Please Don't Eat the Artwork


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Little Trees

First graders learned all about color mixing, shapes, texture, and stamping for this project. We began by doing carousel painting with tints and shades of green and orange.

The next week, students created a purple background by mixing blue and pink. They used a fork to scratch texture into the wet paint.

That did not take up the entire 45 minute block so we were also able to start tracing and cutting circles from the tints and shades papers.


The last day, we assembled everything together. Students overlapped their circles and glued them down with just a dot of liquid glue.


Then, they used cardboard and marker caps to dip and stamp tree trunks, branches, and snow!

These are so sweet!

Great job first graders!

❤ Mrs. K


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Guitars in Grade 2

I have done guitars before and wanted to give em’ a fresh twist this year. The lesson is based on one from Art With Mrs Nguyen . com. We began by looking at guitars and artwork from Mexico. Students looked at the wooden tables and drew what they observes. They traced over their lines with black crayon and painted with brown tempera. This made the paper look like it had a wood texture!

The next week, students used templates and construction paper to cut and glue the shapes. The week after that, we added designs and the yarn strings. I had the kids come up to the example and draw music notes on the doc cam:


They used crayons or oil pastels to create details:


I love they way these turned out, it was so much fun for the kids to get to trade colors and shapes with their friends and make connections to music class!

Nice work 2nd graders!

❤ Ms. K


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Monochromatic Value Scale House Weaving Texture Landscapes

I had trouble coming up with a simple title for this project because it was so involved and included so many different standards, concepts, and techniques.


Teacher Sample

On the first day, we used my Value Scale Handout to practice mixing tints and shades. Students also got to look at the “recipe” for the colors by playing the popsicle game.


The next week, each table chose a primary or secondary color to use to create a value scale. Students used forks to scratch texture into their paper. For the third week, students chose a piece of construction paper that matched their value scale to create a monochromatic artwork. They used crayons and texture mats to create more visual texture.


The first step of building the landscape was to fold the value scale like a brochure an cut it into thirds.


One of those rectangles was cut as a wavy line to create the “hills” that the house is tucked into.


The other two rectangles were cut in half. I showed students how to create a warp and a weft and they chose papers that had a lot of contrast to weave. I showed the kids how to draw “lollipops” and told them to cut on the line and stop at the pop. This ensured that they had a decent warp that they could weave the weft pieces into. I also advised the kids to weave from the back since the lines were easier to see.

That was about as far as we got in one day. The next time we met, students cut out a roof, a chimney, and details for the sky.

Third graders will get to choose between these and their O’keeffe flowers to present in the art show in December. 🙂



Icecream Value Scales

Thank you Mini Matisse for this great lesson idea! 


We began this lesson talking about value, tints and shades. Every time someone says “tint” students clap their hands over their heat to make a Tint Tent. Every time someone mentions “shade” we make a circle over our heads to represent a shady tree. This movement incorporation is a great way for students to remember vocabulary! On the first day, we created a value scale with the popsicles from this post and students completed a value worksheet (found HERE)by mixing colors. The second day, students folded paper into 6 equal sections and created tints and shades of a chosen color. They used a fork to scratch in texture.

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During our next meeting, students cut apart their squares and created an ice cream scoop shape that kind of looked like Pac-Man ghosts. They put their “scoops” in order from lightest to darkest.

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Students picked their construction paper background and used crayons to create a pattern of lines and shapes.


Check out these sweet works of art!

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Emoji Color Wheel Adjective Flowers

Last year I did a similar version of this project and I really wanted to pump it up with some pop-culture references and common-core connections this year. So, I threw in emojis and adjectives!


An emoji (I explained to my 2nd graders) is the little smiley face that you send in a text message. This lead to the conversation – how can colors show emotions? We described how different colors make us feel and realized that we were naming adjectives.


To create the flowers we began by making painted paper and cutting it into circles. We used scraps to create complementary colored petals. (This also tied into the whole feeling thing by talking about how you feel when someone compliments you.)


Then, students used oil pastels to create emojis and write an adjective to describe the face and the feeling. These turned out hilarious and adorable!

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Secondary Spiders


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First graders were very busy and learned all about secondary colors and arachnids for this project. This project was inspired by a post over at Artolazzi.

We began by reading The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.

The Very Busy Spider Erin Carle

We talked about secondary colors and created textured painted paper. Next, students used white oil pastels on black paper to create a web.


Then, students cut their papers into semi-circles and traded with a friend to have a spider body with 2 colors. They cut the papers to make them symmetrical and glued them to their web background. They cut another piece of painted paper into 8 strips and folded them into zigzags for the legs.


Eyes and mouths or fangs were added for details. They turned out great!

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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!






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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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: