Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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Stitching and Pets in Art Club

This Cassie Stephens-inspired project was challenging but fun for my art club kiddos. We began by painting a piece of 12×12 cardboard with tempera paint. I showed students how to create a gradient by blending colors.

Then, students filled out the practice page to kind of get in the mindset of stitching.

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It was a little difficult for them to grasp the concept of creating these 2D lines in 3D space at first but with a little bit of practice, they got the hang of it. The square design was certainly the easiest but I had many students challenge themselves to create one of the more difficult designs. On the back of the cardboard, we traced a plate and created 16 notches.

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There was a lot of peer support that happened especially when I loudly declared that I would not be tying any more knots for anybody. Students could choose any color of yarn they wanted to create their design.

As students completed their stitching, they began a quick and easy pet portrait project. I like to bookend really challenging projects with simple ones sometimes to keep motivation and morale up. The stitching proved to be SUPER challenging for some kids so I figured it was time to take it easy with a simple drawing and painting project based on this lesson.  One of my more observant and sassy 5th graders asked “isn’t that for the little kids?!” But they enjoyed it anyway 😛

Not everyone completed the pet portraits but the nice thing about art club is that the students have the memory and motivation to work on their projects for long stretches of time. They will get a chance to finish as we move into our next project of emoji plushies!

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Value Landscapes a.k.a. Trees in a Vortex

Have you ever picked out a project on Pinterest and thought, wow – this is gonna be AWESOME! only to have it completely and utterly flop?! That is kind of how this project went down.

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I wanted my 5th graders to have something else to choose for the art show if they wanted to besides their Psychedelic Succulent Still Life Paintings. I saw something similar to this on Pinterest which lead me to Mrs. Landry’s Website where I got the real idea. I figured that the prescriptive nature of the project would be great for my 5th graders.

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We began by talking about value and completing the Value Worksheet where students played with mixing tints and shades. The second week, 5th graders created a background by going from lightest to darkest in a series of circles.

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The third week, students used fancy edging scissors to create a hilly horizon line. Then they used black paper to create tree silhouettes. They could use geometric or organic shapes. They used black colored pencil for the shadows and white colored pencil for the highlights.

I think the main issue I had with these is that they turned out super rushed. The ones pictured above are the closest to being done out of all of y groups of 5th graders. Many students did not have enough time to show depth through size and proportion, and to show highlights and shadows. If I was to teach this to something like this again, I would try and take more time and use paint instead of construction paper to make the trees. The turnaround had to be really quick though because we have our art show coming up!

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Psychedelic Succulent Still Life Paintings

The idea and resources for this lesson came from Art With Mrs. Nguyen! When I first saw her blog post about this lesson I was so inspired that I made one myself with gouache and watercolors!

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I cannot emphasize enough how awesome this project is. It was a great way to kick off the school year with 5th graders because it gave them so many choices and opportunities to be expressive with colors, patterns, and composition. This one really involved a lot of choice and voice! We started off on the first day with a PowerPoint and handouts with examples of different succulents — both can be found in Mrs. Nguyen’s incredible TpT store!

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Students were encouraged to add visual texture to their succulents for detail and use expressive lines and shapes to create a pattern on their pot. They added 2 horizontal lines for a table or the ground. The final draft was on 9×12 paper and all the lines were of course traced with sharpies. 5th graders could paint the background however they wanted using watercolors. They used colored pencils to color in their cacti. I showed them how to create gradients using analogous colors and they did not have to make their plants realistic. Many kids chose vibrant rainbow colors or used color schemes for their favorite sports teams to give their artwork a personal twist.

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To get the table to look like realistic wood, we drew from observation by looking at the wooden tables in the art room. I also did a demonstration of how to make a galaxy design with watercolors and a few kids used salt to create lovely texture!

 

Awesome job 5th graders!!

❤ Ms. K


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My First Art Market & Classroom Updates

Well it has certainly been awhile since I have posted! Ever since the school year started, things have been incredibly busy.

I have made a few new paintings and a lot of new ceramic pieces . . .

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I also achieved one of my long time goals to participate in an artist’s market! I have always enjoyed going to art festivals and for the past few years I have been scheming about how to participate in one. A couple of weekends ago, I finally did and it was AWESOME!!

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I was a part of the Indie Craft Experience Made market. If you are from Atlanta you may have heard of this amazing group that hosts pop-up artists markets all over the city. This one was at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. I worked really hard on my booth setup and ended up having an excellent day meeting art-lovers and sharing my work. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to sell my artwork!

