Please Don't Eat the Artwork


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The idea for this lesson comes from Deep Space Sparkle. 

Students began by mixing tints and shades of blue to create a gradient value scale. The next day, everyone could choose either small or big bubble wrap. Aqua paint was carefully applied to the bubbly side with a paintbrush.

Students were encouraged to work together to flip their bubble wrap onto their gradient paper to “print” bubbles. They gently pressed down and were absolutely amazed at their bubble prints!

The next week, we talked about how to show form in a drawing by creating shadows adn highlights. Students were challenged to create a sphere with a light source as well as a jelly dome shape.

After practicing with pencil, students used chalk pastels to create colorful jellies and bubbles.

The last day, everything was assembled. The colorful jellies were cut out. Scraps of tissue-paper tie die paper were used to create the tentacles. Students had the option of curling them or leaving them flat. Seaweed and kelp was added to the background with oil pastels to create a sense of depth.

This is definitely one of those projects that I will be doing year after year. The process was so much fun and the products are AWESOME! There are so many different techniques and a lot of vocabulary encompassed in this project — it was perfect for 5th grade!

What is in the middle of a jellyfish?





❤ Mrs. K


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 🙂


Gyotaku Fish Prints

Second graders learned all about printmaking and Japan during this unit and created dazzling Gyotaku artwork. We began by watching a couple of videos about the art form.

We also looked at a few pictures of under-the-sea-scapes and students noticed that they were mostly cool colors. With that knowledge, they got to work on their background. Using cool colored crayons and watercolors, they created a watery background.


The next week was messy and a whole lot of fun. Students used an assortment of round objects to dip and stamp bubbles with blue tempera paint.

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Meanwhile, in small groups students created a Gyotaku print at the printing table with warm colors.


The last week was spent collaging the fish onto the background and adding details.


These turned out to be absolutely fabulous and really brighten up the hallway where they are hanging. Which one is your favorite?

The one that is all twisted up:

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The one with some crabs:

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The royal one:


The rather girly homeowner:


The one that swims with sharks:

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The one with some little babies:

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The one that is straight chillin in the sand:


The one that is straight chillin in the seaweed:


The one that is straight chillin in the reeds:


The one with a serious shark:

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The one who lives in a pineapple under the sea:

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The one with realistic bubbles:


The one with an electric eel:

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This was dolphinitely a reely great project! 🙂



All year long I have been collecting these tubes:


As one student so kindly put it, “you sure use a lot of toilet paper!” In fact, these tubes were saved and given to me by one of our custodians. The art teacher who was here before me established a system where teachers drop off recycled materials in a little blue bin outside the art room door. I have cabinets full of egg cartons, cardboard, yogurt cups, and all kinds of useful knick-knacks. (Art teachers are allowed to be hoarders!)

This project began with sketchbooks where students worked out their ideas by sketching some designs.


Then, they painted on the tubes with tempera paint. 5th graders had a lot of freedom with this project and it was interesting to see if they made something with a clear point of view or went for a design that was more abstract.


The next step was to use some scraps of painted paper (of which a lot has accumulated over the school year!) to create a top and bottom for the tube.

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A handful of rice went inside and voila! a musical instrument! The rice part of this was super tricky and if the papers and glue were not dry enough the whole thing busted apart and rice was EVERYWHERE. However, they turned out pretty neat and gave 5th graders a chance to create some cool and functional artwork.


Elephant Mouse:


LOL and a Football Field:



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Na na na na na na na na. . . .



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And the TARDIS!!!

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