Friday, May 31, 2013

Saige's hot air balloon project

     I've been beside myself all month wanting to post this blog but I have tried to be patient.  I'm so excited to finally share this with everyone.

     Recently our PTA president contacted me about a grant she had found on the American Girl Website.  The subject had to be hot air balloons.  I had recently pinned a work by David Kracov and knew instantly that this would be the inspiration for the project.  I began by researching the artist and learned that Kracov is a native of Boston and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.  This was terrific,  my students really engage when they find out about a current, living artist and this one was from our home state.  Kracov is an animator and a sculpture.  The work I had chosen as an inspiration is one of his metal works.
      Picking up the books about Saige helped me to gather a little American Girl history for the project.  The students, boys and girls really got caught up in the story of how Saige, a young girl from New Mexico, was upset when there was no Art program in her school and began a movement to start an after school art program.  This character could represent so many of my students and the disappointment they would feel at the loss of our art program.  Most of my students were alarmed to learn that some students really do not have an in school art program.  I think they appreciated me even more than normal!
      So the project:  I limited the participation to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students.  Working with Art Foil, each student cut out the shape for the envelope of the hot air balloon.  Working together we analyzed the direction lines should be placed on the balloon to create a perspective and roundness for the balloons.  Students then detailed the balloon in a personal way and used sharpies to add color.  Magnet tape was added to the back of each balloon after twistee wire and construction paper were used to add a basket.  From here, this became an interactive collaborative project.  Students placed their balloon on a bulletin board that had been covered with a blue cotton background and white paper clouds.  After a photo was taken, all students of all grades had the freedom to rearrange the balloons in a new configuration.  Three digital images were taken for the grant application.  The balloons continually changed the entire time the bulletin board was up.
     The balloons were colorful, beautiful, original, and individual.  This was an exciting project.  If we hadn't run out of Art foil since it's so late in the school year, I'm sure everyone would have wanted to make their own balloon!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recycling old books

I am always on the lookout for ways to incorporate recycled papers into student work. It is very appealing to me personally to incorporate what is being thrown out into something refreshed and new. When the librarian recently cleaned out shelves and placed some books in boxes for students to take I knew I might have found the idea for a new project.  I selected four of the discarded books that were easy reads with little illustrations.  I primarily picked up books of poetry.  After disassembling the books with my handy dandy exacto knife, I was left with some great illustrated hardback covers and piles of pages just waiting to be chosen for a new project. I'm saving the hardback covers for another project to be determined!

Here was my inspiration.  I have been recently following the works of a watercolor artist from Oklahoma who uses dictionaries for her art papers.   They really speak to me and I know I will purchase one of her prints for my own soon. You can check her blog, flying shoes art studio, here.  She chooses subject matter based on a word from the page.   I knew I could probably do something similar with my book pages and fourth grade students.

I allowed each student to select a page of their choice.  Yes, they had to read some poetry first and decide what was most appealing to them personally.  Then, they were challenged to illustrate over the words with their drawings being driven by the passages they had read.  I'm please with the way they have approached the challenge and most seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to draw on a page of a book.    Here are some finished works.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

6 minutes of exercise

I've shared with you before about the timed 6 minute draw I used to begin each class.  The purpose is to transition students into an art frame of mind.  I was really pleased to discover this drawing the other day by one of my students.  It's totally creative, imaginative and not a copy of Spongebob or something else they are tied in to.  The previous post can be found Here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Trading cards for Haiti

If you visit Art Projects for Kids, you read Kathy's recent blog calling for trading cards for Haiti.  I was out last week and had the substitute do a lesson on this with a few of my classes.  They finished up today.  Thought I'd share some of their work.   They will go out in tomorrows mail, Kathy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Action Figures

No, I am not talking toys here.  One of the subjects covered with 2 nd grade each year is how to show action in art.  For this lesson we look at sculptural action and create a stabile. First a definition of action figure is in order and we practice "freeze frame" using our bodies to visualize actions.  Once each student has decided on an action,  twisted wire is used to create a figure.  One leg or one hand is embedded into a ball of model magic to create a base for the sculpture and success is achieve when the figure successfully balances in a stance showing motion.   This is always a favorite and challenging lesson.  Listening and following directions to first create the wire figure takes almost an entire class time.  Once created,  students must analyze their chosen action to determine how they will achieve balance.  The photos below demonstrate a very successful class.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Color wheel truck in the city

 I found this fun little kindergarten project on Art in the Big Green Room.

