Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nutcrackers, 3rd Grade

I was struggling with what to do with my 3rd graders this year for the holiday, and then stumbled upon this lesson on drawing a nutcracker.

It was a HIT.

The kids loved it...and I LOVED the results!!

My students used rulers, and did not use tracers. This way, all the results were varied.

How to draw Santa, 1st Grade

Last year I posted this. I think its a fun way at the holidays to teach the concept of portraits, yet, apply it to the season.

I got this lesson from a great friend of mine who teaches Elementary Art.

Here are the easy step by steps:

Then color....and have fun!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful Turkeys, 1st-4th grade

I taught the students how to draw the turkey that was posted on Art Projects For Kids (which was a great base for lots of turkey-projects), and then gave them a variety of materials to use.

I love the one posted directly below, because they chose to add textured grass by doing tissue-paper grass. They all turned out really cute, and the kids always love learning something new to draw and add to their book of "can-do's".

Spiders on Webs, 1st Grade

We started with a 9x12 black piece of paper and a white crayon. I did my best to teach the concept of drawing a web (which is slightly harder then I thought it would be)...

Then, I let them have-at the scrap bin, and taught them how to create some spiders. They then added them to their little webs.

This was again, another fun one-day take home project for the Halloween season.

Positive/Negative Pumpkins, 2nd Grade

Gotta love Art Projects for Kids, to whom I credit this awesome idea. It was a great one-day take home project for Halloween and if we did it really slow, and together...they kids did a really great job with it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Foreground, Middle and Background trees, 2nd Grade

I've posted on these before, but this year we added a fall twist. I had the students add the leaves, and make sure they were doing it in perspective. I think the results were quite nice!

This year, we used tempera cake's to paint them versus oil pastels---and I think the color was really vibrant.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hot Air Balloons, 3rd Grade

Just had to share how lovely these turned out (I've posted previously on this lesson!)--love them. But, who am I kidding-I love everything they do.

Name Pile Art, 4th Grade

I originally got this idea from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle. I decided it would be a great starter in Art this year for 4th graders. They learned about block letters, reviewed line design, and created their Name Pile art on a white 12x18 paper.

The final touch was cutting it out, and pasting onto any background color of their choice. I think they look scrumptious :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Miro Funky People, 1st Grade

I got this aweome lesson idea from Deep Space Sparkle on Joan Miro. I've always been intimidated to teach this-but I have no idea why. The kids have really taken to it. We have yet to color them-but I snagged a few pictures to show you of the process. Love them so far.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The beginning of the year...

Hey Everyone! I really hope you are all getting off to a really great star this year. I know I am. My throat on the other hand, is not getting off to a great start. The first day of art class is always the MOST talking...and after a summer break, my vocal chords don't treat me well.

The kids seem to be excited for the year and off to a great start. My classroom(s) look fantastic, and as soon as I remember to bring my camera to school, I'll post some pictures.

It always takes a few weeks for me to show you new lessons--because, we have to DO them and it takes time. I'm sure you understand!

....but while you're waiting, Check out Deep Space Sparkle for some great ways to start off the year!

Also, if you're interested in starting a career in Elementary Education, it's never too late to start work on a degree!

Thanks for reading, and I'm hoping to bring you some new, exciting art projects this school year.

Happy Creating!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I'm so excited for a new website that just opened for the teaching community. They have an art section that you can find here: HotChalkArt

Down near the bottom of the page there is an "Educators ToolKit", and then a "Blog" section. I'm stoked to be featured there as one of their art bloggers!

Go ahead and check it can find other resources, too.

Happy beginning of the school year everyone...I hope that the summer got you refreshed and ready to begin another great year.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chinese Scroll Paintings, 4th-5th Grade

I didn't have the chance to do this project this past year, but I did it the year before. It was a huge success, but it took a lot of time.

I started by teaching the kids about Chinese Scroll Paintings, and the history of them. I created a worksheet where they answered questions and had to sketch ideas for their designs.

The students worked on 12x24 white paper, to get the "scroll-like" feel. They lightly sketched their design using a pencil, and then were taught all about watercolor techniques. They were encouraged to do a lot of washes at first, and then go back when it was dry to add more dry brush details. They had to add chinese symbols using black ink as a finishing touch.

