Monthly Archives: May 2016

Weaving on a loom



I finally did weaving with my third grade kids. I went to a teacher workshop at the Mingei Museum and the facilitator gave us each a bag with the beginnings to do weaving project with a group of 24 students. There were 3 skeins of yarn and 24 cardboard looms.


I had a few looms of my own which finally made this do-able for a whole class. The first day, I had no adult helpers so we identified our third grade table experts who were able to assist students who needed help with the concept of weaving on a loom.


The next groups of students came a few days later. I reached out to classroom teachers and asked for extra volunteers.


It was great to have several adults each period making the process much easier and more enjoyable for everyone.


Bumble Bee Collage


45833096Oh I love my little K’s!  I had asked one of the K teachers what was happening in K so I could pick a fun lesson that related to the classroom lessons.


She told me her class would miss art the following day because they had a guest coming to school to talk to the kids about bees.


They had inadvertently planned a reverse field trip with an apiarist (bee keeper) during her class art time! Well, K’s missing art was a sad thing for me and for her so I invited them to join me into the art room that very day after lunch.


She was able to quickly re-work their afternoon schedule and I was able to squish them in between things for their 30 minute art time. I literally threw this lesson together in my head on my walk back to the art room after lunch. It was a win-win if there ever was!


Students used yellow paper and black crayon for the bees. We glued those on then they used a paper donation for the wings. It is paper for some sort of office machine-it came on a roll and is iridescent on one side and has the thickness of tissue paper-really fun for wings and jellyfish tentacles. After they glued on their bees, they added flowers in oil pastel to the black paper.

God’s Eyes or Ojo de Dios



Oh these are always fun! I do these with Grade 4 because they study the missions and learn about how California was once part of Mexico. I also do them as one of the craft table options at our school’s heritage night. One of our teachers who is Mexican loves when the students create these. She puts them up in her classroom and tells the students about her background and why they are important in her culture.


This age level seems to have the easiest time learning this ancient textile art without a lot of intervention fr0m me.


I do tell them that have to “get it right” or re-do it. If they do it correctly, they can do a second one.


We do these in one class period which is 60 minutes. I typically use craft sticks but also chop sticks that I have cut in half.


We usually have donated yarn so this is a pretty inexpensive project.


Pattern Quilts


I did this project with our TK and Preschool Classes. I had mistakenly cut some colored construction paper too small and needed a way to use it up.


I showed the students a book called The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco.


And we talked about quilts, patterns and how people look when they sleep.


I also showed them images of quilts.


I love all the different patterns and colors they came up with.


Rainy Rainbow



The kindergarten team was learning about rainbows and weather and this lesson was perfect.


I saw a rain image similar to this somewhere on the internet and thought it would be perfect if we added a rainbow.


Oil pastel and water color was what we used to create these images.


Students of course loved the AH! moment when the oil pastel popped through the black  and blue paint.

Flower Fields



I a similar lesson on a dutch art teacher’s website at least 5 years ago. I do it with First Grade and we base ours on the Carlsbad Flower Fields.


They use a ruler and a green or brown pastel to do the horizon line, vanishing point and furrows.


We also discuss the history of the ranuculus and the Carlsbad Flower Fields.


Students may do this horizontally or vertically. The sky, flower colors, and farm design is their choice.


I brought it back this year when we had to move rooms due to testing and wanted a “low mess” project.

Collage Bugs



Second Grade is all about bugs.They love them, they learn about them, they have them in their classroom, they occasionally bring them in to to show me.


I will long remember the boy whose mom brought in a praying mantis as it was unfolding from its egg case. Definitely a second grade highlight.


Anyway, these are done with paper scraps. We talk about bug parts: antenna, legs, wings, pincers, mouth parts, etc. We also talk about symmetry, creativity, and having fun. If they choose to, they can name their bug with cool names.


I do start them out with a rectangle that they can fold in half and cut to use for the head, abdomen, and thorax.


The rest of the parts are created from my giant bags of colored scrap collected from other teachers and the die cut machine.




47139065Since SBAC testing was in full swing and we got bumped from the art room and put into another classroom. Not our ideal location but they did move the art tables so that was good. I needed a “low mess” project for my second graders. Plus I had inadvertently cut up colored paper in 6×9 for another project that we ended up not needing. This was a great lesson that used up that paper and was low mess with glue stick, and scissors.


I show them examples of Japanese Notan then do a demo of cutting and flipping the paper so they see how it works.


I ask them to cut it all and place it and get my OK before gluing.


The kids that have great spatial relation concepts and who are good at puzzles seem to have the easiest time but even those who find the idea challenging had some great results.


This lesson is a great reminder for kids to keep trying and have that growth mind set.