Our Silhouette Mural is Finished!

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Our silhouette mural is finished!  It went pretty quickly once we got started.   Each of the figures represents different subject areas at school.  Students in grades 4-6 did most of the painting and I had some students in 7-8 grade do touch-ups, edging and fine details.   I made a video slideshow of the steps we made to paint the mural to show for the whole school.  The school presentation has lots of photos of students in it.  I made … Read more…

Inspired by Artist Justin Vining: Abstract Whimsical Landscapes

Abstract Whimsical Landscapes

This may have been my favorite unit we studied all year!  We looked at the whimsical landscapes of contemporary artist Justin Vining.  Here is one of his paintings: We watched videos of him talking about his influences, watched time lapses of his paintings and emailed him some questions about himself.  He responded to our questions in this interview I posted previously.  This was a perfect artist to study for us because Justin lives in Indiana in a rural area and … Read more…

Emily’s Blue Period – Personal Collages for 3rd Graders

personal collage details 2

Our school librarian introduced this book to me and I think it is such a sweet story.  This book is called Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly.  The illustrations are lovely. This is a story about Emily, whose parents are divorcing and now she has two homes.  She goes through her own “blue period” of sadness. Emily was learning about Pablo Picasso, his Blue Period and his collages in her art class.   Her art teacher asks the class to … Read more…

Shape Paintings and Color Mixing with Kindergartners

Shape Paintings

Wow, I’ve been so busy.  Aren’t we all though, right?  But really, this is one of the most busy times of year.  Parent-teacher conferences this week and March is when the yearbook needs to be finished up.  I also put up an art show at the public library (which I will post about later) and we have been working like crazy on our mural in the hallway!  The mural is almost done and I am just waiting until everything has … Read more…

Art Inspired by Microscopic Things (3rd grade)

Art Inspired by Microscopic Things

My students are really interested in science and I always love when I can connect an art lesson to things they talk about in their science classes.  This unit came about because on a day when I was absent last month, one of our Science teachers subbed for my classes (we have quite a few part-time teachers at our school and teachers will often fill in for each other when there are absences.) The students went to the Science room … Read more…

An Interview with Artist Justin Vining

justin vining

Back in September, I posted a huge list of contemporary artists.  One of the artists, Justin Vining, saw that I included his artwork in my post and left a comment on my blog.  We exchanged a few emails and I decided to use him as a resource in my classroom.  I was excited that one of the artists reached out to me through my blog and I thought it was especially cool that Justin used to be an elementary art … Read more…

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…

Concentric Valentine’s Day Hearts

Patterned Hearts

Valentine’s Day is coming!  I love heart-related art projects.  These concentric hearts were made by my second graders last year.  We talked about the art concepts of concentric shapes and patterns.  For more Valentine’s Day projects, look at these past blog posts.

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