First Day of Kindergarten & 1st Grade Art

We had our first week of school!   Beth Carter posted wonderful pictures of her students drawings on the first day with the title “I had art today!”  I borrowed the concept and made sheets for my kindergartners and first graders to take home on their first day of art class. I had my students draw a picture of themselves as an artist or a picture of themselves in class with their art teacher. And here is me on my first … Read more…

Art Room Organization

I love organizing things, especially art materials.  It makes it easier to find things you need when your room is organized!  I am always revamping my organizational systems and I feel like my room now is arranged pretty well for my needs.  I am sure I will find some things that need tweaking over the next few years. On each table I have a plastic drawer set labeled with pencils & eraser, glue sticks & scissors, and markers.  On the … Read more…

Hybrid Machine-Animal Drawings

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After looking at the art of contemporary artist Nicolas Lampert, my students combined two or more different objects or creatures to create hybrid drawings.   Here are the steps to this lesson: 1.  Start by discussing the machine animal collages and the machine insect collages by Nicolas Lampert.  Ask questions such as” How do you think Nicolas made these pictures? How do they make you feel? Why do you think he combined animals or insects with machines? How would these … Read more…

Animal Shrinky Dinks in Summer Art Camp

This summer I taught a one week art workshop called Artsy Animals.  The camp had kids going in to grades 1-4 and it took place for 3 hours every day.  Now camp was much more laid back than regular art class, so we did not accomplish *as much* as 3 hours of school time, but I think the kids had a really good time. We made Shrinky Dink necklaces!  Each student got one sheet of Shrinky Dinks Crystal Clear paper.  … Read more…

Medieval Day at School

Medieval Knight Sculptures

Near the end of the school year our 5th/6th grade students put on a Medieval Day for the entire school.  They researched and planned activities including dancing, food sampling, jousting, catapulting, exhibits and displays and of course, ART! My 5th/6th grade classes made paper mache knight sculptures starting with a newspaper armature.  They added Medieval clothes and weapons to accessorize.  Some of the materials we used were cardboard, wood, cloth, leather, raffia, doll hair, yarn and felt. One of my … Read more…

New Ideas and Resources to Teach about Contemporary Art

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In previous blog posts, I talked about contemporary artists you may not have heard about before and I put together a round-up of blog posts about contemporary art projects. Today I have some more ideas to share. Don Masse said, “hey marcia! the majority of my lessons are based on living artists. i just did a fun lesson with my kinders inspired by the mosaics of jim bachor http://www.shinebritezamorano.com/2015/05/street-sweets.html and followed that up with them creating a real mosaic. Another … Read more…

Manga Drawing with Kids

My students had a blast drawing Manga faces again this year.  I tried this lesson previously with great enthusiasm and results.  I printed off lots of handouts I found online of cartoon faces, eyes, noses, mouths, hairstyles and accessories.  The kids used these sheets plus books to put together their Manga portrait.  I encouraged the students to include background patterns or accessories (such as a basketball) or a pet (like the dog) to tell a little about the character they … Read more…

Tape and Paint Pictures

Tape and Paint Pictures

I came up with this lesson after browsing the internet looking for contemporary artists to study.  I came across Fiona Curran’s‘s beautiful paintings with straight lines and geometric shapes.  Here are some of her artworks: At the end of the year, my students were losing focus and were ready for summer to begin!  I wanted a fun lesson that would involve experimentation and play.  I love using colored and patterned tape so I showed the second grade students how you … Read more…

Back to School Sale & New Art Task Cards

Art Task Cards-- Idea Starters

Everything in my shop is 20% off August 3-4, just in time for back to school!  I have PowerPoints, Signs, Discussion Cards, Sketchbook Prompts, Art Journaling E-Zines and Getting to Know You Cards. I also have new Art Task Cards which I think will be really useful for kids that need an idea starter. This is a set of 240 (yes, 240!) Art Task cards. The cards contain a simple prompt that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. … Read more…

