Monday, March 20, 2017

Little Red Snow Bird

2 Class Periods
Little Red Snow Bird, Kindergarten Art Lesson

Day 1:
On the first day of this lesson we prepped our paper to make it look like sky.  We started by picking out a piece of 12 x 18 inch construction paper.  Students were given choices of various blues and some gray hues.  Once a color was selected each child wrote their name on the back of their paper.  This may seem like a common sense step, but definitely worth mentioning especially if you are working with kindergarten students.

Using a pencil, we planned out where our little bird would be sitting on the branch.  I allowed students to use two circle templates for help (a poker chip and a Pringles lid make great circle templates).  Students drew a little triangle shape near the bottom of the larger circle to represent the tail of the bird.

Next each student was given a piece of chalk pastel in a blue or purple hue.  I demonstrated how to rub the pastel using the side of it versus the tip.  We then took a tissue to smear the color from the top to the bottom of the paper.  Students then washed and dried their hands.

Once returning to the table we took a brown oil pastel to create the tree branch.  My students have worked with both chalk and oil pastels before, but if you have a class with very little experience in these mediums you may want to give them a basic lesson on the difference between the two products.

The most important thing when making the tree branch is to make sure that it looks like the bird is sitting on the branch and that the branch is not going through the bird's body.

The final, step for this class period is to make the little bird red.  We used red tempera cakes for this step.  I demonstrated to students how to create a nice rich opaque color by using more paint and a little less water on when they painted.

Day 2:
During this class, we reviewed the steps from the previous class period before beginning with the next steps.

We discussed how the little bird was looking up into the sky.  I demonstrated to students where to place the eyes and the beak (near the top of the head).  The eyes were added on with a black sharpie marker and the beak was added on with an orange oil pastel.

Our last step for this lesson was to paint the snow.  We used a cotton ball and white liquid tempera to create the snowflakes.  When the paint was still wet we added a sprinkle of white glitter to give it a hint of sparkle.

Student painting snowflakes with a cotton ball.

Student Examples:

Youth Art Month 2017

This is my 8th year organizing and planning our Youth Art Month Exhibit for my school and the schools in the nearby area.  When I first started this little idea I only had two schools participate (one of the schools being the one I worked at currently and the other being the school I work at previously).  Each year the exhibit gets a bigger and bigger.  This year we had two more school districts join us for the very first time.  It makes my heart sing to see how successful this little exhibit has become.

This little exhibit allows us to share the creative talent and hard work we as art educators put forth in our teaching as well as allowing a special place for our students to shine.  It makes me so proud to be an art teacher!

A special thank you to WITC-Rice Lake for hosting this wonderful event and a huge thank you to the art educators in the following districts who participated in the exhibit this year.  Thank you!

Barron School District, Birchwood School District, Cameron School District, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser School District, Cumberland School District, Rice Lake School District and Spooner School District

One happy art teacher!
A few photos from Youth Art Month 2017!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ceramic Cupcakes

2nd Grade
2 class periods
Ceramic Cupcakes, Second Grade Lesson
This is a new spin on an old lesson that I do with my second grade students on food sculptures.  For this project we looked at the artwork of Claes Oldenburg.  You may reference my past post on this lesson for discussion and reference ideas Oldenburg Food Sculptures.  In the middle of this lesson, I also thought Wayne Thiebaud would be another fantastic artist that could be discussed and used as a reference for this project.

Ceramic Cupcakes, Second Grade Art Lesson

Day 1:
We use one class period to create these cupcakes out of clay (class period is 50 minutes).
Our first step was to create the cupcake wrapper.  I use silicone cupcake liners as our mold for this project.  I give each student a piece of saran wrap which they set into the cupcake liner.  This allows the clay to come out much easier.  We place a golf ball size of clay into the liner.  I demonstrate to students how to create a pinch pot from the clay.

Step two requires a review demonstration of slip and score technique.  Students use a small clay rectangle shape slab to create two pieces that they attach to the cupcake wrapper to prevent the lid from falling off after it is fired.  After these are attached, I go around the room and trim them down for the students.

Students are next given another golf ball size of clay.  From this clay they create another pinch pot to represent the top of the cupcake.  Students need to make sure that the top of the cupcake fits over the tabs they created in the cupcake liner before moving on to the next step.

Make sure lid fits over tabs.

The last step for this lesson is to add details to their frosting (sprinkles, cherries, strawberries, etc.).   Students that would like to add a candle after the piece is complete, poke a hole into the cupcake top so we have a place to glue it into after it is glazed.  We used real candles, but you certainly could have your students make them out of clay.

Finally, we removed the silicone liner and redraw some of the lines on the clay wrapper.  Students write their name and class code on the bottom of their project.  We allow it to dry a day or two before placing it in the kiln.
Cupcakes air drying before first firing.

Day 2:
The second day of this lesson is a glazing class period.  I provide students with basic knowledge about glazing and the firing process.

I had students complete a brainstorm sheet prior to this lesson on planning out their glaze colors.  I, also limited glaze color selection for each piece of the cupcake to help with distribution and clean up. Student were given four glaze color choices for the wrapper and then four choices for the frosting.   Having them deciding ahead of time on their color selection creates a smoother and more productive class period on glaze day.
Brainstorming our glazing plan for our cupcakes.

After the projects come of the kiln the second time, I hot glue candles to the projects that requested it and a brown pipe cleaner to create the stems of the cherries.

Students were very excited to make these very delicious looking storage containers.  I hope you are as amazed as I am with the results of this project!

Student Examples: