Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS 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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Check out these cutie woven birdhouses by grade 2!

We began by creating patterned paper with Mr. Sketch watercolor markers. The process for getting the neat tie-dye effect can be found here. Next, we created a weaving with construction paper. This is how I create a loom with my students. We cut one of the pattern papers into a triangle or trapezoid or semi-circle to create a roof. Students created a circle for the hole in their birdhouse ad used colorful construction paper to make a bird or any animal that they want. There were birds, cats, dogs, unicorns, narwhals, lizards, eagles, alligators, turtles, mice, and all sorts of other creatures!


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Second Grade Sundials

A few weeks ago I read in my school’s weekly blast that second grade was learning about sundials and that they would be creating their own sundials. I was immediately inspired to collaborate with the grade 2 team to create a cross-curricular clay sundial. This project was easy-peasy. On day one, we talked about the science behind sundials. When I showed students the example, they asked why aren’t there numbers on it. During my research prepping for this, I discovered that to make a sundial that actually works, you have to go outside and measure the sun every hour. I explained to my second graders that since art is only 45 minutes long, we would be doing texture instead of numbers.

So on the first day, students got a slab of clay and a circle template. They cut out a circle and smoothed the edges. Then they used a bunch of different texture stamp thingies to create texture on their slab.

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Before the discs went into the kiln, I poked a hole in the center with a straw. Here they are after being bisqued:

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Students got to choose what color straw they wanted and I hot glued it into the center.

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These were finished by coloring on the surface with crayons and then painting over the crayon with tempera paint. This created a neat resist effect.

It was so fun to collaborate and create something that encompasses science and art. I love doing these kinds of projects because they really strengthen overall learning.

Great job second graders!

❤ Mrs. K


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Clay with K-3

Greetings from the art room! I wanted to share the ceramic artwork my kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders have been working on. All of the following projects are twists on lessons I have taught in the past so I won’t go into too much detail here, (except for 2nd grade’s turtles). Click the links below to see the step-by-step process for each project 🙂

Kindergarten Penguins

Last year when I did penguins with my kinders we used tempera paint and glitter to paint them. I had a lot of kids request to use more colors than just black, white, and orange so this year we painted them with watercolor. I love the multi-colored designs!

1st Grade Rainbow Fish

I think I have read the Rainbow Fish out loud to kids at least a thousand times. I know all of the words to the story without even looking at the pages – it is one of my absolute favorite childhood books. This year’s 1st graders were so inspired by the beautiful sparkly illustrations. They were super excited to use Sax Versa Temp Pearlescent Paint and Sax Versa Temp Metallic Paint to paint their creations. One group ended up needing 2 class periods to paint so when they finished on the second day, they created a pyramid “habitat” for their rainbow fish.

2nd Grade Turtles

I have been collecting turtles since I was a little kid. I brought my turtle collection into school to sit on my windowsill and the kids have been going bonkers over all of them. 2nd graders were so thrilled to make their very own ceramic turtles. We began with a pinch pot which we then added features to by doing scratch & attach.

They added all kinds of cutie details like hats, bows, soccer balls, and even baby turtles. The turtles were completed with Sax Versa Temp Fluorescent Paint.

3rd Grade Animal Faces

Last year’s batch of 3rd grade animal faces came out great. I decided that it would be helpful for students to use a template for their slab so I die-cut a bunch of circles that they could trace. This ended up being super helpful to manage the size of the final clay projects.

3rd graders could choose to use the neon or the shimmery colors to paint their animal faces.

Dogs:

Unicorns:

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Cats:

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Elephants:

Lions and tigers and bears OH MY:

Dragon, Monkey, Koala:

Foxes:

A uni-bear, a spider, and a squid:

Garfield:

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The Titanic?!?!?!!!!!

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For more clay projects, check out THIS POST with 4th & 5th grade’s clay projects 🙂

❤ Mrs. K

 


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Fluorescent Stamped Robots

Hello! I started this project forever ago with my 2nd graders but between snow days and sick days, it has taken a looooong time to finish. Now that all the classes have completed their artwork I am so excited to share these amazing stamped robots with you! The first day we began by talking about robots. We talked about how robots are used in the world today and how they are used in fictional stories and movies. We talked about how robots are made up of geometric shapes. Then, we dipped and stamped.

I was running really low on black tempera paint so I decided to see how these would look with white paint on black paper. And I must say – I love ’em! Instead of using watercolors or tempera cakes, we used Sax Versa Temp Fluorescent colors.

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I have been using this paint for everything lately – it looks good on black paper, white paper, and even clay! Students also found the glowy neon colors enchanting when they painted their robots.

To top this project off, each student did a little bit of creative writing about their robot. I am always so tickled by the zany things that kids come up with when they are writing.

Great job 2nd graders!

