Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Collage

This project is a favorite of mine from last year for second and third graders. What parent wouldn't want a lovely fall collage hanging in their house for Thanksgiving/Harvest?!

Day one is all about prepping the different papers. To get all the different elements, I set up stations on Day 1 of the project. I have 9 tables in my room and every other table had a station set up at it. Of course you can set up your own, these are merely suggestions for how to get some great Eric Carle-style papers for the collage.

Station 1: texture rubbings--red orange crayon on 9x12 orange paper (for big pumpkin)
Station 2: splatter box-- green paint on 6x9 yellow paper (for squash)
Station 3: finger-flick splatter-- white on two 6x9 green papers (one for squash, one for small pumpkin)
Station 4: White paint with leaf stamps on brown 12x18 paper (for background)

Day two is all about the assemblage: Draw and cut out squash, gourds, pumpkin, stems (from dark brown paper) and draw lines on them to represent the texture. Use green paint to make an interesting green vine attached to the pumpkin.

Some kids had extra time so they cut more out of the green papers and added leaves to the vine or to the pumpkins. Some used scrap red, orange, or yellow pieces from the scrap bin to make some maple leaves floating by.
We hung these around our school and in the local Publix. They were so popular and looked GREAT!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hot Dogs and Cool Cats

There are a ton of fun projects to do with the kiddos on color scheme. This one gets them every time because of the verbal pun :) The project is pretty self-explanatory, just thought I'd throw the idea out there!

I do this project with Kindergarten and First Grade and it really makes them giggle! I'm a big fan of using tempera block paint with my little guys, so that is the paint that was used here. Of course you could use liquid tempera, watercolor, even crayon! They are to make some sort of abstract background using the opposite color scheme. The possibilities are endless...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stella's Shapely Canvases

Inspired by Frank Stella's The Science of Laziness, I decided it was time to clean out that matboard stash I have in the corner of my room! Someone asked me to cut a mat for them a few weeks ago and I knocked over my box of pieces and parts that were BEGGING me to do something with them!Frank Stella was an American Minimalist artist known for using shaped canvases. While some of his "pieces and parts" had different patterns, etc on them, I wanted to keep the colors simple and BOLD!
I took my largest pieces of matboard, flipped them over onto the backside (the white side) and spray-painted them bold colors. Trust me, it is easier this way! After they were dry, I took them to my cutting board and went to town. I chopped them up into about a million pieces (I figured each student would use 20 or do the math!!) and put a variety of them in plastic bags on each table. DO NOT attempt to cut them all up into small pieces and then spray paint them. You will drive yourself nuts and your husband will curse you for having red, orange, and purple grass a month later! Not that I know or anything...
I gave each student a 6"x6" scrap piece of matboard which would be their "canvas". Of course some of these colored pieces would hang off of their canvases, which was the desired effect!

I also had small squares of posterboard cut up for the kids. I wanted them to be able to cut the posterboard into smaller pieces to add to their project in the negative areas. This also gave them some practice manipulating scissors to make geometric shapes.

I did not initially put glue on the tables for them because I knew they would be quick to glue things on to rush. I wanted them to take their time, experimenting with different sizes, colors, and locations of their shapes. I wanted them to take creative license with their artwork and not make hasty decisions. After about 15 minutes while they created I finally put the glue on their table.

Some got really creative and used lots of shapes. Others had a hard time with the whole thing. I think it was the "containment" issue- they didn't want to go off the canvas!

Either way, I love the way all the projects turned out! They're colorful, artistic, creative, and FUN!

And thankfully, my matboard hoarding obsession has found new purpose!

Happy creating!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Secondary Handmade-Paper Pumpkins

I do this project with my Kindergartners and First Graders as a part of learning about Primary colors and Secondary colors. And golly-gee-willikers it ties in with Halloween*.

*You might think that I'm big on Halloween, but I definitely could care less. The kids, however, love love love love Halloween and so sometimes I oblige. As long as I can tie a project into our curriculum, I don't care what the subject matter is...even if it is HALLOWEEN!!!

1 Sunday stack of newspapers for each child
1 top part of a styrofoam cup cut off (for the dekkle mould, it is the perfect size!)
1 sponge for each student
TONS of scrap colored paper:
red and yellow
yellow and blue
blue and red
old blender
bins for pulp
sta-flo starch (to keep it from sticking to the newspaper!)

I have some scraps paper (let's start with red/yellow and of course you just repeat this for each will need the most of the orange--for the pumpkin--and you will obviously make orange first!) soaking in a bin of water. I put some red and yellow in the blender with some water, take some predictions on what color you will get, and blend away! Give each child a handful of pulp. Put the mould on top of the newspaper and fill it in. Press and blot with sponge. Teach the students how to squeeze excess water out of the sponge. Take the mould off.

