Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Weaving Bots

First Grade
3 Class Periods

Weaving Bots, First Grade Art Lesson
Day 1:
Students are introduced to the concept of weaving.  We discuss what a weaving is and create a list of things that we have seen that have been woven.  We look at several weaving examples that I have within the classroom.

We also discuss looms and what a loom can be made from.  After we look at several examples that I have in the classroom, together as a class we begin to construct our own loom made out of paper.

After our loom is created, students are then shown how weave the weft through their warp threads (paper strips cut within the loom).  The paper strips that we use for the weft are in warm or cool colors.  Students must make a choice to if they will be weaving in a warm or cool scheme.

For many students this is their first time weaving, so we spend a little time demonstrating the over-under process of weaving.

Once the weavings are complete, I have students glue their strips down so the weaving will not fall apart.
Students weaving on their paper looms.
Day 2:
I have students trim the edges of their weaving.  We then begin a follow along construction of a robot.  On this day we tackle the body, neck, head, arms, and legs.  We glue our robot onto a large piece of white paper.

Day 3:
We use day three to create the eyes, mouth, talking screen (white rectangle placed on the belly) and the hands and feet.  This usually takes about half of the class period.  We use the remaining class period to draw images or write words on the talking screen of the the robot.  Students are also allowed to add various pieces of shiny paper to their robot as they see fit.
Students adding details to their weaving bots.
Bolts are drawn with a sharpie marker to show how the robot is assembled.

Examples of Student Work:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Value Cakes

Fourth Grade
2 Class Periods
Value Cakes, Fourth Grade Art Lesson
Day 1:
Students began this lesson by doing a follow along drawing of a cylinder.  When students were shown how to draw the diagonal lines to create the illusion of a piece missing, the gasps from this magical transformation could make any art teacher feel like a rock star.

Students next divided up the inside of the cake into 7 layers.  We discussed parallel lines as we completed this step.

Students were asked to imagine themselves as cake decorators and were given full creative power to decorate and design their cakes as they wished.

Cakes were outlined with a sharpie marker.

Day 2:
I share the following you tube clip with students on the many cakes of Wayne Thiebaud as a refresher of what we are working on.  Since we discuss this artist in great detail in first and fifth grade, we do not go into any specifics about his life, just a few facts, such as he is a painter and is famous for his cake and pie paintings.  Most students remember facts on their own from first grade after viewing the clip.  Doesn't that make your heart sing?  I know it causes me to tremble with excitement when I hear them recite things they learned from me in previous grades.

On the second day of class, students were allowed to choose one colored pencil in the color of their choice.  Together as a class we created a value scale (showing a color go from light to dark) inside the cake.

Once students finished the inside layers, we flipped our paper over and made a practice value scale using only our pencil.  Students were instructed to color the rest of their composition using only their pencil.  Students were required to show a light, medium and dark range with their pencil.

Examples of Students Work:

First Race of 2015

For any of you that follow my blog, you know that besides art and teaching, one of my other favorite activities is running.
Me running the Lucky 7.  Seriously, who smiles like that when they run?  I guess, I do!  :)

I kicked off my race adventures for 2015 by running a 7K in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday March 14th called the Lucky 7.  It was a perfect day for running...sunny with a slight breeze.  With my first race under my belt, I am eager to take on more. Three cheers for melting snow, clear pavement and spring like temps!
My sister, sister-n-law and I.  See the sunshine?

Love this shot.

My sister and I.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Grouchy Ladybug

3 Class Periods
The Grouchy Ladybug, Kindergarten Art Lesson

About the Artist:

Students learned about artist and writer Eric Carle.  Eric Carle was born June 25, 1929 in New York. At the age of six he moved to Germany and did not move back to the United States until the age of 23. He quickly found a job as a graphic designer for The New York Times.  His work for The Times was noticed by author Bill Martin, Jr. who asked Carle for help in illustrating a children's book called Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (1967)  A few years later, Eric started his career by illustrating and writing his first book The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969).  The artist is still alive today and has written over 70 children's books.
Eric Carle
Day 1:
I read to students the story A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.   We examine the pictures closely and discuss the colors and textures we see within the artwork.  During this time, I really do not give students too much information about Eric Carle.  I instead emphasize that we will be making pretty paper like we see in the story to create a picture of our own for our next time in art together.

I divide students up in groups.  I give each group a large piece of white paper and pour paint on each piece of paper.  Students are allowed to use foam brushes, scrapers, rollers and their hands to paint with.  Once the paint starts to cover most of the paper I layer the paper with a second color that can easily mix with the first.  I don't need to tell you how the students squeal with excitement over this. The pieces are then set off to the side to dry as clean up takes place.

The colors that I have students create are red (orange or pink is the second color that we mix with it), black (which has purple or blue added to it), green (blue or yellow is added as the second color) and purple (white is added).
Students making paste paper.

Day 2:
I share with students a brief PowerPoint about artist and writer Eric Carle.  Students become very excited about this artist because so many of them have heard or read an Eric Carle story.  Students become even more fascinating when they learn that Eric Carle not only writes the stories but creates the pictures for his books.  

We examine his technique of creating hand-painted papers and how he cuts and layers these papers to create his collage like pictures.

I then read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle to the students.  After the story, we discuss how we made our special paste paper and compare it how Eric Carle makes his paste paper.

Together as a class we begin to make our own version of the grouchy ladybug.
Students creating ladybugs from the paste paper they created.
Day 3:
We use the last day as a day to add the finishing details to our ladybug.  This usually consists of the spots, legs and face.  For students that finish early, I have a variety of Eric Carle books for them to look at and a few Eric Carle activity sheets for them to work on.

Student Examples:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Youth Art Month 2015 Exhibit

We had another wonderful show!  All the smiles, beaming parents, happy students and great art reminds me why I do what I do.  I LOVE my job!  Happy Youth Art Month!

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Youth Art Month 2015

Setting up the show tonight!  We open tomorrow with a ceremony from 11am to 1pm.  So proud of all my students!