• Don't miss a single post!

    Subscribe to Art is Basic and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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…

Stitching on Burlap: A Painting & Sewing Experience for Children

img_0241

One type of art skill that I haven’t been the best at consistently teaching in my classroom is sewing.  I was reminded of how you can sew on burlap after seeing some painted and stitched leaves at my daughter’s school.  My third/fourth grade classes were often asking me if they could sew and I already had a lot of yarn and a roll of burlap at school. I wanted to share this idea with you quickly without a whole lot of … 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…

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…

God’s Eyes Woven Wall Hanging

My 3rd and 4th grade class just finished making woven God’s Eyes (Ojos de Dios).  Students chose yarn and wrapped the strands around the sticks.  Then they were all tied to a large stick I found in my neighbor’s yard.  Some kids made multiples so they could take one home right away. I was surprised how almost all of them had never made these before.  I guess I went to a lot of summer camps where we made stuff with … 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…

Sand Painting with Kids

035

If you are looking for something to add a new dimension to regular painting, sand painting just might be the ticket!  The tactile experience is something exciting for children. I recently taught a unit on painting with sand to my third and fourth grade class.  You may remember my “how-to” blog post about this technique.  If you are wondering how we did our sand paintings, check out that post for all the details.  For a more advanced technique using adhesive … 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…

Abstract Paintings Inspired by the Art of Shinique Smith

Have you heard of the artist Shinique Smith?  I just love her artwork!  It’s very gestural, colorful and it just draws me in to look at more closely.  I love the use of fabric with graffiti-like painted marks.  Her art combines traditional art media with non-traditional materials like clothing and stuffed animals.  She is influenced by street graffiti and Japanese calligraphy.  She works in paintings, drawings, installations, wrapped bundles, sculptures and videos.  There was an exhibit of her artwork in … 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…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...