Thursday, January 29, 2015

Too Sweet Not to Share

While I was checking first grade sketchbooks this afternoon, I came across this drawing that warmed my heart and made me smile.
Brooklynn, 1st Grade

If you can't figure it out, her mama is going to have a baby soon.  Don't you just love this drawing?

Egyptian Portrait Batiks

Third Grade Art Lesson
3 Class Periods

Egyptian Portrait Batiks, Third Grade Art Lesson
Day 1 
1.  Students learn about Egyptian culture through classroom books I have on the topic and a brief PowerPoint.
Some Ancient Egyptian Facts to Share with Your Students
*  A Pharaoh is the title given to the rulers of Ancient Egypt.
*  Ancient Egyptian pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs.
*  Cats are considered sacred animals and are believed to bring good luck.
*  Ancient  Egypt is one of the greatest and most powerful civilizations in the history of the world.
*  Much of the success for this civilization is directly linked to the Nile River.  It provided Egyptians with food, soil, water and transportation.
*  Both Egyptian men and women wore make up.  The eye paint was usually green (made from copper) or black (made from lead).
*  Make up provided protection from the sun's powerful rays.
*  Ancient Egyptians loved to play board games.
*  Ancient Egyptians invented lots of things we still use today (paper, pens, locks, keys and toothpaste).

2.  Together as a class, students complete a follow along drawing of an Egyptian on a piece of brown craft paper.  Students are given choices during instruction.  What direction do you want your portrait to face?  Who will your Egyptian portrait represent?  A Pharaoh?  A Queen?  A Worker?  We discuss how an Egyptian portrait is always in profile view.

Day 2
1.  On the second day, students viewed part of a YouTube clip that described the reasons why ancient Egyptian portraits all seem so similar and yet odd in their proportions.

2.  After viewing the clip, students used an assortment of crayons to color in their portraits.  Backgrounds were to be left alone and students were encourage to press hard with their crayons.  The crayon wax is very important for this lesson.

Day 3
1. This day of class is a little scary for students.  We sit in a circle with our artwork.  I explain to them about the process of Batik (the technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to a piece of cloth).  I informed students that we want our paper to have the feel of cloth.  I demonstrate how we will accomplish this by crumpling up our paper.  The shock on their face during this process is quite amusing.  After they earn my trust that I am not playing a trick on them they begin to crumple and un-crumple their work, repeating this step 5 to 6 times.  Students are reminded to be careful in the un-crumpling process, but not to fret if they end up with tears in their work.  I reassure them it will just add to the ancient look of their piece.

2.  Students next take a black oil pastel and outline their portrait.

3.  Black tempera paint is painted over the entire piece.
Student painting pieces.
4.  After the piece dries, students used a Egyptian Alphabet stamp set I acquired through our school library The Metropolitan Museum of Art Fun with Hieroglyphs by Catharine Roehrig to write their name.  We drew a box around the name to represent a cartouche (a double loop of rope tied at one end, the pharaoh's name was written inside of a cartouche).

I am always so impressed with the results to the lesson.  I hope you are, too.

Examples of Student Art:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Glazing Distribution Tip

Today in my daily email from the Art of Education I noticed they had an article about storage for easy glaze distribution in class.  After reading the article, I said to myself, "Hey!  I already do that!"  I thought I had blogged about it and realized that I never blogged about it specifically, but only mentioned it in a lesson that I was teaching.  So here it is for all of you that may not get emails from the Art of Education or missed seeing it in my post Burch Clay Cats.

When I glaze with my students (I currently only glaze with third grade and older) I have smaller containers of glaze all ready to go and set up on a counter in my room.  Each container is labeled with the name of the glaze and a photograph of what the glaze looks like when fired.  Students are to take a new brush every time they change to a new color.  Dirty brushes are placed in water buckets at their work stations.  Last year was the first year I used this system, but I did use it again this year with the pinch pot frog lesson we are currently working on.  It really does make glazing so much more manageable for the class room setting and allows students to have more say in color selection for their projects.

I try to have three containers of the same color to help with the sharing process.

