Please Don't Eat the Artwork


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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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Geometric Designs by Grade 3

The idea for this lesson comes from Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artsists. Thanks, Hope! 


Teacher Sample 

Third graders created these super cool geometric design works of art and learned some new art-making techniques. We began by using bleeding tissue paper to make tie-dye paper. I have really been digging this technique lately!


The results are just so beautiful! Once the papers were dry, we used used dots and rulers to create line segments. Students connected their line segments to create geometric shapes. Kids learn about minerals in 3rd grade so trying to create a mineral-like design was a great science connection. The next class time, students colored in some of their geometric shapes (to make it look kind of 3D) and used a needle and thread to sew into their paper.

The sewing part was pretty difficult for most kids. The hardest part was figuring out how to tie a knot. I reminded the kids to try their best and just making one line with yarn is still an accomplishment. Ultimately, every student agreed that they felt very proud to learn a new skill.

Nice work 3rd graders!

❤ Mrs. K


Rainbow Lines that Wiggle & Mouse Shapes

When on of my kindergarten classes got dropped off during the first week of school, the teacher frantically explained that there were several four-year-olds in the class. This happened more than once. So basically this year’s batch o’ kindergartners includes a whole bunch of teensy little tots. With this in mind, I knew that the first couple of projects needed to be verrrrry basic and verrrrrry step-by-step. After all, many of these kiddos had never painted before. So we started out low and slow with Rainbow Lines.

This project is all over Pinterest, I am not really sure who came up with it so if you know, please comment so I can give a proper shout-out :). On the first day we read Lines that Wiggle and painted lines with black tempera paint. Students began to learn about painting procedures like getting a smock, treating the brush responsibly, and putting art on the drying rack. They got to practice all of that again on the second day of the project. We read Planting a Rainbow and talked about the order of colors in a rainbow. Students used watercolors to fill in the space between their lines. How fabulous!

As soon as they got the hang of lines and identifying colors, it was time to take it a step further. The next project – Mouse Shapes – took it to the next level while still keeping it simple for young kindergarteners. On the first day, we watched the Shapes BrainPop and talked about all different kinds of shapes in the world. We painted shapes with back tempera paint. The next day, we read Mouse Paint and talked about mixing primary colors to create secondary colors. Kinders mixed up their mouse paint inside of their shapes to create a masterpiece!

These projects were a really great way to start off the year for kindergarteners. They got to practice painting procedures and learned lines, shapes, and colors in a very hands-on way. Now that they have all of those skills we can move on to more challenging projects.

❤ Mrs. K

p.s. . . . .

Is that an ‘R’ in between the M & S??? Why yes it is! As of one week ago Ms. K is now MRS. K! I will be keeping my last name but I am indeed a wife 🙂 So if you were wondering about the lack of posting lately it is mostly because I have been sooooooo busy with wedding things. More posts coming soon 🙂


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Anansi the Spider

There is a really amazing secondhand bookstore not too far from me that I like to visit every once in awhile. I have a serious problem in bookstores – I will spend hours in the children’s book section. Maybe it’s because I worked in the children’s section of a book store for a while. Maybe it’s because I have really happy memories of going to the library with my mom when I was little. I have always LOVED children’s books. (I would even love to write one some day!) Lately I have perused the books to find inspiration for art projects. When I found this book I just knew it would make a great project for 1st graders.


I didn’t want to reproduce the illustrations but I wanted to capture the spirit of the story and pictures. We began by creating textured painted paper. Students mixed 2 primary colors to create a secondary color and used a fork to add texture.The next week, we drew a web of expressive lines using while oil pastel on black paper. Students cut their paper into geometric shapes to create a spider body just like Anansi from the story.

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I think these are tremendous and the kids are excited that we got done just in time for Halloween! 🙂


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Futurism Inspired Sculptures

3rd graders used scraps to create sculptures inspired by Futurism.


We began by looking at the artwork of Fernand Leger and identifying lines and shapes. We talked about how the artwork is all about the future and movement. I did a quick demo on how cut, fold, and glue paper. Students went to town using scraps from this big ol’ box:


. . . And they were delighted to have access to these fancy scissors which I randomly found in my supply cabinets. . .


One side says the name of the line and the other side has an example of what the cut will look like. Neat-o!


I love how funky these are. The kiddos really let their imaginations run wild to create some awesome sculptures. Our playgrounds are currently being renovated so many of these were inspired by “What I Wish the Playground Will Look Like” Others were mechanical parts, rooms, forests, and even time machines!


