Monthly Archives: September 2015

Grade 5 Eyes


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Years ago, I saw an image of many sets of eyes painted onto strips of wood. They were all mounted together on a gold colored wall. It was really impactful. I have long wanted to do a lesson like the one I saw. This is what we came up with.3983538539835387

Each student was given a small mirror to observe their eyes. We discussed shape and characteristics of eyes: upper lid, tear ducts, lower lid, eyebrows, etc. etc. We thought about proportion-the face is 5 eyes wide; eyes are one eye width apart making observations about the human face. We talked about how eyes express emotions. Students then used oil pastel to create these images.


Pattern Teacups


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This was a lesson done with Third Grade.


I wanted a refresher lesson to remind about and warm and cool colors.


They drew stacks of tea cups and added patterns to them. They were instructed to paint either warm colored cups with a cool background or cool colored cups with a warm background.

Lines and Color



This is a simple lesson that I like to do at the beginning of the year. I usually do it with First Grade but it can be done with any grade. We discuss lines and shapes and look for examples in the classroom.


Then the students follow a set of directions and draw using permanent marker. For example: draw three straight lines anywhere on your paper. Two lines must go off the page. Then  maybe the next step is to draw three empty circles, any size. The next step might be to draw a curved line that starts on a circle and goes off the page.


I usually give 5-6 drawing steps and then we talk about painting. I spend most of this lesson talking about how to use the paint brushes: big brushes for big jobs, little brushes for little jobs. How to take care of our paint supplies: be gentle with the brush, don’t scrub!. Clean brushes between colors to avoid making mud colors. We also spend a fair amount of time on clean-up.


Because it is just me with 25-30+ students, it is critical that we have a smooth system to make art making and clean-up run efficiently. Because kids love paint, I like to do a lot of paint projects. Taking extra time to clearly explain everything early on saves time and frustration later.




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I subbed in a friend’s second grade class today and on the lesson plans, she wrote (for one of the afternoon options): “Math games or one of your amazing art lessons”.


I thought about what art lesson I could do with them. I figured apples were pretty typical for a fall art project and created this lesson. It took the kids about 45 minutes.

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We did a directed drawing of a whole apple then an apple that had been eaten.

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They went over the pencil in sharpie. Then they painted.

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They had the option of using white crayon to make designs before painting. We then glued both images to black paper.