Please Don't Eat the Artwork


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Starry Night Landscapes



I was so inspired by this lesson from Cassie Stevens for 4th grade’s first project. We began by looking at and talking about Starry Night. We played the art crit game I See, I Think, I Wonder to talk about the artwork. Students got a kick out of these videos:

We began with a background of blue/purple/black tempera paint. Students used the tips of their paintbrushes to create the directional lines and texture from Starry Night.


We also created painted paper using intermediate colors (and some tints and shades) and paint scrapers for texture.


The painted papers were cut up and used to create the ground and woven houses.




The results are stunning, what a great way to kick off the year!

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Las Guitarras de Paracho

When I saw THIS LESSON at I knew it would be perfect for my 5th graders. Most of my students at my home school are Hispanic and many of them have relatives or are from Mexico. The real world connection made this lesson so successful! We began by talking about the town of Paracho, Mexico. We watched a few clips from this documentary and looked at pictures of the town to get some context.

Next, we reviewed intermediate colors and created painted paper with texture.


The 12×18 pieces were cut in half so students could mix and match and trade colors and textures.



I brought in my guitar and managed to stumble through Ode to Joy in an attempt to impress my 5th graders. #epicfail They were polite enough to clap haphazardly.

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They used templates to cut out the shapes of their guitars. . .

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And assembled everything onto black construction paper.


Strings of yarn were added as well as details with oil pastels.


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Rock On!





Chemeleons here, there, everywhere!


3rd graders created amazing 3D paper chameleons for their sculpture unit. The step-by-step instructions can be found HERE. We began by creating painted paper with intermediate colors.


After a lot of folding and cutting, the chameleon’s bodies were assembled. There was a great math connection with angles, rulers, and academic language such as types of triangles and  vertices.


Students traded their papers to have an assortment of colors anc created the legs, heads, tongues, and all sorts of details!

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On a skateboard:

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A superhero with “laser eyes”:

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With a magnificent mustache:


Ash from Pokemon (check out the hat and Pokeball!):

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Here are a couple of videos that got the kids really pumped up about the project:

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Catlanta and #FAFATL

Fourth greaders learned all about Catlanta and #FAFATL for their first art project this year. Catlanta is an Atlanta based artist who creates cats out of wood. The artist places them all around the city in different locations and takes a picture with a clue. Catlanta will give hints using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Then, followers can go and search for the cat and keep it. Its an art scavenger hunt!

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Other artists around Atlanta have caught on and the movement is now called Free Art Friday ATLanta or #FAFATL.

We began by sketching out ideas for cats. Students had the option to create another animal if they do not like cats or if they are super good at drawing something else. We had colorful catlantas, turtlelantas, buglantas, and all sorts of cool animals!


Students traced their designs with Sharpies and used Intermediate Colors of liquid water colors to fill in their animalantas.


They cut out their creations when they were done to make cool art objects that can be hidden around town for #FAFATL.

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Turtlelanta and Ladybuglanta:


Butterflylanta and Bunnylanta:


Giraffelanta, Owlanta, and Sharklantas:

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Spiderlanta, Birdlanta, Fishlantas:

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Fourth Graders are excited to begin working on solar system landscapes next!

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Georgia O’Keeffe’s Flowers and Skulls

Third graders did an amazing job with their first project of the year! We began by talking about Georgia O’keeffe and looking at some of her most famous artwork.

They were amazed to learn that she painted more than 2000 paintings in her lifetime and was fascinated by flowers and skulls. 3rd graders were inspired to create their own O’Keeffe-style paintings. We began by sketching out an idea by looking at flowers, skulls, and bones. Students were encouraged to come up with an original composition that fills up the space, goes off the page, and is based on realistic designs.


Students chose their favorite sketch and made their “final draft” on big paper. They traced over their design with sharpies. Intermediate Colors were used to fill in the designs with beautiful colors. The kids loved using liquid water colors to get a tie-dye effect and create vibrant, bold artwork.

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3D Chameleons

This is one of the coolest looking art projects I have ever done with kids. I absolutely love this project and every step of the way allowed for tons of creativity and fun. I was inspired by This Post at smARTclass and This Tutorial at Artolazzi to make an awesome 3D project for the 3rd grade sculpture unit.

We began by talking about chameleons and watching these cool videos: Super Chameleon and Real Chemeleon Color Change. Students also learned about intermediate colors and we noticed that chameleons change into blended colors.

We created painted paper using intermediate colors and paint scrapers to create texture.



3rd graders used crayons to create texture on the white side of the paper so that the whole sculpture would be colorful and bright.


The next part was kind of tricky and required some hard core listening ears and watching eyes in order to be successful. Step by step, we turned out beautiful 2D paper into a 3D chameleon body by carefully folding, cutting, and gluing.


Students cut up their pattern paper to create the head and legs and could even trade scraps and colors with people at their table.


In math, 3rd graders are learning about different types of triangles and symmetry so I thought it would be a great cross-curricular connection to incorporate the terms and vocabulary. We discussed how animals are symmetrical and if you put something on one side of your chameleon, it has to be the same on the other side. Students had a blast getting creative and added all sorts of things like a cape, ninja stars, flowers, a cell phone, lots of tongues, and even wings!

With spiky hair and polka dots:


Sharp teeth and hearts:


Spikes down it’s back and sunglasses:


A pattern of hearts and shapes:

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Sunglasses and eyelashes with a bow:


When students were finished they could write a story about their chameleon. Here are some of the gems:




I find children’s writing to be simultaneously hilarious and fascination it is a really good insight into their stream of consciousness and they always have the most random stuff to say. During student teaching I incorporated writing into many of my projects and I will try and do that more in the future as it a great cross-curricular connection and excellent practice.