Grade 5 learns about the Colonial Period and I like to link my art lessons to classroom curriculum when I can. This lesson brings together several areas of learning into one lesson. It is a great STEAM lesson as well because of the motion and the math of a measuring a circle.
In years past, I have used donated cardboard and we had parent helpers cut the discs.
This year, I had some funds in my Artsonia account and used those to purchase round cardboard from Amazon.
Students decorated both sides of the disc. Then punched 2 holes 1-2 finger widths apart in the center of the discs. I had them measure the center and we talked about how we measure circles which tied in to their recent math lesson where they measured the tether ball courts on the playground and learned about pi.
The hammer and nail punching was not necessary with this year’s soft corrugated cardboard but last year, we used donated ram board and that stuff is hard so hammer and nails were a necessity. The kids love trying new tools so this was a way to teach them about and to use a hammer and nails.
I showed them how to string a piece of thread through the discs and tie them off. Then I show them how to make them spin. The students had to do something colorful on one side and the other side could be their choice.
If you make these, be sure to leave time to play at the end of class. My students really enjoyed playing after creating.
My K students LOVE to paint. They like to paint paper, people, tables, you name it, they’d paint it. We do talk often about “we paint paper, not people” but you know there is always a couple of kids who paint their hands or their neighbor.
To get that out of their system, I try to do a lot of paint projects with them. We only have 30 minutes together so it is a whirlwind especially when no one is there to help wrangle any of the 27 student classes. I can do it on my own and often do but Whew!
For this lesson, I demoed how to draw 4 basic shapes. We talked about the primary colors and they painted the shapes. We then talked about secondary colors and they painted the backgrounds.
Our first lesson back is always an easy one and I try to do something fun with lines for my students. These were from my fourth graders.
A few months ago, I saw an image on an advertising postcard for Blessed Wedding Photography. It was of a bride and groom’s feet. The man had brown shoes, blue pants and funky socks. The bride had blue shoes. It was a cool image and I put it up on my bulletin board.
Fast forward to last week and me looking around to put a new spin on the same old line lessons…
Kind of a fun way to look at lines, by creating pictures of feet and shoes. I love how they all put their own spin on it.
At the end of the year, I often have loads of scrap paper. All shapes and sizes. This project was a perfect way to use up the scrap and introduce my second graders to the Gees Bend Quilters.
We looked at several examples around the web of the Gees Bend quilts. Souls Grown Deep has some good information and images as does the the Smithsonian Museum.
There are a lot of books about quilts and great picture books. You can turn them into arty “mathterpieces” adding all those cool fractions like whole, half, and quarters, eights, etc.
Here we just talked about pattern, symmetry and color.
We of course talked about how these quilters used whatever fabrics were available to them just as we were using the paper available.
So fun to see what creativity can be had when resources are limited. I let the kids just take this where ever they wanted to.
I love Mandalas, I think they are just stunning.
I was recently gifted a mandala coloring book and thought my grade 5’s could easily do some mandalas.
We looked at traditional mandala images, learned about radial design and talked about pattern and shape.
We thought about easy ways we could get everything to look the same. I had them trace a plate for their circle. They then folded the paper so that they had “lines” for each section. I had items they could trace like blocks, cut paper, cups, plastic lids, and various found objects.
Once they completed the design, they colored it and cut it out and mounted it on paper.
A few weeks ago some friends returned from Thailand and we talked about the Tuk-Tuk and how other countries have some really unique modes of public transportation. I presented images of jeepneys, tuk-tuks, autos, and rickshaws to the first graders.
I asked them, “What kind of terrific transportation would you have?”
These are just a few vehicles that they came up with.
After we painted my daughter’s room “marsh fern”, she and I talked about how it looked like many colors but not what one would think of as a marsh or a fern. It was a super bright green that was reminiscent of a granny smith apple.
We talked about how one might illustrate the names of paint colors. That is where the inspiration for this lesson came from.
Today, I took that idea to my third graders. I gave them titles of paints that I found at our local hardware store and brought in swatches. Their job was to create their own paint color and title.
Such a fun lesson. The kids were amazingly creative: Gloomy Grave, Magnificent Maui, Jurassic Jungle, just to name a few.
Kindergarten students are learning about chicks and spring and weather.
Here is what we did for their baby chick unit! So cute.
Another old lesson that I updated for my new school. I did this originally about 7 years ago with my daughter’s 4th grade class. I think I originally saw it in Arts and Activities Magazine.
I did this lesson with 5th grade. Changed the medium to water color and marker, added a resist option. Students could do a blue sky, sunset sky or aurora borealis sky. I think they are pretty good.
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.