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Talking Sticks

The talking stick is used in many Native American traditions. Whoever holds the stick has the right to talk.  The talking stick is used to make sure that each person in a group has a chance to express his or her own thoughts. Everyone else has to show respect and remain silent. When the speaker is finished talking, he or she passes the stick. My 2nd graders created beautiful sticks with wire, chenille stems, beads, feathers and paint to be used as … Read more…

Showing Depth in Landscapes: 2nd Grade Drawing Project

My second graders recently learned about simple ways to show depth in an artwork. I gave a demonstration on my new document camera and showed them how rivers and roads that go back in space would be wider in the front and narrower in the back.  I demonstrated how things that were far in the distance would be smaller than things in the front.  The use of overlap is also a way to show depth.  I showed the students this … Read more…

Dr. Seuss Art Project for Kids: 2nd Grade

Dr Seuss Style Art

I love Dr. Seuss’ art.  Did you know in addition to writing books he created over 10,000 works of art.  Amazing!  The book The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is a must-have for art teachers who love Seuss. My students, of course, also love Dr. Seuss and read many of his books in their language arts class. We watched a YouTube video about the Secret Art of Dr. Seuss and one with a slideshow of his artwork.  The second slideshow … Read more…

Drawing Maps for Figurines with 2nd Graders

Drawing Maps for Figurines

I came up with this idea from my daughter’s obsession with playing with her figurines and maps.  She has a few of these map sets that come with a large fold-out map, a book and a bunch of related figurines (they have these at Barnes & Noble). This project taps into children’s natural interest in miniature toys! I showed the 2nd graders this map with some figures (many of them had similar maps at home) and told them to bring … Read more…

Winter Pop-up Scene Art Project for 2nd Grade

Aren’t these fantastic?  I love these pop-up winter scenes. Guess what?  I just made a companion Facebook page for my blog!  I thought it would be fun to have another avenue to easily share all kinds of artsy inspiration I come across.  Most of the Facebook updates will be links to other blogs, articles and interesting artistic things I find around the web.  Of course, I will also share things about my blog, but MOST of the posts will be … Read more…

Clay Pinch Pot Monsters by 2nd Graders

These cute pinch pot monsters were made by my 2nd grade class.  Here is a handout you could use about how to make a pinch pot. After making a pinch pot, the students turned them on their side, squished the mouth down a little and then added eyes, noses, horns, ears, tongues and teeth.  Make sure to score and add water in between each part.  (Some people make slip, but I have found that with our consistency of clay, just … Read more…

2nd Grade Oil Pastel Landscapes

landscape oil pastel for kids

This oil pastel drawing project is inspired by the artwork of Paul Gauguin, in particular his painting Tahitian Landscape. To build up a little enthusiasm, when the kids arrived to class there was an envelope at their seat.  I told them to open the envelope and see what was inside.  I had printed off pictures of Tahitian Landscape, laminated them and then cut them into puzzle pieces.  The kids worked quickly to put together the puzzles.  Then, I introduced the … Read more…

Cardboard Creations and a Blog Layout Review

Art projects with Cardboard

Hello all! Wow, summer is almost here! It’s hard to believe, right? I entered a blog giveaway to receive a free layout review from a web designer. I won! She posted the review on Blacksburgbelle’s blog. Bottom line: reduce the clutter.  I think it was very useful and gave me a lot to think about! Maybe you will get some ideas from her review. This will be a little project to work on during the summer. Building with cardboard and … Read more…

2nd Grade Masks inspired by Alaska

2013-01-28 23.13.07

I think Alaskan native masks are so beautiful. Our 2nd graders learn about Alaska in their social studies class and to connect with this unit, they explore the meanings and characteristics of Alaskan native art.   Here is an example of a mask from Alaska: Our masks are colorful and each child felt free to express their own ideas and to create their own meanings for their mask. We watched an excellent Alaskan art video that I highly recommend. It … Read more…

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