I finished them off by mounting a piece of thin, black paper at the top and bottom of the 'scrolls', and then hanging with yarn. The "oooo's and ahh's" of the hallway were endless.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

3-dimensional pop out shapes, 3rd Grade

This is a great project to use a ruler, teach a little about 3-D and form.

Just start with a plain white piece of paper. Draw a center dot. Have them draw 3-5 shapes around the center dot. (I usually recommend circles, square, trianges, rectangles, hearts or diamonds)

Then, show them how to use a ruler and connect the edges of the shape to the center dot. Any edge that you lay your ruler down and it cuts through the shape means DON'T draw the line!

Once you show them on the board, they will fully understand.

You can add stripes and designs to your shapes like mine. We use marker to color them in. Then, have the students cut out the entire design and post onto a background colored paper that compliments the art piece.

This is a great one-day project, and they love the result...and so do I!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tropical Fish, 3rd Grade

For this project, I give the students a photocopy, that have about 10 different small detailed pictures of various fish. They are to pick one that they like, and try to draw the basic shape of the fish on a 12x18 piece of black paper. Then, they may add whatever designs they'd like to their fish. It may be realistic, or abstract.

They use prismacolor colored pencils (which work marvelous on black paper!), and must press hard with them! These took a long time, but they were just gorgeous!

(sorry for the glare...this one is laminated!)

School's out for summer!

I'm as excited as the kids when school let's out. It's a nice time to rejuvenate yourself and refresh....reflect...and prepare for what you'd like to do differently next year. I will definitely have fewer posts over the summer, but will keep them coming every now and again.

We will be back in full force in the fall!

Happy Summer!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Warm/Cool Hands, 3rd Grade

I got this idea from Art Projects for Kids a while back. I did make some significant changes. She uses a template, and we did it all from scratch and used different shapes in the background. You also get the chance to touch on warm and cool colors again, which is always great.

1. Start with 9x12 white piece of paper

2. Draw either a circle, triangle or square in the upper right part of the paper (not all the way to the corner)

3. Draw echo lines or contour lines that follow the shape all the way to the edges of the paper.

3. Lay your hand down and trace it (I suggest getting your hand near the original shape)

4. Outline everything in sharpie

5. Students decide if the hand will be warm or cool, and the background will be opposite color scheme. Then, begin painting with tempera. Keep the same pattern. Yellow/Red/Orange...repeat. Everyone can have their own pattern of doing color, doesn't matter : )

6. Once dry, a re-outline is good to do. We ran out of time, so we didn't do this in the photos above.

My students LOVED this. Many of them voted this as favorite project of the year...which surprised me some, but...hey! I think they turned out nice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

4th Grade, Optical Illusion Art

Optical Illusion is always a hit, and I'm always looking for a way to teach it in some way that's not too difficult. I find, that, no matter's always got some level of difficulty. You can even see in this student example that there are some errors, but you can get the general idea.

1. First, start with a 9x9 piece of paper.
2. Create a simple design with shapes. I prefer circles. I like when they go off the paper, too.
3.Use a ruler and make inch marks going down two sides of the paper (must be on the corner, or "L" of paper).
4.Connect the lines to make a grid.
5.Outline with a sharpie over ALL pencil lines (grid and shapes)
6.Pick ONE color of marker.
7.Start in a corner where there is no shape. Go every-other like a checkerboard but don't be limited by the shape of a square. Three of the hints I give are:
1. Go SLOW and THINK first
2. No two colors should be right next to eachother (side to side)
3. Colors should always be corner to corner with eachother
Go ahead...try know you want to :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Van Gogh Sunflowers, 2nd Grade

I love anything having to do with Van Gogh, and usually my kids do too. Once I show them he's the guy who did Starry Night, they are hooked. That image is so etched into their minds, it's an icon to them. So, with this project I wanted to show them his famous Sunflowers painting. The sad thing was, most classes ran out of time (I am seeing the last batches of students this past week and next week), that they aren't completely finished, but this is how they are going home.

