Sunday, January 31, 2016

Towers and Turrets

I found this lesson, Towers & Turrets, years ago in a Dick Blick catalog. It was submitted by Anne Pietropola.  Click here for an updated version of this lesson. While I have done it with the painted background, I opted not to this time.
I consider it to be a fun lesson and it includes many of the concepts we teach.  I started off with a power point of several landmark buildings. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Taj Mahal, Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Waters and St. Basil Cathedral which was to be our inspiration for this project. In addition to making the power point, I pre-cut paper 3" wide and in an assortment of different lengths.

 We discussed the role of an architect and their purpose for building what they build. I then modeled for them how to fold the paper, draw half of the building, and then cut it out. And even though this was with 4th and 5th graders-some forgot to do it on the folded side and ended up with 2 halves of a building........ yeah...

Anyway, I like to always have what I call "inspiration sheets". It is a starting point for students who otherwise would sit there and not know what to do. They are NOT required to use them.
I actually came across other blogs that do a similar project and they had coloring sheets for this project. And of course, now I can't find it........ I did find a painted version here at Painted Paper by blogger Laura Lohmann.

The first week was for cutting out the shapes and decorating them with colored pencils. All of my students have a 3 pronged pocket folder to hold their towers and turrets in for the following week. Otherwise give envelopes out to children to store their work in.

The second week was for finishing up the details on the towers and turrets and gluing them down to construction paper. They could choose the color.

These are on a board I'm preparing to take to the County Fair for the Art Exhibit.
Students enjoyed doing this and I think they did a super job!

And on another note-I had a class come into the art room and one of the girls had this flyer/brochure from the latest and most popular toy: Shopkins. I am happy to say I now know the names of the Shopkins that I got from students........ Where a classroom teacher might tell the student to put that away - in the art room this was a teachable moment while I explained to students how those and many other toys exist because of artists. And I briefly listed several different career paths! Oh yeah!!!

 Anyway as I think about this Towers and Turrets project, I realized the first time I taught this, most, if not all of my students had not even been born yet!

What are some of the lessons you have that are older than your students?

Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

No Snow Days for Me!

When I lived up north I LOVED doing snowmen with my students in January. Now that I live in Florida and it actually DOES get cold (waking up to 29°) where I am, so I still do snowmen in January.  And what a perfect week to be finishing them up with everyone up north getting snow days!
This lesson starts off week one with the book The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler.
We talk about the different sized snowballs that make up the snowman and I modeled ripping the paper to create texture around the edges of the snowballs. They are given a copy of the paper below, which is just paper with traced circles. You could have students trace their own circles, but it just adds too much time to the project. After ripping out the circles students glue them onto construction paper.

I'm really proud that my students are finally getting the concept of not using Too Much Glue, they still remember my 2014 costume, find it here.

The second week I read Snowmen at Night by Caralyn-Buehner which can be found here. The book has snowmen wearing different hats and other outfits that are inspiring.

I have a poster of hat designs, that I made, based on some of the hats that my Potato Heads have. (Don't ask....) I have used it to inspire many different lessons. A few of the styles have tracers for the kids, some I help them to figure out. 
I also have a stash of beautifully painted paper (made from the tools on the left) from about 9 years ago. I made these with students, from leftover bulletin board paper that teachers used to cover their walls during testing. The paper is older than the students using it........ anyway.

Now if you want to know more about projects with painted paper check out the blog Painted Paper.

Children decorate their snowmen, they learn how to use a hole punch to make eyes, mouths and buttons.  They all make arms and a nose along with dressing their snowmen.

Interesting story on the snowman below. Student got really frustrated ripping out the circles and he crinkled up his paper. As I was opening it up I realized that by crinkling it, he created a more accurate texture for snow, because now it had all these sharp edges, like freshly plowed snow. The next class was encouraged to crinkle the paper if they wanted to show more texture.

