Tag Archives: grade 4

No Kiln, No Problem

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I love doing clay projects with my students. We have never had a kiln at one of my schools and I was told it is not possible because of fire insurance.

Because we have over 1,000 students, I use a clay from Laguna Clay called Mexal or Mexico White. It is an air dry clay that has a similar texture and hardness of kiln fired. I get it from Freeform Clay in National City. It can be delivered to your site or you can order it and then pick it up from their warehouse.

Once it dries, we use Jazz Gloss Tempera to paint them because that paint has a similar look to kiln fired glaze. To seal them you can use an acrylic spray.

Kindergarten necklaces are here.

Grade one plant plaques are here.

Grade two suns are here.

Grade three pinch pots are here

Grade four wall pockets are here

Grade five colonial houses are here

In my after school classes which are small, I have done some DIY Cold Porcelain. Those sculptures are always done on a small scale. Here is a unicorn on a marbled paper backdrop and some lovely mermaids.

I just did some bread dough lids with a few after school students. I have been making these since I was a child. I think my mom got the idea from Dough it Yourself the Morton Salt recipe book from the 70’s.

These sculptures are done on the tops of metal lidded glass jars. A great way to re-purpose an old jam or pickle jar! The lids must be metal so they can be baked in the oven at a low temp.

Here are the recipes I have used for different clay projects:

Cold Porcelain (The mermaid and unicorn are from this clay)

1 cup of cornstarch, 1 cup of white glue, 2 Tbsp of baby oil, and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice.

Cook on stove until until it holds together and pulls away from pan sides or microwave  at 15-second intervals, stirring between each one. Knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes until it cools. Wrap it tightly and let it rest for 24 hours.

 

Bread Dough-(Jar lids were done with this)

1 cup flour, 1 cup salt,  1 cup water. Mix well. Create items, air dry over several days or bake at 250 degrees F until dough is hard.

 

White Baking Soda Dough: (Not pictured but makes great cut out ornaments)

1/2 cup cornstarch, 1 cup baking soda, 3/4 cup water

Pour all ingredients into a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, stirring consistently. When mixture has thickened and looks like mashed potatoes, remove from saucepan. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp towel.  Let rest 30 minutes, until dough is cool enough to work with. Knead dough thoroughly to get out any air bubbles.  Roll out dough 1/4″ thick.

Cut out your shapes and or stamp with an image. If dough begins to crack and dry, wrap in a damp towel and microwave 10- 15 seconds.  This should make the dough moist and make it workable again.

When complete, bake at 175 degrees F for 45-60 minutes.  Then flip over and bake an additional 45-60 minutes, or until all ornaments are hard.  Cool completely and spray with a clear protective coating.

Apple Cinnamon Dough (Love to make this as package ties for gifts. They smell so good)

2 cups of unsweetened applesauce, 2 cups of cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon White Glue

Mix well. Sprinkle counter top with cinnamon, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters, and place ornaments on a baking sheet. Can air dry over several days or oven dry in a 200° F oven for about 2-2.5 hours. Can also sand rough edges after they dry.

 

Kool-Aid Playdough (A fun dough to make for young children. Smells great and the colors don’t come off on your hands)

1 Cup Flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 Envelope Unsweetened  Kool-Aid, 2 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp. oil

Mix first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan until blended. Stir in water and oil. Cook on medium heat 5 min. or until mixture forms ball, stirring frequently. Cool before using.

 

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Clay Wall Pockets

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My mother has a clay wall pocket hanging in her dining room that my brother made in elementary school. I have always loved that little bit of clay goodness and was excited to be able to do it with my students. I told them the story and said that they might want to do an extra good job because one just never knows how long their art might hang in their family home.

Students rolled out a rectangle piece of clay. Added texture then folded and pinched. I encouraged them to make sure the sides were well attached and then they poked two holes and wrote their name on the back.

making the pocket

We are using Mexal Air Dry Clay by Laguna that I discovered a while back at the Mingei.

