






Students in kindergarten and first grade did a great job making some really sweet art. I enjoyed seeing some of the abstract art made with the shapes as well as the houses, flowers, people and pumpkins.

Thanks for Reading!





Sunday, September 9, 2018

Illuminated Letters and Learning Lines

 As promised last time here is the lesson I presented to my 4th and 5th graders. They did illuminated letters. I found an excellent SlideShare by Amy E. Bruce on the internet that gives a history of illuminated letters. I shared the basic info with students,  but chose different media.

Students first did a rough sketch.

Then I made sure to let them practice on a small piece of scratch board to get a feeling for the medium. I let them know they were only getting one good piece of scratch board and any mistakes were going to be part of their creative process. "Make it work!" as Tim Gunn would say.

They got a stern lecture on the scratch tool being a tool and not a weapon and if used as a weapon there would be a referral in their future.....BTW I always count the tools at the end of class.



Students used metallic markers to add illumination or faux gold leaf.

They did a great job!

Thanks for Reading!








Sunday, September 2, 2018

Learning Lines with Scratch Board


Three years ago when we moved back into our newly renovated space I had some serious money in which to stock up my art room. One of the things I decided to buy was a couple of scratch board kits.
Apparently I didn't buy enough for everyone to do it. Besides the kits came with these sharp scratch tools-so only 4th and 5th could do it. More about that next time..........

However trying to do similar projects/lessons with my students prompted me to come up with a way for the students in k-3rd to do scratch board.

I was gifted a full box of cardboard which would be perfect for students to color on with oil pastels. They are much more vibrant and smoother to work with than crayons. They then painted over their art with black acrylic paint. Some of the students didn't understand and weren't too happy about that. The following week was definitely the aha moment!


 I set up a station for students on the back counter to paint.

To inspire my students I shared this book, I Want to Draw I Want to Paint by Marilyn Traeger with them that I received at the FAEA conference last year. I actually got to meet the author, a retired art teacher who has a foundation to raise money for art supplies for low income students.


Since I see only one section of a grade level a day, I created these little signs that hang on my drying rack to help keep track of student work.

The second week of the lesson I share the book Art Is.... by Bob Raczka.
I also drew an assortment of lines on the board to teach/review with students.

 I demonstrated different ways to use lines in art to each grade level. They could do simple line designs, snakes, letters-basically up to them.  My daughter also made stencils for me using her Cricut with some donated card stock.


 I decided to display some of the finished work during our "Meet the Teachers" night. I decided based on all the classes I saw that day and had time to hang up.... (Above is from a 2nd grade class.)

It was fun to see the reveal as each student scratched off the black paint. Students were able to color the cardboard any way they wanted to. Which created some awesome effects.
I got a kick out of this t-shirt worn by one of my students, it went perfect with the lesson!

Thanks for Reading!

How do you teach lines to your students?








Sunday, August 26, 2018

Art Chopped

 Last week's blog post was about a really fun product from Faber-Castell called Creativity Can. While it's not quite the same thing consider making your own Creativity Bag/Box activity?

After all, how many of you have stuff you just don't know what to do with it? Popsicle sticks, bottle tops, stickers, buttons, pom-poms, scrap paper, other odds and ends? Or weird donations?

Why not put all that stuff in bags/boxes for your students and have them create art?

This lesson is a take off of a cooking show, Food Chopped, where contestants get a basket of food and their goal is to make a spectacular three-course meal.

I got the idea from a workshop that I attended in Seattle at the NAEA Conference.
 The presenter was Jen Dahl, the president of the WAEA.  

We did the project as a competition just like the show, my partner was Emily Samuels. 

Back at school, I filled bags with a really odd assortment of things from my art room (see photo at the top). It was at the end of the school year and this was part of my effort to pack up the room for the summer. My 2nd-4th graders got the opportunity to do this project. And I have already been asked this year if I plan to do it again, as it was so much fun! BTW YES! Totally plan to do it again!







I think it's important to give children unstructured art opportunities to have a chance to explore. I have also from time to time given them free art with leftover materials. For those of you that like giving students free choices to create in art all the time consider exploring TAB (teaching to artistic behavior) or Play Based Art Teaching with George Szekely.

Was gonna plug the fact that at the FAEA conference in October there is a workshop Art Chopped, but it's already full! Guaranteed to be a lot of fun!!

Soooo to recap from last week if you have a great budget and can afford the Creativity Can from Faber-Castell:GO FOR IT!  If not, make your own!

Thanks for Reading!