Please Don't Eat the Artwork


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One Day Lessons

Due to field trips, holidays, assemblies, and all kinds of other occurances, some classes end up being behind. I like to keep each class as close to on track as I can so scheduling projects doesn’t become a logistical nightmare. Therefore, I have come up with a few one day lessons that are appropriate and can be adapted for k, 1st, and 2nd graders. I use these lessons for classes that are a little ahead of the others or if we are waiting for our ceramics to be fired in the kiln.


This lesson begins with storytime. We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom which the kids pretty much know by heart.

After the story, students use oil pastels to write the alphabet one letter at a time on their paper. We talk about what words start with the letters and the difference between capital and lowercase letters. Then we use water color paints to paint a coconut tree.

If there is enough time at the end, we watch the song video and then it gets stuck in my head for a week.


Students look at hearts painted by one of my all-time favorite artists Peter Max. We talk about warm and cool colors, positive and negative space,  and symmetry.

We look around the room to find other things that are symmetrical like human bodies, cabinets, windows, etc. First, we begin by folding a paper in half “hamburger style” then we cut out a “fancy letter C” to make a heart. They set their “positive space” heart off to the side and use their “negative space” heart as a template. With oil pastels, students color on a white piece of paper. When they pull of their “negative space” heart, a perfect heart is left behind!

Kinders were given the option to use any color but 2nd graders had to chose if they wanted their heart to be warm or cool and do the opposite in the background. Students used watercolor paints to fill up their papers with color.

^Kindergarten Example ^

^ Kindergarten Example ^

^ 2nd Grade Example ^

^ 2nd Grade Example ^



What is an Axolotl? Kindergarteners explored this intriguing animal and created their very own axolotl artwork. We started off reading the book Spike the Mixed Up Monster by Susan Hood.

The kids loved this book’s colorful illustrations and loved that axolotl is from Mexico. I knew this would be a great book because I have so many ESOL kids and they really enjoyed listening to story that included words in Spanish. After reading the story, I showed the kids these videos of real axolotls: and Students noticed the spikes and tails and that the animals live in water.

We practiced drawing axolotls in our sketchbooks. Students broke the body down into shapes to draw and then colored their creatures in.

After sketching, it was time for the real thing. Kinders drew an axolotl onto BIG paper. Then, they used extremely watered down  tempera paint to add color. I set out one color at each table and had the kids move around the room to get to all of the colors. I love having Kindergarteners paint this way because I think it is great practice of procedures and it allows them to get up out of their seats. This is the second time I have done this and it was quite successful.

After the paintings were dry, we added materials to create TEXTURE. Students cut up yarn for the “hair” on the spikes, and glued sequins for bubbles.

I think this project turned out GREAT — the axolotls look terrifying and wonderful. They have a lot of personality and it was a great project that connected with many of my student’s personal culture.


With a Ninja Turtle:


Crying because “someone hurt his feelings and his friends weren’t being nice”


Name: Grandpa Lemon Face (Nickname: Tomato)


Name: Hell Kitty (very fitting if you ask me)




Here is the current Sample/EQ/Standard board:

If it looks rather full, that’t because there is A LOT going on in the art room!

Kinders are finishing up their Axolotls
1st graders are working on Positive/Negative Creatures and will be starting their Autumn Trees.
2nd graders have begun their clay islands.
3rd Graders are creating collograph prints.
4th graders are working on gesture prints.
5th graders began their radial symmetry prints.



Kindergarten Owls

The main aim of education should be to produce competent, caring, loving, and lovable people. — Nel Noddings


Last week, Kinders read this book  The Little White Owl. It is a very cute and adjective-filled story about being unique. We talked about owls — the sounds they make, how they move, where they live, and created our very own colorful birds.

We began by drawing our owls using shapes. Kids identified different types of shapes for different body parts. Students noticed that oil pastels are very similar to crayons. We made sure to include shapes and patterns in our owls just like the ones from the story. After completing the drawings, students used watercolors to make their owls colorful.

The last step was to cut out our owls and glue them onto construction paper. Crayons were used to add patterns and backgrounds.

This project was inspired by an art teacher friend of mine – Ms. Gram. She has a great art class book resource blog here:

Unit 1 is coming to a close and this weekend will be spent entering grades. Here is a preview of some of the upcoming projects that students are working on. . .

1st Grade Dinosaurs:

3rd Grade Value Paintings:

5th Grade Spacescapes:

I will leave you with these parting words: ART IS AWESOME!!!

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Kindergarten Ice Cream Sundaes

This week, Kinders finished up their Ice Cream Sundaes. This project was A LOT of fun and really reinforced the concepts we have been working on.

We started off by drawing PATTERNS using LINE and SHAPES.

After that, we created our colorful squares by mixing PRIMARY COLORS to make SECONDARY COLORS. This part of the project was kind of crazy because the kids had to move from table to table with their paintings. Each table had a different color and the students were instructed to paint only ONE square per color. I had the students count the squares to reinforce math and counting concepts. I was really worried that this would turn into chaos but I found that the kids were able to move around successfully. I think that because they are so used to doing centers and a variety of activities, this lesson was well suited for the age group.

Students could let me know they were ready to move to the next table with a “silent thumbs up.”  They had to carry their painting AND their paper underneath. This was a good way to prevent messy hands (for the most part) and messy tables (for the most part). Of course, some students got carried away while painting and painted more than one square with one color. (see below) However, the majority of students caught on to the idea and created great paintings.

On the drying rack:

After the paintings were dry, we talked about shapes and cutting with scissors. Do we cut our clothes? Hair? Fingers? Friends? (I ask to prevent!) The students cut their squares into BIG circles (do you want a big scoop of ice cream or a small one?) And cut a bowl from grey paper. They they glued it all together, added ‘chocolate syrup’ and ‘sprinkles’ (brown glue and confetti paper) and produced amazing ice cream sundaes. They look good enough to eat!


Next week we are starting new projects.

K will be making owls our of oil pastels and watercolors.
1st will be creating warm/cool dinosaurs with oil pastels.
2nd is finishing up their Andy Warhol cat paintings.
3rd will begin their monochromatic value paintings.
4th is going to create cubist style still life drawings with oil pastels and complementary colors.
5th will learn about value and create a spacescape.

Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

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Mondrian and Matisse

During the first week of school I read the book “Lines that Wiggle” to k-2. This is a great book because it involves all sorts of lines that fit in with our curriculum. I also like it because it has cool monsters 🙂

With the knowledge of lines (vertical and horizontal being the main focus) Kinders began working on their Mondrian Masterpieces. We watched this fun video( Mondrian )which the kids enjoyed. We then talked about Mondrian’s artwork and the kids glued down horizontal and vertical lines on square paper. This week, we colored in the shapes our lines made using primary colored crayons. I also read “Mouse Paint” which is a quintessential book for every art room and a great interactive story.

After coloring the shapes, we watched a video about the primary colors. This was a huge hit and had students dancing and singing along. They found this video hilarious and it was great to watch their reactions. OKGO Primary Colors The artwork came out great:

Second Graders learned about Matisse and how he cut shapes out of paper. We talked about positive and negative space and geometric and organic shapes. Students used scissors and paper to create their own Matisse-inspired artwork.

First graders are finishing up their Kandinsky artworks and pictures will be posted soon!

Today was also a great day because I FINALLY got the rug I ordered. Now the kids can sit on a rug for stories instead of an old blanket.