Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS 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 🙂

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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Abstract Bubbles

This project was done with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. The kids called me out for planning such an easy-peasy project and I was honest with them – we were going to end the school year with easy stuff so that everyone is on task and chill. Every end of the school year is bonkers but this year I could really feel my students running out of steam and brain power towards the end. Maybe it was all of the inclement weather days we had this year? Maybe it was just being exhausted from working so hard in school? Anyway, I wanted something relaxing and easy that would use the last remnants of paint.

Students traced different sized cups and circular objects with a crayon. They were encouraged to overlap and go off the page. Then, they used water color paints to fill in the shapes. This abstract painting was somewhat meditative. For all of the “this is too easy!” complaining, the kids ended up liking the method. Sometimes process > product.

It probably also helped that I walked around and blew bubbles at them while they painted. Did you know that many children’s instinctive reaction to bubbles is to eat them? So now I must remind students not only to please don’t eat the artwork but please don’t eat the bubbles too!

❤ Mrs. K


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Geode Agates

I saw this project all over Instagram and knew it would be perfect for the last few weeks of school! The main inspiration came from @artwithmrs.e and her tutorial was super helpful. We began by looking at different geodes ad agate slices. Students connected this to their classroom learning because they learn about gems and minerals in 3rd grade.

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I found that this project worked best step-by-step so I did a demo on the doc cam and everyone followed along. We began by painting an oval with water. Then, students used analogous colors to create concentric rings going inward with water color paint. They sprinkled salt and outlined their shape with metallic tempera paint to finish it off. These are from one 4th grade and several 3rd grade classes. Nice work guys!

❤ Mrs. K


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Op Art Hearts

With the school year winding down to a close, there was one 5th grade class that had a lot of extra time after they finished their dreamcatchers. I knew I wanted to give them a project that would be easy and fun and when I saw THIS I knew it would be perfect. We started out with a PowerPoint that had a whole bunch of different op-art examples that basically blew the 5th grader’s minds. They LOVE op-art! They traced a ruler across a paper and then created a shape or design which they colored in a pattern.

This was a mellow and engaging project to end the year with, nice job 5th graders!

❤ Ms. K

 


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Hooray for Fish!

My 2nd graders finished their big project last week and since winter holiday starts next week I didn’t want to start anything new. I came up with this great one day lesson that was perfect for students right before the break! We started the lesson by reading the book Hooray for Fish! Students observed and noticed the bold, patterned, illustrations and identified the different shapes the illustrator used to make fish.

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Then students drew a fish onto 9×12 paper and used a sharpie to trace it.

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They used water color paint to color their fish.

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The last step was to cut out the fish and place it in the “aquarium” to create a collaborative class creation!

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This project is great because it can be done with many different levels with more or less components to make it more or less challenging. I can’t wait to hang up our aquarium!


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There is Only One You

The first day of school for an art teacher is a lot longer than you would think. This is because we art teachers have a Groundhog’s Day kind of situation where we re-live the first day over and over again for 30 times during the first week. It becomes a performance and by the 30th encore presentation you know which punchlines will get a big laugh and which will get blank stares. You know which things to skip over for kindergarteners because they just stare at you like “…….” and which things to skip over for 5th graders because they have been in here for years and duh they already know where the pencil sharpener is.

The first day/week is important because this is when you set the standard for what you will and will not allow and what you will and will not do and who you will and will not be. Its very important to use this time to practice sitting properly in chairs and lining up quietly and walking around safely. I also like to throw in a little bit of activity for the first day. Afterall, it is difficult for me to sit still and listen to someone talk for 45 minutes and I am (technically) an adult!

So after my performance of telling my students all about me (I love outerspace and I traveled a lot this summer and here are the projects we are doing this year) in a lovely PowerPoint, I give them a tour of the classroom. This year I decided to read them a story right after the tour. We read “Only One You” by Linda Kranz which is a beautifully illustrated book about wisdom.

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I used this activity to see what my kiddos could already do. Can you create a pattern? Can you use lines and shapes in your art? Can you cut out a shape with scissors? This was a really great informal assessment especially for the kindergarten noobs. I also used this to notice who my Leftys are so I can make sure to give them the correct scissors for the rest of the year. The completed fish were stapled to the bulletin board outside of my classroom. Each fish is so unique and some of them really impressed me with how creative they were (like a swordfish made with scraps or a fish that is half herbivore/half carnivore) This year’s artists are really making a splash!

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The other bulletin board was inspired by a billboard I saw when I was driving down 285, I think its a great message.

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Here are some pictures of my lovely classroom:

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Kinders are learning about Mondrian’s lines and primary colors.
1st Graders are learning about Kasndinsky’s abstract paintings.
2nd Graders are learning about Matisse’s Drawing With Scissors artwork.
3rd Graders are learning about Georgia O’keeffe’s flowers and bones.
4th Graders are learning about Van Gogh’s Starry night. (Inspired by this.)
5th Graders are learning about Mexican Guitars.(Inspired by this.)