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I believe it is so important for art educators to practice creativity in non-school environments. You have probably heard that old saying “those who can’t teach” but I think that the best teaching comes from authentic, hands-on experience. It can be hard to make time to create especially after a long day of managing a classroom but it is truly meaningful development professionally and personally!

So while I have been gallivanting around as an artist I have of course gotten into the full swing of things with my art students! This bulletin board was created and inspired by our school mission statement.

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After the first couple of weeks of easy-going-getting-to-know-ya type activities, we jumped right in to some great projects! Kindergarten is currently working on fingerprint flower pots (I’ll be posting a blog about this process soon.)

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First graders are also learning about mixing primary colors and are using tissue papers to create a background for tissue paper portraits:

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Second graders are creating a lovely landscape with a foreground, middleground, and background.

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Third graders learned all about Georgia O’keeffe and painted beautiful flowers:

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Fourth graders are creating a warm/cool self portrait and they are turning out AMAZING!!!! (Blog post about this one coming soon too!)

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5th graders are drawing and painting a succulent still life. They are so whimsical and fun and there will also be a blog post about these soon as well.

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I am loving my new school and have been completely enchanted and charmed by my incredible students. I am so thankful to be a part of the Northwood community! As we are wrapping up projects, be on the lookout for blog posts of some fun new things in the works 🙂

❤  Ms. K

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Neon Letters

To wrap up the school year I wanted to do a project that would be personal and fun for the kiddos.

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We began by sketching a letter on a 12×18 piece of white paper. Students could choose what letter they wanted to do and I suggested using a letter with some significance like your first name, last name, a name of your family member, etc. I did a demo on the board for how to draw a bubble letter for each kid in the class so they could see how to do it if they had never done it before.

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Students drew their letter on the other side of their paper HUGE and used black glue to trace over their lines. They filled their letter with expressive lines and patterns and shapes. I created the black glue by mixing together approximately 2 parts glue to 1 part black tempera paint. It required a little bit of shaking up before each use.

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Dealing with the black glue took some clever materials management logistics. Some of it got really drippy and if the kids accidentally touched papers it would smear.Also some of the papers tilted on my ancient drying rack and dripped onto others.  I told them to just try their best and if a mistake happened, turn it into a masterpiece! When we added the colorful paint, most students who had a blob or smear were much happier with it.

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The next week, we used fluorescent tempera to paint. I LOVE these paints! They are so bright and vibrant.

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This was the perfect project to end the school year!


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Ojos de Dios

Weaving is not my favorite skill to teach. I have talked before about how I think it is kind of boring and not that creative because they are all pretty much the same. HOWEVER I am now a believer after doing this project.

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I was inspired by the delightfully colorful blog Art, Eat, Tie Dye, Repeat for this lesson. We began with a PowerPoint featuring examples of Ojos de Dios and some background info about the native art form. On that first day, students created a painted paper that was supposed to be used for their background (more on that later).

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I did a demo on how to paint a galaxy and that seemed to be a very popular option! The next week when we met, each student received an X made out of popsicle sticks that they labeled with their initials and the numbers 1-4. I used regular school glue to create the Xs to give to the students but hot glue would probably work too.

Now, before I go any further I must disclaim the extreme challenge that this project was for both myself and my students. This one is kinda complicated. I had watched a couple of youtube videos to see how to do it (this is a good one even though I have no idea what she is saying this must be what my ESOL kids feel like).  I even used my specials team as guinea pigs and practiced teaching it to them (thanks guys!). One teacher pointed out that it was a lot easier to do from the underside and after  lot of trial and error, the students agreed! I taught students how to do both ways and they could choose the easier method that worked for them. There was certainly some frustration getting started but in the end, most students were incredibly proud and even asked to make another one! Anyways, back to that X –

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Some kids needed help tying the string to the middle but most had the hang of it.So the first step is to tie the string in the middle and it doesnt really matter which numbers it is in between.

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The pattern for weaving is “over – under – under.” Start by placing the string over one of the sticks(2).

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Next bring it underneath that stick(2):

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Put it under the stick next to that one as well:

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Then place it over that same stick (1) to create a line:

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Next, go under 1 and 4 and over 4:

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Continue the pattern of “over – under – under.” Lines will start stacking up along the popsicle sticks.

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The other side will look like a square or diamond:

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I told students to leave about a finger’s length of string to tie on the next color.

 

Then continue the pattern. You can also weave from the front by alternating diagonals. Wrap the string around one stick then go diagonally across, then under, then across.

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Each color added will create more lines on the back and more diamonds on the front.

 

To finish it off, tape the end of the string to the back of the popsicle stick.

