Snowman series, part 1

The 1st graders at my school have been writing poetry about snowmen. Those were the days, right? Ah, the bliss of being in 1st grade.
So, because they finish projects so quickly, I have created a snowman unit. I know, genius. We are going to do 3 different artworks, each learning different techniques and art concepts, each about snowmen.

Here is the first: We talked about line, crayon resist, and watercolor technique. I have found it really makes a difference to use nice, watercolor paper. They turned out so great.


Taco Fish!

We made these in my after-school art class. They are a really easy ceramics project. Roll out a circle slab of clay about the size of a dinner plate. Crumple up a piece of newspaper, place it on the slab and then fold the sides up over the paper--like a taco! The paper supports the fish while you build it. Then pinch the clay together to make the fin. Next, add eyes, scales...etc.

They were kiln fired. The newspaper burns up, and then we painted them with acrylic paint.

This one is mine, and the others are from my students:

Animal Habitats

At the first of the year, each 2nd grade student picked an animal and wrote a short report about the animal's habitat. So, it was the perfect opportunity to create an animal-inspired artwork.

This is one of my favorite techniques to do with younger grades because of the vibrant colors that we end up with. First, each student drew their animal in its habitat in pencil on a large (12x18") piece of black construction paper. Then, they traced over the pencil drawing in white glue. After the glue was dry, they colored in the back paper with oil pastels.

Each one turned out so unique, I wanted to put them all up here, but will have to settle for a few.


Penguins were popular for some reason. :) Yes, this is indeed a 2nd grader's artwork. :)


Sir Ken Robinson to Speak in Park City!

A week from today, January 15 at 7:30 pm, Ken Robinson will be speaking at the Eccles Center in Park City. Tickets range from $18-65.

He is a very inspiring mind in the world of education and I love listening to him. I will (hopefully) be heading up there, so if anyone wants a ride with me, let me know!

If any of you remember this post I put up a few months ago, you may have watched his TED talk. It was about 20 min long, so if you didn't catch it, here is a condensed, 5 min version:


3D Forms traveling through space

Third grade geometry is the time when students really learn their 3 dimensional forms and need to learn how to draw them, so you know what that means...art project! We spent a few days learning how to draw each of the shapes (cone, cylinder, sphere, pyramid, cube, and a rectangular prism) and then different shading techniques both with graphite pencils as well as crosshatching with pen and ink.

Since they have been talking about space basically all year, we made rocket ships. Each student needed to draw a spaceship using at least 6 of the 3D forms, shade it with a consistent light source in pen and ink, and then we got to add fun details and paint. Again they learned how to make lights and darks with watercolor. This turned out to be a huge lesson on value!

Greek Pots, take two

So, if you remember this post, we spent some time with the sixth grade classes designing Greek pottery.
After that, as promised, we built the pots with terracotta clay and painted them with black under-glaze to learn about the techniques that the Greeks used themselves.

This was a huge ceramics project for me. I have done ceramics, but never taught it until this year, and to be completely honest, haven't really done ceramics since I, myself, was in 8th or 9th grade. So, to put it simply, this was a great learning experience for me. We had exactly 0 pots explode, which I consider a huge success, even though there were some broken handles.

I am again, so proud of my students and all of their hard work.

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