Friday, September 28, 2012

Color Wheel Clown Fun!

Yesterday, my first group of first graders finished their clowns, and they are sooooo very adorable.  See?

This was the lesson I got pretty recently from Sharon (who I student taught with 13 years ago) at a conference.  We painted the color wheels together, I gave them a circle to trace for the head.  The rainbow hair was on the bottom of our color wheels.  The arms were supposed to be cat stairs, but I made a last-minute decision to make spring arms.  Pants are just a 6x 9 construction paper with a triangle cut out.  I really like them, and will do them again.
For your viewing pleasure, a few more:

Love the attitude of this clown!

Faces are just marker.
OK, how awesome is the hump-back look?!

Love it!
In the future (like, next year) I'll stretch the put-them-all-together day instead of rushing them and have them write a little story about their clowns or what they learned about color mixing.
For now, they're going to go up in the hall for all to see and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Half Person, Half Animal, Half Crazy

In the lazy days of summer, I forget how hectic the school year gets.  Case in point: we got home (my sweetie and I) from a full week of school last Friday, and the thingamajig fell off the top of our vertical blinds.  It's only decorative, and it's fallen before, but when I went to put it back I realized the clips that hold it on were broken.
The cover part of this is what I'm talking about.

I was busy, so I moved it away from the door
and "out of the way".
And there it stayed, all weekend.
Until yesterday, in fact.

Being the art teacher that I am, I couldn't bear the thought of throwing it away. It has to be good for something, right?!  So last night I decided to cut it up and make a class set of scrapers.  Scrapers for paint, printmaking, clay. whatever:
It made 29, roughly 3" x 3 1/2".
Now, let's hope I remember to use them!
Home is the crazy part right now, as I feel like I have no time to get anything done (like send out the thank you cards from Sweetie's birthday nearly 3 weeks ago).  At school, third grade has been finishing up their Catal Huyuk people.  In the ancient town of Catal Huyuk, images of half person/half animals were found, and no one's really certain what they were.  Here's some of our versions:

Students folded their papers,
drew the top half of a person
(from the waist up), gave it to me
to draw lines to give the next person
a starting spot, then traded with
someone who drew the bottom half
of an animal.
When completely drawn, students
traced with Sharpie and colored with colored
pencil.  The person who drew the person
is the owner of the artwork.

I really like the background
 on this one.  But as usual, I
 can't figure out how to make
 it go right-side-up in this blog.

When their half and half was fully
colored, they created a background
on construction paper with
construction paper crayons.

So those are our half person, half animals, and I only feel half crazy.  Now to find something else to cover my sliding glass doors, something a little nicer than those dumb vertical blinds. . .

Thursday, September 20, 2012

God Save the Queen (Punk Rock Version)

'Cause Lord knows, if she saw these, she'd need it (jk).  This is a 5th grade project I got here, except I changed it a little (don't we all?).  We make her hair with Model Magic or Cloud Clay (have to be sure to glue it well and paint it the same day) and use a variety of things for her dress and embelishments (whatever I have a lot of).  They're not finished, barely started actually, but this is what they look like right now:

They could choose her hairstyle from a scrolling Power Point
of Queen Elizabeth I portraits, and this student hasn't added the
paper doily collar yet.
Arms will also be added, and she'll be holding some symbols of power.

What would this blog be without a
sideways photo EVERY time?
Another sideways one.

I'll post some finished photos when we're done.  They're fun.  We compared portraits of Queen Elizabeth I to Washington Crossing the Delaware.  Our queens are supposed to look "large and in charge".  Love them!

And because I just love posting just-started projects, first grade is painting color wheels to make into collage clowns (thank you, Sharon Williams for this lesson).  We did primary colors and two secondary ones:

I hope our rainbows are large enough to make clown hair.

Little mix-up with making green on this one.

This is my first time doing this project, fingers crossed it turns out well.
Something great about a post with the maiden Queen of England and clowns . . .

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Speaking of Sixth Grade. . .

Sixth graders are deep into an Asian Unit.  We're currently studying Japan, and making artwork in the Japanese style (we're kind of using Japanese artworks as a jumping-off place).  As I shared yesterday, we made some suminagashi or marbelized papers (as a born-and-bred Midwesterner, I don't even TRY to say that word!).  Those papers will be the backings of our scroll paintings, some of which currently look like this:

Drawn, not yet traced and OF COURSE
turned the wrong way.

This is a talented student, he used one
of my "How to Draw" books that
I always have available.

A student who's already added ultra-fine Sharpie. 
We'll add color via Watercolor Pencils and Metallic Pencils next.

The first art project we did about Japan was origami.  Simple paper cranes, but we added them to a collaborative piece from over the years.  It now hangs in our health room (used to hang in our main office but was removed to make the area "less cluttered" which I totally understand.)