I really hit hard on overlapping, going off the paper (cropping), and making their flowers appear realistic. 2nd to 3rd grade for me is where that big leap happens. In 3rd grade we really hit home more realistic drawing.

We used oil pastels for these. Drew the vase first, then the centers of the flowers. I had them draw a total of was supposed to go off the paper, and some should be ovals and some circles. Then, we drew the stems and I do a funny little lesson on what NOT to do (or what they would have done in Kindergarten or First Grade), and it makes them laugh, and realize how silly that was. They are determined to make them look realistic and overlap after that. I like the way they turned out even under crunched time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bug Jars, 4th Grade

This is one of my favorite projects, but it takes a long time. We focus on 'observational' drawing, and the students use detailed pictures of insects to draw their own insects focusing on the lines and little details of the insect.

Then, they color with prismacolors. We talk about blending with them, to make the insects look 3D.

Next, we create a bug jar from a separate piece of 12x18 paper. The students add detail inside the bug jar (a twig, a water bowl, a spider web, etc). Then, they cut out their bugs and glue them on. They may flip up the wings of their flying creatures and make them pop out.

Lastly, they glue their bug jar onto a 12x18 colored piece of paper, and add a table-cloth design to add detail and contrast.

Oh, and I almost forgot-add the bug jar sign on with tape, or draw it on. The sign may say various things:

"Creepy crawly bugs!"
"Beware of bugs"
"My bug jar"
"I love bugs"
"Caution: Man Eating Bugs"

(Trust me, I've seen it all!)

Have fun. (Sorry my picture isn't the best)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2nd Art Show at the Elementary School

My 2nd art show was held last Thursday night at the Elementary school (grades 3 and 4). I sprinkled the hallway with lots of art put up in more of a mixed up way then at the Primary Building. I really wanted to give it that 'gallery' feel and that's the exact comment I got from a lot of the teachers and staff!

The sad news? The displays were all taken down today and cut apart, so that artwork can be given back to the students before school's out. It was up for exactly 8 days. 2 of which included a weekend. How sad! Good news? 11 days until summer vacation.

Little picture of just part of the hallway (I hung a total of 27 of them!).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Anna's Animals

One of my 4th graders who is unable to attend gym class for health reasons opts to come to me in lieu of gym. So, she gets extra art time and she treasures it. She has some amazing drawing talent. Her "extra" class has been devoted to created realistic animal drawings, using shading with colored pencils and extra fine point sharpies. I am so proud of what she's done. Here are two of her four animals she's made over the course of the year. She really takes her time, and it's obvious. I will definitely miss her next year.

Pigs, Kindergarten

For my full day kindergarten kids, I really like to focus on simple things they can draw and feel really great about, and build confidence in their art.

Here are some simple and silly pigs.

Featured on Art Projects For Kids

I am so excited! One of my favorite blogs, ArtProjectsforKids.Org just featured an art lesson I did that was inspired by one of her lessons.

Go check it out here. Clicky Clicky.

Thanks Kathy! :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One art show down, one to go.

I had my art show at the primary building tonight. It went great! Many kids came with parents and it seemed like a success.

I ended up hanging the artwork on kraft rolls of paper by class, and people around the school raved about the way it looked. I guess from the past, it has a much 'neater' and cleaner look...people were really happy with it, and so was I.

Here's a taste:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lizards, 3rd Grade

I saw this project and even I felt intimidated by it! I thought, wow...I have never really drawn a lizard before, this will be hard. But, it really is simple once broken down into steps, and I felt confident enough to teach it to my 3rd graders. They are an awesome group of kids that are super excited about learning and trying new things. I almost NEVER hear whining out of them, which is all sorts of awesome, right?

These were done on 9x12 black construction paper. Drew with a black oil pastel first (no pencils!), added color with chalk pastels, and then re-outlined in a black oil pastel again to make 'em pop. The detailed directions are on that link given above.

I LOVE getting ideas from other art teachers, it rocks...and so do these:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

*UPDATE* Falling back in space self-portraits, 3rd Grade

Oh the sound of the OoooOoo's and Ahhhh's when these got hung in the hallway today could have been heard from across the street. These were a HIT!