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 did this step myself.  During the first class period, students used Do a Dot Paint Dabbers to paint the hearts however they wanted. During the second class period, students cut notches all the way around their heart with regular scissors.  They wrapped a variety of … 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 with Sharpies, paints, oil pastels, wire, pipe cleaners, tissue paper and scraps.  I told the sub that they were not required to draw hearts and if they really wanted to draw something else in each rectangle instead (like a tree or star or something else) … 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 actually better than the original!! Enjoy! Also if you are having a pun day fun day, you should hang up these “tearable” pun posters.   Download the higher resolution PDF of ART PUNS for free below: Art Puns Or, here is the text if the … 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 in different colors and mounted to a colorful background.

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 into three-dimensional art.  Using wire, pipe cleaners, beads, button and tape the students created line sculptures on a styrofoam base. I recently discovered Franklin Evan‘s artwork!  Look at his amazing installations and paintings and awesome lines.                   … 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 and shakers (I created a PPT about maracas & rattles that I can upload here if there is any interest.) develop fine motor control while assembling the maraca and applying paper mache demonstrate understanding of the process of using paper mache personal expression while designing … 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 to roll acrylic ink on top of the star.  Since the material is felt and absorbent, I had to use a lot of paint.  Press on to your paper like a stamp! Now what?  I might add text, drawings, more paint and mark-making or some … 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 use other objects such as buttons, pennies or basically anything lightweight and flat. Use a brayer to roll acrylic paint on to the surface. I used a firm brayer, but I think a soft foam brayer might actually work better. Place your paper upside on … 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 viewed blog posts. Art Ed Blog of Year Nominee:  In February, I was a nominee for the art ed blog of the year by the Art of Ed.  While I did not make it to the top, it was still an honor to be in … 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 pictures. The kindergartners made cut paper collages.  This is a pretty standard art lesson, but it is great for teaching about organic and geometric shapes, overlap and balance.  It is also good to assess where your students are at as far as their cutting and … 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.  and GLITTER!!!  (If you want.)  I also liked this recipe because you don’t need to boil water or bake anything.  Easy-peesy. I doubled the recipe and had the students mix it up in a bowl.  A double of this recipe was enough for three kids … 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 video of the book here: Download an educator guide for ideas and lesson plans (including this art lesson that I shared) and sign up to receive classroom materials! Barney also has a book called A Little Oomph which is really fun!

Manga Faces: 3rd Grade

The creative students at Artisan des Arts made manga self-portraits and I loved them so much I wanted to try it with my own students.  The students used the website Face Your Manga to create an avatar.  (Of course, out of the thousands of symbols, hair details, eyes and other options, we came across two that were not good for kids, so next year I think I’m just going to print out examples of eyes, noses, mouths, etc and have them pick from the printed examples.) The kids created such fun and unique images and manga is always a hit with this age group.

Practice Rolling Clay Coils with Kindergarten

clay letters 007 (740x555)

I wanted my Kindergarten classes to practice rolling coils with clay before we started on our actual clay project.  I had written out all of their names on long pieces of paper at the beginning of the year, but decided to change the project I had planned. I gave each child a paper with their name written on it.  They practiced rolling clay coils with their fingers and then bent the coils to fit on the letters.  This was a quick 20-30 minute activity that allowed me to see who needed more help with learning the skill. For kids who don’t know their letters, it is also good for letter recognition.  This could be done with play-doh or salt dough as well.  When we were … Read more…

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