Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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Doodle Sculptures

A couple of months ago, I was trying to figure out a cool sculpture project to do with 5th grade. During undergrad my studio concentration was sculpture and while I enjoyed using power tools and learning how to weld, it really isn’t very applicable in and elementary school setting. I have to admit, I do not have the same passion for teaching sculpture as I do for creating it. So I really wanted to challenge myself to come up with a fun and engaging project for myself and my students. I realized that I had a ton of cardboard matboard leftover from our Artome art show earlier this year. Usually I cut it up and use it as stampers for the younger or as based for paper sculptures kids but I decided to play around and see what kind of more interesting form could be created. And voila! The idea for Doodle Sculptures was born.

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Students traced circles or created other geometric shapes onto the matboard. The neat thing about this matboard is that one side is white and one side is black. The kids cut out their shapes and used black and metallic sharpies to create some doodle designs. They had to have another shape and they cut slots into both to create a kind of X formation. I hot glued that onto a larger base shape and from there they built up their sculpture by cutting slots in each shape and carefully placing them together.

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There was no glue or tape used other than my hot glue dot which made materials really easy to manage. Here are a few of the completed projects. They don’t photograph very well because they are so interesting and “in the round” – every angle makes it look like a different piece of artwork!

That being said – I initially thought this project would be a home run but I ended up only doing it with one class. I think that the matboard was just too difficult for the students to cut through. Many of them complained that their hands hurt and it was a struggle getting all of the shapes cut out. I think that if I try this again in the future I would do this with art club or use something else to cut that is better than scissors but not as intense as an exact blade. Any ideas for me, art teachers? 🙂 

I came up with another sculpture idea for the rest of my 5th grade classes so stay tuned to see how that one turns out, so far it’s great!

❤ Mrs. K

 

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Dream Catchers

This project is a repeat from last year but I just couldn’t resist posting the pictures from this year’s group of 5th graders. Check out our process here. We pretty much did exactly the same process this year except that for some reason it took about a month less time. Perhaps this year’s 5th grade hasn’t been struck by Senioritis quite yet?! Anyhow, here is their lovely artwork:

I truly love getting to know my students through their artwork and this project really helped to facilitate some interesting conversations about future goals and aspirations. There are certainly a lot of kids who are interested in sports, creating, and You-Tube and I am so proud of how they expressed their interests through visual arts. Great job 5th graders!

❤ 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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Jellyfish

The idea for this lesson comes from Deep Space Sparkle. 

Students began by mixing tints and shades of blue to create a gradient value scale. The next day, everyone could choose either small or big bubble wrap. Aqua paint was carefully applied to the bubbly side with a paintbrush.

Students were encouraged to work together to flip their bubble wrap onto their gradient paper to “print” bubbles. They gently pressed down and were absolutely amazed at their bubble prints!

The next week, we talked about how to show form in a drawing by creating shadows adn highlights. Students were challenged to create a sphere with a light source as well as a jelly dome shape.

After practicing with pencil, students used chalk pastels to create colorful jellies and bubbles.

The last day, everything was assembled. The colorful jellies were cut out. Scraps of tissue-paper tie die paper were used to create the tentacles. Students had the option of curling them or leaving them flat. Seaweed and kelp was added to the background with oil pastels to create a sense of depth.

This is definitely one of those projects that I will be doing year after year. The process was so much fun and the products are AWESOME! There are so many different techniques and a lot of vocabulary encompassed in this project — it was perfect for 5th grade!

What is in the middle of a jellyfish?

…….

.

……

A JELLYBUTTON!

❤ 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


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Illuminated Manuscript Inspired Letters

5th graders learned all about Illuminated Manuscripts   for this project. They were fascinated by the process of creating vellum paper from animal skins and adding real gold onto the pages of books to make them ‘illuminate.’ We began by sketching a design that featured the first letter of their first or last name. Students were encouraged to add a decorative border and personal symbolism or designs that would add visual interest to their letter.

Next, students copied their design onto a piece of painting paper. They traced over their lines with permanent markers and colored in some areas with crayons.

They painted the negative space around their letter with metallic tempera paint. They could choose from gold, silver, or copper. They filled in the rest with watercolors.

I am so impressed with how beautiful these turned out. The kids really put a lot of time and though into them and the personalization and symbolism made for an overall very engaging project.


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Crystals

Art Club just completed their crystal paintings and they are amaaaaaazing! This project was based on one from The Lost Sock Blog Students began by sketching crystal designs. Each table had a folder with tons of different crystal clusters and how-to-draws. Some of the kids caught on to drawing crystals really quickly and some struggled with ti quite a bit. I think it was difficult for some students to get the angles of the lines right to make the crystals look like they had form. For the struggling students I ended up making a design that they could trace BUT they had to change something about it to make it creative. This ended up being really helpful and in the end I think all of the students were pretty happy with their designs and pleased with their overall work.

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My Example

After sketching, students drew their design onto painting paper ad traced over their lines with Crayola Twistables.

Next, they used water colors to paint inside of their gems.

The last step was to paint the background with black liquid water colors and sprinkle salt for texture. I love how these turned out, they are all so unique and creative!

Great job art club!

❤ Mrs. K