Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Funny Pinch Pot Characters

This project is courtesy of my art teacher friend Sarah.  
It's a simple but great step up from the typical pinch pot.  

Texture/Slab/Clay.... Candy Dish!

We rolled out clay slabs and sliced them into about 8 x 8" inch squares, 1/4-1/2" thick or so. 
Using various tools the students experimented with making different textures and patterns.  Some of the tools included forks, popsicle sticks, empty glue sticks, toothbrushes....

 Then each student cut four slices diagonally from the corners. 
 We discussed slip or scoring- or "scratching and attaching"- or as I like to call it "clay velcro".  I call it this because I explain how two edges need to have rough texture in order to adhere to each other strongly.  They always get it after that.  
We attached the corner slices together and turned the 2-D forms into 3-D forms.  
These were fired and glazed.  They make great candy dishes!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dinner Table

Quite often before holiday breaks my schedule ends up suddenly switched around with classes having special events and activities.  This project is great for when I all of a sudden have a short class or are missing some of my students, etc....

I hand each student a folded paper, show them how to create a place setting for each family member and then how to draw only the top of a person since you cannot see the bottom of them under the table.  (No stick people allowed in my art class!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have to admit I was not psyched when a staff-member asked me and the other art teacher if we would create a large turkey with feathers of thanks from all the students in a matter of a few days, however I have to admit he did come out pretty good.  Additionally, I think it did bring a positive smile to many student and staff faces as they walked through the front hall...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monet's Garden at Giverny

The second graders looked at a handful of Monet's paintings of the gardens, pond, and bridge at Giverny.
After going through the book "Linnea in Monet's Garden" by Cristina Bjork we watched the movie version.  The video is great and really engaging for second graders, exactly 30 minutes.

For this project the children created bridges out of masking tape on white paper.  They used rubbing crayons over texture tiles to create a texture across the page reminiscent of the impressionist paintings.  On top of the rubbings the students added oil pastel and watercolor to create the garden.  The students were very excited to add in the details of Monet's garden - the bench, the boat, the trees and many flowers.

This one is a first grade version of the project that I think is just darling!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland

This lesson was inspired by the illustrations in the book "Stars" by Norm Kohn.  I bought the book on a clearance rack because of the pictures.  The stars in the book are watercolored and set on black backgrounds with white line drawings.  

The first part of the lesson was teaching the students about warm colors, where they covered papers with washes of the colors and added bits of sparkle paint.  
We talked about trees, how the trunks and branches grow.  Each student glued white paper along the bottom of the page for snow.  I cut brown strips of varying sizes and hue and they glued them on to create trees.  
The next class I showed the students how to glue white scraps on top of the branches like how we observe the snow on trees outside.  They also cut out stars from the watercolor paper and added them to the sky.  The results were beautiful.  I need to dig up the other photos of the finished products!

Accompanying books can include not only "Stars" by Norm Kohn, but "Draw Me a Star" by Eric Carle, and "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. 

Piggy Banks!

My first graders learn the coins and how to count money.  Last year a first grade teacher asked me if I could do a project to coincide with their lesson.

This year I did a craypa/painting project for one side of the piggy bank, last year I did a collage project.  It can really be done a variety of ways.
The first class the students did wrote their name in the middle of the 9 x 12 paper in craypa, then created a design around their name.  They painted with tempera cakes over the entire paper.
Class #2 the students traced the piggy bank tracer and cut out a piggy with their name on it.

Then they flip the pig over, cut out coins adding up to $1 and glue them in their bank.
I made a checklist so that the students can check off what they have cut out and glued as they go.
Below is a photo of the handout I use.  I created my handout based on the coin copies the teachers use in class so the students could see the coins represented the same way they do during math.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Collaborative Tin Foil Installation

I worked with a guest artist who introduced this project during a family day program at the
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston to go alongside an amazing show of work by Tara Donovan.  

Tara Donovan is a contemporary artist who creates beautiful, engulfing installations out of everyday materials like paper plates, styrofoam cups, mylar, pins, and others.  We created a tin foil circle installation in the museum's art lab.  I then did the project with two classes of fourth graders after showing them a slide show of Tara's work.  Each students was given strips of heavy-duty aluminum foil 1.5-3" wide.  They folded them and curved them into circular bubble shapes and attached them together.  We then went out in the hallway and pinned them up, each student taking a turn to attach their foil bubble shapes.  

** I also found this toilet paper roll wall installation on Design Sponge!

Paper Mache Peacocks

These peacocks are so precious!

We used paper mache for the body and head of the birds, egg carton cuttings for the eyes and beak, tag board collages for the tail feathers and wings, chop sticks for the legs poked into the body and hot glued, and clay for the feet.  I also had the students paint the birds by experimenting with mixing blue, green, yellow, and white to create various turquoise mixtures.  We collaged the tail feathers with tissue paper and feathers. 

Please note I led this project with a group of home-school students over the course of three two-hour classes (not in my 30 minute traveling public school art class).