❤ Mrs. K


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Pumpkins Inspired by Yayoi Kusama

Ever since I found out that the artwork of Yayoi Kusama will be displayed at the High Museum in 2018  I have been HYPED. There is so much to love about this artist – from the fact that she is a woman to the fact that she has been creating artwork (paintings, sculptures, installations – you name it!) for several decades, any way you look at it Yayoi Kusama is impressive. I love her bold graphic style and now, so did my second graders! We began by looking at some of her artwork and noticing that she often creates sculptures of pumpkins that have polka dots.

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We bean our own version by drawing a pumpkin on construction paper. Students could choose any color they wanted because Kusama’s pumpkins are often multi-colored or other colors besides orange. I showed students how to draw a pumpkin by making an oval in the middle with curved lines on the sides.

 

After drawing, students used white paint to go over their lines. Then, they dipped a marker cap and stamped to make polka dots.

A colorful pumpkin patch:

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The next week, student carefully cut out their pumpkins and glued them to another piece of construction paper. Then, they drew geometric shapes (triangles) in the background and traced over the lines with markers.

This was such a fun project and a really great twist on making pumpkins. Way to go 2nd graders!

❤ Mrs. K


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Eco Summit Quilt & Craftsmanship Poster

I LOVE teacher workdays. There is nothing quite like the peaceful sound of silence which is very conducive to getting work done. I am so thankful that I just got two because I have completed an amazing display and created a cool resource for my classroom. Lets start with the display.

My principal asked me to create an installation where students could reflect what they learned on Eco Summit day. Eco Summit day was a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING. It was basically a conference about the environment and students got to attend different workshops where they learned about fuel, water, animals, and the environment. As the leader of Eco Team I was so thrilled that the entire school would get some schoolin’ about the environment!

The art teacher who was here before me had the students create this really awesome display with cool colors:

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I really wanted to create something that would complement this so I decided that we would use warm colors. I was planning to create the same type of thing but then i was presented with an ENORMOUS vertical bulletin board. I was intimidated about filling it up! So whilst I was perusing through my blog feed, I spotted Art With Mrs. Nguyen’s quilt project. I was INSPIRED and knew it would be the perfect way to display the Eco Summit work.

I showed 2nd-5th graders a PowerPoint about modern quilting artist Libs Elliot. We talked about geometric shapes and negative space and quilts. Students got to choose their colors to create their own quilt square. They got one square, one triangle, and one rectangle. They could fold and cut to create a geometric quilt square.

Those blue booklets in the pictures are what they used to take notes during Eco Summit. They chose their favorite fact that they learned and wrote it on their quilt square.

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With nearly all of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade creating a quilt square, I ended up with several hundred pieces. I measured out my gigantic bulletin board and figured I would be able to have 25 columns and 11 rows. I picked the 242 best squares and created a pattern of colors in Microsoft Word. This felt like doing a really weird crossword or Sudoku and I actually really enjoyed this problem-solving aspect of putting this thing together.

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In the end it didn’t really matter because the colors were so mixed up that I don’t think you can really tell that it is a pattern. It still looks pretty near though! The lighting in the hallway isn’t fantastic so you will just have to take my word that it looks much better in person.

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I can’t wait for the kiddos to see it all put together when they get back from the long weekend!

I also had time to create a resource for my classroom that I have been wanting to make for a while. My art teacher friend Alex made one for her classroom and I finally made one too! This craftsmanship poster will serve as a guide to students showing how to use art materials properly.

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And now I am off to check off a bunch of other things on my to-do list. 🙂 🙂

Mrs. K


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Moana Landscapes by 2nd Grade

The idea for this project comes from the Apex Elementary Art Blog. I wanted to start off the year for 2nd graders with a step-by-step drawing project. I often get the sense that my students are confident painters but when it comes to drawing their hesitation and doubt is very apparent. Drawing is a very difficult skill. You have to use a part of your brain that does not often get exercised to look at something and try and figure out how to remake it on your paper.  Most art media is much more forgiving and mistakes can be hidden or changed. Drawing can be frustrating for elementary kids because it is an art form in which imperfection becomes obvious very quickly.

That being said, I personally find that it is easiest to draw when using a drawing book or a youtube tutorial (lately I am obsessed with Draw with Jazza) so I wanted to bring that same experience to my students so they could gain some confidence. We began by drawing step-by-step together. The drawing was excellent for reviewing different kinds of lines and shapes and parts of a landscape (foreground, middle ground, background). Here is an animation of the steps:

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The kids drew with pencil and then traced over their lines with sharpie. We talked a lot about overlapping and size placement to show depth. A lot of students were wondering why there are flowers floating around in the foreground and I really didn’t have a good answer for them so I finally just turned on the Moana soundtrack and said that it is supposed to be from Moana. This seemed a reasonable enough answer to distract the students from the obvious weirdness of the foreground flowers. We continued the Moana jam sesh as we painted.

I love all of the unique details my students added to these whimsical landscapes like dinosaurs and sheep and houses and trees and all kinds of cutie little things.

Mrs. K