Tag Archives: kindergarten

Sculpture with Found Objects

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This project was based on Alexander Calder’s stabiles and mobiles.

Kindergarten students were given a piece of cardboard with a chenille stem attached. I gave them bins of supplies and they chose how to use the supplies to make their sculpture. Some made figures. Others just added materials together in an abstract fashion.

They could string things on as with the beads, twist items in or use glue dots to attach. So fun to see all the different combos.

Career Placemat Project

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In Fall of 2018, I was working at a very large suburban school. I was asked by their District Office if I thought my students could create 100 placemats with student art for their State of the District Luncheon.  Because of the large size of the school, this was only about 10% of our students so I knew I could do it.

I organized six after school workshops for all grade levels Kindergarten through Fifth grade. I even had a couple of preschool and TK students who came with an adult or older sibling.

The workshops were all done by me with occasional help from a parent. I had small groups of about 20 students. For the workshops, I had some idea lists for different careers that I thought they might want but I also told the students to come up with two to three career choices of their own so that we could have a lot of diversity. Because they knew these would not be returned, I allowed students to make two if they wanted to.

Each student sketched their work on a small paper then did a larger drawing in pencil then went over that in black marker. We then painted with watercolor paint. I was so impressed with all the different jobs they came up with from gardening to scientists to dancers to race car drivers and everything in between. It was really one of the most rewarding projects we did that year.

After they were dry, I labeled each artwork on the back with the student’s name, grade and their career title. It was a huge job and when they were delivered to the district office, the staff decided they were too pretty to use as placemats and instead put them up all around the meeting room. After the luncheon, they were returned to the school and went on display on the gallery wall in the lobby.

Kindergarten Kites

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When Kindergarten was learning about shapes and weather, students created diamond shaped kites.

To help expedite this lesson, I had drawn simple kites onto the paper so that they could cut them on their own.

Students looked at pictures of kites and chose to create their own designs. Some chose to draw pictures, others chose to color them in their favorite colors.

Paper Quilts

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20190827_094626-e1567274325977.jpgThis year, I came into a  new (to me) program. I was told there were art supplies and there were but I suppose I should have asked what supplies they had and the amounts. What I discovered was that there was a large amount of colored construction paper packages in a limited array of colors and a smattering of other miscellaneous items-glue sticks, scissors, some paint brushes, paint, crayons, items for weaving, pencils, and colored pencils.  

Since the initial art supply order would take about 10 days to receive and art started pretty quickly, I needed something I could do with every one of the nearly 1,200 students I would see in the first two weeks. The students range from TK to grade 6 and there are several special day classes as well.

What to do? Well, with limited supplies and just a couple of days to prep, I realized that paper quilt squares would be best. They needed no mark making tools, we had plenty of glue sticks for the first few groups and I have been making paper quilts for many, many years. They are easily adaptable to any age or ability and they look lovely when hung together in community. 

While there probably would have been an interest in a whole school collaborative project and I might have done that here, I chose simply to give the squares back to the classroom teachers. I work in 4 different schools and having not visited all of them, did not know if they had a place for a community art project that would be protected from the weather and curious student hands.

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I cut about 1300 six inch squares for the base. I cut thousands of additional triangles and small squares and show them how to fold these shapes to make additional shapes.

I told my students we would be doing math in art class and there were many groans. I showed them the following folds. When we cut them apart, we would be doing division and fractions. Patterns are found in math AND science AND art.

I told them the fold line was their cutting line. I drew lines here so you could see the fold lines better.

A triangle when the top point folds down to the bottom line makes a trapezoid:

 

When you fold the other corners in, you get a rectangle. Many of my students made the real world connection that the folded side looked like an envelope.

 

The square folded in half makes 2 rectangles. Fold the square into fourths, and you have four smaller squares. 

 

There are lots of ways to fold the paper to get different shapes and I encourage them to try whatever ideas they want to.

 

I  showed my students images of quilts and textile art both historical and contemporary. They looked at work by Martha Ricks, Harriet Powers, The Gees Bend Quilters, Pia Camil, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and Joe Cunningham. They looked at patterns like the Log Cabin, Monkey Wrench, and Wagon Wheel.

