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Friday, April 13, 2018

'About Me' Creativity Cards

About Me Symbolism Creativity Card Series Drawing Art Project
Ummm...can you check out that adorable sloth?  

This lesson evolved after I saw a photo online of mini artists' cards folded and overlapping one another so that they were popping off the page.  I loved it so I took the concept and personalized it for my students.  I have my 7th graders make ten cards (though I allow them to only include 9 in their final layout if they wish).  They are asked to make one 'name' card, two 'symbol' cards to represent themselves and their interests, two 'word/quote cards', two 'design/pattern' cards, and three 'free choice' cards.  I have a few requirements of each of those cards but then I let them decide their layout.  I let them use colored pencils and markers, or just one or the other, I just encourage the maintenance of unity and flow between all of the cards.  Now for the good stuff...Finished Art:
About Me Symbolism Creativity Card Series Drawing Art Project

About Me Symbolism Creativity Card Series Drawing Art Project

About Me Symbolism Creativity Card Series Drawing Art Project



















Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Clay Excitement

I can't wait to put these babies in the kiln!  These are 7th grade creations.  I ask that my 7th graders create hollow forms from pinch pots and transform them into their own works with a minimum of two attachments.  I remind them that I'm focused on them practicing their hand building skills, especially their score and slip techniques.  I want them to be creative in their art making while building on and practicing their clay skills.  I can't wait to get them glazed!  But for now, here is a sneak peak of a few greenware items:
Middle School Clay Art Lesson Hollow Forms from Pinch Pots

Middle School Clay Art Lesson Hollow Forms from Pinch Pots

Middle School Clay Art Lesson Hollow Forms from Pinch Pots
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Plaster Masks

Plaster Mask Fifth Grade Art Lesson
Fox Inspired Mask
I love all things sculpture!  I love the different "hands on" approaches the students have to take and the variation that we get as a result!  This lesson is no different.  I usually try to teach this lesson around Mardi Gras and we talk about masquerade masks and how they can all be so different and lively.  We focus on shape variation as well as decorative detailing. 

For the actual creation of the masks, I allow the students to make a choice.  They can 1)use a face mold to build their mask (using plaster strips and water) on top of or 2) drape their face-or a volunteer friend's face-with a strip of saran wrap so as not to cover the nose (we have to breath) and they can build their mask on their friend's actual face or draw out a plan and have their friend build it on their face for them.  Either way, each student has to create a mask.  It is just up to them how messy they want to get and how much they trust their friends with plaster!  Option two requires students to work a little faster since both friends need time to build a mask, but so far that hasn't been a problem.  The next time I see the kiddos (this is a 2 class period project), their masks have dried and hardened and are ready to be painted and adorned.  I let the students paint and decorate their masks however they would like.  I help the students hot glue the feathers on but otherwise, it is all up to them.  I never seem to remember to take enough photos but here are a few that I can brag about (and give you the general idea from)
Plaster Mask Fifth Grade Art Lesson

Plaster Mask Fifth Grade Art Lesson

Plaster Mask Fifth Grade Art Lesson

Terra Cotta Warriors

Artwork inspired by the Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors:


The latest and greatest Terra Cotta Warriors!  For a detailed description of the lesson and process, check out previous posts here and here and here.  However, one thing I have changed about my teaching is due to some new technology I have at my disposal.  I have a SMART TV in my classroom--think giant television sized tablet.  The TV is amazing and I love that it has replaced my projector.  One of the main things I love about it is that I don't have to have the lights off to see what is on the screen.  This is my favorite feature because I can make demonstration videos and loop them so that they play non stop during work time.  This has been a tremendous help, because all teachers know that it is difficult being the one expert in a room of 25-30 curious, learning minds.  The looping videos allow me to work one on one with those struggling while a lot of those that simply forgot what step comes next or how to do something can glance up at the screen and watch to see what it was that they need to do.  I can't tell you how helpful this is!  Such a time saver and the kids love it so that they don't all have to wait for me to make it through the sea of raised hands to get to their "quick question."

Bisqueware:
Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Post Smoke Firing:
Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson
Checkout that crossbow!

