Monthly Archives: April 2015

Bumble Bee


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Again using gifted cardboard, we created these bees. Three year old preschool students were gifted lengths of yellow and black yarn to wrap around an oval cardboard.

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Once complete, they added wings (that had been pre-cut from donated paper) and wiggly eyes. One class told me their bees needed stingers so I got them some black paper for that. One child even added a mouth. I love when they teach me!


Southwest Images



The teachers in Grade 5 had asked me to do a South West lesson they had seen on the Artsonia website. I could not find the lesson so this is what I did with the grade five students.

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Students looked at images from our Southwest National Parks-Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Canyon Lands, Arches, etc. Some students chose to replicate the images they saw, others took a more creative approach.

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We talked about the landscape and the features they might want to include. They used black crayon to outline the images and filled in with chalk pastel. 38337920

Jasper Johns Alphabet


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This lesson was super fun and done with my Transitional Kindergarten class.

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They followed along (or went ahead if they knew their alphabet) as we drew the letters of the alphabet in different colors of oil pastel. Once finished, they painted over their masterpieces with watercolor.




Earth Prints



I have been doing a version of this lesson for several years. With older students, we usually add a writing element-their wish for the earth, a poem, something about earth day or recycling. You can make this as complicated or as simple as you like.

This year, I tried it with the 4 year old preschool students. They started by drawing dots all over black paper to create the stars.


They painted the back of a plate with white, green and blue paint. Then pressed it onto the black paper, gave a twist and voila! a print of the earth.




Stephen Gammell Art aka Monster Mama



There is a great little book called Monster Mama by Liz Rosenberg, illustrated by Stephen Gammell. I like it for the illustrations as well as the story line.

For this lesson, students looked at images from the book and created these portraits of scared faces and wild hair. We used permanent marker for the line drawings and oil pastel to color it in.


I was gifted a large supply of pipettes so we used those to add water to our nearly empty watercolor boxes. They dripped the colors to the top of the head and then either used a straw to blow the paint or the pipettes to move the paint to create hair.



And if the kids didn’t scrape enough out of the oval paint trays, I put them in plastic cups and added water!


I put that paint into small medicine cups and distributed to the next class.



Creepy Carrots



This lesson was done with First Grade and is based on the book Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds. The illustrator is Peter Brown and his imagery is where this lesson came from. That and many bags of scrap paper.

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Students began by creating a creepy background with sharpie marker and black watercolor. While that was drying, they created three carrots with tops out of construction paper.


Students used scrap paper for the teeth and large hole punches (from the office-I have a giant bucket of punches)  for the eyes.


Details were drawn with permanent marker. Once the carrots were finished, they added them to their background with white glue.

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Printed Suns


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I saw a version of this in the office of one of our elementary schools and knew I wanted to make this project with one of my grade levels. I chose Grade 4.

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Students were given disks of paper and plates of paint in various colors. They were instructed to paint the centers lighter than the outside. They quickly painted the disks with large brushes or sponges and set them aside. They then created a printing plate from a styrofoam plates.


They used dull pencil to carve a design into the plate then painted the plate black then pressed it onto the circle to create a center for their sun.

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They used various found objects to add a radial design to their sun. Once complete, they could add a bit of bronze, gold or silver to their images.