Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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Kawaii Rainbow Clouds

Kawaii means “cute” in Japanese and IMO there is really no other way to describe these little rainbow clouds! This project was inspired by a post from @oliver_artroom on Instagram. I did this with a few of my kindergarten classes and one 1st grade class. I had kids from other grades (even 4th & 5th!) beg to make one but we simply did not have time.

We began by painting a paper with rainbow stripes on the front and back. This was very revolutionary to the kids and they kept asking me “are you sure we are supposed to paint the back too!?” Yeah guys, I am sure : )

Next class, we read Little Cloud and created a cloud on card stock. Students cut their rainbow paper into strips and clued it to the cloud. We added googly eyes (or hand-drawn eyes) and a smile. Kids punched a hole in the top and tied on a piece of yarn to hang their little rainbow cloud. Aren’t the the cutest EVER?! I wanted to keep them all and hang them from the art room ceiling but I am sure that would have caused quite the uproar so I hope they are happily hanging on bedroom walls or refrigerator doors (or if it had been my parents, in the garage which was a kid’s art gallery). Enjoy!

❤ Mrs. K

 

 

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Activities for the Last Day of Art Class

It can be a challenge to plan the last few weeks of art lessons. You want to do something that is engaging and educational but fun. It is the end of the year after all! This year I did a bunch of different one or two day lessons and then on the very last day of art I had students do Genius Hour or The Day the Crayons Quit. I wanted to create a blog post about these and some of my other favorite last day lessons.

Water Graffiti
I have talked about this one before. At my old school, I had an enormous and mostly empty courtyard outside of my classroom. It was perfect for doing Water Graffiti. Basically, we would take big cups of water and paint brushes outside and paint with water. This was not only exceptionally fun but also provided a nice little science lesson about evaporation and the water cycle.

I would give challenges of who could paint the biggest ____ or who could work together to create a ______, who could write the entire alphabet without it evaporating. I haven’t done this in a few years but it is super fun on the last day, especially if it is nice out!

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The Dot
This activity is perfect if the weather isn’t great or if you have a group that you just don’t  trust to paint outside with water. I read The Dot to the class and put big pieces of butcher paper on each table. Students use a variety of art supplies to create their own dots. Usually there is an episode of Magic School Bus playing too 🙂

The Day the Crayons Quit
I will never tire of reading The Day the Crayons Quit to students. It is hilarious and so is the sequel. We begin by reading one or both and then do a step-by-step to create the crayon craft. This project is definitely more on the crafty side which I often try to avoid but it is so cute that I deem it OK for the last day of art class. I did this project earlier this year with the classes I had on Halloween because it was also Book Character Day. It is a perfect one day lesson for an exciting school day!

Each kiddo gets a popsicle stick and we create the crayon details, the name of the crayon color, and the face with sharpie. Then, they color it in. Next, students pick a pipe cleaner that most matches their crayon’s color and they cut it in half. I hot clue the pipe cleaners to the back to create pose-able arms and legs.

Genius Hour
“Ms. Katzin, why is it called genius hour if specials is only 45 minutes?” one sassy yet observant student asks. The answer is because this is an idea I borrowed from the kindergarten team. Out at carpool I started noticing kindergartners with amazing creations that they were designing and building during Genius Hour – an hour devoted to creativity. I am absolutely over the moon about this process and wish I had thought of doing it earlier in the year.

Basically – Genius Hour is where you can make whatever you want out of the materials provided. The creative ideas the kids come up with is astonishing. Here are the materials they could use: Pipe cleaners, scrapbook paper, scrap paper, felt, string, beads, paper cups, straws, receipt paper, mat board, scissors, staples, tape, glue. I explained the supplies to them and went over some basic rules and procedures and then they got to work.

One very cool and popular item was the Corru-Gator which crimps the paper. I only had one so the kids had to bring their paper to me but I plan on ordering a bunch more for next year.

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Check out these amazing creations!

I ended up placing a few more items out like bulletin board boarders and painted paper scraps as things got depleted. I am already starting to collect random knick-knacks to put in the Genius Hour bin for next year. I am hoping to do this more frequently than just the last day of art class.

Hope everyone has a great summer! See you in the fall!

❤ Mrs. Katzin

 


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Me, Under the Sea & Sea Turtles

A few years ago I did a project with 1st grade called Me, Under the Sea. I thought it would be fun to revisit but this time with grade 2. Students began by sketching plants, animals, and a self portrait under the sea. Then, the drew on big paper and colored in their designs with crayons. The last step was to create a ‘resist’ by painting over everything with blue liquid water color.