I only fill the containers about 1/4 full.  You can always add to the container if it runs low.  Glaze stores in these containers for me for about a month before the glaze start looking like it may dry up.   I usually add the left over color back to the container.  Cleaning the containers is actually a snap.  I leave the lid off, let the left over glaze dry in it.  After it is dry, I gently squeeze the sides of the container (these are tempera painting storage cups) and the glaze cracks right off.  Shake in garbage can, wash container and dry.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Cradle's New Spin

Here is a new spin on a lesson that I do every year with my first grade students.  To see the details about the lesson and see previous student work from the year before follow this link: Gustav Klimt's The Cradle

Side by side comparison of last year and this year projects.

This year, instead of creating a baby face near the top of the blanket, we instead added a photograph of ourself.  I think the results turned out pretty cute, but honestly I feel I love my original plan better. Sometimes lessons work out like that.  Good to know though, that there are options to spice up a lesson if you get bored with it.  What are your thoughts?  What lesson outcome do you prefer?

Check out below to see more examples from students this year or check out the above link to see more examples from last year.

Student Examples:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cave Art Drawings

This is still one of my favorite first grade lessons to teach.  Students love to hear about the first art ever made and the incredible artists behind the prehistoric drawings they view in class.  Check out the link to reference the directions for this lesson Cave Art Drawings and facts about prehistoric art. Please note, that this year we did not draw on painted watercolor paper, drawings were instead completed on brown craft paper.

We also read this book together, which I discovered at the public library while helping my son find a book.  It was a great find and I will definitely be using it again next year for this lesson.

Students Examples From This Year:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Girl Scouts Earn Drawing Patch

I was asked by Girl Scout Troop 3031 in our community for help in earning their Drawing Patch.

The girls had a lot of tasks to complete in order to earn their patch.

1.  Identify and draw a still life.

2.  Discuss and test out different mediums.

3.  Create value.  Show light and shadow within their drawing.

4.  Understand the importance of having pride in their work and the importance of displaying art.
I feel so honored to be part of this action packed hour of instruction.  Thank you Troop 3031!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy Rocks

I have tried many reward systems for my students.  Everything from stickers to a bin of small trinkets that students can choose from.  This little idea has been by far my favorite and it is quite surprising how much the students love these happy little stones.

I usually make these little rocks when a class is finishing up a clay project.  I use the scraps of clay that have been squished and smooshed so much that they pretty much could not create another project unless they were re softened in a slip bucket.  I roll these little clay scraps into small little spheres.  With one gentle smoosh of my thumb they are flatten and with a stick a smiley face is drawn upon the piece.
Making the stones.

Fire (with the projects that students just completed), glaze (or paint), add to a little box and PRESTO!  You have an awesome trinket that the student want to earn.
Example of ticket found in journal.

Students can earn Happy Rocks in my classroom by helping someone, doing additional clean up, modeling positive behavior or creating five drawings in their sketchbooks.  Once students complete five drawings they receive a ticket in their journal.  They can cash in their ticket at the end of the class during dismissal time.
One thing is for sure....students look quite forward to earning these little rocks that hardly take any time to make.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Little Clay Owl Painting Twist

I have done this clay owl unit for a number of years at the elementary school. Students love this lesson. Little Clay Owl (see steps and past examples by clicking the link).

In the past I have always had students paint their clay pieces with tempera cakes.  Over the summer I came across a Pinterest idea where they colored the clay with crayon and then painted the tempera on top of it.  It looked so neat, yet I couldn't believe it would work.  I mean use crayon on clay? Really??

This year I took the leap and tried it.  Much to my surprise it was a huge success.  
LOVE, LOVE the results!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cave Art Celebration

Cave Art + Chalk in ART = Messy Fun!  

With seeing so many sections of students and only seeing them once a week, sometimes I feel like I am on a lesson forever.  Here is a "Hip-Hip-Hooray!" for tackling our cave art lesson with my last section of first graders.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In the Works

Saw this lesson idea on Pinterest and had to give it a try.  My third grade students just started it today and I am already quite happy with the results.  Stay tuned for lesson details once the project is completed. :)
Frog Pinch Pots