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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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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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Metallic City

This project was so much fun! It was a spin off of this cityscape artwork. I wanted to try out some metallic art supplies and we used every single last thing for these. Here is the supply list:

The first day, students looked at pictures of buildings and cities and designed their own city using a variety of shapes and overlapping.

Everyone traced over their lines with metallic sharpies and colored in their buildings with metallic crayons and colored pencils.

 

That took up the next couple of classes. Once most kids had colored in most of their design, I showed they how to paint concentric circles in the sky. They had to think and plan very carefully so that their picture had depth from overlapping.

 

The kids did a fantastic job!

 

❤ Mrs. K


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Ceramic ‘Ornaments’ & Valentines

Now that we are in the second semester of the year, I have a brand new batch of art club kids. Their first project was to create ceramic valentines. I did a similar project with last semester’s art club kids. They made ‘ornaments.’ I have that in quotations because I will not create religious artwork in a public school – there were several non-Christian kids in the class. Also my Jewish mom would have an absolute kanipshin fit if she thought I was having my students make religious-based artwork so I promise to y’all and to you Mom, that these are not specifically ornaments. 🙂

Anyhow, we began with a slab that students could pretty much decorate however they wanted. In the winter, most of them were created with the intention of being given as a gift so many of the kids made them personalized. For valentines day, they traces a heart template and then added details with texture or building little things on.

After all of the pieces went through the kiln, students colored on them with crayons and then painted with India Ink or watercolor to create a lovely resist effect.

They twisted colorful wires on to hang up.

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Aren’t they super cute?!

Art club is currently working on panda paintings right now so be on the lookout for a blog post about those soon 🙂

❤ Mrs.  K


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Squid Sculptures

One day I was playing around with some supplies. I drew with some Mr. Sketch Water Color markers and sprayed the paper to create a beautiful tie-dye effect. I folded and rolled the paper when it was dry and voila– a project was born. I realized the folded paper looked kinda like a squid and thought it would be a fun sculpture project. This was originally intended for 4th grade only (to be honest, it was probably way to easy for them) but since I had a 5th & 3rd grade class that were ahead of everyone else I decided to do it with them too. After trying this out with 3rd, 4th, and 5th, I think it would probably be best for 2nd/3rd. Despite the lack of challenge, most of the kids really enjoyed making these.

On the first day, we create the beautiful paper. Students were encouraged to chose a color scheme and use patterns of lines. After they finished their tie-dye paper, they created patters on a piece of construction paper.

The second day, we used a lot of office supplies. Students got a kick out of this but really they need to learn how to properly use a stapler. They cut the construction paper into strips and carefully stapled it to the bottom of the watercolor paper.

Then they rolled the paper into a cylinder and stapled it at the top and bottom. They folded two sides in like gift wrap to create the top of the squid’s head. There was a lot of peer support for this step. Seeing the kids collaborate to help their classmates be successful was pretty cool!

Two holes were punched and a string was tied on to hang it up. Then students could use googly eyes or sharpies to create eyes and a face.

These were a big hit – they all turned out super cute!

❤ Mrs. K


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Choice Based Clay with 4th and 5th Grade

Clay is my FAVORITE. I love how clay awakens senses that are not always activated in the art room – it feels interesting in your hands and smells like the earth or a river or a rainy day. Clay is so special because many of my students only get to use it once a year, in my classroom. In the past I have done clay projects where every student makes a version of the same object. This year, I wanted to challenge myself and my students to have more of a choice-based opportunity for exploring and creating with clay. I was apprehensive at first because so much can go wrong with clay as a material. It can dry out too quickly while you work with it or too slowly before it goes into the kiln. It can ‘explode’ inside of the kiln. It can break or shatter or bottom out. With so many ways that things could go wrong, I was determined to set up the unit with as much structure as possible to help things go right. And I must say — it was an incredible success! To be honest, I am astonished at how smooth, fun, and efficacious the entire process was. So — here is how I did it. . . .

On day one we talked about the rules for clay. No clapping your hands to make dust, no covering your hands with water to make mud, no stabbing the clay with the tools, no spaghetti-noodle stick out pieces (which would inevitable snap off and break) no giant solid chunky pieces (which would inevitably explode), absolutely NO throwing clay, etc.

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The first day also had some clay challenges for students to complete. They had to create a pinch pot, a coil, a slab, and scratch and attach. If there was time after the rules and challenges, students could explore with clay on their own. If they ended up creating something on that first day they could keep it or save it. Most of the kids ended up “trashing” their clay but there were some who started or completed a mini project that first day.

