Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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The Day You Begin

Grade 2 did a fab job withe these little portrait paintings!

On the first day, I read the book The Day You Begin. I got this story from the book fair earlier this year because the illustrations are gorgeous and the story is wonderful. It is about how everyone is different and when we listen to each other we can understand one another and even make a new friend! I knew right away that I wanted to create an art lesson to go with this book.

This illustration was the particular inspiration for this project:

After reading the story and discussing the ways in which each of us are different, I took a pic of each student holding a big book.

The next week, students cut and glued their picture to a piece of paper and used fluorescent oil pastels to create flowing lines of movement coming out of the book. Then, they used tempera cakes to paint right over the oil pastels. This made the artwork so vibrant!

These little portraits are so sweet, they are going to look wonderful displayed in the hallway!

❤ Mrs. K

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Fluorescent Cacti with Pom-Poms

This fun and fabulous project was inspired by @art_with_mia. This step-by-step project was pretty simple but it has a big wow factor.

We started off with a step-by-step drawing on 12×18 paper. Students drew the cactus shapes and added a horizon line and a sun or moon. They were careful to only draw a few detail lines so the next step would be easier.

After drawing with pencil, students traced over their lines with black tempera paint. They used their paintbrush to add spikes and prickles. The next week, students used fluorescent tempera paint to bring their compositions to life. After painting they glued on soft pom-poms. This lead to a great conversation about texture and contrast.

❤ Mrs. K


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Sculptural Self-Portraits

The idea for this project comes from @Show_me_the_monet  and Krokotak.com. When I saw these funky self-portrait sculptures I knew they would be perfect for my 2nd graders 🙂

Teacher Samples
(Made by MK)

The project required a ton of prep work on my part – I cut several different shades of “skin tone” construction paper into pieces for the face, nose, and ears. Yellow, black, and brown pieces had to be cut into manageable sizes to be used for hair. A variety of colors had to be cut up for the shirts and backgrounds. Small pieces of white paper were cut for the eyes, mouth, and details. So it was a lot of quality time spent with my handy paper cutter but it was WORTH IT!

On the first day of the project, we practiced creating 2D self-portraits in our sketch folders. I love teaching self-portraits, it is so much fun to show the students all the different ways of how to draw details of the face. Drawing is hard for young kids but it is such a great skill to learn so I encourage my students to keep a positive attitude and try their best (as usual 🙂 )

The next week, we read the book The Colors of Us which is all about diversity and how we are all different colors and all of those colors are beautiful. Students then choose a color for their background and shirt. Then they pick a neutral color that best matches their skin color. They use a big piece and make it into a rainbow for the face. They roll a small piece for the nose. It can be a circle or a tear-drop shape. We also have time to create the ears on the first day and that is pretty much it.

The next week, I show students how to make hair. I show them several different techniques of cutting, bending, folding, and gluing the paper. They get a paper that matches their hair color and create their hair style.

After creating the hair, students use crayons on a white paper to create their eyes and mouth (just like how we did in the sketch on the first day.) Then they assemble everything and add details like designs on the shirt, a background, and any accessories that they like.

It was so hard to choose just a few for this blog post because they were all so fabulous! One teacher commented that if her children had brought home this project when they were kids, she would have put it in a shadow box and kept it forever. That made my heart glow! I hope my student’s parents love them too. This will be a classic project that I will definitely be doing year after year 🙂

❤ Mrs. K


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Art to Remember Fundraiser

I am so excited to share this year’s art fundraiser with you. From start to finish the experience was exceptional – it was easy, fun, and well worth the time in the funds  – and excitement – produced. 

Keychain

The past couple of years I have done a framed art show. The effect of 700+ works of art in the gym together is really astounding. That is one aspect of that fundraiser I will miss. The parts I will not miss are the time spent dealing with all of the artwork – gluing each piece to a special paper, filling out all of the little name cards, making sure everything is facing the right way, handling all of the frames, waiting for the show to be taken down (I was at school til’ 9 pm – yikes!), and making barely any money as a profit. So this year I decided to switch from frames to chachkis and boy am I glad I did! Not only did I make TEN TIMES MORE PROFIT than I did with the framed show, I also did not have to handle any money, stay late into the evening, or organize a crowded event. This fundraiser was a dream!

Matted Print

I reached out to several different companies that do this sort of thing and ultimately decided to go with https://arttoremember.com/ Communicating with my representative was easy and everything came with easy-to-follow instructions in a neat little box. They even sent over a ton of sample products which helped me get the kids hyped up. 

