I had to push in to several classrooms during testing so I wanted a no mess lesson to make that easier.
I have a box of paper strips that were donated to me via our district’s publishing department. They are the perfect length and width for kids to eave with.
For this lesson, we used white or black paper and they folded that in half, made a bumper and cut an odd number of lines onto their paper.
They opened the paper out and then did their weaving. When it was finished, they glued a heart onto the weaving to add a border.
A lesson like this on perspective with tulips has been around for eons. The students draw a line across the top of their paper, choose a spot for the vanishing point then draw a series of lines that from the vanishing point off the page.
I like to link this lesson to Vincent Van Gogh and our local flower fields. I tell the students a little about Van Gogh, we look at some of his art and then I tell them the history of the flower fields and we look at pictures of the flower fields.
Then they create their own version and try their hand at the perspective. I do this with first grade. This year, we did this with oil pastel and tempera cake. For some reason, we are just about out of blue pastel and I wanted them to be able to have a blue sky if they wanted to. I did order more blue pastels after this lesson.
My after school students just love making marbled paper! We started with starch and watered down tempera paint. We poured a layer of starch in the tray then dripped small spots of paint with a spoon.
Then they used shaving cream and liquid watercolor. We put these long thin pipettes I got from a lab that closed years ago into the bottles so they could better control the amount.
We also made our own comb to drag through the colors with a chunk of cardboard and toothpicks. Such a fun afternoon. I think they would make great images for note cards or ATC’s.
Ever since my trek to the NAEA conference, I have been thinking a lot about how we have students create art. In a couple of the workshops I went to, there was a lot of discussion about how most students create teacher directed art lessons. When every child makes the exact same thing as their peers, many people considered that a successful art project. I have always enjoyed allowing my students freedom to create while having their projects be cohesive enough that they can be hung together in a grouping.
When one of the third grade teachers came to me and asked me for art that she could take over to our local Trader Joe’s for display., I again was thinking about my time at NAEA.
For this lesson, I gave my students the direction that we needed to create pieces that looked like they were part of a collection. We talked about what types of things Trader Joe’s sells and what would look nice on display and landed on plants and flowers.
They all drew a plant in sharpie, put it in a container, painted it with watercolor, leaving white space around it. They were free to draw any type of plant that they wanted to and put it in a container of their choosing. I pulled up reference pictures and projected them onto our screen for them to look at.
I did this lesson a few years ago as a collage project. I love illustrator Laura Dronzek images in the book. For this lesson, I had planned my shape birds for K thinking it was a “B” week for art but alas, it was “A” week and instead of a pile of Kinders popping into art, it was First Graders. Yikes! That’s what I get for not double checking my phone calendar.
Anyway, I had tempera cake, black crayons and skinny paper and immediately tried to think of things that were spring themed and could be done on the skinny paper. Laura Dronzek’s birds seemed perfect.
I always start my lessons with younger students with guided drawing for those who want that sort help. I also tell my students that they can move ahead if they have a plan. The only “rule” for this lesson was birds and trees.
My mother has a clay wall pocket hanging in her dining room that my brother made in elementary school. I have always loved that little bit of clay goodness and was excited to be able to do it with my students. I told them the story and said that they might want to do an extra good job because one just never knows how long their art might hang in their family home.
Students rolled out a rectangle piece of clay. Added texture then folded and pinched. I encouraged them to make sure the sides were well attached and then they poked two holes and wrote their name on the back.
We are using Mexal Air Dry Clay by Laguna that I discovered a while back at the Mingei.
They are super fun to make especially when using lots of texture tools (shells, potato mashers, buttons, forks, etc.) and with some organizing, they were easy enough to complete in our 45 minute class period.
So fun to revive an old 70’s clay lesson!
We did pop a bit of brown paper towel in the pocket to make sure it didn’t collapse while it dried. That’s it! So easy and so much fun.
I used Mexal White air dry clay from Laguna with students to create these suns.
I gave each student a ball of clay about the size of a tennis ball. We talked about how to make it into a sun:
How do you flatten it? with your whole hand or your palm? Depends on the artist.
Do you pinch, cut or press to make the edges? Depends on the artist.
Do you add patterns or a face? Depends on the artist.
I told them the only “rules” were that they had to make a sun, they needed to make sure that the clay was not too thin, they could not get any clay in the sink or on the carpet and they had to have their name on their art.
They made their sun however they wanted to. After a few attempts, I realized it was best for me or a parent to write their name and double check the hole in the top so it could be hung up later.
We used Jazz Gloss Tempera Paint to paint them. I bought a set of regular colors and a set of metallics.
This year, I received a stipend from our PTA for Curriculum Enhancement. I chose to purchase air dry clay. The pinch pots to go along with their Kumeyaay Social Studies Unit and their reading of Indian of the Oaks.
The clay we used is called Mexal White and made by Laguna Clay. The texture is similar to kiln fired when creating with it and has a nice hardness when dry. After drying for a few days, students got to paint them. We talked about how the Kumeyaay did not traditionally paint their pottery but painting with bright colors is lots of fun.
The NAEA Convention is such a great place to get ideas, meet new people and hear about things going on in the art teaching world.
My school is not able to pay for me to attend these conventions so I have to be really budget conscious if I choose to attend anything outside of my town.
I was so lucky this year that NAEA was in Seattle because I have friends who live a short walk from a Link Light Rail Stop. I am so grateful for their kindness and hospitality! I loved getting off the train each day and seeing these images.
The exhibit hall was packed with lots of vendors with great products and fun projects.
The theme this year was STEAM and as always, there were tons of excellent workshops and great speakers.
I always leave things like this full of new art lessons and ways I can improve my teaching. Until next time Seattle!
I had a bunch of 3 inch strips leftover from cutting paper for a project and needed to do something with them. I also have a larger than necessary stash of bright orange paper that had been languishing in the cabinet for a while. We put the two together and came up with these cool nine patch images.
There were a lot of reminders about how to use and read a ruler but they did a great job.
I can’t believe I remembered to take a picture of the steps we came up with! I put the time on the board since we only have 45 minutes from beginning to end so they could gauge themselves and have enough time to cut and glue.