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4th and 5th Grade Profile Drawings: In the Style of Egyptians, Mixtec Codex and Duncan Tonatiuh

My students were treated to a visit by illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.  He is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His images are inspired by ancient Mexican art, especially the Mixtec codex of the 14th and 15th centuries. Like the people and animals in the codex, the figures in his illustrations are always drawn in profile– their entire bodies are usually shown and their ears … Read more…

“Emily’s Blue Period” Art Project: Personal Collages

detail-of-personal-collage

Personal Collages:  4th and 5th Grade   We read the book Emily’s Blue Period, which is about a girl whose parents are divorcing and now she has two homes. Emily was learning about Pablo Picasso, his Blue Period and his collages in her art class. She goes through her own “blue period” of sadness.  Her art teacher asks the class to make personal collages about their homes.  She doesn’t know what to do because she has two homes now.  She ends up … Read more…

All About Me Collaborative Puzzle Pieces

puzzle-pieces

You are part of the puzzle!  Each student in my older grades (3-5) made a puzzle piece about themselves and their interests.  I should have written:  You are a PIECE of the puzzle.  Or, I could have said: We all fit together.  I know, it’s kind of corny, but the puzzle piece making was fun. I bought a set of wooden puzzle pieces (the package came with two pieces) and I traced them onto several pieces of tagboard to make … Read more…

Inspirational Quotes into Artworks

Inspirational Quote by 4th and 5th grade

At the end of last year my students created some inspirational quote artworks using artistic lettering and their choice of media.   I typed up a list of inspirational quotes (below) for them to choose from.  Many of the students had their own ideas and wanted to use a quote they already knew and liked. I saved the artwork for the beginning of this year so that we would have some artwork with inspirational sayings on them for the start of … Read more…

3-D Bedroom Constructions and Perspective

Student-directed vs. teacher-directed and choice vs. “cookie cutter projects”  (I hate that phrase, it’s so annoying) are big discussions with art teachers online lately.  This is an example of how teacher-directed projects (perspective and interior models) can include lot of student choice and opportunities for creativity. When I went to the Art Institute of Chicago this Spring, I was lucky to be able to see the traveling van Gogh bedroom paintings exhibit.  My friend Dawn told me that she used … Read more…

Frank Stella Inspired Pictures

2016-05-25 12.25.57 (740x589)

First, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who follows my blog.  I appreciate your support in reading my blog, leaving comments, pinning images and sharing my posts.  Whenever I get a positive comment or email from a reader, it just MAKES MY DAY and makes all the time worthwhile.  Without this kind of feedback and support, I would not continue blogging! A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who bought resources during the TPT Best Year Ever … Read more…

Doodled Drawings, Collages and Sculptures

Doodled Drawings (3)

It’s summer time!  This wrapped up my 10th year of teaching at my current school and 13 1/2 years teaching total.   The good news is that since I was so busy this year, I have a huge backlog of art projects to share with you.  I will probably write them all up this summer and then save some of them for the busy times next school year. Doodle patterns are always good for focus and concentration. This project is also … Read more…

Earth Day Oil Pastel Drawings

Endangered Birds

For Earth Day, my 4th & 5th grade class drew endangered trees and birds using oil pastels.  The entire lesson took about 3-4 class periods to finish.  The students each used a picture of their tree or bird to recreate on a piece of 9″x12″ paper.  We talked a little bit about layering and blending colors with the oil pastels.  We were able to go outside on Earth Day to enjoy the sunshine while drawing. Our Earth Day committee came … Read more…

Sand Art Pictures with 5th & 6th Grade

Sand Art

This project was a huge hit with my 5th/6th grade classes.  There’s something about the feel of sand through your fingers that is soothing.  I’m telling you, every kid was very engaged.  I got applause after one of my demonstrations.  Applause!  When was the last time you had your class cheer and applaud after a demonstration? We used Sand-O Adhesive Boards and X-Acto knives to make our pictures.  First, we drew the design with pencil.  Then we carefully cut one … Read more…

Watercolor Animals with 5th and 6th Grade

Watercolor Bird Painting

With all the fancy projects an art teacher can find on Pinterest, sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics.  Simple drawing and painting of familiar subjects.  This week my students drew art manekins.  You could see much more concentration in the students than while doing other projects.  I was looking through the folders on my computer and found these animal watercolor paintings my students had made last year. For more watercolor lessons, check out these old posts: How … Read more…

What Do Artists Do? Signs about ARTISTS and Artistic Behaviors

What do artists do?

I have something to share with you that I’ve been working on for a long time.  Well, a couple of months.  It takes forever for me to accomplish anything lately (I have a clingy toddler who doesn’t like to sleep) so I work in short spurts whenever I get a chance. Many of you probably know of Ian and Melissa from Apex High School.  They have developed a list of Artistic Behaviors for the high school level.  I have been … Read more…

Personal Patchwork Drawings by 4th & 5th Graders

Personal Patchwork Drawings

I got this project idea from the Art Teachers group on Facebook.  A teacher had posted a similar personal grid lesson from high schoolers with stunning results!  I loved the concept and adapted it for my 4th and 5th grade class. The first step is to divide your 12″ x 18″ paper into 3 inch squares using a ruler.  Then you fill in each squares with drawings and designs that are personalized to tell something about yourself.  The catch is … Read more…

Artist Trading Cards

Artist Trading Cards for Kids

Here are some of the Artist Trading Cards my students made for the ATC swap that Nic Hahn is coordinating.  The students filled out a sheet for the back with information about their card. You can download this sheet for free at my TPT shop. Artist Trading Cards are mini works of art, sized at 2.5″ x 3.5″.  They can be traded, collected or given as gifts.  They can be about anything!  Some of the materials my students used were: … Read more…

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Veterans Day Art

Today is Veteran’s Day.  A day to remember our history and the people who fought for our freedom and safety. Every year my students create Veteran’s Day posters that are displayed at the Senior Center for their Veteran’s Day ceremony.  My fifth/sixth grade students go on a trip to the program and sing a few patriotic songs and participate in the ceremony. You can see some of the artwork made in year’s past and read more about this lesson in … Read more…

Pop Ups and Interactive Parts in an Artwork

Using Pop Ups and Flaps in Art Projects

I read my 5th/6th grade class the book Beautiful Oops, which many art teachers are already familiar with.  It’s a great message, but also the interactive parts are very inspiring and fun! We also looked at Barney Saltzberg’s other book A Little Bit of Oomph.  Both of these books have parts that fold out, pop out, twist or turn! Here is a video from Workman Publishing about the oomph book.  You can see the pages of the book if you … Read more…

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