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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Clay Extravaganza!

Clay Clay Clay!

I've posted about my various art lessons in more detail in the past, so I'll just repost the links to those and share the photos of the great things my kiddos made this year

4th Grade-Pinch Pot Monsters
Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson
I had to get a close up so you could see this guy's tail!  Love the details these kids come up with!

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson
Same group, just closer so you could see their details from a different angle

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson
The green guy reminds me of a modern Gizmo!

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson
The turquoise monster is holding fire in each hand...such a creative idea!

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

Fourth Grade Pinch Pot Clay Monsters Art Lesson

5th Grade- Clay Pinch Pot Characters
In 5th Grade, I allow for a lot more freedom with their clay creations, but I still want them working with pinch pots to get that basic clay technique down.  I love the range of ideas the kids have!

6th Grade- Clay Terra Cotta Warrior Sculptures
http://missartypants.blogspot.com/2013/03/terra-cotta-warriors.html I actually have multiple links to this lesson for various examples and years that have made these, but this is the link that shares the bulk of the lesson

7th Grade- Hollow Form from Pinch Pots
Similar to the 5th grade lesson, I let the kids decide what they are going to make almost entirely.  I just ask that it be made from two pinch pots that create a hollow form and that they add attachments so that they can practice the slip and score methods for strong attachments and an awesome chance to show off their creativity and interests

8th Grade- Clay Boxes (slabs and cylinders)
This year we still made slab boxes but they had to be cylindrical.  I originally said they had to use cylinders because it was a faster process than cutting a bunch of square/rectangular slabs, but I might stick with the cylinders in the future just because I really enjoyed seeing the kids work this way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Animal Prints

Let's Get Wild!

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Panda Bears
My fourth graders tried their hand at printmaking and I love the results!  We started off by drawing from observation.  I borrowed a crazy amount of wildlife and animal books from our school library to give the kids plenty of options and I encouraged them to focus on drawing what they see instead of our usual, draw what we think something looks like or want something to look like.  This was tricky for some kids who have developed a fondness for cartoon drawings and simplified images, but they all tackled the challenge and had great drawings!

We had made the drawings on 5"x7" paper (that I had pre-cut) and then used pencils to transfer them onto identically sized foam.  I made sure that they first traced their drawing with the foam underneath their drawing before removing the paper portion and really pressing into the foam with their pencil.  I really remind the kids to press into the foam and tell them not to worry if it rips (since the foam we were using was pretty thin) but to try to keep it all in one piece.  

Once they were finished with making their "stamp" for printmaking, I let them choose their colored paper.  I asked that they choose three different colors of paper (that I had also cut to 5"x7") and put their name on the backs so we could find them easily on the drying rack.  Now it's time to print!

I demonstrated how to roll ink with a brayer (the kids love the brayers!) and to get the right amount of ink on the brayer by lifting it each roll so that the ink covers the whole thing, not just one small section.  I ask that they roll the ink out with the brayer until it looks like snake skin so they don't get too much or too little on their stamp.  I demonstrate how to roll the ink onto the foam and let them know that it's okay if they need to get more ink to cover their whole stamp.  I encourage them to work fairly quickly so that the ink doesn't dry onto their stamp, just in case they rolled on a thin coat.  I showed them how to flip their stamp onto their colored paper and to rub/press the entire back of the stamp to get a good transfer.  Then all they have to do is repeat the process three times to get our prints!  We put the prints on the drying rack and during our next class period, we started the day off by choosing at least two of our prints to glue to a black sheet of construction paper.  

Let's talk troubleshooting:  A lot of the kids still don't press hard enough into the foam to get a good print.  So if they are unhappy with the outcome, I let them wash the foam off and go press their drawing into the foam deeper.  Then they get to try printing again.  I also let them know that it's okay if a print or two doesn't come out well.  They can always try again, that's the beauty of printmaking, is that it can be done over and over again and you can make adjustments accordingly until you're happy!

Now for the examples!

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Wolf Prints

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Woodpecker Series

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Snakes Attack!

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Hanging Monkey

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
All the Pretty Horses

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Bear in the Woods

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Cartoon Cat

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Elephant Mama and Baby

Fourth Grade Animal Printmaking Art Lesson
Puffin!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Christmas Collages

Advent Collage

6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads
Teaching at a Catholic school allows for me to integrate faith into art lessons.  While this post is LONG overdue, this is a lesson is great for Catholic school teachers during Advent.  

We start off by talking about Christmas and I ask the students to tell me what they think of when they think of "Christmas."   I let them list off their various thoughts and associations and then I ask them, what is the real meaning of Christmas?  Sometimes in my first round of 'thoughts' they mention their Catholic associations and other times it revolves around Santa and presents, so this follow up question steers them in the direction of the project a little more.  We discuss Christmas and Advent and then I talk to them about how we are going to make artwork about the real meaning of Christmas from something that often clouds our focus.  We are making collages portraying Christmas scenes using Black Friday advertisements.

