Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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Space Invaders 2017

I have been doing Space Invaders with grade 3 since I student taught 5 years ago. every year, this project is a huge hit. I love the math connection and the amount of problem solving that goes into each student’s design. It is always really interesting to watch them struggle through the beginning of this project and eventually create something that they are proud of and worked really hard on.

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The first day, we discuss pixel art, video games, and street art by Invader. This is always a really interesting conversation that involves questions about legality and what actually is art. Unsurprisingly, 3rd graders have very strong opinions about these topics and the debates have gotten quite lively! After finding inspiration looking at artwork, we do s step-by-step of creating a grid made of 1-inch squares. Every year, there is at least one smart-alec who asks “but Ms. Katzin why can’t you just give us a piece of paper that is already a grid?!” To which I reply “measuring is one of those skills that you learn in school that you will actually need when you grow up. You need to know how to measure!” And with that, the challenge of gridding off the paper begins.

After creating a grid, students design their space invader. It is easiest to have them think about what kinds of squares and rectangles they are able to fit into the area they have created. This can be tricky but eventually everyone gets and outline. In the past, I laboriously cut 1-inch squares from construction paper. NOT THIS YEAR. Using the cut paper squares is often difficult for students who may not have created an accurate grid. Often it was messy to glue each square down and incredibly time consuming or wasteful. So this year I decided that we would use markers. I did a quick demo of coloring with markers (make sure you color like your are mowing the lawn, if you mowed the lawn like this your neighbors would be like “what is wrong with you?!” so color in straight lines like a normal neighbor person) This always got a lot of laughs 🙂

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This is a great project to start right before testing so students can practice their measuring skills and finding area and perimeter. It was perfect timing for during testing too because coloring after taking a test for hours and hours is very relaxing and meditative.

For more info and resources for this project, visit Art With Mrs. Nguyen’s TpT Store.

❤ Ms. K


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Cakes

Second graders were wild about this fantastic cake project! We began by looking at the artwork of Wayne Thiebaud. Students compared and contrasted his paintings and noticed that most of his work looks realistic and uses bright colors. Inspired by that, they set to work! On the first day, students created a design in their sketchbooks. We did step-by-step drawing to make our cakes look like they have 3D form. It was tricky to get the lines curved just right so that it looked like the cylinders overlap. Students who really got the hang of it could add a piece cut out of the top. The next week, students drew their design onto a big piece of paper. They could add details to really personalize their cake too. They traced over all of their lines with colorful permanent markers.

The next class, students painted their cakes with fluorescent liquid watercolor. I am usually a HUGE fan of Sax brand watercolor but I must say that their neon set is not that great – it is really thick almost like glue and the colors are super transparent. It also feels kind of gummy even after it dries. That being said, these still turned out absolutely beautiful and look delicious enough to eat! The confetti background really brings the party spirit.

Nice work second graders!

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❤ Ms. K


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Symmetrical Butterflies

Kindergartners worked hard to make these fabulous florescent butterflies! We began by watching a BrainPop about butterflies so students could get an idea of the body parts and designs.  Then, we folded a piece of paper and did step-by-step drawing of a butterfly. We started with a semi-circle for the head:

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Then added curved lines for the thorax and abdomen:

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Next we drew a big number 3 for the wings:

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And filled them in with zigzags:

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We added antennae too:

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After the drawing was completed, students painted over their lines with black paint. Then, they folded their paper and gently pressed and rubbed to create a “print.”

Sometimes the paint had dried a little and didn’t transfer over all the way. So students problem solved by painting over their hard-to-see lines.

Off they went to the drying rack to dry.

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The next week, we used neon Versatemp paint to fill in the shapes. Students were encouraged to try and paint their shapes symmetrically.

I love how these turned out! They are bright and beautiful but also a little strange in a Rorschach kind of way.  🙂

❤ Ms. K


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Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes

All year long my kindergartners have been obsessed with Pete the Cat. And I honestly can’t blame them because Pete the Cat is awesome!!!! I love all of the Pete the Cat books but I was especially excited when I saw this on in the book store:

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Not only are the illustrations amazing, but the story is super cute too and includes counting and subtracting which is perfecto for kinders. We created these paintings with step-by-step drawing and looking at pictures of cupcakes. Now normally I try and steer away from projects that are this prescribed because I do not want all of the products to look the same but this method of creating actually ended up empowering students and making them feel proud of their work. We began by reading the story and drawing Pete the Cat. We drew a wide letter “V” with a curved line and triangles at the top. Then, students looked at pictures of cupcakes to copy or they could use their memory or imagination. They had to show overlapping with the cupcakes in front of their Pete the Cat. After drawing, they traced all of their lines with sharpies, then they colored in the cupcakes with Crayola Twistables.

The next class, kinders used tempera cakes to paint their designs. How adorable are these!?

As Pete the Cat would say:

“Keep walking along and singing your song, because its all good”

❤ Ms. K


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Stitching and Pets in Art Club

This Cassie Stephens-inspired project was challenging but fun for my art club kiddos. We began by painting a piece of 12×12 cardboard with tempera paint. I showed students how to create a gradient by blending colors.