Travel Mug

The paper we used was 8×10. It was the perfect size for a beginning of the year project. Here are the projects I did with each grade:

K Rainbow Lines: https://artwithmsk.com/2017/09/17/rainbow-lines-that-wiggle-mouse-shapes/
1st Rainy Day Portrait: https://artwithmsk.com/2017/11/06/a-rainbow-of-my-own/
2nd Whimsical Landscape: https://artwithmsk.com/2017/10/01/moana-landscapes-by-2nd-grade/
3rd Georgia O’keeffe Flower: https://artwithmsk.com/2016/09/26/flowers-and-portraits/
4th Vibrant Village: https://artwithmsk.com/2017/11/13/vibrant-villages/
5th Succulent Still Life: https://artwithmsk.com/2016/10/03/psychedelic-succulent-still-life-paintings/

Night Light

I liked the paper because there was no border or name card or anything else that the kids had to do other than create their artwork. Art to Remember sent me sticker bar codes with each child’s name which I adhered to the back of the artwork. Easy peasy!

Journal & Bookmarks 

The art was then shipped off and in return, each student received a custom order form with their specific artwork pictured and instructions of how to order online. They had about 2 weeks to place and order and then about a month later the products arrived. 

And lemme tell ya about the products!! The stuff is SO COOL! There are water bottles, mugs, magnets, phone cases, mouse pads (“What’s a mouse pad Ms. Katzin?”), key chains, pillows, cutting boards, night lights, and a million other cool things. The majority of the items are very high quality. The price point is a tad more expensive than what you would find at Target but the premium of having custom artwork is WORTH IT! So many kids told me that they will be giving their items as holiday gifts which is absolutely precious. The artwork looks absolutely STUNNING – it is vibrant, rich in color, and true to the original. 

Water Bottle

It took about 3 hours to sort and organize the products when they arrived. I made sure to thoroughly check each child’s order and make sure all of the items were included and correct. All of the small items were grouped together by teacher and there is an order confirmation number on each item which is individually wrapped. This made passing out the stuff so simple!

Ruler

Overall I am so happy with the process and products of Art to Remember. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the kids and community and am looking forward to another great fundraiser next year. 

If you are thinking about doing an art fundraiser please consider working with Art to Remember. I cannot rave enough about how wonderful this was for my school and community (and sanity!) I give it a solid 100 and know that you will love it too! 

❤ Mrs. K 


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Criticket

The idea for this critique games comes from mskitlang.com. So far, I have only played this with 4th graders when they completed their Important People Portraits. I am hoping to play with more grade levels throughout the school year.

Students started off by looking at a PowerPoint introducing the game. We watched this video which is a pretty good introduction to art critiques for young kids. Then, I explained what each ticket means:

criticket

Students played a practice round with artwork:

pics

The practice round allowed students to see how the game is played. They quickly realized that this is an opinion game and that not everyone will have the exact same answer. In fact, there is no right or wrong answer! I gave the instructions. . .

  • Place your sketch with your final artwork.
  • Working in teams of two, you will play Criticket with your classmate’s artwork.
  • Remember: there is not RIGHT or WRONG answer – this is an OPINION game.
  • Be honest about your opinion, don’t pick something just because others did, be original!
  • Not everyone has to get a ticket, if you don’t get one it doesn’t mean nobody liked your artwork. This game isn’t about “liking” the artwork, it is supposed to make you think deeper.

. . . and then we got started. Students placed their sketch with their final artwork. They teamed up and did a preliminary walk-around.

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After they viewed each of their classmate’s artwork, they started placing their tickets.

 

When the team is out of tickets, they have to sit back down. When everyone is sitting down, we come back together as a class and discuss. Students get to share why they placed their tickets where they did. The conversation is positive and uplifting, one group of students even applauded for each other. Overall this activity was a great way for students to support one another and show empathy and kindness. I can’t want to do it with another group!

❤ Mrs. K


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Seahorses by Second Grade

Second grade loved this seahorse project inspired by Colors of My Day blog. We began by reading Eric Carle’s Mister Seahorse. Students noticed the lines and shapes used to create the illustrations.

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We drew wavy lines on a piece of white paper and then painted over them with cool colored tempera cakes. The kids were amazed that their crayon lines showed up through the paint.

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The next week, each student glued down two pieces of yarn. Then they used warm colored tissue paper to create a beautiful patchwork design.

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The next week, we did a step-by-step seahorse drawing on the warm colored paper. Students cut and glued it to their cool colored background and added details like seaweed, sea creatures, and even mermaids and buried treasure!

These are so precious and look great on a display with 1st grade’s Tiny Seed collages.

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❤ 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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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!