Wednesday, June 19, 2013

5th Grade Camouflage Lizards

Now you see it... now you don't!

This was the end of the year lesson for my 5th grade classes. I was looking for a project that would hold student's attention and give them a big bang at the end. It worked; they loved this!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

2nd Grade Clay Frog in Monet's Garden

I came across an image of this lesson while on Pinterest one night. The link led me to Monroe Elementary School Artsonia site; I don't know if the art teacher knows her image was pinned but I am very thankful that it was; my students LOVED this lesson!

"Clay Frogs" is a frequent 2nd grade lesson for me to teach; it combines a review of how to make a pinch pot, which they learned in 1st grade, with learning the clay technique for attaching pieces of clay together - scoring with slip.

Adding an introduction the the artist Claude Monet and the book, "Philippe in Monet's Garden" really gave depth to the lesson.

March 27, 2013
Yowza! The internet is just AMAZING! The day after I posted this, Theresa McGee, the art teacher that created this lesson, left a comment below! Check it out; she also left a link in her comment to her original lesson plan. THANK YOU!
Theresa, your Artsonia lessons are really beautiful! Do you have a blog? I'd sign up to follow it in a heartbeat. :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

3rd Grade Jungles

3rd grade and jungles seem to be a natural fit and my students have always loved this lesson.

As the jungles extend out of the center square students switch to a different tone of the same color to finish the border.

Students are introduced to the artist Henri Rousseau.

It was a trip to a museum that inspired this lesson a good 15 years ago.

This student only had one class to make her artwork... one of many students out for an extended time with the flu. The simplicity of this is beautiful.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

5th Grade Clay Storytellers

I started my 5th graders working with clay very early in the school year. The lesson was learning about and creating Clay Storyteller figures. The 5th grade class curriculum covers American History and I was trying to pace the lesson with the classroom lessons on Native American Cultures.

We did have all clay work made by the time the classroom started their
work in this area, but by the time the clay was dried, glazed and fired a second time the unit was long past...arg! Classroom connections can be tricky but I still like to make the attempt regularly.

The resource I relied on heavily for this lesson is a post from Julie Voigt's Art Blog;
It's a definate "must read" and I really appreciate that you shared it Julie - thank you!

The book I used with my students is;
If you are on the lookout for great book classroom resources, then this is really a must have!

Here is a sampling of completed Clay Storytellers;

Sunday, November 4, 2012

4th Grade Day of the Dead Skeletons

Whew! This lesson took longer than I had expected but fortunately we started early enough and all were completed by Nov.1-2 when the Dia de los Muertos ritual is practised by many people in Mexico and in some parts of the U.S.
Can you see the student's name used in symmetry as the ribs? When I saw this on Pinterest I knew I had to try it - all of my 4th grade students LOVED it! -And me too - it was fun watching all of the details come together on these!

The Pinterest pin original source was from Artsonia: The Kessler School of Dallas Texas. The art teacher listed is Patty Krakowsky. Thank you so much for sharing this!

This lesson took three and a half to four class periods. I ran one of these short videos at the beginning of three of the classes;
1. "The Day of the Dead. Viva Calaca! Day of the Dead."

2. "Mexico's Day of the Dead"

3. Skulliosis
Everyone especially loved this last video... it's a girl that videotaped herself drawing a decorated skull. This really motivated students to try drawing at home just for the pleasure of drawing.

Monday, July 9, 2012

List of Art Supply Catalogues That Have Art Lessons to Share

Did you know that many art supply catalogues have a section of free art lesson plans available online? Each lesson uses the art supplies the company is selling. Pretty handy; if you like the lesson, wa la! -you can order the supplies right there. You probably do know about it, but I remember accidentally stumbling upon it a number of years ago. Just in case you are not aware of it, check out the list below...

Please feel free to add to this list! If you put your info in the comment section of this post I’ll cut and paste it into the blog with credit given to you… add your blog address too for a shout out!

*The first two catalogues below are Sax and School Specialty. Sax is now part of School Specialty. When you web search one catalogue the name of the other one pops up with it.

PFD of Lesson Plans from Sax Catalogue

School Specialty Art Lesson Plans

Dick Blick

United Art & Education


Okay, here is where I run out of ideas. Did I list all of them or did I miss some really good ones?

Um... I'm still trying to figure out how to make a live link so the web addresses posted here will take you to the site... I'm not there yet, sorry!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Adaptive Art Snowmen

Yes it was a balmy 98 degrees yesterday, 91 degrees is expected today and I’m thinking snowmen! My Adaptive Art class made these in January. I knew this was an interesting lesson worth sharing, so I made sure I took pictures before sending them home. The heat has chased me out of the garden and into the house. It’s a good day to think cool thoughts so here we go!

