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Stitching on Burlap: A Painting & Sewing Experience for Children

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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…

Animal Cloth Paintings inspired by Korhogo Cloths

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My 3rd grade classes learned about African Korhogo Cloth paintings. They had been studying Africa in their Social Studies class.  Here are some of the resources we used:  information about the cloth paintings and a couple of YouTube videos– Take a Look at African Korhogo Cloth and Senufo Art (although I do caution you that there is some tribal nudity at the beginning of this documentary in the intro, so start it after 20 seconds in).  There is a really cool tribal dance portion … Read more…

Color Theory and Rhythm Drawings by 3rd Grade

Color Theory Rhythm Drawings

This is a project I love to do with the 3rd graders.  Their drawing all turn out so unique and fun.  First, we talk about what rhythm in art is.  Rhythm is like a visual beat in a picture, created by lines, colors, shapes and space.  Rhythm can be made by repeating certain elements of art.  Here is a good handout about rhythm. Here is another handout about rhythmic line designs.   The students each drew their own line drawing showing … Read more…

All About Me Collaborative Puzzle Pieces

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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…

Article in Arts & Activities Magazine

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I’m pretty excited my article in the October issue of Arts & Activities is on the cover! I wrote about an art project my students did after learning about the artist William Wegman. I had the awesome opportunity to interview Wegman on the phone and include the interview as a large part of the article. I’m very glad that they included a bunch of my students’ artwork (3rd grade). You can read the whole article here: http://pubdev.ipaperus.com/ArtsandActivities/AAOctober2016/?page=20 If you would … Read more…

Patterned Tape and Wood Scrap Sculptures

Patterned Tape and Wood Block Sculptures (9)

What can you make with patterned tape and wood scraps? This is an open-ended project that is sure to delight your kids.  For some reason, colorful patterned tape is very appealing to kids (and many adults.)   Materials used: Mat Boards (donated from a frame shop) Scrap wood (donated and picked up from an art supply swap) Colored and patterned Tape The students selected pieces of wood and then wrapped the blocks in colorful tape.  These pieces were taped or … Read more…

Chicks at School

Chick Art Project

We have some chicks at school.  Chicks, like baby chickens. One of the science teachers taught the kids about the life cycle of chickens and the kids watched as the eggs were incubated and hatched. They grow so quickly! With all the excitement of the hatching chicks, the students were thrilled to create some chick artwork.  Here is a mural/bulletin board that students in grades 2-3 worked together on. Next, we did a step-by-step project in kindergarten to make a … 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

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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…

How to Make Artist Trading Cards using Coffee Filters

Sprayed ARtist Trading Cards

My third grade students recently made these fun Artist Trading Cards (or ATCs for short.)  They are sized at 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ and they were made using a fun technique on coffee filters. To make these cards, you will need Artist Trading Card blanks Sharpie permanent markers Crayola markers Coffee filters Spray bottle with water Scissors and glue Steps: 1. Doodle lines and shapes on a coffee filter with Sharpie permanent markers. 2.  Color in the background spaces … 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…

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…

Painting the Sun- Metepec Suns

Sun Paintings with 3rd Graders

My third graders ended the school year learning a little about the symbolism of the sun in Mexican pottery.  The sun has been used as a symbol of the life-giving energy and of good luck.  Cassie Stephens has a very good Prezi here about Metepec, Mexico. To make these colorful, sunny pictures we started by tracing a circle shape for the face of the sun.  Then we designed our faces with unique facial expressions, rays and other designs.  We talked … Read more…

Non-objective Drawings by 3rd and 4th Graders

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I love non-objective art. Non-objective art means that the art does not represent or depict person, objects or places.  It is a picture with lines, colors and shapes as the subject. I teach this drawing project every year and the results are always beautiful. The children learn about concepts such as types of line, organic and geometric shapes, shading, values, variety of sizes, variety in general, overlapping, texture (from rubbing plates) and how to categorize non-objective, abstract and realistic art. … Read more…

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