My grandson attends my school and helps me out on occasion to earn snack money. Below he is removing the snowmen, from the previous day, from the drying rack. And while I usually quickly take them out, barely looking at them, he chose to look at each one and comment about them. AND couldn't wait to come back and finish his.
Here are some finished ones. Students also had the opportunity to stamp snowflakes on their paper.

So it's the middle of the winter and I gotta tell you I am starting to think about the summer...... AND my favorite part of summer is the fun places to travel to for professional development.

Some of the ones that I have done in the past are starting to advertise for the upcoming summer. You just might want to check them out!

SchoolArts and Crizmac have workshops in both Santa Fe, New Mexico and Oaxaca, Mexico check it out here.  Blogged about it here.

The National Gallery of Art has sent out info on their Teacher's Institute find it here.   I mention my experience here.     Summer Vision DC  here.

I am very excited and extremely grateful to announce that I am a  
Rising Star Finalist in the Art of Ed Blog Contest for 2015. 
I have PROUDLY displayed my badge on the right side of this blog. To check out all the amazing winners and finalists for 2015 click here!
THANK-YOU to all of you that nominated and voted for me and especially to all of you that continue to read my blog.

THANKS for Reading!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2015 Blog of the Year contest

I am so very excited and extremely honored to announce that:

I am one of NINE finalists, all of which, have wonderful art blogs, that have been nominated in
 the Rising Star Category in the Art of Ed's annual contest!!!

If you have read and enjoyed my blog, please consider voting for it HERE!

And while you're there, check out the blogs in all the other categories.

I have met and admire many of these wonderful bloggers!

So check it out and please VOTE!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Storytelling in the Art Room


Literature is very important for me to integrate into my art program. So when I found the book The Magic Nesting Dolls by Jacqueline K. Ogburn I knew I had to use that book to inspire a lesson. I also have a set of nesting dolls that I bought on a trip to Scotland, many years ago. 

I started the discussion with my students, before showing them anything, by asking them, "What are some of the different ways to tell a story?" The answers from my students were: books, pictures, your voice ('cause the story's in your head), and one little fellow said "videos". His answer, in my opinion made him a Rock Star! I haven't done this lesson for years, you know, before needing to come up with Essential Questions. Soooo in the past I tied it into art, but this time I decided to tie it into storytelling. And before that student said videos it didn't even occur to me just how many ways people tell stories. I also mentioned how stories have been passed down through history.

I showed them my nesting dolls and read the book to them. The book does take a while to read, but they loved it. It really made them think about the story they would use for their nesting doll art.

I modeled how to trace the doll shapes and how to share the set of tracers so that no one was waiting to start. One student starts with the smallest doll tracer while the other starts with the largest doll tracer.

I also did an inspiration sheet for them containing a variety of patterns that they can use on their dolls. I Googled nesting dolls coloring sheets to come up with the assortment for them to look at.

I am really looking forward to seeing the finished work of the dolls above!

Meanwhile here are some that did finish! LOVE THEM!

Having seen real nesting dolls my students were very disappointed, and that's putting it mildly, that they weren't doing their dolls on wood. Especially since it was so cool to take each of them out as part of the story. After putting some thought to it, I came up with cutting them out and putting a pocket onto the back of the largest doll so that the others would fit into it.
Sorry, I hope you can see it, I haven't finished my sample and I misplaced my original sample for this project.

My 2nd and 3rd graders did the Nesting Dolls while my little ones in kindergarten and first did hand puppets. I basically started out with the same discussion. I read them the book below. Then told them the story with a sample hand puppet I made. There are many versions of this book that you can find here.

They had options as to the color of the construction paper to use to best match their hand. I had hand and oval tracers for them to use. A few wanted to know if they could trace their own hands. I told them that was an option, but to consider just how small their fingers are and that they might just want to do both. You can see that in the photo above on the right. 
They could also make up their own story.

When they finished they were encouraged to find someone to share their story with. It was adorable! 

What are some of the ways you incorporate literature in you program? I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!