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Cherry Blossom Paintings (3rd)

Teacher Sample
EQ: How can other cultures inspire my art?

3rd graders have been working on their artome projects - and this time they're making Japanese cherry blossom paintings! I've seen this lesson a million times over on Pinterest.. and decided to give it a whirl!
We began by looking at a powerpoint that I put together that contained a ton of images of cherry blossoms, a little background on Hanami (a traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the cherry blossoms in bloom) and the 'National Cherry Blossom Festival' (an American festival held in Washington D.C. in remembrance of the occasions in which Japan gave the United States thousands of cherry blossom trees as a symbol of friendship).
Students started their art by tracing a circle shape onto their papers with a pencil, and then using liquid watercolors to paint the area around the circle (they could choose either a warm or cool color scheme). The next day they painted in their tree branch with tempera paint. Then finally on the third day, they painted their blossoms (making sure that each blossom had 5 petals!) with tempera paint.
During our spare time (after painting branches on day two) we also created some kirigami cherry blossoms out of some extra scrapbooking paper I had.


Atmospheric Perspective Landscapes (4th)

Teacher Sample
Ohhhhhh this had so much potential!
I planned this atmospheric perspective landscape painting project for my 4th graders as an extension to our seascapes lesson.. but never ended up getting enough time with them to really make these turn out phenomenally great. We painted the liquid watercolor backgrounds the same day as we painted the seascape oceans (so at least we got that knocked out of the way).. but then we ended up only having 1 day left in the week to draw/plan and paint the foreground, middle-ground, and background in tempera (students mixed their own grays from a puddle of white and black paint). Students ended up being incredibly rushed. If they had a bit more time (even 20 minutes more)... I think these could've turned out even nicer!
Ohhh and they were using some old paintbrushes which really didn't lend themselves well to careful painting (no worries though - I just got some new ones in!). :)


Cake Printables

So I've been working on a drawing project with my 5th graders as a follow-up to our clay cupcake project. For the clay project we once again looked at the artist Claes Oldenburg.. but for the drawing project we looked more closely at the work of Wayne Thiebaud (who I now LOVEEEEE)! I'll be posting images of finished work for that project in the next week or so... but I did want to share these printable I created. I do these drawings (along with others) on my whiteboard before students begin.. but I also thought it would be helpful for them if I created printables they could keep at their tables to reference as they were working.
If you would like to get a nicer FREE printable version of these, please feel free to check out my TPT store!

This could also be used if you have a sub one day too! Have students design a dream cake (just like the ones on Cake Boss)! :)


Jim Dine Hearts (1st)

Student Sample
EQ: What is texture? What is variety?

So this lesson was an extension to a texture and variety painting lesson I did with my first graders. The way that my scheduling went.. I had an extra day with some of my first grade classes.. so we looked at some Jim Dine artwork... then went to work on our own versions!
Students folded a piece of 9"x9" drawing paper in half (both ways), drew a heart in each square, and then went to town doing crayon rubbings and drawing pattern (a reinforcement of what we did earlier in the week). Once they were done adding texture, first graders used watercolor paints over-top of their crayon rubbings.. and VOILA - just in time for Valentines Day too (complete coincidence)! :)


Art Club Cupcakes

Teacher Sample
For the past few weeks my art club kids have been working on clay cupcakes!
The first week we made pinch-pots, then fit them into a silicone cupcake mold and flipped them out.
The second week we made the tops of the cupcakes by creating a coil-cone.
Then on the third week we glazed our pieces (after being bisque-fired of course)!

I'm not going to lie, this project intimidated the heck out of me! Up until this point I had never done clay with elementary-aged students (although during my student teaching I did clay with middle-schoolers). Surprisingly, things went pretty smoothly! I also programed and used my new kiln all by myself and the school didn't burn down - so yayyyyy! :)

This is a project I'm about to start with all my 5th grade classes (we'll be talking about Claes Oldenburg and Wayne Thiebaud), so I'm really excited it went so well (although I think with my 5th graders we might just paint our pieces instead of glazing them - more range of color that way).


Faith Ringgold Story Quilts (3rd)

EQ: What is textile art?

3rd graders started a conversation about what textile arts are by reading the book "Tar Beach" by author and artist Faith Ringgold. We talked about how the book and its illustrations were actually inspired by a story quilt that Ringgold created (the original work is pictured in the back of the book I had).
The story in the book brought up the themes of both inequality (which works well since February is Black History Month) and imagination. The book's main character 3rd grader Cassie Louise Lightfoot discovers she has the ability to fly and in doing so, finds a sense of power and ownership over whatever she flies. She flies over the George Washington Bridge (a structure her father helped to build), an ice cream factory, and the Union Building (a building which housed an organization her father was not allowed to join because of his skin color).
Ringgold's Story Quilt
After reading and discussing the themes in the book, I asked my 3rd graders "Where would you go if you could fly (real or imaginary) and why?" This question was the inspiration for our very own patches on our 3rd grade story quilt. Students created their own "story patches" by creating a border using squares of 1.5"x1.5" decorative paper along the edge of a 12" x 12" piece of white drawing paper. Students then attached a strip of grey paper to the bottom of their picture squares and wrote about where they would go and why. Then in the remaining space, they used colored pencils to illustrate their ideas.

I got a huge range of responses from Candyland (naturally to eat a ton of candy), to Columbia (to visit friends and family), to the Twin Towers in New York City (which prompted an entirely difference conversation). Students really enjoyed working on this project (which took between 4-5 class periods -- including one day for sketching ideas). I really love the finished product - and even more so when they are all hung together to make a giant story quilt! :)

To Stone Mountain, GA
To the Georgia Aquarium

To the George Washington Bridge

To the Twin Towers in NYC

To Mexico

To Disney World

To the Mall of Georgia

To an ice castle
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