Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Third Grade Shrinky Dink Snow Globe Necklaces

The week before Christmas most the students had an extreme case of the wiggles. I set up a one day lesson with my third graders making snow globe necklaces out of Shrinky Dink.

It worked like a charm; it caught everyone’s interest, the students quickly quieted down as they concentrated on creating a design and then transferred the design onto the Shrinky Dink. (I reviewed Landscapes with the students and they brain stormed winter and holiday ideas.)
It was coloring with colored pencils from there, with highlights of silver or gold markers. All the students quietly cheered as their snow globes shrunk in the toaster oven. I had black cording precut and that sped up assembling the necklace.

5th Grade Overlapping Hands

I came across some pictures of the Square 1 Art lesson my 5th graders did last year. This was my usual "go to" lesson; the students love it and the designs all turn out with deep, rich colors.
The company has a newly designed web page and after a quick look I could not find the "Lesson Ideas" section. If I find the link I'll come back to this post and paste it in.

First Grade Fall Trees

First grade students created beautiful fall trees using a variety of materials.

A couple weeks before starting this lesson it was my luck to read Tisha’s blog post; which was chock full of great book-art lesson connections. I found the book; “A tree is Nice” listed, and found it in my school library. What a great start to the lesson! It inspired some great discussions with my students.

On their white paper, students drew trees that had branches reaching out. (I did a simplified “V” tree demo.) After that we got out our crayons and considered all the colors that are on one tree. Students drew vertical lines of crayon colors on their trees.

Next up; paint shirts and watercolors. I gave a demo on mixing colors, how to clean off a color if it has a mixed color on it, and dragging the brush across the paper instead of scrubbing it on the paper.

Wow, first graders really love to paint! I went through the procedure of watercolor paint clean up and all stayed calm as everybody did their job.

Adaptive Art Q-Tip Snowflakes

With the holidays approaching it was time to start working on winter and/or holiday lessons with my Adaptive Art students, even though, oddly, there wasn’t a stitch of snow to be found in Green Bay.
I do a lot of lesson searches for my adaptive students in preschool websites as they usually a good starting point with my particular group of students. I modify all lessons because a couple of my students are still working on grasping tools and supplies.

This lesson involved squeezing a small puddle of glue onto a piece of aluminum foil and laying Q-Tips that were cut in half, around the glue creating a radial design.

When the glue dried I peeled the glue/Q-Tips off of the foil and students glued them onto some paper circles that they had glittered.

Second Grade Self Portraits

Second grade students created their self portraits by going through a number of stages and materials.

I was inspired by a lesson I found on The Incredible Art Dept. site. This particular lesson had students connect self portraits with the artist Peter Max and The Statue of Liberty. ( -You will find the lesson by scrolling down about a third of the page.
I tweaked the lesson to meet the needs of my second graders.

The second graders started this lesson by drawing a self portrait. After that, the lesson fell off the track of normal expectations as everybody used a black Sharpie marker to trace their self portrait drawing onto a sheet of transparency.

When the tracing was complete the self portraits were put aside and the tempera paint came out. Students painted the colors that reflected their personality onto a sheet of paper with lots of color mixing.

When dry, students stapled their self portrait transparency on top of their painting, mounted it onto a colored piece of construction paper and used buttons to decorate the borders.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

4th Grade Clay Leaves

I walk my dog down the block every morning before work. When I saw my favorite tree four houses down from mine start to drop a lot of it's leaves after a very windy night, I knew that this was the day to drop everything and make clay leaves with my 4th graders!

This year I opted for a painting lesson with the leaves instead of glaze.

