This year’s batch of first graders really knocked it out of the park!
I am so impressed with the creativity and problem solving art club members showed during this project!
At the beginning of the year, I had found a bunch of plastic mask forms in my storage closet. I have always wanted to try paper mache with students but have always been deterred from just the thought of the logistics of classroom management. So when I had Art Club up and running somewhat smoothly, I figured it might be something they could handle.
Originally the plan was to just do masks – maybe portraits or something. But then two of my art club members came early one day and started talking about having super powers. One student said he would use his powers for good: to help people. Te other student said she would use her powers to steal and be evil!
This conversation inspired me to give my art club students the prompt: create a hero or villain! On the first day, we sketched our ideas. Students had to illustrate a hero and a villain and choose their favorite to elaborate upon. They included powers, an origin story, and info about an arch nemesis.
On the second day, we used a paper mache technique to cover the mask forms. I mixed 2 parts school glue to one part water. Students dipped 2inch newspaper strips into the mixture and started to layer them onto the mask form. This day was incredibly messy but super fun!
The next few weeks were used to design and engineer the look of the masks. Students had to come up with a color scheme plan in their sketchbook before they could get paint.
I also set out a whole bunch of craft materials for them to use like wires, yarn, sequins, glitter glue, and twisty wire. They pretty much had complete freedom for how they wanted to design and decorate their mask to bring their hero/villain to life. Some students had a big engineering challenge for how to create 3D aspects or how to achieve a certain effect they were going for. In the end, these turned out to be hilarious, authentic, silly, meaningful, memorable, and fun. Check em out!
Way to go art club!!
The idea for this project came from Artsy Artful Amy .com!
This project took a looooooong time for 4th graders to complete and I still have kids coming to visit in the morning or during lunch to finish. But I must admit it’s totally worth is because these self-portraits are turning out absolutely beautiful.
On day one, we begin by talking about the proportions of a face. Students use mirrors to practice drawing their self portrait in their sketchbook. They also start brainstorming words that describe themselves. If anyone was having trouble coming up with descriptive words, they could ask their friends and the people at their table to describe them. Thinking of words turned out to be tricky for some, I had to remind students that we are looking for adjectives and descriptive words so no, “potato” is not going to fly.
The next art day, students used a ruler to create horizontal lines going down a piece of 9×12 paper.
They drew a simplified version of their self-portrait on top of the lines. Next, they were supposed to fill the rectangle spaces with their descriptive words and trace everything with sharpie. I showed them how to split up the words to make it fit around the face and how to streeeeetch their letters to fill the space horizontally. This was also tricky because some students started doing acrostics or drawing waaayyyy too small. With a bit or practice and patience, most were able to get the hang of it.
The next step was to choose the color schemes. Young artists decided if they wanted their face to be warm or cool and the background had to be the opposite. Then they used water colors to fill in each space with a different color. This step was tricky because many students instinctively wanted to paint their whole hair shape one color but they eventually got the hang of painting each tiny shape different.
I am SOOOOO excited about these masterpieces, I can tell the kiddos who really put in effort are so proud of their work. I love how personal and expressive these are and it was a great way to get to know my 4th graders. This project is definitely one of those that I will have in my art teacher bag o’ tricks for years to come.
❤ Ms. K!
I love kickin’ off the school year with 3rd graders by teaching about Georgia O’keeeffe and her flower paintings. It is such a great project to get them back in the swing of artistic habits and creative thinking. I have posted about this project before but I just couldn’t resist showing off this year’s batch of fantastic florals!
First graders are also finishing up on their tissue paper portraits (original post here) and they are amazing! Once again this project was awesome for teaching primary color mixing in a new way.
Way to go 1st and 3rd graders!
This project is inspired by this post from the Hudsonville Art Program blog!
When I saw the example of this lesson on Pinterest, I knew it would be a fun one for my kindergarteners. We began by mixing primary colors to create secondary colors with bleeding tissue paper. Students tore different shades of reds, yellows, and blues. They overlapped their tissue paper pieces to create orange, green and purple.
I created a mixture of glue water that they painted on top of the torn tissues. This will ensure that the papers stick to the white paper and don’t fall off. However, the paper also looks really beautiful if you let the tissue papers fall off but the colors aren’t as vibrant and the bleeding isn’t as apparent.
The mixture is one part glue and 2 parts water. I stirred it up several times throughout the day with a popsicle stick to make sure it was diluted. Kinders found out that bigger pieces of torn paper worked better and they were fascinated by overlapping to make new colors.
The papers came out so beautiful! The next time we met, we did a guided drawing of a self-portrait. Students were encouraged to add personal details and use their knowledge of lines and shapes to draw. They traced their drawing with a sharpie and cut and glued it to their colorful background. They could also add a pet or their name if there was time.
This lesson is based on a project by Cassie Stephens!
This multi-media, multi-step, marvelous project was a hit! I am so impressed with the amazing work 1st graders created. We began by using texture mats and crayons on 12×18 paper.
Students used watercolor paints to create a resist.
