Saturday, February 28, 2015

Symmetrical Turtles

2 Class Periods
Symmetrical Turtles, Kindergarten Art Lesson
Day 1:
We begin this lesson by looking at numerous photographs of turtles.  I want my students to be familiar with the parts of the turtle (legs, tail, shell, head, designs and patterns on the shell, etc.).  We briefly discuss where one can find turtles and any other interesting facts they know about turtles.

Together as a class we create a turtle out of construction paper.

The first piece of construction paper they select is the shell color.  This piece is 6 x 9 inches and I have multiple colors for the students to choose from ranging from pink to green.   I inform the students that their turtle can be any color they like.  Students round the corners to create an oval.

Students then pick 2 pieces of 4 x 6 inch construction paper, again in the color of their choice.  The pieces can be the same color or different.  I demonstrate to students on how to place the strips on top each other, fold them in half, cut the top two corners, open the paper and then cut on the fold to create the 4 legs for the turtle.

At this point in the lesson, we pause to discuss symmetry.  I call a student up to the front of the class and demonstrate to the rest of the class how we are symmetrical.  I hold a yard stick in front of the student dividing them in half lengthwise.  We discuss how on each side there is one leg, one arm, one ear, one eye and we discuss why there is only half a nose and half a mouth on each side.

We then move back to our turtle construction by gluing the legs on so they are symmetrical.

Students next take another piece of 4 x 6 inch paper, again in a color of their own choosing.  We round off the top two corners and glue this to the top center of the shell.  This becomes the turtle's head.  As students are working on this, I go around and mark a letter "X" on the messy side of the shell.  This is the side where you can see how everything is attached.
This is the messy side of the turtle.
The last piece of the turtle is the tail.  We scan our table scraps for any pieces that resembles a triangle and glue it to the center bottom of the shell.

The last few steps for the day, involve the students gluing their turtle to a 12 x 12 piece of white tag board.  Thanks to the "X" I placed on the shell, students know this is the side to place the glue on. Students use a blue marker to create water ripples around the turtle.  Using 3DO's I attached wiggly eyes to each turtle.
This is what the piece looks like at the end of day 1.
Day 2:
On the second day of this lesson, we discuss symmetry even further.  I demonstrate to students how to cut numerous shapes out of paper and how to fold their paper when they cut to ensure they get two identical pieces.

Students are required to have at least 8 to 10 shapes attached to their paper.  I give each student a ruler so they can check their symmetry as they work.  (They hold the ruler in the center of the turtle to form a line and look on each side to make sure it is the same).  I encourage students to be creative with their shapes, color selections and to play with overlapping within their designs.

Examples of Student Work:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Document Camera and Demo Mirrors

I am quite lucky to have both a documentation camera and a demonstration mirror in my work environments. 
The document camera actually belongs to our school library.  Lucky for us (I share my middle school room with another art teacher) the documentation camera is rarely checked out so we get to keep it in our room all year long.  I cannot imagine not having this tool in our classroom.  It makes demonstrating to 25 plus students so much easier!
Here is an example of me using a document camera with my middle school students.

At the elementary school, I have a demonstration mirror.  When students come to my room there is a carpet area for them to sit at.  I then sit at the desk and demonstrate to them the steps for the day.  This snazzy tool has been quite helpful for me and the students think it pretty cool to be able to come to the mirror and demonstrate something to the class.  The only set back is that it is a reflection, so you have to be careful if you trying to have students do something specifically on the right or left side of their composition.

What are the cool ways you do demonstration in your classroom?  
Demonstration Mirror

Students sittting on carpet area viewing the demonstration through the mirror.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In Art I Can...

I have my "I Can..." statements presented on a dry erase board.  Placing magnets on the back allows me to move them around with ease and to pull them off quickly if they are needed for closer viewing. Using a dry erase marker makes it easy to change the statements with a swipe.  I try to underline vocabulary that is relevant to the lesson and double underline or place a box around the artist being discussed.

My "I Can..." statements are left up for the entire lesson.  I do not change the statement day to day. With seeing multiple sections of the same grade on different days, I find it much easier to list all the statements for the entire project versus changing it every day.

Do you display "I Can..." statements in your classroom? What are ideas that work for you?

Youth Art Month 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Zentangle Inspired Landscapes

Second Grade Lesson
3 Class Periods
Zentangle Landscape, Second Grade Art Lesson
Zentangle: an abstract drawing that uses repetitive patterns.  The idea of a zentangle is to concentrate on the process and fun of line making rather than the overall outcome of the design.

Day 1
Each student selected a 9 x 12 inch piece of construction paper.  Students were shown how to create a border for their composition.  Parts of a landscape were reviewed (foreground, middle ground, background, horizon line), ideas were brainstormed together on types of landscapes that could be created.

Students drew landscapes lightly with pencil and then outlined with a sharpie marker.  Students were instructed to keep ideas simple.

Day 2
On this day students were introduced to zentangles.  A sample zentangle handout was provided for the students as well as demonstration on how to create several different types of zentangles.  

Using a pencil, students set about placing zentangle design within the landscape.  Finished designs were outlined with a sharpie marker.

Day 3
Students finished up any areas that they felt needed more zentangle designs.  Colored pencils were then incorporated in the finishing touches for the composition.

Student Examples

Friday, February 6, 2015

View Finder Dinos (2015)

Fourth Grade Lesson
Two Class Periods
View Finder Dinos, Fourth Grade Art Lesson

Here are a few examples from this year of this wonderful project.  If you would like to see last year's examples or know the details behind the lesson check out my post from last year: View Finder Dinos

I am quite pleased at how well the students take the time to look and draw for this assignment.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Guidelines for Art Journal Drawing

I created this poster to inform students on the guidelines of how to earn a "Happy Rock" in their art journal.  I discuss with them my four main criteria (use of space, details, creativity and craftsmanship) and how they can improve upon the drawings in their book that have not earned a happy face towards their rock (students must earn 5 happy faces in order to get their rock).  Check out my Happy Rocks post to learn more about this reward system I do in my classroom.