Day of the Dead | Symmetrical Paper Skulls | 1st Grade

October 31 to November 2 is the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.  My first grade students learned about the celebration a bit in their Spanish class and then in art class, we read a story about the holiday and drew these symmetrical skull pictures.  The book we read was Day of the Dead, by Tony Johnston.  It’s a nice story with great pictures.  My only complaint is that the book is very very small, so the kids have to … Read more…

Reach for the Stars – Back to School Bulletin Board

I hope you are enjoying your first few weeks back to school!   Here is a Reach for the Stars bulletin board my students made as their first art projects. The tape letters were made by 1st graders.  I don’t know how people use painter’s tape for this technique, because it just caused my paper to rip.  I discovered the Post-it Label Roll which worked great to block out the letters. The kids painted over the label tape with a crayon … Read more…

Have You Ever Drawn Flowers with Watercolor Pencils?

The week after winter break was up in the air.  Due to construction, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to use our art room and we didn’t know if we would have easy access to supplies.  I planned for most of my classes to complete observational drawings during that week period, since they all could use the same supplies and learning to observe the edges and shapes of objects is great training for the eye. It … Read more…

15 Favorite Posts from 2013

  Another year is rapidly coming to a close, so I thought I would spend some time reviewing my favorite projects and blog posts from this year.  Here are my favorite posts, in no particular order! 15.  How to Paint Gorgeous Clouds with Watercolor 14.  Clay Castles 13.  Postage Stamp Art Project 12.  Heart Photography Project with 3rd Grade 11.  25 Amazing Books for Teaching About Art 10.  Editorial cartoons are a unit I teach every year.  We even were … Read more…

Lego Art Projects

Our school is building an addition, so I thought projects related to “building” would be fun.  Legos are the perfect building blocks! So, we designed our own mini-figures with this template.  I originally saw this idea from The Art Teacher’s Closet. We also stamped with Legos (idea via Lego Stamping from Filth Wizardry).  Thanks to wonderful bloggers for these two ideas!  My students LOVED them!  They were so excited about these proejcts. Place your piece of paper on top of … Read more…

5 Valentine’s Day Projects for Kids

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Each year, I tend to try something different for Valentine’s Day.  I like to spice things up, don’t you? Here are some from the past that I have done. 1.  Valentine’s Heart Collages  2.  Cool Hands, Warm Heart 3.  Easy Clay Hearts for Kindergarten  I have made these for Christmas presents, but they would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. 4.  Maps of My Heart (by Kindergarten) 5.   Styrofoam Printed Valentines Follow @marcia_beckett

Holiday Round Up

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Two of my classes made pictures frames like these: They turned out really cute and I did not take pictures until after the kids glued their pictures in, so I did not want to post any of the frames with their pictures in it. This year, I did not do too many holiday art projects, but here is a round-up of some that I have done in the past. Sock Snowmen  Snowflakes with Glitter Snowglobe Pictures Picture Frame with Tooling … Read more…

Mixed Media Canvases with Kids

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Thanks for your kind comments about my fingers!  They are actually healing much faster than I expected. As you might know, I am a lover of all things mixed media!  I also enjoy occasionally teaching an after school art workshop for my students (I’d love to do more, but since my daughter goes to daycare it’s a bit tricky.)  I thought painted canvases would be a great gift for kids to give someone in their family, so I decided to … Read more…

Found Object Faces– 1st grade

Found Object Faces-- 1st grade

(these are the projects I burnt my fingers on!)  USE LOW TEMP GLUE GUNS!!! Anyways, these are really charming and fun projects. The 1st graders learned about recycled art and how to use unconventional materials in art.  We read 2 books by Hanoch Piven, which feature portraits made out of objects. The children brought in objects from home that represented aspects of themselves and we assembled the parts into faces in art class.   We used foam board and matboard for … Read more…

Frogs in a Pond (with Monet) 1st Grade

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            I love lessons where I can tie in different areas of study, art history and art techniques!  This is a project I developed that incorporates study of frogs, Monet and watercolor painting. To start this project, we learn about the artist Claude Monet and his paintings of ponds and lilypads.  We read a book about Monet: (This series is awesome for read-alouds in class.  I love the picture books about art, but I want … Read more…

Artsy Christmas Presents for Kids

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Are you wondering what to get a child in your family for the holidays?  As an art teacher, I see what the kids really like and what they gravitate towards to when they are given free time in art. These are some popular items for kids that I have personally used and recommend.  Most of these can be found at your local Target or Michaels (or other craft/art store).  Don’t forget to print off a coupon online if you are … Read more…

Symmetrical Felt Wall Hangings

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For this project, the first graders learned about symmetry and fabric arts.  I tied this lesson into quilt making and the children identified symmetry in some pictures of early American quilts and discussed why people would make quilts and why they would use scraps to sew their quilts. Then, using burlap, felt and fabric scraps, they made their own fabric wall hanging showing symmetry.  We used regular Elmer’s glue to  adhere everything.  At the end, I brought out buttons and … Read more…

Complementary Color Collages– 1st Grade

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Complementary Color Collages by the 1st Grade This project introduces the first graders to complementary colors.  I show them the color wheel and I explain how the complementary colors are across from each other on the color wheel.  They are the “opposites”.  If you mix the two of them together you would get a brownish or grayish color.  We talk about the primary/secondary colors and focus on the pairs of red + green, blue + orange, and violet + yellow.  … Read more…

Alphabet Art: First Grade

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This is a lesson I love to teach at the beginning of the year.  The first graders create a picture using letters.  I show them how draw the letters and stack them, twisting and turning the page, making sure to connect the letters.  Below is an example of the shapes formed from the letters.  I really loved this one, because even though the boy used letters (a lot of “O’s) to make the design, it is very abstract and not … Read more…

More Sketchbook Covers for Elementary School Art Journals

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All of my classes have been busy making sketchbook covers.  Here are a few more assignments by grade level: 1st Grade Initials:I saw this idea at Art Projects for Kids. The background has crayon texture rubbings and watercolor paint. 3rd Grade:  The students wrote their names in cursive and then surrounded the name with repeating colorful lines.   4th/5th Grade Names:  They drew their names and then covered the negative space with patterns.  Similar to this idea… Name Tangles.   … Read more…

Sketchbook Covers for Kids

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It has been a busy 2 weeks and a rough transition back to school.  The actual “school” part has been just fine.  The problems have been with coordinating my schedule and “life balance.”  I will talk about that more at the end of this post, but first I will show you some pretty pictures. We have been making sketchbook covers from donated file tab dividers.  My sister-in-law works in medical records and they were transferring everything over to digital, so … Read more…

Tissue Paper Fun

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Our last summer art workshop was a fun one!  We decoupaged tissue paper on to glass vases.  The cylindrical ones could be candle holders.  We tore and cut tissue paper and adhered them to the glasses with Matte Medium.  I hate the smell of mod-podge, so I rarely use it.  I get headaches from it, does anyone else?  I figure if I get headaches from it, it probably is not good for the kids to inhale.  This Blick Matte Medium … Read more…

Body Pictures– Summer Camp

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I am teaching 3 summer art sessions.  Each session is two hours long with one or two art projects.  For this session, I had 2 students going into 4/5th grade, 2 students who just finished kindergarten, and one student going into kindergarten.  It was a small class, which was perfect for this project, since the pictures were LARGE. To start, we traced our bodies on large butcher paper.  Then, we outlined them with markers and used collage materials (magazine images, … Read more…

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