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I create hallway displays of my students work for a number of reasons:
  1. Kids love seeing their work hung up. It gives them a sense of pride knowing that someone thinks their work is special enough to deserve special attention in a display. :)
  2. Hallway displays act as a springboard for conversation amongst parents and colleagues about what students do in the art room and why it is important. This is also why every display I put up is accompanied with a list of standards met (including cross-curricular standards), exactly what we did, my methodology/procedures, and supporting materials/resources used.
  3. Displays can be used as an informal assessment of student success. I can quickly examine the overall understanding of concepts I was trying to teach students with the project.
  4. It makes my school more beautiful. Yes - displays can just be plain-old aesthetically pleasing. :)
I'm sure if I sat here a bit longer I could come up with an even longer and more elaborate list - however I don't think anyone reading this is going to fight me on the legitimacy of student art displays.. ;)
So without further adieu...  here are most of my student art displays from my first year of teaching!
Each caption links to the original lesson post on my blog.

Ms. Gram's Student Art Displays 2012-2013


Kindergarteners looked at the artwork of Wassily Kandinsky and created their very own concentric circle artwork. Students were also introduced to primary and secondary colors and demonstrated their ability to use the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) to mix the secondary colors (orange, purple, and green).
Kindergarteners were introduced to the ideas of texture and printmaking and created these lupine flowers using tempera paint overtop a watercolor-crayon resist background.

Kindergarteners created rainbow mosaics using scrap painted paper to demonstrate their understanding of rainbow-order and further practice their ability to tear and glue paper.


1st grade

This was an extension to a lesson in which students explored the art terms “texture” and “variety”.
This was a lesson done on a short week with one of my first grades right before winter break.

Students explored form and architecture in this paper sculpture project.


2nd grade

Accompanies display below.
Students explored the concept of linear symmetry, insects, and architecture in these cross-curricular collage and creative writing pieces.
Students continued to learn about creating the illusion of depth in their artwork by further exploring the ideas of layering (foreground, middle-ground, background), tints and shades, silhouettes , and creating the illusion of form with highlights and shadows. The work was inspired by the books “Snowmen at Night” and “Snowmen at Work” by Caralyn Buehner.

Students examined Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and explored the idea of creating movement by using a variety of different line types. Students created a watercolor-oil pastel resist for the background, then created interesting shapes to form a cityscape silhouette.


3rd grade

Accompanies display below.
Students learned about the differences between Georgia freshwater and saltwater fish and created their own aquariums featuring a particular species of fish hiding behind river/ocean camouflage. Facts about the fish were added to the backs of their aquariums to provide the viewer with additional information.
Inspired by the artwork and story “Tar Beach” by African-American author Faith Ringgold, students created their own patches for our 3rd grade story quilt answering the prompt “Where would you go if you could fly and why?”.


4th grade

Accompanies display below.
Students examined the artwork of M.C. Escher and learned all about tessellations. Afterwards, students created their own tessellations using the translation method and transformed them into their own ‘monsters’.

Students learned about the totem poles of the Pacific Northwest Native Americans and their rich history of visual storytelling and symbolism. Students then created their own totem pole piece which they felt best symbolized themselves.

Inspired by the artwork by painter Winslow Homer, students learned about the differences between landscapes and seascapes, then created their own seascapes using a variety of techniques and materials (including origami, watercolor, tempera painting, and collage).


5th grade

Students explored various forms of indigenous Mexican art including Zapotec weavings, Amate bark painting, and Aztec suns in this centers-based lesson.

Art Club

My goal now for next year - even more displays (and better photography of them)! :)

Summertime!!!! ..well almost

So today was the last day of school for our kiddos! *Weird I know - it's Wednesday..
Thursday and Friday teachers go in for post-planning.. and then it's summer vacation!
....Orrrrr at least until my summer staff development courses. :)

Anyways.. I saw a cute pin on pinterest and wanted to try these out.. so I made some summertime mini cupcakes for the teachers tomorrow.
So fun - so cute! :)

Also for those of you that regularly read - no worries.. I'll still be posting during the summertime. :)

Australian Aboriginal Dot Art (4th)

EQ: What is Aboriginal Australian art?

To begin with I showed my students a PowerPoint to first show them where Australia is on a map, and then to give them a little background about Aboriginal Australian art - and more specifically their dot art style. We also watched this video clip.
We talked about how aboriginal Australian artwork contained a lot of symbolism and was often very stylized (like the images of animals). They also often used an 'x-ray style' when painting animals in their artwork.
I gave each of my tables a packet of animal silhouettes that I printed off from online (small enough that they couldn't even try to trace) and asked them to select an animal that they'd like to draw. Students then tried their best at drawing the animal silhouette (with no additional details) on a piece of brightly colored construction paper that they selected. Once the drawing was completed, they cut out the silhouette and glued it onto a sheet of 9" x 12" black construction paper.
Then the dot fun began! :)
Each table got a palette of different colored tempera paints and a bunch of wooden scratch sticks.
Students dipped the scratch stick into the paint and then went to town dotting their papers (you can probably get a good 3 dots before you have to get more paint on the stick).
Some students really got into the project and committed themselves to working hard to finish it, while others got impatient with how long the dotting process was taking. I'd say it was a 60/40 split respectively.
I love this lesson though - and those students that understood that with commitment comes great reward.. were rewarded greatly with their beautiful results! :)


Clay Turtles (2nd)

EQ: What is form?

I wanted to do a quick one-day clay project with my 2nd graders which incorporated multiple building techniques, so I came up with this turtle project. Took one 40-minute class from start to finish (including clay rules, demonstration, and student construction).
Two coils become the legs.
I gave each student a ball of clay then asked them to divide it into two parts (one slightly larger than the other). With the larger piece, I asked students to roll a ball and make a pinch-pot. Students were then asked to divide the other half into equal thirds. With one third, they rolled a ball and then followed my "4's of Clay" (score, slip, smoosh, smooth) to attach it as the head to the upside-down pinch-pot. Then with the other two thirds, students rolled out short coils and attached them to the underside of the pinch-pot (to create legs).
Finally, students added their initials to the inside of their pinch-pot body and then added additional details (like faces, patterns on the shell, etc.).

My clay this year was not the best quality I've ever worked with as it dried out VERY quickly (regardless of my efforts). Hopefully next year I'll get some better quality clay so I can do something a little different.

Student Sample
Student Sample

Student Sample

Student Sample

Student Sample
Student Sample
The ninja turtle :)

This turtle is complete with a full head of facial hair.


International Festival & Artome Art Show 2013

"WOW!!" - That was my first impression upon seeing our artome art show set up this year!
What an absolutely wonderful company!! With just under 1,800 framed pieces of art, our art show was HUGE. I dare you to try to beat that number. haha
We were told our individual school had the largest art show they've done this year! :)

At my school our art show is held on the same night as our "International Festival." Each grade level is assigned a region in the world that they research and learn about and then create wonderfully artistic displays for with their classroom teachers. International Festival night is also host to musical, drama, and dance performances by our wonderful students as well!

What an event! This was my first year at my school so I didn't know what to expect - but I am just blown away!

International Festival displays created by our wonderful classroom teachers:

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