^ Some sweet jagged edges ^


^ Some sweet negative space in action ^


^ Some sweet scrolls wavin’ ^


^ “Its a torch” ^


^ “Ms Katzin I am using the cold colors” ^


^ A sweet apple tree ^


^ So I wish I had recorded this student as she described this crazy amazing contraption to me it for like 15 minutes it was all about a dog that had to go through this door thing and do all this stuff. . . I don’t even know ^


^ “I hope the new playground looks like this” ^


^ Sweet pile of rings ^


^ Sweet border ^


^ On the drying rack ^


^ On the wall* ^

* Why do they look different all of a sudden? WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?
Not sorcery — its because this batch was made with scrap construction paper instead of scrap painted paper.

Next up for 3rd grade is clay so stay tuned!



Roller Coaster Sculpture Hats

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This year’s group of 2nd graders LOVED making roller coaster hats! We began by watching a video about an awesome coaster:

Students loved the story Roller Coaster too!


We sketched roller coasters using expressive lines and imaginations. The next week, we created colorful paper by choosing color schemes.


Students had to look at the “menu” and choose one scheme for their “dinner” on one side of the paper and one scheme for the “dessert” on the other side of the paper.


We constructed the base of the hat with construction paper. The Crayon Lab Blog has a great tutorial on how to make the base of the hat. Students cut their painted paper into strips and folded and bent to create wacky roller coaster lines. They used hole punchers to create positive and negative space and scrap papers for the car full of people. They are so creative and awesome!

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Oh and who is that with a backwards name tag and inside out dress? That would be yours truly! And no it was not Backwards Day or Weird Clothes Day or anything like that, just your average ran-out-the-door-in-the-nick-of-time Tuesday before spring break. KEEPIN. IT. REAL.




Sculptural Lines


Well hello there Dear Readers! At this moment in time I am currently basking in the greatness that is #SB’14 a.k.a. Spriiiiiinggggg Breeeeeeeaaakkkkk!


The last couple weeks in the art room have been a frenzy of work and production. First graders worked hard on their line sculptures and they turned out vibrant and colorful! We began with some painted paper with textured lines.

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The next week, we talked about positive and negative space and students cut out their lines and glued them to construction paper. One of the first grade science standards is shadows and light so I thought it would be a great connection to have students include shadows under their pop-out lines.

Rainbow Hearts:

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This Rocks This is Fun Do it Again:

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Characters from the Lego Movie:

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With Flowers:


Hashtag Win:

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With a Minecraft Creeper:

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Domo on a Banana Skateboard:

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Pikachu and Pokeballs:


This one is awesome, the little guy created amazing shapes and shadows!

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Like a Boss:


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Architecture Blueprints

The idea for this project came from Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists. Kinders became architects in the art room and learned all about designs, shapes, and stamping. 002 (3) We began by sketching buildings, houses, and skyscrapers. A big thank-you shout out to my dad who is an architect for donating “blueprints.” I was informed that architects no longer design on blue paper due to the chemicals and the fact that in 2014 there is such a thing as technology to do that sort of thing. My dad gave me tons of awesome building plans to show the kids. 013 They looked through books from the media center to get inspiration for their buildings. 006 007 005 004 002 003 015 The next week, we printed by stanmping white shapes on blue paper. It was a delightful mess! 005 (2) To wrap up the project, kinders used tempera cakes to paint their buildings. 003 (5) 003 (4) 001 002 (4) 003 (3) 004 (3) 005 (4) 005 (3) 004 (4) 006 (2) 006 (3) 007 (2) 008 (2) 011 007 (3) 020 019

The theme of architecture will take us into our next unit of sculptural houses 🙂


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This lesson was inspired by this lesson from Art is Basic. First graders enjoyed creating windsocks for our 3D sculpture unit!

We began by talking about what windsocks are for and making a great science connection (first grade science curriculum includes a lot about weather.) We used crayons to draw a variety of lines on our paper and paint over them with water colors.

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The next week, we talked about printmaking and stamping and used all kinds of fun shapes to stamp on paper.

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On the backside of the paper, students used tempera cakes to mix colors and make a stripey rainbow.


Week 3 was spent constructing the windsock. I walked around and stapled the line paper into a cylinder while students cut their painted/stamped paper into strips and folded zig zags and spirals. They glues down their strips and used hole punchers and yarn to make it hang.

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A big THANK-YOU shout out to the parent resource center volunteers who hung up all the windsocks in the hallway!

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Kindergarteners had a great time making owls. Check out the process here. WHO do you think did a great job? 🙂

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