 

The kids really enjoyed getting to choose their favorite colors and express themselves through color.

Now when I showed students the original plan which was to glue the weaving to the paper we created the first day, there was basically a mutiny. It turned out they wanted to have the Ojos de Dios separate. I decided that we would create envelopes with the papers instead so that they could put the Ojos in instead of on them. Students folded their paper in half and used a hole puncher to punch holes up the sides.

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Then, they cut small pieces of yarn and tied them to create fringe. I told them not to pull too tightly on the yarn or the paper would rip. They could use 1 or 2 colors and cut the fringe to the length of their choice.

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They could also braid yarn together to create a strap if they wanted to.

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These turned out SO COOL!!! The best part was that they were really proud of their work and super engaged. They loved the idea of creating something functional. A couple students used sequins to create a jeweled effect and one kid even wrote “MK” for a Michael Kors bag (lol)! Students who were able to make more than one weaving could glue one of their Ojos to the outside of the pouch for more decoration.

We were able to finish these just in time for Mother’s Day and many students are planning to give them as gifts! Today one student brought me a great gift – she had created a miniature one at home ❤

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Op art Germs

This year my school has taken on the initiative of Project Based Learning. This exciting way to learn basically uses the same skills I teach in my classroom in conjunction with common core curriculum so that students create projects to showcase their learning in their home rooms. It is really cool to see them making stuff and presenting it! 5th graders learned all about germs and microbacteria in their PBL unit and I thought it would make a cool tie in for an art project.

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On the first day, I showed students a PowerPoint about Op Art that pretty much blew their minds. They had to much fun trying to decipher the visual puzzles and figuring out why each artwork is an illusion. Students then sketched from step-by-step guides different op art designs.

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The next day we met, 5th graders drew their favorite sketch onto final draft paper and used sharpie to trace the lines. They then mixed tempera paint to create analogous colors that they used to paint their spaces.

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The last day was spent drawing a germ, bacteria, virus, or fungus they had learned about in class and giving it a face or personality. They used water colors to paint their germ with the middle color from their analogous color scheme and glued it to the op art background.

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I think these turned out really great and love that there was a connection to homeroom classroom learning!


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Analogous Cityscapes

5th graders are well into this project and I decided to change things up a bit from last year. Instead of using tissue paper to add color to the cityscapes, students were allowed to use a variety of art media. I wanted to make it a little more open ended/constructivist  and let them choose their method of creation so they could pick from colored pencils, crayons, water colors, and markers. They mixed colors and media to create an analogous colored city. I am so impressed with their creativity and hard work! The best part about this project is that it is only half way done because it is so involved and inclusive of themes, techniques, and media. However the city scape portion could be a finished product on its own.

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The next step will be the graffiti word and a printed brick wall to stay tuned 🙂

 


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Value Weaving Self Portraits

What do you so when you are scrambling for an end for an end of the year project that will keep 5th graders engaged and hit some overlooked standards? You make something up and keep your fingers crossed that it isn’t a fiasco. This lesson was anything but a fiasco and one that will surely be in my bag o’ classic awesome lessons for years to come.

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I needed something that would continue to incorporate craft techniques, touch upon value/tint/shade, and provide a way to show emphasis and contrast. I wanted to utilize skills we have learned already so that during testing and in the weeks after I wouldn’t be pushing tired minds too far but still present an interesting project. On the first day we talked about value and 5th graders painted a value scale.

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The next way was all about weaving. Students used the fancy scissors to cut a warp and colorful construction paper for a weft. We briefly discussed color schemes and students could choose any color they wanted but were encouraged to think about their choice and perhaps even make it complementary or monochromatic.

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The next day was a sketching day. We talked about emojis and students used mirrors to draw self portraits with an emoji twist. They picked their favorite to make into a final draft and traced it with sharpie. Then they added a thought or speech bubble.

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These turned out so fabulous, I am very impressed with all of them! I love how graphic and bold these portraits are. This was the perfect project to end the school year and to end elementary art with.

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I am really going to miss this year’s 5th grade class. I have known many of them since 3rd grade and it has been a joy to watch them grow into the thoughtful and amazing people they are. Overall this has been a spectacular year and I cannot believe that in a few hours I will be done with my 3rd year of teaching. I like to look back at my posts from my first year sometimes because it reminds me what a dream come true this job truly is for me. I started this year feeling a little burned out and kind of deflated but I feel like I am ending on a strong, positive note. I will be posting during the summer but for all of my kiddos who are reading — I hope you have a great summer and I will see you next year!

❤ Ms. K