Please Don't Eat the Artwork


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Paper Chameleon Sculptures

These paper chameleon sculptures are always a huge hit with 3rd grade. In the past we have created painted paper to use but this year I switched it up and had the students use construction paper. We followed the step-by-step instructions found HERE create the body and heads for our chameleons. They are all so creative!

❤ Ms. K


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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!



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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Pattern Pets

This project is based on a lesson from Mini Matisse. My 1st and 3rd graders loved creating pattern pet sculptures! We began with a piece of 6×4 card stock paper, colored pencils, and permanent markers. Students drew patterns with the markers and colored with the colored pencils.

The next week, each student got a handy handout that showed how to draw different animal’s heads and tails. Students did not have to choose from the handout, they could create their own pattern pet too. The handout was useful to get them started though.


Students used another little piece of card stock to draw, trace and color their pet’s head and tail. Then they cut and glued it to the body. They created a 3D pop up body by cutting an arch shape in the folded paper.

They are sooooooooo stinkin’ cute!!! All of the kids were really into this project and they turned out great. This will definitely be one that I come back to again and again — some 2nd graders even requested to make these sometime this year so you might see them again!

❤ 🙂







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Stamped Sculptural Buildings

This project was a big hit with 1st graders!


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.


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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Heros VS. Villains (Paper Mache Masks)

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!


The Popper




The Puppet Master


Waffle Man


News Lady


Star Gazer


Father of Rain


Night Cloud




Berry S’more


The Phantom of the Night


Heat Breath Man


Fruit Man


Glitter Girl


Bow Giver


Lightning Strike


Lightning Lady


Perfect Line Lady


Way to go art club!!


Collaborative Community Sculptures


Thank you to my art teacher friend Noelle for the inspiration for this project!

I am all about some collaboration this year! I think projects with collaborative group work really help to build character development and teach real-world communication skills. Anyway, for this project we started off using Google Earth on ipads to research buildings in our community or places that are interesting.


Students were allowed to choose their own groups and they got together to decide which buildings to create and who would do what. They were pretty much welcome to use anything they wanted in the art room (within reason) to make their communities but they had to have a road to connect everything and at least some elements that were 3D. They used foam, pipe cleaners, wire, phone books, maps, cardboard, scraps, paint, markers, poster board, tape, and any other odds and ends they wanted.


^ Check out that White House! ^


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^ A Soccer Field ^


^ The Statue of Liberty ^


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^ This student loves outer space and built NASA with a rocket launching! ^



^ The Magic School bus ^



^ This student made a house for each member of her group 😀 ^


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^ Pipe Cleaner Tree ^



^ The foil building in the top right is a Starbucks ^



This project spanned several weeks. The last day was used for a walk-around critique. Students were responsible for completing a critique sheet about their own work as well as their classmate’s.


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The “Glow” is something the group did well and the “Grow” is something they can improve for next time. I love when kids write stuff, it is hilarious! (And good practice for testing and life in general)

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Futurism Inspired Sculptures

3rd graders used scraps to create sculptures inspired by Futurism.


We began by looking at the artwork of Fernand Leger and identifying lines and shapes. We talked about how the artwork is all about the future and movement. I did a quick demo on how cut, fold, and glue paper. Students went to town using scraps from this big ol’ box:


. . . And they were delighted to have access to these fancy scissors which I randomly found in my supply cabinets. . .


One side says the name of the line and the other side has an example of what the cut will look like. Neat-o!


I love how funky these are. The kiddos really let their imaginations run wild to create some awesome sculptures. Our playgrounds are currently being renovated so many of these were inspired by “What I Wish the Playground Will Look Like” Others were mechanical parts, rooms, forests, and even time machines!


^ Some sweet jagged edges ^


^ Some sweet negative space in action ^


^ Some sweet scrolls wavin’ ^


^ “Its a torch” ^


^ “Ms Katzin I am using the cold colors” ^


^ A sweet apple tree ^


^ So I wish I had recorded this student as she described this crazy amazing contraption to me it for like 15 minutes it was all about a dog that had to go through this door thing and do all this stuff. . . I don’t even know ^


^ “I hope the new playground looks like this” ^


^ Sweet pile of rings ^


^ Sweet border ^


^ On the drying rack ^


^ On the wall* ^

* Why do they look different all of a sudden? WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?
Not sorcery — its because this batch was made with scrap construction paper instead of scrap painted paper.

Next up for 3rd grade is clay so stay tuned!


Roller Coaster Sculpture Hats

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This year’s group of 2nd graders LOVED making roller coaster hats! We began by watching a video about an awesome coaster:

Students loved the story Roller Coaster too!


We sketched roller coasters using expressive lines and imaginations. The next week, we created colorful paper by choosing color schemes.


Students had to look at the “menu” and choose one scheme for their “dinner” on one side of the paper and one scheme for the “dessert” on the other side of the paper.


We constructed the base of the hat with construction paper. The Crayon Lab Blog has a great tutorial on how to make the base of the hat. Students cut their painted paper into strips and folded and bent to create wacky roller coaster lines. They used hole punchers to create positive and negative space and scrap papers for the car full of people. They are so creative and awesome!

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Oh and who is that with a backwards name tag and inside out dress? That would be yours truly! And no it was not Backwards Day or Weird Clothes Day or anything like that, just your average ran-out-the-door-in-the-nick-of-time Tuesday before spring break. KEEPIN. IT. REAL.



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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