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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day of the Dead Alter

Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos


Every year we set up a Day of the Dead alter as a school and make our ofrenda ("offering") for someone we have lost or a Mexican artist.  This year, we made our ofrenda for our school secretary, Jill, who lost her battle with cancer recently.  The kids made her paper symbols of the things that she loved (i.e. Nebraska Cornhuskers) and/or things they thought of when they thought of Jill and wrote her a note on the back of that symbol.  It was a great way for the kids to find closure in their sadness and to celebrate her life and the things that Jill loved.

This is a K-8 school and we (myself and Sara--the K-3 art teacher) try to get all of the grade levels involved.  This year the Kindergarten made papel picado and paper calavera masks, First Grade made candles from toilet paper rolls and tissue paper, Second Grade painted rocks as calavera, 4th-8th Grades made symbols for Jill as well as papel picado from patterns and Eighth Grade also made 3D calavera-paper sculls from a template found here on skulladay.blogspot.com.  The milk jug skeletons were actually created last year with my seventh graders but they were too great not to reuse!  Pictures of last year's display are on my blog here

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead Alter Ofrenda Lesson Plan Dia De Los Muertos

Close Up of 8th Grade Calavera from Skulladay's Template:
3D Paper Skull Calavera Day of the Dead Art Lesson

Art Club Made and Decorated Sugar Skulls!
Art Club Sugar Skulls Activity

Art Club Sugar Skulls Activity

Art Club Sugar Skulls Activity


Monday, October 27, 2014

Tunnel Books

No, that's not an accordion...it is a Tunnel Book!

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson

Tunnel books are made up of various frames (or pages) and held together by paper that has been folded in an accordion style.  And most importantly...they're awesome!  My friend and fellow art teacher, Jill Maahs shared this lesson with me.  I know that other teachers are familiar with this lesson or something similar, but Jill introduced me to them and I immediately fell in love.  I wanted to teach them to my 8th graders last year but ran out of time at the end of the year, so I was sure to fit it in this time around!  

I started by introducing my students to the concept of tunnel books with an example I made, examples I found online and a little history to them (I found some interesting facts and info on Tunnel Books at Wonderopolis.org).  Then I had the students sketch out their idea for a "story" which could be inspired by movies, books, real life or their imagination.  As long as there was a clear theme, I counted that as a story.  I required each student to include at least one character (human, animal or creature), 3 or more setting details and a detailed background.  These all had to be distributed within a foreground frame, two middle ground frames and a solid (and more detailed) background.  We also discussed how to use the frames and to spread images out for better spacial relationships and story telling.  

Once they had a plan and I approved it, they drew their designs onto 5"x 7" poster board. The first three pages had to have frames around them with and the character or setting details coming off of those frames.  We used X-acto knives to cut away the interior of each page.  Once all  pages had been drawn, colored and the first three pages had their frames cut properly, we folded up construction paper (in an accordion style).  I did not have a required number of folds with the construction paper so some students had more than others.  I just asked that they makes folds that would glue (easily) behind the frames.  Once they had two sheets folded the same way and number of times, they distributed their frames throughout them.  I asked that they glue the accordion folds to the back of each frame (for aesthetics) and that they make sure they have the accordion folds so that the last one will be able to wrap around the back of their background page.  

The range and variety of these tunnel books is phenomenal!  I am in love with how they turned out and am so grateful that I have a display case to show them off in!  


8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson
Percy Jackson Inspired Tunnel Book (Left) and Refrigerator Madness (Right)---Don't you love the egg who is trying not to fall like his buddy did!?!  And the artwork and school papers on the front of the fridge!  So many great details!

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson
This student created his tunnel book from the perspective of the catcher.  It is so cool how he considered what you see from inside the catcher's mask!  The glove is right up front and in your hands so it seems the largest and everything else gets smaller!  So creative...and accurate! 

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson
Aquatic Adventure

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson
Haunted House

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson
Sailing Trip

8th Grade Middle School Tunnel Book Art Lesson
Shooting Hoops

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Texture Remix

This is the Re-Re-Re-REMIX!

8th Grade Texture Remix Real Object Drawing
Furry, Lumpy and Spikey Grapes
I really enjoy teaching texture rendering (though I'm not positive all of my students have the same affinity for it as I do) because it really pushes some of my students to try something new and a little more challenging.  It forces them to think about angles, space, shapes and perspective while using value and realism.  I think they are all pretty impressed with themselves in the end too!  A more detailed description of the lesson and older examples are posted here.  

