For as long as I have been teaching art, I have been going to art shows, gallery openings, and museums as well as taking classes. I think that if I want my students to be life long learners, I need to be one myself.
I love to look at gallery sites and find things that might inspire me or my students to create something fun. That is how I found this artist.
I came across an article about Martina Nehberg on the Markel Fine Arts blog. Her art is colorful and fun and my students loved seeing her work and the pictures of her studio especially when it included her dogs.
We used scraps from our box of colorful paper strips. It was a great lesson for my 1-2 combo class to practice cutting and gluing skills while creating amazing works of art.
I always like to teach my students about other cultures and celebrations. I think learning about other cultures helps us to create better relationships and allows us to understand others better.
At my school, we have a yearly Heritage Night and last year, we had a great Chinese New Year celebration. This year, is the Year of the Dog.
I showed the students images of dogs and we talked about how all breeds look pretty similar with their snout, their eyes and their nose. We also talked about their differences-coat textures, colors, size, and breed.
I showed students how to make a basic dog face and then left them to create their own dog their own way. Amazing what they came up with!
My Grade Two classes did these. They have a play that they do every year called “Going Buggy” This seemed like a good lesson to add to the bug lessons we have done in the past-bugs like plants after all.
I take out all the black pans from our watercolors to keep kids from painting every thing black because I do that, I try to find fun projects to do to use up the black paint.
Students were instructed to create either warm or cool colored flowers and then the centers were to be the opposite.
When finished, they painted black around the flowers.
My students and parents LOVE this lesson. I do this one with First Grade. This year, I did the lesson with Grade 1 and the Grade 1 and Grade 2 Combo classes.
I think it always turns out great. The nice thing about this is if they make a mark they do not like, they can just color over it and it becomes a bigger boat or another sail. It also reinforces how to draw basic shapes.
This year, I had extra wide sharpies which made it easier for my students to color in large sails or large boats.
I think one key to success is to make sure the students go slowly around the outside and then they can move quickly when they are in the middle of the image.
Grade 2 students did a quick water color background and added seaweed and sand.
They drew fish onto foam printing plates then printed the fish onto their backgrounds.
The 1/2 Combo teachers told me they were studying the seasons.
The students did a Styrofoam printing plate of a tree. They printed it four times.
Once finished, they used dots to paint the different seasons. Nice lesson that brought together Pop Art-Andy Warhol, Pointillism-Georges Seurat, and classroom curriculum.
Second grade usually does an insect unit. They learn about insects and their body parts. Every year, I do something a little different, it seems.
This year, the students drew about five boxes. They then put different bugs in each box.
The bugs could be real or imaginary.
I have a bunch of plastic insects from my children that I bring in for them to look at if they want to.
They could color the bugs with marker, pencil, or oil pastel.
When finished, they painted the space in between the boxes with brown paint to look a bit like wood.
Our black placemats we use get pretty messy after hundreds of uses. A few days ago, I noticed that the edges of most of them were folded and frayed and that many were bumpy from being wet from paint and glue. I swapped them out for new ones and wanted to use the spattered papers for something. I came up with this for my 1/2 combo class. A week or so ago, a gigantic box of skinny strips showed up in the art room. KISMET!! Students used the black mats at the substrate and the paper strips to weave.
They took paper strips and glued them on one edge of the paper. To remind them to use a small amount of glue and to hold the paper a few seconds so it wouldn’t slide around, we chanted dot, dot, not a lot, lot , press and hold 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
It was a pretty fun way to get them to make sure the one side was stuck before we started weaving. While that dried a bit, they decorated their strips and then did their weaving.
Well, they actually trimmed the edges. Then did their weaving.
Pretty great way to use up a box of paper strips that showed up in the art room and the old placemats as well.
“Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.”
Last year, I did Alma Thomas paintings with my Kindergarten students. They used my home made sponge brushes.
This year, I have TONS of scrap paper. I put the scraps in several shallow bins on each table.
I figure my second graders would enjoy some collage so we looked at the work of Alma Thomas and they came up with these. I told them they could copy the artist or do their own thing.
We barely make a dent in the scrap paper.
In the teacher workroom is a box that says, “Art Scraps”. A few years ago, a recycling minded parent created the box for us. Teachers and parents put all the construction paper and other paper scraps from projects in the box. For this project, we used some of those scraps.
Students in my 1/2 combo class were given heart templates to trace. They then filled the hearts with scraps of paper.
I used cups of white glue mixed with water and some sponge brushes that were donated. They traced the heart templates with our black Staonal Crayons. They used scissors or tearing to make the pieces of paper smaller.
Because they came out so nice, I did the lesson again with my K/1 group.
For them I pre-traced the hearts to save time. There is only one class of this combo and it is small. They actually ended up having time to cut the hearts out and glue them onto black paper. I think it is always good for students to have extra scissor practice and the black background really makes the hearts stand out.