Unit Overview: Students created polar bears with scarves using oil pastel and watercolor paint to show creative pattern and design.
This was inspired by the Coca-Cola polar bear. Too cute.
So I had students look at the image and create a polar bear wearing a scarf of their own design. They were to make it look realistic, no purple or neon polar bears.
Unit Overview: Students studied historical 17th century clipper ship design and learned about the history of the Mayflower in order to create their own Mayflower paintings using sharpie and watercolor paint.
It's Thanksgiving time. And with Thanksgiving comes the history of the Mayflower. Surprisingly, a lot of students don't understand the hardship that early settlers faced to come to the New World. I think that this unit is important not only for art, but also for students to understand what kind of situations and circumstances those before us faced in order to seek out life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
For this lesson, I started by showing students clips from "This Is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers". There is so much history in this 20 minute video. It makes the Mayflower voyage related to students. After discussing the history, we talk about the look and design of 17th century clipper ships. I use the lesson "Clipper Ships" from Deep Space Sparkle to help guide students to drawing a detailed clipper ship.
Often, students feel defeated from the get go. But we always start with a practice drawing before moving to our final. I always remind students that when learning something new, there is a challenge. If we never feel challenged, we never grow. And even in art, we want to grow. That is why we must sometimes draw hard things.
In the end, each student felt accomplished. They achieved something that had never tried before. That is a great feeling to leave students with.
Unit Overview: Students observed images of space from the Hubble telescope in order to create a drawing of planets, stars, and other spacial anomalies using oil pastel, dark paper, and runny white paint.
AND WE'RE BACK!
Oftentimes, new artwork inspiration doesn't hit me til around October. The first couple of months back is often focused on making sure students recall art vocabulary and concepts so that we can more to more advanced projects.
But this project I was inspired by came from the first picture ever taken of the black hole. Yeah, until recently, we had no photographic evidence of black holes. It was pretty amazing that we even got the picture we have.
So third grade students observed images from the Hubble telescope and we discussed how planets look in space. I taught students how to use oil pastels to create spheres that showed light and dark. After drawing a series of planets, students flicked white paint over their paper to create a starry affect.
It's a pretty simple lesson, but fun and effective.
Unit Overview: Students studied honeybees and created bee artworks to show realistic drawing of an animal and how to incorporates shapes into an artwork.
BEEEEEEEEEEES! That's one of husband's favorites sayings. It comes from the "improved pain scale". #6. I'll post it below for your entertainment.
In addition to that being a common phrase in my house, I also happen to own bees. Yes, in my free time, I am a part-time beekeeper. I love bees. I love how focused they are. How happy they are. And yes, they may seem scary. Honestly though, I've never been stung by my bees. Even as I'm ripping open their home to steal their food. They just kind of buzz in an annoyed tone and go along their merry way.
So, inspired by my love of bees (and wanting to teach students about the importance of pollinators), we did this lovely art lesson on bees.
We utilized an Art Hub for Kids video (thanks, Mr. Rob!) on how to draw a realistic bee (see here). After drawing the bee in pencil, we sharpied and erased.
Then, using hexagon shapes, we traced the hexagons (even through the bee) in pencil to create a honeycomb style design behind the bee. Because we sharpied the bee before we traced the hexagons on top, the students were able to better sharpie the honeycomb pattern around the bee.
Finally, we colored using watercolor crayons (yes, they do exist!) and painted with pure water.
Ta-da! The pictures are bee-utiful! The kids were a-buzz making them. And that's all the bee puns I got.
Unit Overview: Students read the book "Dragons Love Tacos" and created a stacked taco drawing using pencils, sharpies, and oil pastels.
What can I say ....
Kindergarten is the last class of the day. And let's be honest with ourselves, we are totally craving some tacos (and maybe margaritas) come 4:00 P.M.
But since we can't eat the tacos, we may as well draw them.
This gave students the opportunity to review pattern and create something from their personal life in art. (Making the tacos they like, with the toppings they like.)
Some looked a little like a hot mess of a taco. Others looked like they could be on the cover of Food magazine. All of them looked delicious. And we left art class a little hungrier after these scrumptious lessons.
Unit Overview: Students learned about foreshortening by drawing close-ups of animal faces. Students colored their animal faces using oil pastel to show texture.
Boop the snoot. Is basically means to poke the nose. Why? I don't know. I just teach here. I don't come up with this stuff.