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson

Clay Terra Cotta Warriors 6th Grade Art Lesson
This student had no idea who Charlie Chaplin is/was but he totally created a Charlie Chaplin Warrior!  Love that he even gave it a bowler hat and cane!

Micrography

Micrography Text as Art Middle School Art Lesson
I teach at Saint Francis of Assisi School and the San Domiano Cross
is a part of our logo, so I used it as my example

New vocab and new lesson for this lady!  While I've been familiar with the art style for awhile, I had no idea it was called "micrography."  I wanted to try something new with my 6th graders so I tried micrography and loved it! 

We began by learning about micrography and what it is.  Then we discussed symbolism.  I asked students to choose symbols that represented themselves and their interests; this symbol would be the image we used in the creation of our micrography.  Students were also allowed to create a self portrait in this style, though none of them took me up on this offer.  I also had the students write a list of 40 things about themselves and their interests in their sketchbook.  The list could be specific (names of people we care about, favorite movies/music, etc) and/or vague (general likes). 

Finally, we got our hands dirty!  We started with learning about paint mixing, shades, tints, and hues of colors.  We then put this knowledge to use by painting a background.  I asked my 6th graders to demonstrate the creation of at least three hues of their chosen color for their background.  I encouraged lighter colors so that the markers they would be using for the micrography would show up better but ultimately left that decision up to the students themselves.  They could paint their background however they'd like (my example above, is done more circularly) as long as the hues transitioned smoothly (no blatant stripes). 

After we painted our backgrounds I allowed students to find an image/symbol online that represented themselves and print it off.  Normally I don't allow tracing in my classroom, but this time I made an exception; though it could easily be done without the tracing steps, it would just take up more class time.  I had the students trace their symbol's outline/silhouette onto a sheet of tracing paper.  We laid the tracing face down onto our background painting and with a little pressure from our pencils, transferred the image into our background lightly.  We put our written "about me" list to good use and filled our silhouettes.  I encouraged playing with font, font size, and font thickness to define different details of our images.  I made sure to repeat (many times) that it wasn't important if a word had to be broken up to define a space, the symbolism is in the intent and visual as a whole, not whether or not a single word is written as it would be in our normal day to day writing.  While some students struggled to understand how to fill "edge to edge" most of them did an amazing job and created some beautiful pieces of artwork!
Micrography Text as Art Middle School Art Lesson

Micrography Text as Art Middle School Art Lesson
I just love this dabbing puppy!

Micrography Text as Art Middle School Art Lesson

Micrography Text as Art Middle School Art Lesson

Mehndi Hand Sculptures

Mehndi Hand Middle School Art Lesson

I love cross curricular teaching and this lesson allows me to work with our 6th grade religion/social studies teacher.  While she teaches about Islam, I introduce the kids to the beautiful world of Mehndi!  Another art teacher found this lesson through Dick Blick and I adapted it and made it one of my favorite lessons to teach (who am I kidding--I say that about all of my lessons; I can't pick just one favorite!). 

I introduce the students to the history and significance of mehndi.  Most of the students have no idea what I am talking about when I first use the word "mehndi" but as soon as I start my slideshow and it has a photograph of an adorned hand, I have tons of people go "Oh! I know that!  I always called it 'henna' instead!"  And then I get into how henna is the medium and mehndi is the art...yadda yadda yadda...BAM!  We're creating our own on vinyl gloves! 

Mehndi Hand Middle School Art Lesson

I have the students create some patterns and radial designs in their sketchbook first, so that they have some ideas to start with.  Then I teach them about creating a flow between patterns and designs via color and interaction.  Once they have a jumping off point I have them work while wearing the glove as an added challenge.  It requires them to be more careful and mindful with their mark making since they are working on a 3D surface.  Once they have their glove designed, I have them stuff the hand with a polyester fill and a small (upside down) cup so that the glove can stand.  The results are amazing! 
Mehndi Hand Middle School Art Lesson
Mehndi Hand Middle School Art Lesson

Mehndi Hand Middle School Art Lesson

Mehndi Hand Middle School Art Lesson