This is an idea that I totally ripped off from one of our local Starbucks:

Theirs is made of magazine paper, which is
awesome looking and very cost effective,
but a little difficult for my beginning origami makers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shapes and Swirls

I thought I'd write about opposite ends of my spectrum today: kindergarten and sixth grade.  While they're opposite, in many ways they're so very similar.  Things can get out of hand very quickly with both groups! 
Kindergarten made something I call Free Form Shape Stencils.  This is an oldie-but-a-goodie from my college days (many moons ago).  I start out giving them a "test" where I show a shape cut out of tagboard and have the class tell me what it is (circle, triangle, square, etc).  The last few I show are free form shapes (no one ever gets it, but I love the things they come up with "spilled milk" and "ugly flower" are two of my favorites).  We then talk about the difference between geometric and free form shapes.  Each student gets a shape, a paper towel and chalk.  They make a scribble line around the edge of their free form shape and then hold it down while they brush with the paper towel to make their shape on their paper (that I pass out while they're all working on their scribble line):

When they take them home, I tell them to give
their families the same shape test to see
if they know freeform shapes!


While kindergarten is working with shapes, sixth grade was learning how to marbelize paper.  I would definately change how I did this! I had everyone working on two types of paper marbelizing at the same time because I'm crazy I wanted us to get it all done in one day.  I don't recommend it.  In the future, I'd spread it out over several class periods and work with small groups while everyone else drew their Japanese scroll paintings. I used the recipe I got here for these:

Which left us with tubs of this:

Gross looking, but pretty darn-good smelling!

 While groups of 4 or so used the tubs to marbelize, everyone else had a pile of shaving cream in front of them and some food coloring.  It's super-easy, few drops of food coloring, swirl with a popsicle stick (minimal swirling, if they keep mixing, it's really ugly):

It's also important that students use a scrap of cardboard or matboard to SCRAPE their papers when they're done (getting all the shaving cream off).  Our marbelized papers will be our backing for our aforementioned scroll paintings in a few weeks.  Can't wait to see how they turn out once they're all together!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Holy Naked Superheros!

I do lots of Never Agains.  You know, those projects that seem really cool until you get into it and discover that it's too hard, too disorganized, too many steps, or too much of a headache to ever do again. Today's first grade project may be one of those.  The whole idea was to review secondary colors. I had the students draw a city in pencil, color them with crayon, and then we drew superheros with pencil.  They then traced the superhero with ultra-fine Sharpie and used only secondary colored markers to color them in. We then cut out our superheros and made them pop out from our cities with simple paper loops glued to the back.  As students turned them into the drying rack, I made a decision to not hang them up.  Here's why:

Well done, although I should've given them more time to color their cities.

Hmmm, our super hero is a little risque.  Why IS Wonder Woman always so scantily dressed?

You guessed it! This one sealed the deal: NOT getting hung up in the hallways!
While I understand that she couldn't find the orange or just got tired of waiting for the orange,
I doubt others will see it that way.

If 9-5 office types ever have these experiences at work, I'd love to hear about them.  And here's my other head-scratcher for the day:  I saw a student that has missed a lot of art, and he'd missed the day before, so I said "Oh, I missed you yesterday, were you sick?" To which he replied, "No, I was gun shopping with my dad." Oh-kaaayyyy, hmmmm, you're in third grade, and I know your father is a professional.  We live in the suburbs, WHAT, exactly did you need a gun for?  Never mind, I don't think I want that answer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finished Ladies and 5th Grade Quilts

As promised, here are photos of our finished ladies-with-the-alligator-purse from second grade:

Freshly painted with tempera block "Biggie" paints.
Love the cleavage on this lady!

I use "When I did this project I learned" strips sometimes on projects (not my idea, I got it from Paula Z, another art teacher in my district).  I let students choose where to glue it (top or bottom) and we brainstormed some possible answers first.  Here's a couple of examples of what students wrote:

This is a rather high student, she decided to use her notes from her sketchbook for hers.
This is a more typical second grader.  Many of them wrote "I learned how to draw [or cut, or paint] better."

Second grade will move onto real alligators/non fiction sort of things next.  But what have upper grades been up to?
In fifth grade, we looked at the arts and crafts of American Pioneers.  Specifically, quilts, and here's some of theirs:

They're small, only 9 x 9.  They made two grids, a white one divided into nine 3" squares, and a construction paper one divided into nine 3" squares.  The white one got painted (with watercolor, on the blank side, not the drawn grid side) and later cut out to be glued onto the construction paper one.  We had to work them out on a worksheet FIRST, before any cutting happened.

I then stapled and/or taped each individual quilt square onto large paper to make class "quilts":

They turned out great, and I hope they'll remember some of the things they learned about pioneer quilts later on in the year when we talk about the Underground Railroad!  I have a little surprise up my sleeve for our next quilt project [which will be in the spring].

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