Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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Self-Portraits

Usually when I hang displays of artwork, the displays are homogeneous and feature the same project from a variety of different classes. I was inspired by a recent conversation about displaying artwork to mix it up a bit for kindergarten, 2nd, and 3rd grade’s self-portraits.

I had an art teacher a long time ago who always said that when displaying artwork you should mix up the projects so that viewers don’t compare the works. Each student’s work should be appreciated on it’s own and that is easier to do when the work is surrounded by a variety of projects.

Since kinder, 2nd, and 3rd grade all finished their self-portraits around the same time, I thought it would be fun to display them all together. They are so colorful and the mixture of media and methods is really awesome to see!

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I love how each one is so unique — even though the students experienced the same demonstrations and used the same materials during the process, their products are all so different!

If you are interested in seeing any of the step-by-step lessons for these self-portraits you can see kindergarten’s here, 2nd grade’s here, and 3rd grade’s here.


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Kindergarten Stamped Velentines

This lesson was inspired by a project from Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists!

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On the first day, we read a super cute book called “The Shape of My Heart” Kinders loved the rhyming words and colorful illustrations.

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Students drew the letter V at the bottom of a big piece of paper. Then they used cardboard and black paint to dip and stamp!

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They also used marker caps, cylinders, and smaller cardboard pieces to create Xs and Os. The smaller sized stamped hearts were made by me – I hot glued a rolled piece of poster board. The next week, students used tempera cakes to paint their valentines. Aren’t they sweet?!

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Stamped Sculptural Buildings

This project was a big hit with 1st graders!

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We began by reading the book Iggy Peck: Architect and talking about the job of an architect. Then students practiced drawing different kinds of buildings in their sketchbooks using geometric shapes. The next week, we dipped and stamped various objects in black paint to create big buildings.

The third week, students used crayons to color in their buildings. They also got to visit an enormous scraps box and choose different colors of construction paper scraps to use for their pop-ups. We talked about sculpture and 3D and everyone had to include at least 3 pop-ups on their building.

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Creating pop-ups was a challenge, especially having to incorporate them onto the building in a way that made sense and didn’t just look messy. Most of the kiddos god the hang of folding the paper to create a tab on which to put the glue. They really came out great!

 


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3rd Grade Matisse Collagraph Prints

This project was inspired in part by Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists as well as another teacher in my county English Avery. I wanted to kind of re-think the way I have been doing collagraphs with 3rd graders to make it easier to get successful prints. For the past few years, I have been doing a collagraph lesson based on the artwork of Jasper Johns. It is actually one of my most looked at blog posts! While it is a very good lesson, the same issue always pops up when printing. Basically, it is very difficult to get every student to create their artwork backwards on the printing plate because it will print backwards. Inevitably there are always upside-down and topsy-turvy prints that illicit disappointment from students.

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So this year I figured we would switch it up and create more abstract prints in order to alleviate some of the confusion. I was inspired to base this project on Matisse because we could include so many concepts like geometric/organic shapes, abstract art, and positive/negative space. On the first day, we looked at artwork by Matisse and talked about these concepts. I even showed students a picture of me in front of giant Matisse works at the Vatican!

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Kiddos used card stock and cardboard to create their printing plate. They drew and cut out an organic shape and used a hole puncher to create negative space.

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The next week, we talked about complementary colors and created a collage to print on. Students chose their complementary colors for a background and used fancy scrap booking scissors to cut around squares that they glued down. They also glued down any pop-ups on their printing plate so they could be ready to print on the 3rd week.

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The third week we printed.

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First, students rolled out about a pinky-sized amount of ink onto the phone book with a brayer. Then they rolled the ink onto their plate.

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They flipped it over onto the complementary colored collage and used a spoon to press down.

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Last, they peeled off their collage very carefully to reveal a print.

I am so pleased with how this project went, I feel like the amount of successful prints was much higher and that students really understood the process and concepts. Way to go 3rd graders!

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Art Hands

This lesson is based on a project by Cassie Stephens

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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.

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Students used watercolor paints to create a resist.

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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.

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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:

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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!

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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.

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We also used crayons or Art Stix to draw an expressive face.

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The last day was spent putting it all together. Students cut out the head. . .

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The hands (which we drew a bubble around first to make cutting easier) . . .

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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!


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Printed Neighborhood

This project was inspired by Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artist’s City Prints. I loved the component of students getting to trade their prints!

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The first day, students looked at the artwork of Friedensreich Hundertwasser and used his architecture and designs as inspiration to sketch their own whimsical buildings and houses. After choosing their favorite sketch, students drew it with a ballpoint pen onto styrofoam. They had the opportunity to print as many times as they wanted on any color of paper they wanted. The process was pretty fun!

When all of the prints were dry, the buildings were cut out and students could trade with their friends to create a landscape collage. I am enamored by the talent of these kiddos! 🙂

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They picked out a colorful background and used Art Stix to add details.

