Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Art in the Dark

Power outage at our school proved for an interesting afternoon.

Yesterday marked a first for me in my nearly 11 years of teaching.  A two hour power outage for our entire district.  A power outage might not seem like a huge deal, but imagine teaching art in a classroom without windows. PITCH BLACK DARKNESS right in the middle of painting with my third graders.

With only 20 minutes left of class I managed to gather all the children to the carpet area and come up with a few time fillers (I read a couple poems by flashlight and then we played a counting game called 10).

After the class left I struggled to pick up the paints, water buckets and paintings with one hand while my other hand held my only light source (a tiny double A battery flashlight).

In the middle of cleaning up I  was surprised to discover that even though my room was darker than India Ink, I was still going to have to teach my last class for the day.
                  (I guess the show must go on, no matter the circumstances).

I knew that my original plan of painting our masks was not going to be a possibility, so I quickly fell back on a lesson that I save for the end of the year: How To Draw A Zippo.  It is basically a listen and draw exercise.

Since there was more light in the hallway then in my room, I set up my temporary room in the hall. This set up proved to be very interesting and challenging on many levels, but we made it through the adventure.  I am sure the children will never forget the day they had art class in the dark.  For me? It will be a teaching day that I will remember always, but I also, feel tremendously relieved and excited that when our new school is built I will have WINDOWS in my new classroom!
Creations from my students.  Not too bad for drawing in the dark!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Texture Burgers

Third Grade Art Lesson
2 Class Periods

Texture Burgers, Third Grade Art Lesson
*  I stumbled across this idea from a student art exhibit. The art teacher explained to me the things she taught and I knew right away that I, too wanted to do this with my students.  I later found this project posted on Pintrest.

Day 1:
As a class we discussed the idea of food as artwork.  Students discovered that there were lots of ways that food could be used in artwork.  Most of course, thought of food in drawings, paintings and sculptures.  Some students were surprised that there was such a job as a food makeup artist.  Students viewed the video clip below.  Many were in awe of the tricks of advertising and some thought a food makeup artist seemed like the coolest job ever.

After viewing the video clip, together as a class I intstructed students how to create the table, plate and bun out of construction paper.

We then had a conversation about textures and how to create different textures.

Students were shown different ways to manipulate the paper to create different food items for their burger.  Various materials (yarn, buttons, cardboard, felt, foam, ribbon, etc). were set out for students to use (a great way to get rid of tiny scraps of materials that you just can't part with because they are too good to throw away).  Creativity was highly encouraged!

Day 2:
The second day of class was used for finishing up the burger.  I once again stressed to students that anything placed on their compositions had to have purpose. They could not just place yarn on their paper, it had to mean something to the composition.  Example:  If a student glued white yarn to their paper they had to be able to explain what it represented in the burger (onion slices, noodles, mayonaise, etc.)

Student Examples:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Let's Hear It For The Scream!

BAD DAY in the art room?  Absolutely not!  Just gearing up for one of my favorite second grade art lessons, The Scream by Edvard Munch.

To see more great examples, learn about the artist that inspired us, or for details on how to create this masterpiece click here:  The Scream 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rigid Wrap Masks

Fourth Grade Art Lesson
7 Class Periods
Rigid Wrap Masks, Fourth Grade Art Lesson
About Masks:
Students viewed the following powerpoint presentation to provide them with a little basic information on the history of masks and a little information on Mardi Gras.

Day 1:
  • Students viewed a power point on masks. We examine numerous cultures and how they used mask within their culture.  We discussed what masks could be made from and how masks are used today.
  • The mask theme was introduced: Mardi Gras
  • Students used the rest of the hour to brainstorm ideas for their masks. Students had to know by the end of the class period if they were making a half or full mask.
Student coming up with plan.

Day 2:
  • Students were given a demonstration on how to use rigid wrap and how to cover the plastic face molds depending on if they were doing a half or full masks.  (This project can actually be done on the face of the student by working with partners, but due to fact I only see students once a week, I found this to be a faster way that everyone can work at the same time.  Saves one whole day!)
  • Students needed to have three layers of rigid wrap placed on their plastic molds. Time management is important for this lesson. Ten minutes are needed for rigid wrap to harden so it can be removed from the mold.
  • At the end of the hour students remove the mask from the mold and label the inside with their name using a pencil.
Placing rigid wrap on plastic mold.  This student is making a full mask.

Day 3:
  • Features are discussed on this day.  Are their pieces that pop off the mask?  Does it have ears or horns? 
  • Students learn tricks on how to add features using cardboard and newspaper.
  • Features were constructed and taped to masks.
Assisting student by helping hold cardboard features in place while they tape.

Day 4:
  • Students place rigid wrap over all the features added the class period before. 
  • It was stressed that no cardboard, newspaper or tape show on the finished mask.
Adding rigid wrap to features.

Day 5:
  • Students painted their mask a base color.  This color is the main color of the mask, it also tends to be the lightest color if having to choose between two or three colors that seemed to be used in the same amount.
  • Masks were set aside to dry.
  • A class supply list was created to see what materials were needed for the last class period (glitter, feathers, beads, ribbons, etc.)
Painting mask in a base color.

Day 6:
  • Student used this class period to paint the details and additional colors needed for their mask.
Painting details and using plan sheet for reference.

Day 7:
  • On this final day, students use the hot glue gun to add details to their masks that can range from glitter to pipe cleaners.
Adding details with a hot glue gun.
Student Examples:

View Finder Dinos

Fourth Grade Art Lesson
2 Class Periods

View Finder Dinos, Fourth Grade Art Lesson

Day 1: 
Students were given various photographs of dinosaurs to select from for their drawing. 

Students were asked to draw a dinosaur using a view finder to narrow down the details in the photograph they were using for reference.

A demonstration was given on how to use a view finder.

Composition were outline with black glue and set to dry.

Day 2:
Students used chalk pastels to color in their dinosaur compostions.  Blending of colors were discussed.

Composition backgrounds were painted with tempera paint.

Students coloring pieces with chalk pastels.

Students painting backgrounds on compositions.

Examples of Students Work: