Please Don't Eat the Artwork




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.



Popsicles and Painted Paper

This past week First Graders have been working on color mixing. We had a magic show where I showed them how PRIMARY COLORS mix to make all of the other colors.

What does a magician need to do magic? A Hat! A magic wand! As an artist, my paintbrush is my magic wand.


We say the magic words all together “Abracadabra Please and Thank You!” We watch in awe as red and yellow make orange, blue and yellow make green, and red and blue make purple. When I ask “what do you think will happen when all of the colors mix together?” I get answers ranging from black and brown to pink, sparkles, and even rainbow! The kids absolutely love the magic show 🙂

After some color mixing magic, we talk about TINTS and SHADES (mixing white and black into colors.) Then the real fun begins. Each student gets a white piece of paper and a combination of 2 or 3 colors (“you get what you get and you don’t get upset!”) and they make their own color mixing magic.

After they fill their whole paper up with a new color, they use paint scrapers to create TEXTURE. I had ordered some that are made out of plastic and I also made my own from cardstock. The painted paper came out gorgeous! Here are a few on the drying rack with the cardstock paint scrapers.

After tables are scrubbed and hands are washed, we gather on the carpet to read “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle. We talk about how Eric Carle is an artist who uses textured painted paper to illustrate his books. The story is great because the kids get to move around a bit and act like animals (in a good way!)



Next week we will use our painted paper to make dragons!

This afternoon I made Value Popsicles. These will be use for upcoming 3rd and 4th grade projects which deal with VALUE and MONOCHROMATIC  color schemes. Each table will get a set and work together to put the popsicles in a value scale  going from lightest to darkest. There are dabs of paint on the sticks to show how much color and black/white was used to make each shade. I am hoping to use these for reference when students are trying to achieve a particular hue when mixing colors. They can just look at the popsicles to see how much of what makes what color. They came out pretty cool.


3rd, 4th, and 5th are finishing projects this week, I will post pictures soon!