Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gift box still life

Last year I did a still life lesson with my fourth grade that I wanted to switch up for this year. I remembered seeing an idea on pinterest to practice 2 point perspective by drawing gift boxes and decided this would be an easy way to grab attention during the craziness between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This lesson easily takes four weeks from start to finish and there are many great extensions I could add (such as creatures stirring in the foreground). Lesson plan available here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I love when a trip to Barnes & Noble becomes a new lesson plan. A few years ago, I did an exquisite corpse lesson with my Art 1 high school students. It was a wrap up activity after an arduous portrait project. We did a mash-up of everyone's images and it was lots of fun. I don't know why I didn't think of it for my elementary students. Below are my 9th grade student samples (a single student page followed by a mash-up)

Keith Graves' book "Monsterator" will get your students excited about exquisite corpse. It could be done as a follow up to a portrait unit, or as a stand alone. I'd like to bind each class set together into an album. There are not many lessons I can say this for, but I truly believe you could go 1st-12th grade with this and it would still be relevant and enjoyable.

It could be a great fall "sub lesson" for middle - high school. Teachers could create a worksheet like the one I'm including with the lesson plan over on TpT to simplify the measuring for the younger students. And when they're done? Why not let them play a game?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Simple Display System

I've implemented a student artist of the week program at my schools over the past three years. In addition to a certificate and having their work added to our Artsonia online art gallery, this year the students will also have their work on display in the classroom for the week. With 12 sections at this particular school I had to find a simple way to switch out the art quickly. Using thumbtacks and binder clips I think I have my answer. I also display the boards in chronological order (which helps me get the work up and down and back into the right folder faster. Each class has their homeroom teacher name at the bottom and I use the grade level color code for the background color to help the students easily find it. Simple. Inexpensive.

And yes, I totally realize how lucky I am that my 6' cabinets are all covered in bulletin board material. I highly recommend that as well!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Art Class - by the book

In first grade I've been trying to connect lessons in a meaningful, sequential way. We started the first class Reading Peter Reynold's "The dot" which we followed up on our next lesson with the book "When a line bends, a shape begins." They will soon be reading the book "Spookly the Square Pumpkin" as we talk about shape and form.

Since I share buildings I've started purchasing a few books as iBooks. One of my classrooms is set up for reading, with a nice carpeted area, and the other isn't. I like that I can project the pictures large enough for all to see without moving. I do miss turning the pages and the up close feeling of reading to the class.

Monday, September 22, 2014

In-spidered- by Mondrian

Last year I tried the Mondrian Spider web lesson with first grade and it was pretty successful. This year I decided to add a powerpoint to teach the students more about the De Stijl artists. Presented it for the first time today and it went really well.

Here's a snap-shot of the powerpoint I made:

They also did a little practice worksheet today as a group. We talked about composition, what is and isn't part of De Stijl aesthetic. Then they had to draw a tree using those parameters. I had them do a horizon line, a vertical for the tree, then as many branches as they wanted and finally adding square "leaves." I kind of like this a little better than the spider web, but since I had them do it small on scrap paper....that idea goes into next year's idea bank. They will create spider webs next week.

This item for sale on TpT. Now you don't need to spend an hour this weekend making your own powerpoint!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Free Color Theory Worksheet

As part of our evaluations, each teacher is required to write an SLO (Student Learning Objective). Our department decided to focus on color theory for 3rd grade. We are in the process of collecting our baseline data. I may use a worksheet like this as my post test. Offering as a free download on TpT.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Vacation

Ah, summertime. Nothing but sleeping in and lazing around by the pool, amiright?

Curriculum mapping is currently taking over an entire room in my house. For once, I'm trying to plan things by month as to not need to use the drying rack for more than one grade level at a time. Emptying fourth grade paintings during my lunch so I can reload with second grade paintings the same afternoon is getting a bit old. I also like to do printmaking with each grade, so that's another wet storage issue. I did order an over the door drying rack for one of my rooms but that only gets me 20 extra spots.