Friday, February 26, 2016

Van Gogh Sunflower Drawings (2nd)

A week or so ago I posted about my Sunflower Relief Collage project - a project which takes three full 45-minute class periods. Unfortunately at my school our specials rotations are 2 OR 3 days long... so I could do it with some of my classes, but not all. So I decided to do an alternative 2-day project based around the same themes and artist (Van Gogh still lifes)!

When my second graders came into my classroom I had them start at their table. I gave them a sheet of printer paper, asked them to fold it in half, and then write a #1 on the left side and a #2 on the right side. Then I asked my students to take 5 minutes and draw a picture of sunflowers in a vase. **This was BEFORE we looked at the Van Gogh still life PowerPoint.
Of course I got some pushback. "I don't know how to draw a vase." "I'm not good at drawing!"
But I just continued to insist that they only needed to try their best.

After five minutes'ish I had my students come and meet me on the carpet. We looked at my Van Gogh PowerPoint and began talking about what still lifes are. While looking at Van Gogh's artwork my students noticed that he did MANNNYYY paintings of sunflowers. I explained to them that even great artists don't always get it right on the first try- even THEY have to try something over and over again to get it just right!
We also talked about how Van Gogh didn't try to make all his flowers look perfect. Some of them were drooping down and some were facing different directions. Van Gogh made his artwork while LOOKING at flowers - not just thinking about them. That's how he was able to paint with so much detail.

Then I had my students go back to their table and placed a vase of fake sunflowers on it. Students were asked to look at EXACTLY what they saw and draw that.

I gotta say - I LOVE the transformation! The kids were so impressed with how much they could improve their drawings within like 30 minutes!
Kids who finished early were allowed to start adding some color for fun - hence the half colored pictures. :)





This friend drew hers on the wrong side. But HOW amazing is this progress?!

On the second day my kids came in, I had them draw another still life based on a vase of sunflowers on black paper. They quickly sketched out their image with pencil, then went in with oil pastels.








Monday, February 22, 2016

Scholastic Teacher Magazine Article!

A while back I was contacted by a representative from Scholastic Teacher Magazine about some of my math integrated art projects. They were planning on writing an article about integrating art and math and wanted to ask me a few questions!
I saw the online version of the article go up a couple weeks ago - but today I saw it in print for the first time! LEGIT!
Best part - my little boy made the Make-a-Ten Addition artwork... so he pretty much thinks he's famous now! :)






Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Van Gogh Inspired Sunflower Still Life Relief Collage (2nd)

I just gotta say - I love teaching new lessons as an art teacher! We are in the unique position of being able to teach our students a lesson, and then if anything goes wrong or we run into problems, we can just tweak our lesson for the next group! Classroom teachers aren't so lucky. For them many times it's just one and done (until next year ... if they're in the same grade-level). I gotta say I take FULL advantage of my situation and am constantly looking for ways to make improvements in my lessons and the ways I teach them.
And this lesson is a GREAT example of that!

To begin with - I was super inspired by this pin I saw on Pinterest. The teacher had his/her students create sunflowers with clay slabs (I'm assuming) and then add them to a board along with other supplies (paint, cardboard, yarn, etc.) to create a stunning mixed-media piece!
So as with all new projects - I set out to make a teacher's sample. And that's when I ran into some problems. I have NO idea how that teacher got their kids to make such lovely sunflowers as small as they are in the picture (in retrospect I think I was making mine smaller than shown in the pin since I was planning on mounting them on a smaller board).
After trying and trying for what seemed like forever - I decided to go in a slightly different direction.
I definitely wanted to do sunflowers.. but sans clay.

So with version #1 I had students paint their background board, paint their vase, and make 8-pronged sunflowers. Unfortunately that didn't go as well as I would have hoped. The tempera paint I had my students use warped the chipboard (like a LOT) - though I fixed that by rubbing them on the edge of a table when they were dry. The paint on the vase ended up being messy and really uneven. Another issue that I had was time. My kids had to RUSH through the painting part just so we could stay on track with the project. No me gusta. The pictures below show the very best I pieces that I got from my first class. While these examples don't look too rough - I promise the rest of them were. I should've taken more pictures.





So with version #2 (my favoritttteeeeee) I had my kids take more of a collaged approach.
Students picked out construction paper to glue down to their chipboard for their background, used colored poster board and oil pastels to create their vase, made 5-pronged sunflowers which they glued together with a second flower to add more volume, and added more details to their flowers with oil pastels. Me encanta!
Students were given 6 different color choices for the background - but when my kids see turquoise... it's all over.






