Monday, January 16, 2017

Australian Aboriginal Dot Art (2016)

This project was a total hit last year so I used it again with 3rd grade. Check out the original post with lesson break down here.
 The only thing I changed was paint distribution. I have 3oz cups with lids and I put one of each color on a tray and a stick for dotting with each. Each table got one tray and it really kept paint from being wasted and DRAMATICALLY helped with cleanup. No washing paint palettes like last year!
Once again, this project was a hit and turned out just beautiful!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Royal Self-Portraits with 1st Grade

 I usually do the same projects for K&1 but for the start of the year I like to do the Ain't Gonna Paint project with my kinders. So, while kindergarten was painting all over themselves, first grade became royal!
I can use details in my self-portrait that make me look royal.
I can paint an organized background.

Day 1: Look and Draw
Read a really fun book called "The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark" and did a really fun activity to kick off this lesson--I put a variety of pictures of royal people real and cartoon on the smartboard and paired off kiddos with dry erase boards. They had to work together to draw or write the details they saw that made the people look royal. Then together, we combined our ideas into a big list. After this activity, they watched my demo of drawing my royal portrait and got busy drawing. I had a big stack of books from the library for visual reference for them to use as well.
Day 2: Outline and Color
The next day they spent outlining and coloring but we started with a story out of the book
"A Princess, A Pirate, And One Wild Brother". It has three stories in it, we just read the princess one. When it was work time, there was a little roadblock --I asked them to outline in the color they were going to be coloring things in with--not many were able to do that, or forgot, or just didn't focus enough to accomplish that. Thinking about it now, it wasn't that important to color match, so we will probably just go all black sharpie the next time I do this lesson, especially with painting later on (if they were not super controlled with their paint their water soluble marker lines blurred or smeared).We colored with crayons and I really pushed kids to improve coloring skills.
Day 3: Painting sparkles and metal
We started with a rather interesting TumbleBook--"Princess Justina Albertina"--it's worth the read/watch. After their coloring was finished I put out metallic and sparkle paint in all different colors for them to add details with to their self-portrait. Sparkles and shiny paint are REALLY exciting to first graders so we had a bit of chat about what would actually sparkle or shine in real life. Also chatted about being in control of our choices and really thinking about what we were doing before we did it. Impulse control baby! I only had a few kiddos go really REALLY overboard with the sparkles but there was also behavior issues involved there.
Day 4: Background painting.
Started with another digital story about a King--"The Kiss That Missed" done by Storyline Online.
Then it was time to paint, tempera cakes are one of my favorite materials for background painting. They don't wrecked/ruined easily and they produce really beautiful colors--so just about everything looks good! We talked about making choices in the background that make our background look on purpose and organized.
Another plus of tempera cakes is they dry fast so when they were done painting, I did the unthinkable--GLITTER. They used a glue bottle to draw where they wanted glitter then brought it over to me at the glitter station where we sprinkled glitter and put it on the drying rack.

This might have to be a repeat in the future with just a few changes. Also, there are some great Tumble Books available and books from Storyline Online that you could use for lessons and give your voice a break. Check out all the ones they have!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Yearbook Covers

Our school district has a tradition of our 4th grade students designing the yearbook cover for the district's joint elementary yearbook that includes our four elementary schools.

All 4th grade students create a cover and then myself and the other elementary art teachers send them up to the middle school to be selected by the middle school art teachers. One gets chosen for the overall cover, four get chosen for the back cover, and a few others get chosen for the start of each school inside the yearbook.
It is a VERY long process that has to be done at the start of the year because covers need to be completed by the end of November. We tried to shorten the time this year but somehow it still look 2 months! 
The bottom left was selected for the back cover.
I started with my students exploring old yearbooks and mapping out why they think the covers got selected. Then they used the sheet below to practice skills and generate ideas/sketches. The themes we selected for them to work from were "Kindness Begins with Me","Dare to Dream", and "Anything But Ordinary".


They conferenced with me after their sheet was done and created a rough draft without coloring, conferenced with me again, and then started on their finals. In the past coloring goes out the window in big areas so to help prevent that I had color sticks by crayola for them to use in large areas. If you haven't used color sticks they are essentially a naked colored pencil. No wood surrounding the color core.

These babies are a lot of work but when students reflected with our 3-2-1 sheet many were proud of the work they did and enjoyed the process and project.

Here is last years post and covers.