Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ugly Jugs

So, again, my fabulous students teacher came through with another cool project. Sometimes I love having student teacher for the simple fact of their cool new ideas! She worked with 4th grade making ugly jugs. I did not know what ugly jugs were, although I have unintentionally made a couple in my life. They are an art form that African American slaves did in their free time. There are all kinds of pictures on Google, and even a few Powerpoints! 4th grade students made a pinch pot out of clay, then added features. The jugs had to include two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, but it was up to the kids after that. The features could be enlarged or extra small. Once the jugs were fired, the students glazed them with Mayco crystallite glaze-fabulous stuff, if I do say so. I have had so many teachers comment on how pretty they are, and I have to tell them that they are really ugly jugs!

Monday, October 17, 2011


3rd grade has been working on silhouettes. My student teacher marbled paper with 3rd graders first, and talked about silhouettes. We used photo paper, shaving cream, and liquid watercolors to marble, it was so much fun! The glossy paper works much better than matte, but either one will work just fine. We squirted Barbesol shaving cream, (One of the cheapest brands, it takes about 2 cans for a class of 20-23), on the tables. Students worked with a partner and used liquid watercolors to drip color all over the shaving cream. They used big plastic combs and combed through the shaving cream, not going through to the table. Then, place the photo paper on top, and gently press down. We used some old card board and scraped the extra shaving cream off. The results were really cool! Students worked on drawing a silhouette while the shaving cream was drying. Advise students to be careful when gluing, as the glue made kind of a mess on the watercolor if too much was used.

Wayne Theibaud Cupcakes

3rd graders have been working on the artist Wayne Theibaud. They created cupcakes out of clay. First, we made a pinch pot for the wrapper. Students used a fork to draw lines on the wrapper. Then, students made a pancake to be the bottom of the icing. My student teacher and I worked with students on rolling coils and building icing up, or simply making flat icing. Students could choose to add sprinkles, candles, cherries, strawberries, or whatever they could think of. The cupcakes are still drying, but I will have pictures or the finished product. While they cupcakes are drying, I am going to have students create a cupcake menu or advertisement for a pretend cupcake shop. They have been very excited about this.

Romero Britto 5th grade

If you have never seen Romero Britto's work, you should really check it out, it is great! I have had a wonderful student teacher recently who introduced me to his work. She had 5th grade do a project with his work. Students could choose any subject matter that they wished, as long as it was simple. Students drew their picture, then used rulers to draw the lines. Be sure to tell students to not get too many lines, or else it looks like a spider web. Students then chose either warm and cool colors for the subject and the background, though I think it would be fine to let them loose with whatever color scheme that they wish. Students used oil pastels to color, then black tempera paint to outline. I love how bright and bold these pictures are!

1st Grade Pumpkins

1st graders learned about the primary and secondary colors. I read the book Mouse Paint, which is all about color mixing. I use old ice cream tub lids for paint palettes. Students each got their own plate, and I poured the primary colors and let them mix the secondary colors. Students painted black construction paper purple for the background, and we added a little white and purple glitter paint to glam up the purple. Students mixed orange and painted a big circle on some old scrap paper I have. Then students mixed green. This took about one hour. When 1st graders came back, we talked about the background, middle ground, and foreground. Students collaged the pieces together to make a pumpkin. I know that not everyone celebrates Halloween, so students had the option here to stop and just make a pumpkin, though most wanted to make a jackolantern. I demonstrated making different expressions, and let the students get to work. I love how all of the faces are so different!

5th Grade Impossible Cities

I got this idea from Artsonia, the teacher from Cedar Creek. The drawings are based off the book Wow! City! The book is way too juvenile for 5th grade, but the pictures sure are nice. We worked on making our buildings 3-D, as well as overlapping. We talked about using variety in the buildings. 5th graders had to include at least 5 buildings, 2 places that overlapped, 3-D buildings, and use variety. Craftsmanship was also part of this project. Most students really enjoyed drawing and painting these. They took about 2 hours total, though I have a couple that are still not finished.

5th Grade Rotational Symmetry

I got this idea from Arts and Activities Magazine, maybe the August issue? I gave 5th graders 1/8th of a circle and had them do a design featuring their name in bubble letters. Students then folded the paper over and transferred their design with pencil. The designs were traced with Sharpie marker, then I photocopied the designs four times. I gave the students the four copies, but kept the original, just in case I had anyone try to speed through the coloring process, or one of the papers got lost. This would be a really good activity if you knew that you were going to have a sub.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Clay Tips

I love to teach clay! It is my favorite medium, and the students really enjoy it. In the past, I have always had such a hard time with writing names on the clay. I usually have the students so this, but the writing is sometimes illegible or gets rubbed off. I have found a great solution to this problem from Arts and Activities, and it works really well. I bought alphabet pasta and dumped some in bowls at every table. When students are finished working for the day, they find the letters in their name and spell it out on the bottom of their clay piece. I also have them spell their teacher's name, so I can keep the classes together. The pasta goes in the kiln, and burns away, leaving the imprint of the name. Keep in mind, this only works if it is a one day project. It will be fine if the same group of kids are coming back the next day, but the pasta molds after a few days (I found this out the hard way). This has eased the stress of trying to read crazy handwriting on pottery.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Art Mural

I really cannot believe that summer is over, but here I am at the end of the first week of school. I meant to share this at the end of the school year, but I am just getting to it. I had a group of college students from Middle Tennessee State University do a community art class at my school. They were AWESOME! The professor, Dr. Sickler-Voigt, came out every day and worked with the college students as well as my students, and we had a great time. My students made puppets from socks, wooden spoons, marionettes, and various other materials. Students took turns painting on the mural, and everyone made a puppet and performed in a puppet show. You would think that students in 5th grade might be too old for puppet shows, but they loved it. I think it is something that they do not get to do much, so it was exciting. We focused on story telling, and our mural depicts the story of our town and county. We also had a guest speaker talk to use about wire sculpting. More on that later.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Color Wheel

I do this project every year with 5th grade. I have tons of old scrap paper donated from an invitation supply company. While the paper may be funky colors, it is good quality paper. We fold the paper so that there are 12 squares, all the same size. I give students the primary colors, and we mix the secondary colors. We use the primaries and secondaries to mix intermediate colors. That typically takes one whole class time of about 55 minutes. When they come back, we make a design template. Students have to trace the design on all 12 squares, then cut each one out. Students have to arrange the designs in the order of the color wheel, and label everything. This step usually takes about 55 minutes as well, making for 2 55 minute periods.

Klimt Printmaking 2nd grade

Well, I have lost my camera, so no posts for a while, but I have some new things to share with a borrowed camera. These are second grade, I gave them 3 5x7 inch pieces of watercolor paper, and let them color the paper with Crayola markers. We chose colors that touched on the color wheel, to avoid making brown. Students used water and a paint brush to mix the colors, then we practice drawing the Tree of Life, from Klimt. Students used the foam blocks (4x6in) from DickBlick. We used pencils to draw the design, then we printed our trees on our watercolor paper. Straight out of Arts and Activities magazine, but very nice.

Friday, January 28, 2011

5th Grade Profile Views

Fifth grade completed these wonderful profile pictures. While I do not know that I would do these again, as they took weeks to complete, the results are very nice. I began by tracing each student's profile on a sheet of white paper. I helped students draw grids inside the profile. I gave them a sheet with nine squares and asked for nine designs. I chose four and students filled in the grid with the designs. Students then chose five colors and filled the designs with colors.