Saturday, December 24, 2011

Snowman Collage

For the last few years, I've done a snowman collage lesson with fourth grade.  It's a pretty simple lesson that I like to use just before the holidays.  When complete, students are able to identify and create collages.  They practice proper craftsmanship using scissors and glue.  They are also introduced to mixed media.  If they choose to add crayon detail, their collage becomes a mixed media project.  Some students stuck with only collage, while others added light, shadows, and other small details in crayon.  Here are a few samples.
Collage Only Artwork

Poor Melted Snowman!

Tim Thomas!

Creative Details!

Christmas Nutcrackers

I have done different versions of this nutcracker lesson with a few grades.  They came out great!  I loved how so many students used their imagination to create such unique nutcrackers.  Here are some samples from grade 2 and grade 5.  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Symmetry

It's almost time for the holiday break.  During this time of year, I like to have some fun, holiday-related lessons.  2nd and 5th grade students have been making nutcrackers.  Grade 2 has a symmetrical template to trace and create their nutcrackers.  Fifth grade has a more challenging lesson.  They fold a 12"X18" paper in half and draw half of a nutcracker.  We review symmetry as I draw a sample.  Once all the symmetrical parts of the nutcracker are drawn, students open the paper and fold the nutcracker inside.  They rub on the paper with a pencil to transfer the nutcracker to the other side.  It's magic!  Here are a few samples of works in progress.  We will be finishing them this week.  I can't wait to see them in color!

This is what the transfer looks like at first.  Then the student draws over the light pencil marks.

This is the same paper as above, folded in half.  Here, you can see how the student transferred the image.
Ben Franklin!

Shoe Self Portraits

I tried a new lesson with my fifth grade students this year.  Instead of drawing a typical self-portrait, I wanted students to portray themselves through their shoes.  The lesson includes an observational drawing of shoes, which all the kids practice before moving on to the final artwork.  Their shoes are placed in the foreground. They use the rest of the space to help describe themselves.  It took between four and five 45 minute classes, but I think it was worth it.  I was really impressed with what they came up with!  Here are a few samples from the lesson.

Most students did fairly well with drawing from observation.  The tricky part was to describe oneself in the background.  Some students didn't know what to do.  They had trouble thinking outside the box.  Next time I do this, I will put more emphasis on that part of the lesson.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Let Me Introduce Myself

It's hard to begin that very first post.  I've been looking through the different samples of student artwork and can't decide what to share first!  For now, I'm going to just share a few photos of my favorite lessons to do.  These are all elementary art lessons, but I'm sure there are some that you could adapt for middle school.

Georgia O'Keeffe Flowers: Grade 1
 This is a great lesson for the springtime.  Students look at the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe.  We talk about how close up they are and how the artist captured all the details.  1st graders then create their own zoomed in flowers.  They outline in Sharpie and paint with watercolor.  Kids and parents love them!

Cardinal Painting: Grade 2

Van Gogh's Starry Night: Grade 1
This lesson teaches overlapping and texture.  A bark texture is created on the branches by drawing lines with different shades of brown and black.  Cardinals sit on the branches with their tails behind them.  They are painted using simple shapes (ovals, triangles).  Snow falls and lands on the tops of the branches.

This is a challenging lesson for later in the year.  1st graders create Van Gogh's "Starry Night" by looking at a coloring book picture of the painting.  They draw the important parts of the painting.  Instead of coloring in, they use the hatching method instead. This makes it look more like a Van Gogh.  It takes 2-3 art classes to do it, but it's worth it!

So there are a few lessons that I hope people find useful.  I'll be back soon with more current work!  Our first term grades just closed so it's going to be a busy couple of days, but I'll try to get some good photos to share.