2nd Grade Stars and Stripes

2nd Grade classes finished Stars and Stripes just in time for Veteran's Day!
I found this lesson on Mrs. Picasso's Art Room Art Blog. Thank you for sharing this! It was posted in her Flickr Photostream area. Bells and whistles went off when I saw it! Tissue paper collage, printing, "how to draw a star" and Jasper John's... lots of wonderful concepts to explore! Fortunately it took a couple of classes to complete so I broke down the concepts into manageable pieces.
After completing their artwork, students got busy creating Thank You cards for veterans. It was great using the scraps left from the Stars and Stripes. Lots of variations happened on the cards, including students cutting out a lot of small stars and adding them to their design. The second grade classroom teachers worked with their classes writing the note that went inside the Thank You cards. One classroom teacher had her students write short descriptive paragraph about Veteran's Day and posted them on the bulletin board with all of the Stars and Stripes.
After school on Friday I dropped off the cards at nursing homes in Green Bay and DePere, WI. I sent an email out to the staff inviting them to take a Thank You card to share with any veterans that they knew. Several teachers came down for a card, and one offered to take the remaining cards to a friend who will get them to active servicemen from our area. Sweet!
The heart design on the cards came from Mrs. Picasso's Flickr Photostream too.

Drawing a star is a challenge for second grade, but they were excited to try it! Everyone flipped their dry tissue collage paper over and practiced two small stars on the back of the paper before tackling a big one in the middle of their paper. After this I brought out tracer stars and students had the choice of using their own drawn star or using the tracer.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day of the Dead Skeletons

My 5th graders dove into this lesson - they LOVED it!
Most of these do not have a paper backing. They just look like they do because I had to lay them on a table to photograph. They were fun to hang on the wall all tippy - they look like they're dancing.
Thank you Barbara from "Barbara's Thought of the Day" Blog for this great lesson idea!
Magical Skeletons -

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Adaptive Art Clay Pumpkin

In Adaptive Art we rolled out a slab of clay, cut out a pumpkin shape and drew in pumpkin sections with a pencil. They were approximately 8" high and 7" wide, give or take a little here and there. After firing the clay we mixed reds and yellow tempera paint to create orange, and painted. We ran a colored Twisteez Wire through a hole in the pumpkin stem and beaded. The beading was the favorite activity with this lesson. I am not posting the photograph of the final piece with the mod podge painted on because the glare didn't photograph well. Today was the day we gently wrapped them in newspaper and sent them home.
If I were to do this again I would have students sprinkle tiny seed beads onto the wet mod podge and do a second coat when dry. I think the texture would look interesting and feel interesting to my students.
For info on Twisteez Wire: (This is GREAT colored wire, I use it in many lessons. Check it out!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hanging Art Tip

I love my rubber mallet! I don't need it often, but it sure does the trick when I want to hang artwork on the cinderblock walls at school.
WI winter temperatures dip way below zero, in fact students have indoor recess or come into the school building in the morning only when the temperature goes below -5 degrees. So if I want to hang artwork on an outside wall it's normal for the work to start falling off within a day because of the moisture that builds up on the inside warmer wall. The mallet is the trick that keeps the artwork up for weeks.
About 10 years ago I learned this trick. I was involved in a big artist-in-residence program at my school and we were using a lot of old, curled up paper hanging from masking tape on cinder block walls. If you whack the tape with the rubber mallet a couple of times the paper stayed put on the wall. We could take the paper down and rehang it with the same masking tape several times if we whacked it with a mallet every time we hung it. Since that time I have kept a rubber mallet in the desk drawers of both of my schools for the rather infrequent times I need it.

You need to remember to move your head to the side when you whack the mallet, there is a spring back action to it and you don't want your nose in line with it -ouch!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adaptive Art Scarecrows

I needed a short lesson for my Adaptive Art class a couple of weeks ago. We needed just a couple of minutes to complete a lesson we had invested 3 class periods in, and I didn't want to start a new, big project until the next time we met. This scarecrow lesson took 20-25 minutes to complete. I kept it simple; the shape of the scarecrow head was precut. We concentrated on identifying eyes, ears, noses and cheeks as we practiced cutting and gluing. The burlap hat was a quick fold with student help, and then I hot glued them so the folds stayed put.
I had just brought in some shape punches that morning. My students loved putting the effort into getting the paper to punch out a flower shape, although not everyone wanted to use the flowers once they had them. We'll definitely do that again, it was a good exercise in using all the muscles in their hands and arms to get the punch to work.