Starting a Mural at School!

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  We are starting a huge mural at school!!  I will keep you updated as we start to paint it.  It’s hard to see what’s going on in these pictures, but we traced figures on to large white banner paper, cut them out and then traced those on to the wall.  Next week the painting begins! I was thinking of something school themed and since the wall is so long a parade of kids would be fun. The idea evolved … Read more…

25 Awesome Art Books for Kids

Art Books for Kids

I’m back with another list of 25 more of my favorite art books!  Be forewarned, this is a long post.  I have given you extra details about the books and some ideas to spark your lesson planning. It is no secret that I love children’s books.  Previously, I wrote a list of 25 amazing art books which I like to use in my art classroom.   This has been one of my most viewed posts.  Since then, I have discovered some … Read more…

Triangle Collage on Canvas for School Auction

Every year, my 5th/6th grade class carves rubber stamps with symbols they have designed.  This year, we stamped extra prints on tissue paper with acrylic paint to make collaborative artworks.  To stamp, simply use a foam brush to lightly paint acrylic paint on the stamp. Then, the tissue papers were decoupaged (with hard-finish Mod-Podge) on these fun triangular canvases called Squangles.  These are going to be put in our school auction at the end of the year.  We made three … Read more…

Group Eagle Bulletin Board with Patterned Feathers

Many of my students contributed feathers to this giant eagle bulletin board.  Our school is Eagle School and I wanted to do a group artwork where many kids could participate in designing a piece of the picture.  I was out sick one day and I had my students each create a patterned feather with the substitute teacher. I left the sub some examples of patterned feathers such as these Colorful Feather Examples.  If your mascot is not an eagle, you … Read more…

Beautiful Oops Painting Project

Artwork based on Beautiful Oops book

Did you Celebrate Oops!?  My kindergarten and first graders started this open-ended project by reading the book Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg. We were inspired by the page in the book that said, “A smudge and a smear can make magic appear.” Each student received a piece of paper with a smear of paint on it.  They were challenged to turn that piece of paper into a “beautiful oops” and create a wonderful work of art incorporating the smear. What … Read more…

Monoprint Hearts on Gelli Plates with 1st Graders

Gelli Print Hearts

Hello friends!  Have you used Gelli Printing Plates before?  I was introduced to this a couple of years ago because I received a couple samples to try out for my blog.  They are a super fun way to do monoprinting with kids.  You can read all about the process and see videos of techniques at their blog, Gelli Arts.  There’s also a way to make your own gelatin plates, but I’ve never tried it because it seems like a lot … Read more…

Tinfoil Hearts with Kindergarten

Kindergarten Hearts

The Kindergartners made these lovely mixed media heart pictures.  They started by stamping the background paper with gadgets, such as old thread spools, bottle caps, heart sponges, cookie cutters and more. During the second class period, they traced a heart onto a piece of heavy duty tinfoil and colored designs with Sharpie markers.  They also glued on tissue paper squares and glitter.  After they finished their tinfoil hearts, I covered them in clear contact paper.  During the third class period, … Read more…

Yarn Wrapped Hearts (2nd Grade)

Yarn Wrapped Hearts

Often I get so wrapped up in the curriculum, I don’t take time to do “extra” projects which are just for fun for holidays.  Kids love celebrating holidays and often ask to do themed projects.  I am fine with that.. art should be fun!  I do like to incorporate skills and art techniques into each project we do.  For these yarn-wrapped hearts, I cut cardboard circles into heart shapes.  Since they had to be cut with a utility knife, I … Read more…

A Page of Hearts (Valentine’s Pictures)

Valentine’s Day is coming!  Are you looking for a fun heart project idea to try with your kids?  This challenge for my 3rd graders was to design 9 different hearts.  I used this project with a substitute teacher earlier this week when I was home with sick kids.  The students received a photocopied grid and they were challenged with drawing hearts in each rectangle and designing them in unique ways and to try a variety of materials.. these were made … Read more…

Fun Puns about Art and Artists

Are you looking to add some humor to your class? We had a “Funday Punday Monday” at our school where kids and teachers brought in puns to share.  I rounded up some fun art-related puns you could use in your class.  Sidenote:  When I read these in class and I asked “Why did the artist go to the bathroom?”  One of my second graders called out (without missing a beat) “because he was consti-painted!”  That was a new answer and … Read more…