Next will be to blend blue and red (for the facial features...if you don't care to make facial features, you could use the purple to make the textured lines of a pumpkin). Again, press and blot, press and blot.

Last will be the yellow and blue (for the green stem). Be sure the stem overlaps the pumpkin a bit so it attaches to it and they dry together!

Allow to dry (probably 24-48 hours unless you put them outside in the sun) and they should peel right off the newspaper. The starch will make this happen!

We glued our pumpkins onto black paper, added stars and fringed grass and they look GREAT! The kids love this, I could make a curriculur tie-in, and it's "recycling". A win on all fronts! Have fun!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Picasso Pumpkins

This was a fun project we did to "distort" some pumpkins a la Picasso! We made large pumpkin/jack-o-lanterns on orange paper, cut them out, turned them over and cut them into zig-zag lines! We glued them onto black paper and left a teeeeeeeeeny space between each layer. Of course you can do this with about any subject matter, but around this time of year the kids just want to "do" Halloween!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spooky Pumpkin Patches

These projects are just TOO CUTE! I got the idea from Mrs. Picasso's Art Room and she turned me on to the idea of compressed sponges! Oh my word, if you aren't privvy to this kind of magic, you'd better just get some and check them out for yourself! You can draw and cut the sponges into any shape, punch holes in them and then just run them under water to make them expand! The possibilities are endless!
You will need:
6x18 green paper
12x18 black paper
6 3x3 orange squares (for pumpkins)
scrap green yarn
I also found some small fall leaves at the Dollar Store and gave each kid 5-6 of them to add to their projects! I did this with my ESOL Kindergarten class and they just adored their work! They were so bummed that they didn't get to take them home immediately because their ghosts were still wet! Next week will be fun when they get to take them home :) Obviously this can be adapted to older grades and other media (Eric Carle collage-style perhaps?!)

Happy Haunting...I mean...creating!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Which Witch?!

My inspiration for this project is the book "Miss Nelson is Missing" by Harry Allard. My younger students LOVE this book and love the ending. They're certainly glad they don't have a teacher like Ms. Viola Swamp!

Technically, this is the implied bottom-half of Viola Swamp. Realistically, it's a witch. Gasp! Choke! Cough! Ahem!

You will need:

12x18 colored paper for the background

9x12 colored paper for the skirt

small fabric swatch for the patch

assorted buttons for decoration

3"x3" square pieces to fan-fold for the bows on the shoes

black and white crayons

witch shoe tracers (made mine out of old file folders)

I do this project step-by-step with my kiddos and it takes ONE day (55 minutes). We cut a symmetrical skirt, add the legs/stockings and glue on the rest. I sure don't tell them it's a (gasp!) witch, but we do this around the end of October, so take it like you see it.
Have fun...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spooky Silhouettes!

Rarely do I "do" Halloween in my class. I try to leave all that seasonal stuff to the classroom teachers. But this project? Irresistable! The supplies are VERY minimal and the results are fantastic, making it a win-win for all involved :)

You will need:
6"x18" orange paper
black markers/Sharpies
hole punch
scrap white paper (for eyes)

My second and third graders brainstorm things that remind them of Halloween or Fall (for my Jehovah's Witness students). I draw them on the ActivBoard. Students pick and choose different characters to add to their work, coloring it black along the way. I like to use Sharpies, I think the black is better and makes more of an impact! Of course you could probably even get away with using crayon on this!

When finished, I give each table a hole-punch and have them go to town punching out eyes. Eyes can peer out of anything on the paper-- how "spooky" are those trees? Is there someone underground?!

The possibilities are endless...and like I said while I don't usually "do" Halloween, the classroom teachers have less and less time to do fun stuff like this. So I say "why not"?!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Origami Houses

This is a project that is cultural, visually appealing, and FUN for fourth or fifth graders! It combines paint mixing (tints and shades) and ORIGAMI!

Just the word origami makes me shiver. It seems like that is all the kids ever want to do (sometimes I offer origami as a alternate activity when kids are finished with their work) and it is just sooo tedious! Of course you always have kids that "get it" and others that are twisting and turning their origami papers upside down and never do quite get the hang of it!

On day one we begin by painting the background. I teach the kids about tints and shade and have them mix colors to make "good looking" mountains. Same with the grass. A road will lead them through "town" and into the mountains. Since Mt. Fuji is a distinctive feature of the geography of Japan, we discuss why mountains might be important to include in our background. I do this on blue paper so we don't have to worry about painting in the sky, etc.

On day 2 I start by giving each child 2 pieces of 6"x6" origami paper. These will form the two largest houses in the foreground. I used the "origami house" tutorial in this link to make the two houses. I also gave them a smaller piece of origami paper (3"x3"---all of which is available at Sax) and had them make the smaller house (for the background).