I should probably note here that in the Adaptive Art class I teach with 2 support aides in the class and we work with 4 students.

This year, because of my student’s skill levels I’ve been visiting a lot of early childhood sites. The idea of using “coconut” on artwork came from one of those sites. I apologize that I’m not listing the name of the blog; if I come across it again I’ll post the site address here.
Can you see the coconut flakes glued to the snowman to simulate textured snow? It’s a great look.

Here is what we did;
Day 1:
• Students started by rolling white Crayola Model Magic into two balls. One ball is smaller than the other. The smaller ball is the head, the larger one is the body.
• As students rolled the balls I cut popsicle sticks to fit inside the snowman. The popsicle stick does not have to be pushed into the snowman all the way through, but well over half way is good.
Students stick one end of the popsicle stick into the head so it looked like a lollypop. The bottom half of the popsicle stick was then pushed into the bottom ball of the snowman.
• Have students put effort into standing the snowmen up… balance them if you can, before they leave class.
• At this point the snowmen have to dry until the next class period, but you are going to get some gluing done on them before the next class. I was not expecting this next step and was surprised when I picked one snowman up and found the head loose on the body after it dried. Before your next class with the students you will want to slide the popsicle stick out, coat it with Tacky Glue and reassemble it. You’ll want to do this as its drying or is dried so you do not alter the shapes the students have made. Give it time to dry now.
The next day see if the snowman head and body are loose where they come together in the middle. I’m guessing it will be. Give it a good shot of hot glue just to be sure it’s secure. (I was REALLY surprised that the Model Magic did not stick together by itself, but it could be because of all the handling by the students.)

Day 2:
• The next class period have students use a paint brush to paint glue all over the snowman. You can do the whole thing at once or only paint one section at a time. When you have the thick glue on the snowman, start rolling it in coconut that is poured in a bowl. If you find some bare spots add more glue and do it again. Keep going til the whole thing is covered.
Now the snowman needs to dry again. Stand or lay the snowman on a sheet of plastic and let it dry.

My adaptive students work very fast so at this point I pull out a basket that has supplies ready for another project… for example; paint the background paper for a new project and let it dry, and/or start cutting or ripping out shapes to go on the painted paper (house shapes, large petals for flowers, sailboats, geometric shapes, etc. –whatever the next lesson will be… at the end of class wet paintings go in the drying rack and paper shapes get paper clipped together and I write the student’s name on their paper shapes. )
If only a small amount of class time is left I pull out the Playdoh or get beads and pipe cleaners out, maybe draw with marker and paint the paper with water when they are done... something short but very interesting.

Day 3:
• The snowman gets completely assembled in this class; Have students match two pompoms for earmuffs, and choose a color of pipe cleaner for the top of the earmuffs. Also, students choose the color of the felt scarf they would like. (I had precut a bunch of felt strips before class.) While I am doing a quick hot gluing getting the earmuffs on, students are tying their scarves on, and then start to put their paint details on. Scarf first, paint after. Often if students put the face on first, the scarf covers a lot of it up. Get the scarf on first so they can more clearly define the space they have to work with. The eyes, mouth and buttons of the snowman are tempera paint dots. Students use the handle end of a paintbrush, dip it into black paint and place dots of paint onto their snowman.
• When all is done there is one more visit to the hot glue and we glue the snowman onto a stiff board –in this case I think it was scrap matte board. In this lesson I think I squirted hot glue under the scarf too so it couldn’t be ripped off by the students and put in their mouths.

• The paint completes the snowman. I decided not to add an orange nose or arms with pipe cleaners, etc. because I was worried that it might be something that would pull off the snowman easily and end up in the student’s mouths.

You will probably have a lot of class time left so we continue the project we started at the end of the last class.

*Will I do this lesson again? Yup, BUT I think it needs a fine tuning so the “snowballs” do not come apart when drying. I think I’ve seen popsicle sticks with notches cut out of the sides… I wonder if those notches would hold the Model Magic securely so no extra gluing is needed…?
*When making paper mache snowmen with first graders I have cut the toe area off of a small sock and students use this as the hat…(you can leave it as is or turn the sock tip inside out) a little pompom on the top finishes it off nicely. (That would avoid that hot glue earmuff step…)
*Even using fabric, with several students still working on “grasping and squeezing” their scissors, cutting their own scarf is out of reach. I wonder if there is some sparkly netting material that looks wintery. I think they could cut through netting…

Do you have any suggestions?