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Each student received the same number of paper shapes plus the base. The only expectation was that they use all the paper pieces and that it fit within the square.

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I think they did a terrific job. For the SDC students, they tore the paper and glued the torn pieces on to the base.

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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 Mexo-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 or for small projects, clear nail polish works also.

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.

Necklaces with Air Dry Clay

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The Kindergarten students created beads with me for their clay project this year. We used Mexal white air dry clay from Laguna Clay Company.  For our first session, I modeled how to make a medallion and beads. We talked about how we could make our beads into cylinders, spheres, cubes, or cones. It was their choice.

I modeled each shape and let them create. This was a great way to reinforce shapes they were learning about in math class. The students then made a medallion and as many beads as they could make in our 30 minutes together.

When they returned for their next lesson, they painted their beads with Jazz gloss tempera paint made by Van Aken paint company. It is sticky and smells weird but dries quickly. When it is dry, it looks a lot like kiln fired glaze. You can add a coating of clear nail polish or clear acrylic spray to seal them but I did not.

Because we had finished all of our art lessons for the school year, I had to send the beads and medallions back to the teachers and they worked out how to make necklaces in their own time. The necklaces pictured here were assembled with pony beads and rexlace. Rexlace is the plastic lacing made by the Pepperell Company and is used by many campers and scouts for boondoggles and lanyards.

Great job Kindergarten!

Kindergarten Collage Flowers

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One of my favorite things to do is show my youngest students the magic of a square. Cut it in half and you get two rectangles. But if you cut it in half diagonally, you get two triangles.

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When you cut the tip off the triangle, you get a trapezoid. If you cut all the corners off and round the edges, its a circle. It is always fun to teach these youngest artists how to manipulate shapes to make objects.

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The students were given a few different sized squares as well as pre-cut circles, long skinny green rectangles and I brought in my bucket of paper scraps.

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I modeled how to cut the square and how to make different shaped flowers. You can see that I modeled the pinwheel type flower and the tulip like flower. I encouraged them to decorate the vases and create more flowers if they wanted to.

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I really think this one is fun:

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This student did their own flowers in their own way! I just wish I had time to talk with each and every one of them hear their thought process. We spent 30 minutes on this lesson from start to finish including clean up. Whew!

Lettering Like Niki

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A few weeks ago, I went to see the exhibit on Niki de Saint Phalle: Mythical California at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

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One of the K teachers saw an IG post about my visit and the second Saturday class I took at the center that was about lettering. She asked me if I would do letter embellishing with her students. I agreed.

The classroom teacher printed the student’s names in large block letters. We talked about many different ways you can embellish letters and how Niki de St. Phalle decorated many letters in her journals. We looked at letter like Niki as well as other decorative lettering and then the students embellished their names in marker.

I think they are so creative and fun. I can hardly believe they are just kinders.

 

 

Monster Parade

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The kindergarten students at one of my schools does an entire unit on Monsters.

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For this lesson, I drew a bunch of monsters and then had a list of eyes, noses, face shapes, hairstyles, etc on the board.

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The students could create their own monster portrait or copy one that they liked. The classroom teacher took it to a whole other level and had them write about them and do more portraits.

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They did this in oil pastel.

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Their classroom teacher took my white board scribbles and made her own monster parts menu and then the students drew more monsters and wrote information about them. So much fun to link art room and classroom lessons!

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Ponds

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I have a wonderful opportunity to teach weekly art to a group of students. These ponds were done at the request of a teacher to go with their grade levels pond unit.

These students get art with me for about 30 minutes each week. I started by telling the kindergartners about Monet and his water lily paintings. They created theirs using oil pastel and water soluble markers which they painted with water.

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The next week, we made the green backgrounds. We talked about texture. I gave them green, yellow, and blue paint, forks, and my infamous paint daubers (sponges clipped to a clothespin).

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The week after that, they cut the ponds into a “pond shape” and glued them on the background and added cattails and dragonflies.

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The last week, we added butterflies and frogs. I think they came out just stunning and will be great for their open house celebration.