Then, students filled out the practice page to kind of get in the mindset of stitching.

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It was a little difficult for them to grasp the concept of creating these 2D lines in 3D space at first but with a little bit of practice, they got the hang of it. The square design was certainly the easiest but I had many students challenge themselves to create one of the more difficult designs. On the back of the cardboard, we traced a plate and created 16 notches.

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There was a lot of peer support that happened especially when I loudly declared that I would not be tying any more knots for anybody. Students could choose any color of yarn they wanted to create their design.

As students completed their stitching, they began a quick and easy pet portrait project. I like to bookend really challenging projects with simple ones sometimes to keep motivation and morale up. The stitching proved to be SUPER challenging for some kids so I figured it was time to take it easy with a simple drawing and painting project based on this lesson.  One of my more observant and sassy 5th graders asked “isn’t that for the little kids?!” But they enjoyed it anyway 😛

Not everyone completed the pet portraits but the nice thing about art club is that the students have the memory and motivation to work on their projects for long stretches of time. They will get a chance to finish as we move into our next project of emoji plushies!

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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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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.

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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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Collab Crayons

This Cassie Stephens – inspired project was a huge hit with 4th graders. As a matter of fact, even students from other grades were also fascinated by the examples that hung on my sample board!

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We began this project by reading a really funny book called The Day the Crayons Quit. There is also a sequel which we read if there was enough time.

 

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Then, students got into groups of up to 4 people to trace their crayon templates. They used white colored pencils on black construction paper. We talked about how to carefully draw the lines so that the crayons overlap to show depth. Students also got to look at actual crayons to add the details of the wrappers.

I think a lot of the students were shocked to find how difficult it was to work together even with their very best friends. They really had to communicate and cooperate to get the job done! The next week, we talked about how value can show form. Students used oil pastels to color their crayons making sure to add a highlight with white. This was another tricky step because they had to discuss their color choices and compromise with each other to create the composition.

Of course the groups that worked together the best had the most successful works of art in the end. Overall this was a very engaging and challenging project for 4th graders. They did a great job!

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One group that finished early even had the chance to play around with photo editing with iPads. They used filters and effects to change their work and it was super cool!

 

 

 

 

 


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Ceramic Animal Faces

This project is amazing!!!!! I love giving students the opportunity to have their own choice and voice in art and this one was supper successful with that. On the first day, students used handouts, drawing books, and iPads to sketch an animal face.

On the second day, 3rd graders cut out the shape of their animal’s face and scratched and attached to add details. They could choose any animal the wanted and had to work really hard to identify and utilize the shapes that make up that animal’s face.

After a bisque firing in the kiln, the animal faces were ready to be glazed. Third graders really blew me away with their creativity and problem solving with this project. They came up with some really neat creatures!

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Horse / Mouse / Dog

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Bear / Unicorn / Lion

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Elephant / Pig

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White Tiger / Owl

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Cat / Cat / Cat (They are all so different!)

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Dolphin / Turtle / Jellyfish

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Pug / Pig / Pug

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Monster / Pig / Pig

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Giraffe / Dog

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Koala / Pug / Pig

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Mouse / Unicorn

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Cat / Deer

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Cat / Cat / Cat

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Cat / Cat / Cat

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Horse / Mad Cat

🙂 🙂 🙂


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Ceramic Goblets & Turtles

I did 2 different projects with 4th grade this year for their clay unit. Friday classes always fall behind schedule because of random breaks, teacher work days and all kinds of things. So with my Friday class I wanted to do a quick clay project so that their clay wouldn’t dry out in between all the times we will be able to see each other. We made neon clay turtles and they are amazing! Here is my sample:

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On the first day, 4th graders pinched out a pinch pot and created coils for the head and legs of their turtle. They also added details by building or carving. After going through the kiln, the turtles were ready to be painted with neon tempera paints. They are so psychedelic!

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The other 4th grade classes had a bit more time so we took a few weeks to create clay goblets. I really loved doing these with 4th grade because many of the remembered making coil pots in 3rd grade and pinch pots in k-2nd grade so they were able to use prior knowledge in their work.

On the first day, students made coils. They could lay their coils flat on top of each other like snakes or create spiral coils that are upright. I don’t have any pictures of this step because I was rollin’ coils like a madwoman! In order to get the correct circumference of their form, they wrapped their bottom flat coil around a small cup. When class was over, students placed their coil forms (finished or not) in a labeled Ziploc bag to be stored for next time.

On the second day, students carefully removed their coils from the bag. They got a new piece of clay and created a pinch pot. Then they “scratched and attached” their pinch pot to their coils to create a goblet. If there was enough time left, they could add handles or other details. Once they finished, they wrote their name and number on a slip of paper so I could carve it into the bottom.

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After a bisque firing in the kiln, students were able to glaze their pottery. I like to put one color on each table and have the kids carefully move around the room to use the colors of their choice.

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These turned out to be really beautiful. I think the students enjoyed creating someting functional 🙂