While they filled their paper with a variety of textures and colors, I made my way around the room and painted their hands. WHAT MS. K?! YOU PAINTED KID’S HANDS.. . . ON PURPOSE?!?! This was incredibly exciting for the kiddos and as you can imagine they were just thrilled with the opportunity to have paint all over their hands and for once not get in trouble for it! They got to choose their color from a palette of tempera cakes and I used a soft foam brush to (quite ticklishly) paint their hands.
They stamped their painted hands onto another piece of paper, making sure to spread out their fingers and get their whole hand to fit on the page. In the 2nd day, we read this excellent story:
We talked about how even though some people are called “white” their skin is actually peach or tan and while some people are called “black” their skin is different shades of brown. This discussion was a great exercise in character building and cultural awareness for my students. They drew an oval on a paper, added 2 parallel lines for the neck and then used tempera cakes to mix their own skin color. It was tricky for some but with some extra color mixing discussions, most students were successful!
Some of my classes were behind so we jumped into the last day from there. Others had an extra week so we used it to create patterned paper for the clothes.
We also used crayons or Art Stix to draw an expressive face.
The last day was spent putting it all together. Students cut out the head. . .
The hands (which we drew a bubble around first to make cutting easier) . . .
And a curved line for the shirt. Classes who did not create the patterned paper used colorful construction paper. Then they glued it all together and if they had enough time, could add a hat, bow, or other accessories. I am thrilled with how much personality these have. They have already received many compliments from teachers and one teacher was so excited about these self portraits that she is planning on doing a writing assignment with her students about them! I am such a huge fan of these types of mixed media, multi step process works because I believe they help students with so many different types of critical thinking and cognitive processes. It may be messy – but it’s worth it!
What do you so when you are scrambling for an end for an end of the year project that will keep 5th graders engaged and hit some overlooked standards? You make something up and keep your fingers crossed that it isn’t a fiasco. This lesson was anything but a fiasco and one that will surely be in my bag o’ classic awesome lessons for years to come.
I needed something that would continue to incorporate craft techniques, touch upon value/tint/shade, and provide a way to show emphasis and contrast. I wanted to utilize skills we have learned already so that during testing and in the weeks after I wouldn’t be pushing tired minds too far but still present an interesting project. On the first day we talked about value and 5th graders painted a value scale.
The next way was all about weaving. Students used the fancy scissors to cut a warp and colorful construction paper for a weft. We briefly discussed color schemes and students could choose any color they wanted but were encouraged to think about their choice and perhaps even make it complementary or monochromatic.
The next day was a sketching day. We talked about emojis and students used mirrors to draw self portraits with an emoji twist. They picked their favorite to make into a final draft and traced it with sharpie. Then they added a thought or speech bubble.
These turned out so fabulous, I am very impressed with all of them! I love how graphic and bold these portraits are. This was the perfect project to end the school year and to end elementary art with.
I am really going to miss this year’s 5th grade class. I have known many of them since 3rd grade and it has been a joy to watch them grow into the thoughtful and amazing people they are. Overall this has been a spectacular year and I cannot believe that in a few hours I will be done with my 3rd year of teaching. I like to look back at my posts from my first year sometimes because it reminds me what a dream come true this job truly is for me. I started this year feeling a little burned out and kind of deflated but I feel like I am ending on a strong, positive note. I will be posting during the summer but for all of my kiddos who are reading — I hope you have a great summer and I will see you next year!
❤ Ms. K
This project is loosely based on this.
When I saw this book I just knew I had to do a project inspired by under the sea!
The story is an illustrated version of one of my favorite Beatles songs. 🙂
I also recently came across this awesome 2nd grade artwork by yours truly:
So I figured this could be a cool technique for my first graders to use! We began by reading the story and practicing drawing ourselves swimming. We transferred out sketches to big paper and used crayons to color everything in. Then we created a resist by painting blue liquid watercolor on top.
The last step was to outline shaped with oil pastels or Sharpie markers. This really made everything pop!
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!
Have you always wondered what 2nd graders look like? WELL wonder no more because here they are. . . some truly supurb 2nd-almost-3rd graders:
Students got to explore their own faces for this self-portrait project. They peered into mirrors (and made quite a few infinity tunnels) to study the shape and proportions of their faces. They used the ol’ Dip n’ Stamp method to get the big bold black outlines.
Some classes used tempera cakes to paint and others used crayons to color. . .
This one reminds me of THIS.
And this one reminds me of THIS.
This one actually looks EXACTLY LIKE the student who made it in a really weird and accurate way:
This girl really does have blue bangs (but not lips or eyes):
Those teeth. . .
Spiderman Ninja with a bicycle in the background:
This one is also super accurate and looks just like the kid:
Frankenstein in a city with bats at night:
The shirt says it all. . . hehehe:
And did you know that a Timenado is a tornado that takes you back in time? This illuminating peice of information was revealed to me by a particularly imaginative 2nd grader. It sparked a great meta-philosophical debate about time travel which is already an interesting topic but hearing 7-year-olds talk about it is a whole ‘nother story. Heres hoping the last 11 days of school are filled with more imagination and randomness!