But booping snoots is popular in my school. I don't know why. But it reminded me of the stuffed animals that were so popular in the 2000s. "The Dog". Do you remember those large nosed, big headed dogs, like the pug, daschund, and german shepherd? I do. I think I may have even owned one of those stuffies.
Thus was inspired this lesson. One of the concepts we covered is foreshortening. Foreshortening is when an object that close to you appears really large and then dramatically gets smaller. Like imagine someone with their hand blocking a picture being taken. Their hand will be HUGE. And then get small quickly. And then behind all that, the small face of the person trying to hide. That is foreshortening in a nutshell.
And so, with first grade, we drew HUGE noses and little facial features, trying to capture foreshortening in art.
We also discussed texture. We wanted to demonstrate the difference between an animals smooth nose and rough fur. So, we used our fingers to blend the oil pastel for thee smooth nose. We left choppy lines for the fur to show the rough texture of the fur. The students really enjoyed this, and so did I.
Not bad for a bunch of nose pictures.
Unit Overview: Students collected rocks in order to create a painted rock design using acrylic paint.
I know, painted rocks. So cliché.
However, there is an important artistic principle here: Shape is important. Seems simple, right? If only.
I had students pick rocks and then develop their painted rock idea on the shape of their rock. Not all rocks are the same. Therefore, it is important to develop your artistic idea based on the shape, size, and weight of the rock. This is different from our typical standpoint of develop the idea first, then collect items.
For our rocks, I had students paint a primer - a base coat of either black or white - on first. The reason why is to ensure more vivid colors for the final. Students who wanted lighter paints used a white primer - students who wanted dark paints used a black primer.
Side note: Don't return painted rocks back to the environment. The paint can chip and flake and cause harm to wildlife. If you choose to do painted rocks, keep them in your own garden or flower pots. Or make yourself a rock garden. If you ever dispose of these rocks, put them in the trash. It is the only way to ensure that wildlife isn't harmed.
Unit Overview: Students created menus of their own design to demonstrate how to layer image and text. Students were required to create a menu with breakfast, lunch, and dinner and draw images of at least 3 food items on the menu.
I was sick. Snow days and school events had thrown off my scheduling. What to do with a class that is so ahead? Menus! Because food is life.
For this lesson, I utilized YouTube videos from Art for Kids Hub. They have a whole category on food. Check it out!
I developed my menu and listed the following criteria for their menus:
1. Restaurant title
2. Three categories ( Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) (Anything else they added was additional work on their part)
3. Three drawings of food (Because this is art class, after all)
4. Menu must be readable
Unit Overview: Students studied artist Vincent Van Gogh and created a sunflower artwork using paper, watercolors, and rulers in order to create a 3-D work of art.
Is there anything more happy (or more sad) than sunflowers? Somehow, at least to me, they are both the happiest and saddest flower simultaneously. Kind of like Eeyore, with a cloud over his head, casting a half smile as he looks on a droopy daisy. Maybe it's just me.
Nonetheless, I made these pop-up sunflower pictures with first grade. The lesson was broken down into three parts: 1. Make the sunflower and paint. 2. Make the checkerboard background. (Classes who were behind skipped this step) 3. Put it all together.
Really focus on the checkboard background. The development of this helps students really understand the importance of rulers and how to make an even, straight line. Coloring the checkerboard is an equal challenge. Some students got it, some won't. It will take time, but introducing it early helps them to better understand pattern and design.
Don't forget to teach pop-up tabs so that your sunflower pops out of the background!
Unit Overview: Students learned how to create a ceramic vessel using clay, clay tools, and coil pot technique in order to create a balanced, clean, well designed container.
In this project, I wanted students to focus on the technical aspects of ceramic building. We used the coil pot method and review basic concepts like score and slip, pinch pot, and sgraffito.
In addition, we also covered more ceramic technique, like allowing the clay to harden in a sealed bag to just softer than leather hard in order to build more firm, effective, and stable pots. (If you build too high too quickly, your pot will fall or fail.) We also talked about the design of the pot. I required each student to ensure that their pot had the following:
1. A foot
2. An attachment
3. Sgraffito (subtractive design)
4. Built between 3-7 inches
5. Must be solid, no cracks or holes
Here's how the bone dry pieces look . . .
And now for the final, finished project . . .