On day two students sketched their idea for their project. They were required to label their sketch with what clay form would be used to build it. For example if a kid was making a tea cup, they had to label it “pinch pot” and “coil.” They did not use clay at all this day, I emphasized that it was important to have a detailed blue-print of how they would be constructing their project because since there were so many different ideas it would be impossible for me to sit with everyone and help them build. They had to be a little independent for this one!

On day three each student got a pre-cut chunk of clay. They could get more if they needed. Having the clay already measured out really seemed to help with size management. I kept all of the chinks of clay in a big plastic bin and sprayed them lightly with water. I would usually prepare the clay in the morning or even the day before so this was super helpful for keeping clay fresh.

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Students had that entire third day to build their designs. Many of them quickly realized that their ideas were too ambitious. So – the backup plan for everyone was to make a pinchpot or a cupcake. I showed every class how to create a pinchpot/coil cupcake just in case students ended up needing an idea to fall back on. We talked about how it is ok if an art idea doesn’t work out the way you intended, all artists go through a trial and error process! I think that having a backup plan helped kids from getting too discouraged if their initial idea didn’t work out. And some kids even chose to do a cupcake as their first choice design!

Since this was so personalized, several popular themes emerged. Most of the creations seemed to fall into the following categories: food, pop culture, animals, and sports.

Food

Lots of pizza:

Guacamole:

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Pop Culture

YouTube:

Nintendo/Video Games:

Star Wars:

Rubix Cubes:

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Memes & Minions:

SpongeBob & The Flash:

Harry Potter:

Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, & BayMax:

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Animals

Sports

There were tons of great slab constructed projects:

And many creations that combined construction techniques:

My favorite thing about this process is that students were able to have a deeply personal connection with their work. The kids got to create something that expressed their interests, hobbies, and passions. Each and every project is as unique as the kid who made it. Navigating the logistics and organization of this project has inspired me to do more choice-based projects in the future. 🙂

❤ Mrs. K

 


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Emoji Prints

Happy New Year! This school year seems to have flown by. I can’t believe it is already halfway over! I have been having a very relaxing break and as I am starting to get prepared for getting back into the swing of things, I figured I would share this home run project inspired by Teach and Shoot Blog.

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So it has been a while since I have done printmaking with Styrofoam like this. Last year I ended up rage-quitting printmaking with 4th grade because my very well planned out lesson ended up being waaayyyy too complicated. I wanted to be ambitious with the lesson this year but have the kids create something very simple. I think that is the key to printmaking — keep the subject matter simple because the technical aspect can be very difficult. We began by creating an analogous background by making tissue-paper tie dye paper. Students chose colors next to each other on the color wheel and used water to make the tissue paper bleed. I have really been digging this technique lately!

Next, students sketched their Emoji idea. I told them no poop emoji. When we get back from break I am planning on displaying these in the hallways and I simply can’t imagine my admin’s reaction to me hanging up pictures of poop on the walls. So NO POOP EMOJIS!! They pretty much got to choose any other face emoji that they wanted. After they sketched their idea, they used a yogurt cup to trace a circle onto a piece of foam. they used hatching and cross hatching techniques to create contrast in their carving.

I thought a lot about how I wanted the actual printing lesson to go. I have done printmaking in a variety of ways over the past several years. I have used a variety of ink colors and tempera paints. I have had kids roll the ink onto phone books and onto lunch trays. I have had kids print one time, three times, or as many times as possible. I have had a set of supplies per table, per student, or just at one table and called kids over. All of these methods have their pros and cons and really depend on the age and dynamic of the group of kids. This year I figured we would just go for it and each table got two sets of supplies: a small tray, a brayer for rolling ink, and black printing ink to print 4 times on the same piece of paper.

I’ve got to say — I was absolutely astonished at how lovely the process and products turned out! I was really apprehensive (which I even admitted to my students!) about this project being successful. I told my students that I did not want them to feel discouraged about making art. I wanted them to TRY YOUR BEST. Whatever the magical combination was, printmaking went wonderfully.

I am rethinking my dislike for printmaking after seeing these amazing creations!

Great job 4th graders! 🙂

❤ Mrs. K


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Tissue Paper Tie Dye Notans

Art club ROCKED this project!

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Teacher Sample

It has been a while since I have taught Notans and since this was with art club kids, I really wanted it to be a multi-media project. So we started off “tie-dyeing” our paper with tissue paper.

I showed students a PowerPoint about notans so they could start thinking about their design. The next week, they received this worksheet to help them create the design. Each student got a black piece of construction paper and traced a circle. They cut and glued their pieces to create symmetry and negative space. Then, they added details with silver and black sharpies.

Great job Art Club!

❤ Mrs. K