Happy 2nd week of school! 🙂


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Chika Chika Boom Boom Paintings

Kinders experimented with water-color paint with their Chika Chika Boom Boom Paintings. We began by reading the infamous story.

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The kids love this book and even knew the song from this video:

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We began by practicing writing letters with bright colored crayons. They could draw uppercase and lowercase letters and use as many colors as they want! Then we broke out some brand spankin’ new water colors.

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Kids discovered that if their brush was “thirsty” they would need to add more water and dip it in the paint again. Students used their knowledge of shapes to design a coconut tree. Some students even added the big yellow full moon from the end of the story.

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The extra-curricular connection was successful in reinforcing letters, shapes, colors, and the alphabet! 🙂


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Notans

4th graders had time for one last quick project after their CD weaving project.. The idea came from about a million different blogs and all the billions of examples on Pinterest. We began by talking about positive and negative space, symmetry, contrast, shape, and variety. Students learned that Notans are a traditionally Japanese art form and are also used in graphic design and advertising. The word “notan” in Japanese means “dark-light.”

Students chose contrasting colors of construction paper and cut out a variety of shapes to design bold and graphic abstract images.

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Drumroll please —  what you are about to see is crazy talent that might just knock your socks off. . . .

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I know right?! These kids are so awesome!


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Token Response

99% of my lessons have been production  based so far. I think this is because I am such a hands-on and kinesthetic person. But, in order to have a well-rounded art education, it is important to include aspects of art criticism and art history. I wanted to play “Token Response” with 5th graders so I could incorporate more aspects of art and practice critical thinking with them. This is a game I played in a college class and it lead to a truly meaningful discussion about art that really got everyone to think about their opinions.

I set out 7 reproductions around the room and we talked about the title, medium, artist, and when the piece was made. We talked about opinions and how there is no right or wrong answer and it is important to respect what someone else thinks about something. I told the kids that when you look at artwork you automatically think “I like it” or “I don’t like it” but it is important to realize why you feel this way.

Each student received a set of tokens (you can buy a pre-made set here but it was just as easy to make my own using construction paper):

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So what do they mean?

The HAND: which artwork has the best craftsmanship?
The LIGHT BULB: which artwork is the most original/unique?
The HEART: which artwork do you like the best?
The “X”: which artwork do you like the least?
The MONEY: which artwork is worth the most money?
The CLOCK: which artwork took the most time to make?
The HOUSE: which artwork would people hang up in their house?

With a variety of reproductions including examples of realism, formalism, expressionism, and instrumentalism, there were many diverse opinions. Students walked around the gallery and placed their tokens on the artworks.

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The most popular pieces were sculptures and the least popular were the realistic or abstract pieces. Students expressed their opinions and shared with each other why they chose to put their tokens where they did.

This activity was just as meaningful for 5th graders as it was for me in college — they got a chance to form and argue their opinions, interpret art, compare and contrast artworks, and develop and evaluate ideas.


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One Day Lessons

Due to field trips, holidays, assemblies, and all kinds of other occurances, some classes end up being behind. I like to keep each class as close to on track as I can so scheduling projects doesn’t become a logistical nightmare. Therefore, I have come up with a few one day lessons that are appropriate and can be adapted for k, 1st, and 2nd graders. I use these lessons for classes that are a little ahead of the others or if we are waiting for our ceramics to be fired in the kiln.

CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM PAINTINGS 

This lesson begins with storytime. We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom which the kids pretty much know by heart.

 

After the story, students use oil pastels to write the alphabet one letter at a time on their paper. We talk about what words start with the letters and the difference between capital and lowercase letters. Then we use water color paints to paint a coconut tree.

 

If there is enough time at the end, we watch the song video and then it gets stuck in my head for a week. http://viewpure.com/I4DQlvk6c84

PETER MAX HEART

Students look at hearts painted by one of my all-time favorite artists Peter Max. We talk about warm and cool colors, positive and negative space,  and symmetry.

 

We look around the room to find other things that are symmetrical like human bodies, cabinets, windows, etc. First, we begin by folding a paper in half “hamburger style” then we cut out a “fancy letter C” to make a heart. They set their “positive space” heart off to the side and use their “negative space” heart as a template. With oil pastels, students color on a white piece of paper. When they pull of their “negative space” heart, a perfect heart is left behind!

 

Kinders were given the option to use any color but 2nd graders had to chose if they wanted their heart to be warm or cool and do the opposite in the background. Students used watercolor paints to fill up their papers with color.



^Kindergarten Example ^

 

^ Kindergarten Example ^

 

 

^ 2nd Grade Example ^

^ 2nd Grade Example ^