I let the students pair themselves up into groups.  I allow them to choose how many people are in their group, but ask that it is between 2-5 people (but I recommend 3-4 for the ease of a convenient workload for all).  Each group finds an image that they want to work from online.  I let them use iPads to google search images and I suggest they add the words "coloring page" or "outline" or "clip art" so that a simplified image comes up.  We use Reflector (a program that connects the iPad to my computer/projector) to enlarge the image and I allow them to trace the image onto a sheet of posterboard.  Since this project is more about the meaning and materials, I don't make them free draw the image.  However, at one point our Reflector program wasn't working, so I did have the kids free draw their outlines based on the images they found online.  So really, it's your call how you want to teach this...you could even have them invent an image on their own!  I can usually get 2-3 of the groups images up on the Reflector at the same time, so it doesn't usually leave many people with down time.  And if there is a lot of down time I have the kids start collecting colors.

Anyone that is not tracing their image or once they are finished tracing their image, is collecting colors.  I tell the kids to decide what colors they will need and to start tearing up parts of the Black Friday ads and separating them by color.  I really emphasize that I shouldn't be seeing whole images, it is about the color, not the objects in the ads.  I also emphasize that they should avoid faces, as a face within a collage can be VERY distracting.  Which is why I tell them that any people in their finished collage, should not have an actual human face, glued where the collage face should be.  I give the groups envelopes to collect their colors in and to keep them separated.  Once they have collected "more than enough" of each color, I have them start gluing down the colors to fill in their poster.  In the end, we get amazing collages with a good, Christmas spirit!

6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads


6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads


6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads


6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads



6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads

6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads6th grade Advent Christmas Collage from Black Friday Ads


This is one of the commonly used images that my kids have traced.  You can see the various examples in the photos of how it became a collage (the last two finished collages both worked from this image)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Surrealism Collage

Something So Surreal...

This lesson is still one of my favorites.  The kids love it and it's a great way to reintroduce them to Surrealism.  My full lesson description can be found in an older post here if you want more details on what we do and how.  But for now, enjoy these few photos of a couple of collages my 5th graders made this year! I also have to apologize for the glare on all of the photos, my classroom's lighting isn't ideal for photographing shinier images and I didn't take the time to adjust my angle

Fifth Grade Surrealism Collage Art Lesson

Fifth Grade Surrealism Collage Art Lesson

Fifth Grade Surrealism Collage Art Lesson

Fifth Grade Surrealism Collage Art Lesson

Fifth Grade Surrealism Collage Art Lesson

Fifth Grade Surrealism Collage Art Lesson


Friday, January 22, 2016

Line and Shape Design Ornaments

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Art Lesson!

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments
A lot of times I avoid doing holiday themed artwork with the kids, I feel like they do enough of that on their own and even a little in their classrooms.  But I really enjoy teaching this lesson and the kids really love it too, so this one usually makes the cut in my classroom.  

I start the lesson by asking my fourth graders what they think of when they think about Christmas.  I teach at a Catholic school, so I feel 100% comfortable asking this question to my kiddos.  After we've shared a pretty good list of associations, I show them a finished example of what we are going to make.  I ask them to tell me what they think we are going to do based on our introduction and the example they are seeing.  After a few (usually pretty accurate) guesses, I explain what our focus of the lesson is going to be.  Most of them have noticed the theme of patterns and designs and most of them have pointed out that there is a word within each ornament.  I address variety as well as positive and negative space with them because few students have noticed that none of my ornaments have outlines nor are they entirely colored in, yet we still can see the clear shape of each ornament.  

To keep it simple and since the focus for me on this project is line and shape designs as well as the use of negative space, I give them stencils to use that I have made myself from poster board.  Some of them are ornaments, some are in the shapes of trees, and some are crosses.  I also give them the option to free draw their own outlines.  I just encourage them to use "whisper lines" for their outline so that we can erase it at the end.  I ask the kids to choose one word (though I don't stop them if they use multiple) in each of their ornaments and to FILL the rest of their space with patterns and designs.  This lesson usually takes the kids 2 class periods (I have them for 55 minutes each class period), so for the first class period, I have them plan out their designs in pencil.  In the middle of the first class period or at the beginning of the 2nd class period, I share my "pattern and design cheat sheets" with them (these are just printed examples).  I still encourage them to make each pattern/design their own unique creation if they are using my cheat sheets for inspiration, but I still get a few copy cats.  They finish their designs off with skinny marks and erase their original outlines.  Some of the kids really struggle with the whole "no outline" and "not entirely colored in" concept, but I encourage them all to avoid these things.  If they want them to look like lights or ornaments, I show them how to free draw strings for them to hang from, otherwise they can be free floating shapes.  Okay, enough talking about the lesson, let's get to the good stuff!  More photos:
Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Negative Positive Space Design Christmas Ornaments

Fourth Grade Art Variety Pattern Design Negative Space Christmas Ornaments