My quick tips that I draw up on the board for them to keep in mind while they work

8th Grade Texture Remix Real Object Drawing
Spiked Broken Pencil, Scaley Cup, Stone-Brick-Bump Pumpkin and Misc Texture Paintbrush with Palette

8th Grade Texture Remix Real Object Drawing
Stone Guitar, Scaley and Spikey Hammer with Nail, Woven Turtle and Brick Apple

8th Grade Texture Remix Real Object Drawing

8th Grade Texture Remix Real Object Drawing

8th Grade Texture Remix Real Object Drawing

8th Grade Texture Remix Real Object Drawing

5th Grade Optical Illusions

Op Art!

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson
I love teaching about Op Art!  The kids get really excited and love looking at all of the examples and what's even better...they like to discuss them!  I don't even have to prompt them into having a conversation about it, they automatically start the discussion as soon as I show an example!  It's amazing!  Last year I taught the fifth graders an amazing cube optical illusion (lesson here) but this year I wanted more variety and to teach them a little more about shading.  So I gave them a series of options in their illusion.  They all started with 3 circles (though one of my examples below only has one big one) and then they chose their style of background.  They could do "cones with draping ribbon," checkerboard or a checkerboard fading back into space:

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson 

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson

I demonstrated all of the steps (full lesson details for the fading into space plan are here) for drawing out the backgrounds and let the students get to work.  I showed them how to make their circles have the illusion of spheres and had them color in their background and spheres like checkerboards (or color in the "ribbons" along the "cones").  My example used a black marker for this step but some of them opted for color.  After that had been finished or nearly finished by most, we discussed shading and how to shade based on the chosen background.  The kids were all great about knowing that with the distance/checkerboard background, the smaller tiles were darker because they were farther away--and I love that they know that!  So smart!  After that, they finished coloring them in with colored pencils and appropriate shading!

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson


5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson

Since students all work at a different pace--some students didn't quite finish and others had tons of free time.  So I suggested that they use their 'finished early' time looking at Optical Illusion books that I have on hand, drawing a simple optical illusion design with their name (I demo this and how to do this with a wavy line instead of their name) or to try to draw their own optical illusions that they create from their brain!  
5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson

5th Grade Optical Illusion Art Drawing Lesson



Dali's Stache

The 'Stache is Back!

Salvador Dali's stache has returned and is as popular as ever!  I've taught this lesson for a few years now and I don't think it's one that I'll stop teaching any time soon.  The kids absolutely LOVE this one.  I even let them wear fake mustache glasses.  We draw relatively realistic faces with surreal backgrounds and I ask them to keep that in mind while painting with their watercolors.  We finish by adding a crazy mustache (pipe cleaner) at the end.  And it never fails to give outstanding results--all while learning a little art history!  My full lesson is better described in this post here.  

This Year's Stache Gallery:
Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson
Since all students work at a different pace, some of them weren't ready for their mustache when I glued them on.  In that case, I encouraged them to stick them straight up until they were finished painting--just to keep it out of the way

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson
Notice the various surreal backgrounds--wavy pencils and crayons, dancing grapes and misc foods and melting bananas!

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson
Those long legged peacocks were inspired by Dali's Elephants and the melting sports equipment by The Persistence of Memory 

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson
I'm pretty sure this is a painting of me...but as a blonde.  First, the student asked me "Can I put paint on her face?  My person is an art teacher." and after noting how much I love dinosaurs, her background suddenly had surreal dinosaurs in the background and not to mention that I always wear my hair on the top of my head in a messy bun.  Love that I could offer a little inspiration (or at least think that I did)

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson
This student used her mustache to spell out her name!

Salvador Dali's Mustache 4th Grade Art Lesson
This one might as well be a portrait of Salvador Dali himself!

If the students finished early--I encouraged them to be inspired by surrealism and its dreamlike qualities with real items and asked that they invent a new animal or object by combining 3 or more animals and/or objects.  I also encourage them to give their new creature a name...ever met an elepenguicornelope?  (It's made from an elephant, penguin, unicorn and antelope)

More stache pics from other years
http://missartypants.blogspot.com/2016/01/salvador-dali-portraits.html