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They are super fun to make especially when using lots of texture tools (shells, potato mashers, buttons, forks, etc.) and with some organizing, they were easy enough to complete in our 45 minute class period.

So fun to revive an old 70’s clay lesson!

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We did pop a bit of brown paper towel in the pocket to make sure it didn’t collapse while it dried.  That’s it! So easy and so much fun.

Another lesson with Sonia Delaunay

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I had an opportunity to see some of Delaunay’s work both in Paris and in Bilbao. I love her bright colors and simple geometric shapes. Students looked at Delaunay’s art and textiles in a PowerPoint and they created these images in tempera paint.

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I had the students look at her work and we discussed the way color and shape interact.

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We also discussed her work as a textile designer and how she and her husband Robert were the initiators of the Orphism or Orphic Cubist Art movement.

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They could copy elements of her work or create their own version.

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Year of the Dog Grade 4

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I love the animals of Chinese New Year and I always try to come up with something fun.

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For 4th graders, I had them cut circles from white construction paper, and silhouettes of dogs from black construction paper.

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They added patterns to the circles and put their  dog silhouette on top. I found silhouettes of dogs online that they could refer to.

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Young Art 2017: Beyond the Ordinary

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Every other year, the San Diego Museum of Art hosts an art show for students from around the county. This year, the theme was still life and each teacher was allowed to submit just five pieces of art. With me teaching more than 800 students, it was really a tough job to choose just 5  but I had some help.

If you have a chance, go see the art! it is on display until May 28, 2017. Of our 5 submissions, these 3 pieces of art were chosen:

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Oranges

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Spool of Thread

Oak Trees

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I was asked to teach a step by step painting class at our Girl Scout Service Unit Encampment. The theme was Amazing Race so the girls went to different locations all over camp and did activities from different countries-things like making sushi in Japan, playing Futbol in Spain, and painting with me in France.

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It was for our Juniors (grades 4, 5, 6) and Cadettes (grades 7, 8).

We set up on the porch of one of the cabins and it was a bit breezy and cool but we sure had a great time.

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Can you believe we only had 40 minutes? Well, we did! I think they did an amazing job! I showed them my  tricks for “speed” painting like basing in the sky using a thin coat of paint and a sponge.

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They did these on 8×10 canvas board. I love that they all came out so differently.

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Gold Rush Buildings

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I love finding current working artists who can inspire my students. For this lesson, we looked at the work of illustrator Mateusz Urbanowicz. He is an illustrator, originally from Poland, who lives and works in Japan. He has great videos of him actually drawing his “Tokyo Storefronts” series so the students and I looked at one together.

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The students had lots of great questions and loved watching the artist work. For this lesson, I allowed them to use pencil and make a sketch before inking.

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Normally, pencil sketches are not allowed for art because of time constraints. We have a “no mistakes in art” rule so any mark you make on your paper is not a mistake and can be turned into something. I think it forces them to trust themselves and think about creative solutions to a mark they decide they do not want.

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These images were created in the style of Mateusz Urbanowicz but took on a Social Studies twist when we talked about businesses that existed during the Gold Rush. They created their images of buildings as if they could have been part of a Gold Rush town.

Filigree Hearts

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I created this after having a large quantity of leftover black watercolor paint. I pop the brown and black pans out of the paint palettes for two reasons. One, it forces my students to mix colors and two my youngest artists do not paint everything black and brown.

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Students learned about the art of filigree. They looked at examples both ancient and modern. They then traced (or could draw their own) a large heart onto 9×12 paper.

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Using white oil pastel, they filled their hearts with organic, curved lines. They painted the inside with water color of their choice then black watercolor around the hearts. 16387917_10154945657184042_486656003692111024_n.jpg

What Lifts You?

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I had seen the work of Kelsey Montague about a year ago. I love her idea that her murals are interactive and that people can post themselves with the art to social media.

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My students did self-portraits in oil pastel then cut them out and affixed them to wings of their own design.

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We took it one step further and several students contributed to create a mural that students can interact with. It has been a big hit with kids and adults alike.

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