If you are interested in a step-by-step version of this project with visuals, written teacher directions, a PowerPoint, AND a 15 minute instructional video where I show you how to teach this to your kids - follow the link to my Teachers Pay Teachers store! :)


Monday, February 8, 2016

Kindergarten Texture Monsters (K)

This lesson began by me asking my kinders what they thought the word "texture" means?
My favorite answer of all time - "Like when your mom sends a message to someone else on the phone?". Nope.. not texting - textURE. :)
After telling them that texture means the way that something feels (which I have them repeat numerous times while rubbing their hands together), I asked my students which of the 5 senses texture would belong to? Taste? No. Hearing? No. Touch? YES!
Then I picked up and touched a few objects around my classroom and had students brainstorm words that would describe how each item felt.
Then we began talking about how artists often have the challenging job of finding ways to add texture to their artwork. Sometimes artists can just use materials with actual texture (like felt, feathers, yarn, etc...), but when an artist is making a drawing they have to know how to draw textures (implied texture - though I don't use this word with them).
Meet Egg Monster!
This led us into a quick drawing activity where I drew an "egg monster" onto my whiteboard (see the lovely illustration). I asked students what texture they thought my egg monster would have if he was real? Smooth? Yes! Because my monster is just one solid color (white)... so we can't see any other textures yet.
Then I asked students to tell me how I could make my monster look sharp and spikey? Triangles or zig-zag lines!
Hairy? A lot of little lines!
Bumpy? Circles!
Slimey? Wavy lines!
After this activity I told students that today we were going to make texture monsters! Each student got to pick out two different colored sheets of 4.5"x6" construction paper, a small piece of white paper and a 9"x12" black paper to glue everything down onto (one of my classes used white instead - but I think the monsters pop more on the black paper).
Students were asked to cut out shapes to make the body of a monster from their construction paper... and once they had a basic body glued down, they could come to the carpet to get some textured materials (I had corrugated cardboard, crimped paper, tinsel, pipe cleaners, yarn, cotton balls, kraft paper, twine, etc...).
After students finished creating their texture monsters, I gave them a sheet of drawing paper and asked them to draw a picture of the monster they created including the textured items.
Below are the results from the first half of this project.
Kinders just make the cutest things. :)








This is what happens when kinders get carried away. :)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Teachers Pay Teachers Store

It's been a minute since I've posted anything about my TPT store - so here's an update!
Currently in my store I have 199 items! This includes 20+ art lessons/projects, 28 other art education related materials (posters, decor, games, sub plans, etc...), 62 bulletin board letter sets, and lots more!
 If you haven't been in a while check it out! And don't forget to follow! :)

Below is a preview of some of my posted items:




Friday, February 5, 2016

Koi Fish Paintings (5th)


Years ago I found a pin on Pinterest that inspired me to do a Koi fish lesson with my students but I never quite got around to it - until now!
To begin we looked at a PowerPoint I threw together about Koi fish and their symbolism in Asian art (both Japanese and Chinese). After getting through the background part, I did a step-by-step koi fish drawing demo with my students on a sheet of copy paper.
Once students completed their practice drawing, I gave them a sheet of 9"x12" watercolor paper and they once again drew a koi fish. To help them with their drawings I created a step-by-step worksheet to leave on the table as they worked. I also played a video that I found on YouTube of koi fish swimming (View Pure version here)! That way students could see how their bodies moved in the water, some possible color choices, and other up close details. It is 2 hours worth of relaxing koi fish goodness!


As they were drawing, students were encouraged to look at their overall composition and add lily pads or other elements to help balance the space.
Once their pencil drawing was complete they outlined with fish with crayons and then painted their
work with liquid watercolor paints.
I gotta tell you - many of my 5th graders were hating pretty hard on their pencil drawings in the early stages. I explained to them that drawing is probably the hardest thing to do in art! Our brains see the shapes of things in real life and then when we can't translate that onto paper, we often get really frustrated. Then I went on to ask them if they could talk when they were born? No. Could they walk? No. They couldn't even hold up their own heads because their neck muscles weren't even developed enough!
Drawing takes practice. A LOT of practice.
And besides.. koi fish look super weird anyways. :)

Overall I am really pleased with the results!






This student didn't get a chance to finish his work - but he was off to a great start!!

If you are interested in a more thoroughly explained lesson plan with visuals, teacher and student directions, the PowerPoint, and all other resources I used for this project, please check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store!