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Designer Tree Houses

Hi!  One day when I was sick I left a sub lesson plan for my students to design their own tree houses.  I printed out examples of tree house drawings for inspiration, like these here and here.  There is also this resource by Art Sub Lessons which has many pictures of real tree houses for inspiration. I did not leave a lot of directions or specific requirements, but encouraged creative thinking and unusual designs. Here are some of our whimsical pictures.  I think … Read more…

Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawings with 1st Grade

Do you want to know what will really get first graders excited about drawing still lifes?  Have them bring in their own stuffed animals!  I invited the kids to bring in their favorite stuffed animals to draw.  I also had a garbage bag full of my own stuffed animals from home in case someone forgot to bring in one. I demonstrated how to observe the shapes and positioning of the stuffed animals and then I let the kids get to … Read more…

New Ideas and Resources to Teach about Contemporary Art

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…

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations, Katie Schaefer, who said “Dole out assigned seats. Teach and practice silent signals. And most importantly we always always start a project”  you are the randomly selected winner.  Please email me to claim your prizes!  marciadotcom@yahoo.com

Emily’s Blue Period – Personal Collages for 3rd Graders

Our school librarian introduced this book to me and I think it is such a sweet story.  This book is called Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly.  The illustrations are lovely. This is a story about Emily, whose parents are divorcing and now she has two homes.  She goes through her own “blue period” of sadness. Emily was learning about Pablo Picasso, his Blue Period and his collages in her art class.   Her art teacher asks the class to … Read more…

An Interview with Artist Justin Vining

Back in September, I posted a huge list of contemporary artists.  One of the artists, Justin Vining, saw that I included his artwork in my post and left a comment on my blog.  We exchanged a few emails and I decided to use him as a resource in my classroom.  I was excited that one of the artists reached out to me through my blog and I thought it was especially cool that Justin used to be an elementary art … Read more…

25 Awesome Art Books for Kids

I’m back with another list of 25 more of my favorite art books!  Be forewarned, this is a long post.  I have given you extra details about the books and some ideas to spark your lesson planning. It is no secret that I love children’s books.  Previously, I wrote a list of 25 amazing art books which I like to use in my art classroom.   This has been one of my most viewed posts.  Since then, I have discovered some … Read more…

Manga Faces: 3rd Grade

The creative students at Artisan des Arts made manga self-portraits and I loved them so much I wanted to try it with my own students.  The students used the website Face Your Manga to create an avatar.  (Of course, out of the thousands of symbols, hair details, eyes and other options, we came across two that were not good for kids, so next year I think I’m just going to print out examples of eyes, noses, mouths, etc and have … Read more…

Sale at TPT

There is a big sale going on at TPT from Dec. 1-2ish. Let’s celebrate super cyber savings! The sale runs: December 1st 12:01AM (ET) through December 2nd 11:59PM (ET) Many sellers will have 20% sales, plus use the promo code: TPTCYBER to add an extra 10% to your entire order. I have two new products in my shop I’d like to tell you about.  First is a Henri Matisse PowerPoint that is appropriate for students in grades K-2.  (Since K … Read more…

Primary Colors & Piet Mondrian

Materials you will need: images of Piet Mondrian’s artwork construction paper precut black strips glue stick red, yellow and blue crayons (or markers) scissors Goals: identify, describe and analyze the artwork of Piet Mondrian use balance and space to create an interesting composition develop fine motor skills by using glue sticks and coloring solidly identify the primary colors Steps: 1.  Show and discuss the artworks of Piet Mondrian.  Ask the students to describe the artworks and tell about his style … Read more…

Accordion Books | Drawing Scientific Specimens | 3rd Grade

Did that get your attention?  How about this? The Science teachers at my school often have the kids create drawings about what they are studying.  One of them asked if I wanted to coordinate and have my third graders do more observational drawing.  I borrowed these fun scientific specimens and some plants from the school greenhouse for my students to draw. If you want to buy some of your own specimens, they are not cheap, but once you have them … Read more…

Veteran’s Day Poppy Posters

Have you seen the art installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London?  It is amazing!  If you follow that link, there is a video about how the installation was made. The poppy is a remembrance symbol for soldiers who have died in war.  The symbol comes from the poem “In Flander’s Field”, where poppies grew in a field over the graves of soldiers. Each year, our 5th/6th grade class gets a visit from the wife of a veteran, … Read more…

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…

Fall Leaf Printable

Aren’t the colors of the fall leaves breathtaking?  I scanned some of the leaves that I found on the trees here in Wisconsin.  Feel free to print these out, color designs on them with permanent or paint markers, make a collage or just draw from the pictures.  They would also look good on a bulletin board. Download the higher resolution version here at TPT for free!   The book Leaf Man, by Lois Elhert, would be a great way to … Read more…

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