This is a great time to talk about perspective (why the houses up closest toward you are biggest, and the house we just made and glued on for the background is smaller).

For the multiple rooftops I had the kids use origami papers with different patterns and colors on them. The origami pattern we used for this was the canoe. Obviously instead of puffing it out to make the canoe, we glued it shut and glued it on top of our houses.

I told the kids they had to have a minimum of two rooftops on each house. If they had extra time they could make a second or third smaller house in the distance.

Of course you could use scraps of wrapping paper, thin computer paper, etc in place of the origami paper if you're budget is restrictive.

These are suuuuper duper cute and my kids had a wonderful time making them!

Friday, October 15, 2010

"The Best Workshop"

Today I had the priviledge of working with 13 fine Art Educators from around the state of Florida as we tackled the art of doll-making Ndebele style (the lesson is in the post below this one!) We had a wonderful time, shared some laughs and a few burned thumbs, and these women really inspired me to take this project even further!

They just turned out beautifully, ladies! I was inspired by your thoughtfulness that went into each loving stitch, drape of fabric, and strand of hair! Thank you for sharing your morning with me!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ndebele Dolls

In honor of my presentation at the Florida Art Education Association's Annual Conference, I'm giving you the lesson I will be presenting there! I have taught this lesson for the last 3 years at FAEA, co-teaching twice with my friend Lynsey, and this year I will be doing it by myself. It is a wonderful lesson, focusing on recyclable projects annnnnd the African art form of doll-making withing the Ndebele (en-duh-belly) tribe.

I have written and received grants for this project, and have presented it to our local teacher's group, the Sarasota Art Education Association. It's deeply meaningful, personal, and creative. Ndebele dolls are made to mark a turning point in a tribe member's life: wedding, courtship, becoming a "man", etc. Kids and adults LOVE making these dolls (and I love teaching it!). It's a doozie of a project, so here goes:

I start out by showing examples of some Ndebele dolls and my Ndebelle Powerpoint. *If you would like a copy of this PP, it is available on Teachers Pay Teachers!

I also purchased two Ndebele dolls from Crizmac so the kids could look, feel and touch an "original". The beadwork on the dolls is uh-maze-ing!
For my kids I start out about a month beforehad collecting empty Danimals yogurt smoothie cups. This is the perfect size for the body. For my "grown-up" lesson, I use empty water bottles.

You will need a lot of random things for this project:
For the head-
5x5" black fabric squares
rubber band
For the body-
clean, empty water bottle (I also put a little sand in each one to make it more stable)
For the decor-
popsicle sticks, beads, buttons, scrap fabric, yarn, yarn sharps, ribbon, twine, stringed beads, pearls, etc.

Fabric glue and HOT GLUE (yes, I have 5th graders using hot glue!)

The only "uniform" thing about each one is the head. To make the head, take a handful of Poly-Fil and stuff it into the black square. Tightly put the "head" onto the neck of the water bottle and use the rubber band to secure it. Trim off the excess fabric.

Here are some student examples:
To make my students' work more meaningful to them, I had them list 5 accomplishments they were proud of making in their life. This was the pre-cursor to the lesson. They then had to choose one of their "turning points" or accomplishments into their artwork. This particular student was proud of winning a gold medal at a swim meet. So you see the gold medal around her neck and the colors of the swim team (black and gold).
This student just made the all-star cheerleading squad. I love how she wrapped the shirt to show off her midriff. Very 2010!
This student is an equestrian and takes care of horses. It is hard to see, but she used raffia to make a bundle of hay and in the other "hand" she holds and apple (a bead).
For this doll, the student was proud of his ninth consecutive straight-A report card!

These are some examples from my SAEA workshop last October. They were done by area Art Teachers (so this lesson is adaptable to high school!) To make the frizzy hair, just thin out the yarn by untwisting it and pulling it apart! You can glue the hair on or you can use a needle and loop each strand through the head.
You can make "arms" by winding yarn around popsicle sticks and hot gluing them in the desired position. To make the hands, take a tad of Poly-Fil and stuff it into a scrap of black fabric. affix that to the end of the popsicle stick.
More cute examples from my workshop!
This one I am in LOVE with! The participant told me it was her deceased Aunt. She took a few hours and knitted/wove/crocheted this shawl, wound up the yarn balls and dressed her. It was stunning in person!
I really love going to my state conference. I leave energized and renewed with lesson ideas and am able to share my ideas with others. I am so excited to see what this weekend's workshop and the other studio classes I will attend hold! I will post ideas and pictures online sometime this weekend.
This is my little beauty I am taking to the Conference. She's unfinished...I'll post pictures of her tomorrow...totally done and looking gorgeous!

Happy Creating!