Pop Art Portraits: 2nd Grade

Pop Art Portraits

Hi there!  I have a bunch of old projects I want to post about and I will just post them with short descriptions. This lesson is a popular one for teaching about Pop Art and Andy Warhol. We read the book Andy Warhol (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists). The students drew a self-portrait by looking at themselves in a mirror, outlined them in black pen and then I photocopied the pictures four times. The students colored their portraits … Read more…

Learning about Lines

Lines are an excellent starting point for lessons with Kindergarteners.  To begin this line unit, we read the book Lines That Wiggle.   The students used colored tape to make straight lines across their paper.  We talked about horizontal, vertical, diagonal and ziz-zag lines. During the next class period, the students used tempera cakes to paint a variety of lines:  wavy, loopy, dotted, dashed, squiggly, spiral, jagged and more.  Aren’t these lovely and expressive? After the painting project, we moved … Read more…

Paper Mache Maracas with Kindergarteners

Aren’t we always looking for ways to relate to other subjects?  This project is perfect to connect with your music program at school. Materials you will need: plastic Easter eggs (one per child) plastic spoons (2 per child) bean, rice or plastic beads for the inside to create the noise masking tape Elmer’s Art Paste bowl, water, whisk (to mix the paper mache paste) paper towels paint decorative washi tape Goals: make connections between music and art learn about maracas … Read more…

Printmaking with Christmas Ornaments?? What!?

Printing with Christmas Ornaments

Another printmaking experiment for you!  I bought some felt ornaments and sparkly snowflake decorations from Target on clearance.  Valentine’s Day is also a good time to get decorations. Here is how I created the background shown below. Snowflake:  Place the snowflake decoration on the page.  Use spray inks to spray over the snowflake (I like the Dylusions Ink Spray, but you can also make your own by pouring liquid watercolor into a small makeup spray bottle.) Star: Use an brayer … Read more…

Printing with Paperclips

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I checked out the book Print & Stamp Lab from the library and there was a cool idea in there with printing with paper clips (among many other found objects.)  When I was at Target, I found these cool purple paperclips and decided to try it out. First, find a scrap wooden block to use as a base.  Place layers of double stick tape on top of the block.  Firmly press your paper clips on to the base.  You can … Read more…

Top Posts of 2014

Crayon Poster

Hi!  I hope you all had a very merry holiday season.  We had a great December here, other than our kiln setting off a sprinkler at school and causing some minor flooding and damage.  (That was a disaster.)  I usually do a year in review on my blog every year just for funsies and it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. First I will share my personal highlights (in chronological order) and then I will share the 10 most … Read more…

Learning about Patterns, Shapes and Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse is one of my favorite artists.  I love his bold colors and beautiful shapes.  While teaching about patterns, painting, collage and shapes, I recently introduced his artwork to my kindergarteners and 1st graders. First, we learned about his artwork through this Henri Matisse presentation.  We also read the book called Oooh! Matisse, which is a fun, colorful book (but not very informative about his artwork.)  The book is good for discussing and thinking about the shapes in his … Read more…

Easy No-Cook Salt Dough Recipe

Fun Salt Dough(2)

My daughter had a make-your-own play doh night at her preschool (YMCA, which has been really great so far!) and I thought it would be a fun activity for my little students right before winter break.  We used the recipe that they used at my daughter’s school, because the dough came out really nice and soft!  There are only three ingredients: regular flour, salt and alum (can be found in the spice section at your grocery store).  Well, and water.  … Read more…

Celebrate Oops Day!

Have you read the book Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg?  Celebrate Oops on January 15, 2015! It is a super fun, interactive book that teaches kids that it’s OK to make mistakes!  From their website:  “CELEBRATE OOPS! is an initiative designed to build confidence and turn accidents into teaching moments. Launching on January 15, 2015 CELEBRATE OOPS! will instill an important life lesson (it’s okay to make mistakes) and foster a great spirit of creativity in your classroom and/or library.” Watch a … Read more…

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