Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5th Grade African Animals

Who's having the best year ever? I'd say 5th grade hands down.  This year every single project we did in 5th grade was AWESOME.  Now, I'm not saying all of the other projects I did with the other grades weren't, but overall in 5th grade everyone enjoyed the projects, learned a lot, and were extremely successful in both the process and final product.  

Here are links to the projects we did this year:

And to end the year students finished with this African Animal project.  I think this now tops my list of favorite art projects to do/teach.

We spent quite a few classes on them 4-5.  It was a very independent project, but there were endless possibilities.  Students created a border and used a packet I put together to help with the patterns.  I then put together about a 20 page packet of different animals.  To narrow it down I picked animals you would find in Africa, but of course there were always a few exceptions.  I did require students to use an animal from the packet, but they had about 50 different one's to choose from.  Some of the images in the packet were step by step how to draw, some where just clip art, and some were just of animal heads.  Students could choose how they wanted to show the animal.  Using oil pastels student filled in the entire thing. On the portion where the animal was I required students to overlap with at least two oil pastels or more on every single part.

I love these.  I think they are so cool.  These are just a small sample of the drawings 5th graders made, but I had to share a lot because they are SO AWESOME.

Friday, May 23, 2014


This is only my 2nd year of teaching, but let me tell you that summer vacation gets a little better each year.  The fact that I've never had a year of my life without a summer break is AWESOME.  Don't get me wrong I do have to be doing something or I will go crazy, but 85% of my summer break is spent outside either working "fun jobs" or just enjoying it.

This year though...I'm teaching 15 days of summer school.  It's only the first three weeks of June, but I mean come on looking outside on those beautiful days is going to be killer.  I couldn't pass up the extra cash.  And get this I will see the students EVERY SINGLE DAY in hour blocks. (you mean it won't be 2 weeks until we have art again?) WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL THAT TIME? Make and learn awesome things, that's what.  

For those of you still in school, the end is near....you can do it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

End of the Year Kindergarten Projects

I was all over the place with my kindergarten classes this year.  I had some very tough groups so we couldn't always do the same thing as the other classes.  Here are a couple of projects we did in the last couple weeks of school, and I mean literally every single class did something different.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Countdown is at ONE!!!!!

Everybody, the last day of school is TOMORROW! As I'm entering in on the daunting task of taking everything down, cleaning, and putting it all away (phewww, I'm exhausted just thinking about it, that's why I need to sit down and take a little break).

  For the most part at the beginning of the year I put up bulletin boards and they stay up all year.  Well way back in August I stopped in at my local Hobby Lobby and swung by the fabric area and spotted a pattern of  all different mustaches.  I saw it and knew I had to use.  I mean it's not like the kids are obsessed with mustaches or anything....

So I went with the mustache theme "I mustache you a question?"  and let me tell you I didn't know it would be such a success.  Each week I would add one or two art related questions to the board.  Varying in topics such as "did you know that Ninja Turtles were named after artists?" or "when was the first selfie ever taken?" to a specific question about a particular artist. Students would flip the card and the answer would be on the inside.  It was fun to see the kids come in and immediately want to know what the new question of the week was.  I know we all have those students that have to get a drink or go to the bathroom every 5 minutes for the sake of just getting up, and this really did well in serving that purpose.  It was awesome, when someone needed a marker they'd get up, stop read a few questions, sit down, and tell their friend the new art fact they had learned.  It was nice to have a functional bulletin board that actually served a purpose and wasn't used to just make things look "pretty."  

I apologize for Mona Lisa's glare, she's laminated.

And now I'll spend my summer thinking of something to top it.

I'm already pondering......

The best part of this was that ALL YEAR LONG kindergarteners would ask me how did I have and what happened to my mustache.  The answer was always simple: "I shaved."


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

6th Grade Roy Lichtenstein Self Portraits

6th Graders did a really nice job on this project.  We started off by learning a lot about the artist Roy Lichtenstein.  We watched this video and read through this handout.  Using iPads and computers students worked on editing their photo to make it in a comic book style.  They drew from the image they created. I had to stress to them to draw what they were seeing and not what they thought it should look like.  After seeing Lichtenstein's work, students set to work using only primary color markers (and black).  They were to fill in some areas solid, and use Lichtenstein's dots in other areas. 

 I had two very different types of students with this project; one group were the students who totally embraced the idea of using interesting colors on their face, and the other who were so self conscious about it they would work with their drawing on their lap so no one could see it. 
Even in this day in age, you know of the "selfie," many students were just so embarrassed to do this project.  It was not because of the colors, but the idea of the self portrait.  

Do any of you struggle with your older students at the idea of a self portrait? How do you go about problem solving it?