As I have mentioned before, I always use a children's book with my kinders projects.  For this one I used Harold and the Purple Crayon.  Harold draws city buildings at one point during the story when he is in search of his window.

This is an easy one day project for kindergarten that combines shape and color.  I pre prepped all of the colored rectangles so you could slow the process by having the students cut themselves.

First we looked at pictures of city buildings and drew tall rectangles above a horizon line on the paper.  A black crayons was used for this process.  Next students glued a black rectangle onto the skyline at a place of their choice and used a white craypa to add windows and doors.  They were all very concerned with placement of door knobs, cute.  As they drew, we talked about shapes and sizes of both windows and doors.  A broken line was added to divide the road below the building.  Again, discussion about broken lines in roads continued.  Such questions "where do you see the broken line?" "Are there broken lines in the street in front of the school?"
 Using glue sticks, students began to assemble the color wheel truck.  After the first two colors were in place, I had them predict which color I would be passing to them next.  The red and final rectangle was glued in place horizontally to represent the front of the truck and the black crayon was again used to add detail to the cab and the wheels.
Next time I present this lesson, I will cut the rectangles for the truck smaller.  The background paper was cut 9"x6" .  I think I would prefer to have the students work larger as well and perhaps slow down the lesson and have them add color to the buildings.  Regardless, it was a great kindergarten lesson.

Art in the Big Green Room

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Amazing Wax Artist - Genevieve!

Have you ever had one of those students that you just know you will hear about when they get into High School Art because of all of the amazing things they are creating?  I'm always excited when my gut feeling pans out and they truly are amazing and dedicated to the arts in their teens.
I want to share a bit of information about one of the second graders I am privileged to be teaching right now.  She  always produces top rate work no matter what medium we are working with but I've always notice she rises to the top when we are working on our clay unit.  Since clay is my personal passion, it's always given me a great deal of pleasure to see what she will create.  In early winter, little Genevieve walked in with something and wanted to share it with me.  She had eaten some Babybel cheese, saved the wax covering and soften it to mold and create a small owl.  I began to pay attention and realized soon after that she often had the cheese for lunch and would begin to create.  All sorts of cute little wax figures could be found in that lunch box.  She makes me think about those little prodigy children artist that are already selling their work and making the big bucks as they plan for their college in elementary school!
 So I've got that old gut feeling about Genevieve.  I won't be surprised when I see her creations proudly displayed at the High School art show in the future.  Who knows, maybe she's one of those little prodigies, too!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I just joined bloglovin

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New Blog

I've decided to create a new blog just for my students.  Here is my first post.  You can access the blog from my pages tabs above.  Click on over and make a visit!


This new blog originated out of a request from one of my students.   He recently approached me, after having viewed my blog Art on my hands and ask me to add more detailed lesson plans to my blog.   That is not really the approach I wanted to use for my blog but the request did start me thinking.   I have decided to create a second blog with easy to do project lessons that students can use at home with everyday supplies that most households already have on hand.  This post launches that new blog.  My goal will be to add 1 -2 lessons that are student friendly each week, primarily focusing on summer vacation and break time.  Some of these lessons may become more crafy in nature.
 So, my wonderful student, this is what you ask me for and I am happy to be able to bring you "My Students have Art on Their Hands, Too!"  Thanks for the suggestion!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

In a spring garden

Cruising around Pinterest a few weeks back, I discovered a cute lesson using a soda bottle to make flowers and decided it would be a perfect lesson for my Kinders with a bit of extension and my own focus.   Here is how I presented this lesson.   First I read the book "In a Spring Garden" edited by Richard Lewis.  It is a compilation of short poems that tell a story about spring.  Next we practiced vertical lines using values of green with markers.  This is the first time Kinders have used markers so a lesson in proper use preceded.  We thought tall, thick spring grass prior to the first mowing.   With white paint, 9 flowers were printed along the top of the grass at various heights.  A pencil eraser dipped in yellow paint was used to add the centers in the flowers.   This was set aside in the dry rack.  Finally,  the traditional symmetrical butterfly was made and added to the dry rack.  I had pre-set both papers with student names prior to class time for efficiency and to avoid "no name" papers.   Students cut out the butterflies and attached them to the flower field during week two.  It is a busy lesson with a lot of transition but I have everything ready to go and switch material out throughout the process.
They turned out really cute.

In a Spring Garden