 

 


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Winter Collagraph Cards

The inspiration for this project comes from Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists! I loved the idea of using materials to create a wintery landscape for 3rd grade collagraphs.

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We started off by brainstorming different animals/objects/scenes we could show for a winter wonderland. Students used a variety of textured materials to create their printing plate. They drew their design in pencil first then cut and glued shapes.

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Each student was responsible for creating a printing plate, at least one card, and at least on flat print.

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So while some kiddos printed at the back table, others wrote cards.

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Students could choose anybody to write their greeting card to. they had to include a greeting, 5 sentences, and a closing. I have written before about how much I adore children’s writing especially when it is open ended and this project was no exception to the absolute cuteness kids can create.

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I have also written before about how much I despise printmaking. Not because of the mess but because it just never turns out that great. Also it is 2016 and there are 3d printers so why in the world are we teaching something as archaic as handmade 2d printing? Anyway. . . this project changed my mind a little bit because the prints came out beautiful.

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One particular class was super into the idea of penguins so there were many penguin themed prints!

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I really love how these turned out but hope that the weather continues to be in the 50s-70s. NO THANK YOU SNOW (stay up north where you belong).

 


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4th Grade Fashion (a.k.a. The Collaborative Human)

Okay so I don’t really have a good title for this project and if you dear reader can come up with one I would love to hear it. I mentioned in a recent post that this year I am really trying to escape the box of traditional printmaking projects and find a way to entertain myself and my students in new and creative ways.

When I attended GAEA earlier this fall, I went to a session by an awesome teacher in Cobb County who has a fashion club with some of her students. She calls it Project Runway in the art room. I thought this was absolutely brilliant! Now, I do not have a sewing machine in my art room nor do I have tons of fabric  but I do have access to a lot of butcher paper which I knew would be perfect for this collaborative project.

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On day one, I showed 4th graders a PowerPoint about fashion, textiles, and garment design. They split into groups and traced one person onto a giant piece of paper. There were of course lots of giggles and it was really, really fun!

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Day 2 was spent designing garments and textiles. Each student came up with their own design individually and they got back together with their group to collaborate and compromise to come up with one cohesive combined design.

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Day 3 was used to create the printing plate for the textiles and create the rough outline of the garments. They “sized” the garments by tracing the cut out of the person onto the “fabric.”

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The last couple of days of the project were used to put it all together. Students could add details, accessories, and really make their human come to life!

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I am so proud of the kiddos for working collaboratively to create these awesome works of art. They will surely be amazed when they get back from winter break tomorrow and are greeted by life-sized artwork!


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Graffiti Cityscapes

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The inspiration for this project came from Mrs. Kim at Art in the Big Green Room! We began by looking at pictures of cityscapes and skylines on iPads.

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Students sketched their designs and transferred them to the top half of a 12×18 paper. They could use inspiration from real cities or make up their own.

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They traced their design with sharpie and used tissue paper and water to add colors. I love this method of “painting!” Originally they were going to paint with tints and shades of tempera but they were so intent on detailed cityscapes that a Plan B needed to be devised so their lovely details did not become muddled messes.

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Whilst digging through my Mary-Poppin’s-Bag-Like supply cabinets, I found some practically never before used metallic colored pencils. And who doesn’t like a bit o’ sparkle?! Students who finished their tissue paper early could use the colored pencils for more details.

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Next, we talked about graffiti. I have done a graffiti project with 5th graders for the past couple of years and this was a great update to that project! Students wrote their name or a school appropriate word in graffiti style typography. They traced it with sharpie and used liquid water colors to add color. They cut out their words to be glued to the “wall”

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The brick wall was created by printmaking**. Students carved a brick pattern into styrofoam and used brayers and paint to print the wall. They rolled brick colored tempera paint and printed their bricks 4 times onto the big paper.

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

I think these turned out phenomenally, I am really proud of the stamina and perseverance 5th graders showed during this project. (Jeez, I make it sound like they went through some harrowing event, its only elementary art!) But this was actually pretty challenging and rigorous what with all of the different concepts and mediums. I think next year I might step it up even more and throw in some color scheme restrictions to hit a few more standards. As one of my very vocal kindergarteners said the other day, Check this out, dude! 

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**Now, I really, really, really, REALLY hate printmaking (maybe even more than weaving!) I think it is irrelevant in an age where you can press a button and literally print infinite amounts of images (at least until the CMYK runs out.) I think that the dazzling magic of creating multiple images is lost on younger generations. I believe that there are better artforms that will engage and inspire my students. Also, I just don’t really like it that much, it takes waaaay too much time.

This year I am challenging myself to get out of the box of “multiple prints of whatever blah blah” projects and come up with more interesting ideas for printmaking that do not necessarily just showcase printmaking but rather incorporate it into a mixed media type of project. So this is the first solution I came up with on How To Not Take 8 Weeks To Complete A Printmaking Project. The next one is an amazing 4th grade project that is currently in the works! So stay tuned 🙂