Monthly Archives: October 2016

Positive and Negative Prints


This was a super tough lesson to complete in just one hour but my fourth graders did it with only a few bumps in the road.


There are over 100 4th graders so I had them adhere their positive pieces on one side of the pre-cut cereal box and negative on the other creating a 2 sided printing plate.


If the kids were good at puzzles and spacial relations assembling the plate was a snap.


If puzzles were a challenge, we decided that it made for a perfect growth mindset. (Embrace challenges, persist in the face of set-backs, mistakes help me learn, this may take some time, etc.)


We used sticky back foam sheets and cereal box cardboard for our printing plates.

I ran out of sticky back foam but had a few sheets of sticky back felt. It was not as successful but it was all we had. It did make for some great texture but they slurped up too much ink and they had to press really hard to get a print.




Printed Buildings on Tissue Paper


49430516.jpgThis day was so busy with loads of classrooms needing to swap art times for various reasons. The First Graders who came were not scheduled and I had left all my lesson plan notes at home. This lesson came from a cupboard search, “What’s in here that I can use for art?”.


So I put together this lesson with what I would call “found objects”. My art room in a depository for all kinds of cool donations.


I had a box of cardboard scraps that had been cut for a long finished “plaid painting” project and another (giant) box of miscellaneous tissue paper. Put them together and here is another fun way to celebrate Archtober.


Grade 1 students covered their paper in tissue paper then printed a neighborhood with cardboard scraps.


Interestingly, I showed up at the New Children’s Museum for Educators Night and one of their hands on activities was a tissue paper background lesson.

Crystal Cities in the style of Rob Dunlavy


Rob Dunlavy is a children’s book artist. Have you seen his Crystal Cities Rob Dunlavy just makes lines look magical! Some of his images remind me of the exterior of It’s a Small World at Disneyland.

Here is what he says about them: “Crystal Cities are whimsical explorations of the act of drawing and painting, line and color, atmosphere and narrative possibilities. At the moment, these are my “fine art”.


I had my second graders look at these amazing architecture images for our Archtober celebrations.


We just used marker. Some students really understood that we were “coloring in” with just lines.


Others wanted to color. 49147010

Leaves with Lines



I wanted a simple lesson that tied in with lines and fall so we did these. Students looked at pictures of various fall leaves (hard to find in our area so we used images from the internet).


They drew a large leaf or several small ones with veins and stems.


The background was fragmented and filled in with lines and shapes in white pastel.


They painted with watercolor. 48945317.jpg

Tissue Paper Bowls



I have done this lesson a few times and usually relate it to Dale Chihuly’s Macchias. There are a few Macchias in the Mingei collection and they are occasionally on view.

I had the opportunity over the summer to go to Chihuly Gardens in Seattle and it was amazing. I loved the boat and all the dramatic lighting.

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I did these tissue bowls with my K/1 combo class-there are only 16 students and they come with 2 helpers so it is fairly easy to do some amazing and more complex lessons with these little artists.


This child only had one layer so it is very delicate and fragile but looks so pretty.49098836.jpgI used paper bowls covered in plastic wrap and they used diluted glue to add layers of tissue. The directions were to add 4 layers of tissue. Most did that for some great results. Those with less layers have a thinner more delicate bowl. 49098870.jpg49098891.jpg49098882.jpg