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ART WITH MS K


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Daydreamin’ Doodle Portraits

5th graders created these cutie-pie portraits. I took their picture in a “daydreaming” pose. They brainstormed ideas of things that they are interested in and created symbols to represent those things. (Side note – this project was really exciting for me to teach because my thesis was all about personal symbolism and visual metaphors in artwork.)

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Teacher Sample ūüôā¬†

 

Students cut and glued their portrait to white cardstock paper and used markers, crayons, colored pencils, twistables, and any other dry medium to create visual interest, contrast, and personal symbolism. Students also had the option of creating abstract patterns instead of symbols so there are a few of those as well.

 

This project was a bit on the easy side for 5th grade so if I do it again, I may try and make it more challenging. However they did turn out really cute and it was cool to hear some great conversations about the things that they are interested in!

‚̧ Mrs. K

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Emoji Pillows in Art Club

Art club kids really enjoyed making emoji pillows. I did a similar project a couple years ago with art club but it was a lit smaller and more difficult to sew. This time around, instead of felt, we used Smart-Fab crafting fabric. It was so easy to work with and it is so soft! I traced out giant circles on yellow fabric for the students to cut out and sew together.

Once they finished sewing their circles together (with a little bit left open) they flipped it inside out and used cotton fluff to stuff. They they sewed the gap closed and designed their emoji.

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Red, black, blue, and white fabric was used for the details. It was super easy to glue together with regular ol’ school glue.

These turned out great! I liked the process and product for this project. The kids felt empowered to learn how to sew and create their very own pillow. It was a new skill for most and I am very proud of all of their hard work and perseverance. Way to go art club!

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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 ūüôā

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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Bubble Letter Sculpture

After starting and stopping¬†this sculpture project ¬†¬†with one of my 5th grade groups, I wanted to rethink the sculpture making process. I took a peek into my Mary-Poppin’s bag of a supply closet (I am always finding some crazy thing in there) and realized I had a ton of empty yarn cones. I also had a lot of pipe cleaners and colored card stock so after playing around with the materials I came up with this sculpture project.

The first day, students had to sketch out their idea and practice their bubble letters. They had to plan out what colors they would be using to paint their cones and for their letters.

The second day, they used metallic versa temp paint to paint their cones.

The next couple of classes were spent drawing and cutting out the bubble letters from colored card stock squares. The toughest part was getting the kids to draw their letters big and wide enough to be taped to a pipe cleaner. So many of the letters ripped apart or just ended up being tiny little spaghetti noodles. Why do kids draw to tiny?!

I taught the kids how to cut out negative space inside of their letters and we used tape to adhere them to pipe cleaners. One kids brilliantly discovered that if you tape the letters to each other the sculpture becomes sturdier. I just love when students problem solve to make a project better.

They could choose any school-appropriate word they want but I encouraged them to do their name, initials, or the name of something that has significant personal meaning. There ended up being an awful lot of Fortnite and Stranger Things inspired sculptures. I guess that is what the youths are into these days.

I would say the majority of these turned out great but the process was rather difficult. Perhaps with less of a time crunch we could have added more details and art knowledge into these. For the last project of their elementary school experience, the 5th grader’s did a nice job overall. Hopefully I will be able to collect enough yarn cones to do this again next year!

‚̧ Mrs. 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? ūüôā¬†

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. ūüôā

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 ūüôā

‚̧ 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! Рa 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. ūüôā

‚̧ Mrs. K