Notan Cut Paper Designs: Third Grade

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I have several art lessons that I did not post about yet from this past school year, so look forward to a few more art project ideas this summer.  This lesson is fairly simple to prepare for and teach.  “Notan” is the term used by the Japanese to mean “light/dark” space.  We can also learn about positive/negative space through Notan designs.  My third graders studied Asia this year in their Social Studies class, so this was a nice tie-in. To … Read more…

Getting to Know You Sheets and Printable Art Awards in TPT Shop

Are you looking for something fun to do on the first day of school with your kids?  There is a huge list of ideas on this blog post of tips for the start of the school year.  Another idea is to have your students fill out an “artist profile” about themselves.  I have five new Getting to Know You sheets in my TPT shop.  The first is a colorful 11″x17″ poster size the kids can draw, write and color on … Read more…

An Interview with Margaret Peot, author of Stencil Craft

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Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you an interview with Margaret Peot, author of the new book Stencil Craft. Earlier this week I wrote a book review, with the chance to win copies of this book (there is still time to enter).  You can see that blog post here:  Stencil Craft Book Review and Giveaway. Since I am an elementary art teacher, Margaret is also going to share a fun project to do with little children. 1. What … Read more…

First Day of School for Art Class

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Are you nervous about starting the school year?  Or are you excited to get things going?  Even though this is my lucky 13th year teaching, I still get anxious to go back.  It’s a combo of nerves, excitement and anxiety about getting back into a different routine.  I still have dreams that the class is out of control, I forget that I am scheduled to teach or I oversleep.  Recently, I asked readers to share their top tips for starting … Read more…

Lego Mosaics at the Brickworld Convention

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I have more pictures to show you from the Lego Brickworld Convention that was held in Schaumburg, IL this summer. If you love Legos, be sure to check out my first post about this convention. I know some art teachers make mosaics with their students, so I decided to group all of the photos I took of the Lego mosaic art that was at this convention.  At the bottom of this post, I have a few links to some ways … Read more…

Lego Brickworld Convention 2015

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Are you a fan of Legos?  Did you know there is a new documentary film coming out July 31 called Beyond the Brick: A Lego Brickumentary?  You can see the official trailer here.  Have you heard of the Lego Brickworld Convention? In June, I went to the Lego Brickworld Convention in Schaumburg, IL.  My husband went for the entire 4 day convention as an exhibitor with his Lego User Group.  I attended with my kids for the afternoon on the … Read more…

3 Art Projects Using Leaves

Leaf Art Activities

Summer is the perfect time to create art with your child.  Nature provides endless inspiration for art.  Here are three fun art activities using leaves that you can do with kids or just on your own! This post was created as part of the Elmer’s Crafty Bloggers team. Learning Activity Topic:  Using nature to inspire art Educational Foundation: 1.  Identifying and sorting items from nature 2.  Using shapes and variety to create a composition 3.  Learning about negative and positive … Read more…

Rubber Ducky Public Sculptures in St. Joseph, Michigan

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A couple of weeks ago we took a summer trip to my brother’s cabin in Michigan.  We spent some time in the lovely city of St. Joseph, Michigan.  It is right on Lake Michigan and we enjoyed playing in the sand, walking on the piers, eating ice cream, playing on the beach playground, splashing on the splash pad and tinkering around in the two children’s museums.   As an art teacher, I was delighted to see large public art sculptures of … Read more…

Masking with Watercolor

Dream Finished

  Hi friends! First of all, have you entered my BIG FUN ART TEACHER giveaway?  If not, go to this blog post or the Facebook page to enter. Today’s blogpost is a cross-post.  This week I was a guest blogger on Marit’s Paper World for her Quirky Dutch Summer series.  In case you missed it, I thought I would share it here as well.  This is a fun and easy technique you could try with your students. Masking with Watercolor … Read more…

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