Since I had all of the supplies out for a nice underwater resist lesson, I wanted to do a sea turtle version with my art club kids. As you can see below, the art club versions include other animals and creative ideas besides turtles.

❤ Mrs. K


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Abstract Bubbles

This project was done with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. The kids called me out for planning such an easy-peasy project and I was honest with them – we were going to end the school year with easy stuff so that everyone is on task and chill. Every end of the school year is bonkers but this year I could really feel my students running out of steam and brain power towards the end. Maybe it was all of the inclement weather days we had this year? Maybe it was just being exhausted from working so hard in school? Anyway, I wanted something relaxing and easy that would use the last remnants of paint.

Students traced different sized cups and circular objects with a crayon. They were encouraged to overlap and go off the page. Then, they used water color paints to fill in the shapes. This abstract painting was somewhat meditative. For all of the “this is too easy!” complaining, the kids ended up liking the method. Sometimes process > product.

It probably also helped that I walked around and blew bubbles at them while they painted. Did you know that many children’s instinctive reaction to bubbles is to eat them? So now I must remind students not only to please don’t eat the artwork but please don’t eat the bubbles too!

❤ Mrs. K


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Geode Agates

I saw this project all over Instagram and knew it would be perfect for the last few weeks of school! The main inspiration came from @artwithmrs.e and her tutorial was super helpful. We began by looking at different geodes ad agate slices. Students connected this to their classroom learning because they learn about gems and minerals in 3rd grade.

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I found that this project worked best step-by-step so I did a demo on the doc cam and everyone followed along. We began by painting an oval with water. Then, students used analogous colors to create concentric rings going inward with water color paint. They sprinkled salt and outlined their shape with metallic tempera paint to finish it off. These are from one 4th grade and several 3rd grade classes. Nice work guys!

❤ Mrs. K


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Bubble Letter Sculpture

After starting and stopping this sculpture project   with one of my 5th grade groups, I wanted to rethink the sculpture making process. I took a peek into my Mary-Poppin’s bag of a supply closet (I am always finding some crazy thing in there) and realized I had a ton of empty yarn cones. I also had a lot of pipe cleaners and colored card stock so after playing around with the materials I came up with this sculpture project.

The first day, students had to sketch out their idea and practice their bubble letters. They had to plan out what colors they would be using to paint their cones and for their letters.

The second day, they used metallic versa temp paint to paint their cones.

The next couple of classes were spent drawing and cutting out the bubble letters from colored card stock squares. The toughest part was getting the kids to draw their letters big and wide enough to be taped to a pipe cleaner. So many of the letters ripped apart or just ended up being tiny little spaghetti noodles. Why do kids draw to tiny?!

I taught the kids how to cut out negative space inside of their letters and we used tape to adhere them to pipe cleaners. One kids brilliantly discovered that if you tape the letters to each other the sculpture becomes sturdier. I just love when students problem solve to make a project better.

They could choose any school-appropriate word they want but I encouraged them to do their name, initials, or the name of something that has significant personal meaning. There ended up being an awful lot of Fortnite and Stranger Things inspired sculptures. I guess that is what the youths are into these days.

I would say the majority of these turned out great but the process was rather difficult. Perhaps with less of a time crunch we could have added more details and art knowledge into these. For the last project of their elementary school experience, the 5th grader’s did a nice job overall. Hopefully I will be able to collect enough yarn cones to do this again next year!

❤ Mrs. K


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Prickly Pear Cactus Collages

Kinders loved making these prickly pear cactus collages! This project included a variety of art techniques and a ton of vocabulary. It is definitely one I will be revisiting next year!

We began by reading Mix it Up which is a really fun interactive color mixing book. I usually put it up on the Document Camera and call kids up to “mix” the colors. They are absolutely blown away by the “magic” book – it is super fun! After reviewing color mixing, students create a green paper by mixing blue and yellow. They use a fork to create prickly or spiky texture.

The next class, we talk about desert landscapes. A horizontal line is drawn across the paper. Above the line, kids use white oil pastels to make clouds. Below the line, they use a texture mat to create textured sand. They paint the sky blue and the ground brownish-gold.

The next week, students use cups to trace circles onto their green paper. They cut out the circles and glue them to the desert background with the biggest at the bottom ad the smallest at the top – just like a prickly pear cactus.

The last day of the project begins with the adorable story Hug Me. Then, students use cardboard to stamp spikes and cotton swabs to stamp flowers.

One of my kindergarten class was a little behind so we used black paper for a night time landscape. The other classes created the sunny daytime desert. I think both look great!

❤ Mrs. K