Sunday, December 30, 2012

High School Art Unit - FREEBIE

I am currently offering a great art unit for free over at Teachers Pay Teachers. It was a new lesson that I developed and loved last year for my portfolio students and I'm unable to use it this year with my elementary classes. Enjoy!

Turning a Negative Into a Positive

Gearing up for new lessons for the new year. One lesson I'm going to miss is the "Turning a Negative Into a Positive." This was one of my favorite ways to engage my high school students in working with social issues. I'm offering up the lesson plans, rubrics, etc over at Teachers Pay Teachers. Below are some samples of the typical results from the assignment.

I think what I loved most about this lesson were all the teachable moments that always popped up. While the primary objective was (from a studio standpoint) their use of negative space, the discussions on how to unpack a social issue were some of my favorites. When students brainstorm, they typically yell out an issue: "medicare" to which I would throw back "what about it" and we would banter for a long time until the student got to the crux of their issue which might be that their grandparents couldn't afford their medication. What would be the symbol for that?

It also allowed most students in my introductory level one class to be successful. As a warm up activity I would have students place a pair of open scissors on a colored square of paper with both handles and both blades touching an edge of the paper. Then they would recreate in their sketchbook by drawing the negative space (the colored parts that show through). Some of the students choose to use the scissors as the item for their final project and choose a topic of something they'd like to "cut out" or get ride of (like smoking or guns).

This is one category from the rubric that I use with the assignment.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sculpey Draped Bowl

While experimenting with Christmas Gift ideas for my sister who wanted "something hand-made in a gingerbread theme" I came up a potential lesson idea.

Roll out a slap of sculpey. Use cookie cutters to create lots of flat shapes. Press into mold and bake. This could also be a cute collaborative project done the week before. Have each student make one, press it into the form and then give to the homeroom teacher as a class gift.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Personalized Ornaments

Shrinky Dinks + Sharpies + Your favorite photo = personalized ornaments. 10 minute craft into a last minute holiday gift.

Punch a hole in top of ornament before baking (325 for about 3 minutes). It would be cute to trace the pictures that others have included on their own holiday cards for a personal touch. Remember that items shrink to 1/3 original size. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Paul Klee Messages of Thanks

A while back I saw a great idea over at Mrs. Picasso's blog using Paul Klee. I tried it with grades 1 through 4, modifying for each level. They all did a great job, but I think I like the lesson at 2nd grade best. First grade wrote messages of thanks. This lesson started the week after Hurricane Sandy and right before Thanksgiving. Second grade wrote abstract poems listing things about either fall or winter. They colored in with warm or cool color schemes. Third and Fourth grade worked with marker. Their poems were more sophisticated and they tried to transition the colors from fall to winter to simulate the change of seasons.

Here are some finished samples by 2nd grade:

1st grade samples:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snowmen Charades

I was going to have my first grade students do the styrofoam printmaking lesson for Snowmen at Night. And then. Well. Then I met them. They are totally not doing that. Nope. Not happening.

We read snowmen at night. Before reading, I told the students that they had to look for a few things in the book. The color of snow and the snowmen's arms.

After we read, I asked them what color the snow was. Some remembered it was not purely white. Then we talked about the arms. On the board I drew two snowmen bodies, just bodies, no arms, noses, etc. One was skiing and one was throwing a s snowball. I asked the students which was which (trick question!) and they couldn't tell. So we talked about the importance of body language. Which part of the snowman can tell us what they are doing? Ah, the arms.

This is a three part lesson.

Day one we read the book. They went back to their seats and drew a horizon line across the paper. Straight if snowman doing a flat activity (ice skaing, snow ball fight). Hills for sledding, skiing or snow tubing. Each table had a mix of white paint and a tiny bit of color. They dabbed it on with a sponge and we let it dry till next week.

Second class we added tree or house backgrounds. I gave them square and triangle sponges and showed a few ways to dab the shapes.

Third class we tore three circles for snowman bodies. We overlapped and glued them on.

Construction paper crayons were used to embellish.

Student work


Friday, December 14, 2012

Printmaking Snowman Lesson

Second grade students just finished their snowmen prints.

 I gave them the chance to make more than one. They will add permanent marker over top to embellish. Taking a few pictures now in case they get ruined during the next step.

My lesson plan for this is posted over at Teachers Pay Teachers. It includes step by step visuals and professionally designed lesson plan templates.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bottle Cap Teaser

I have been collecting bottle caps while monitoring lunch for about a month. I think I have close to 2,000. The kids keep asking what we're doing with them, so today I made a display in the hallway case near the cafeteria to get them excited about the mini-murals we will be starting soon.

The top row says "happy holidays" with a candy cane and a stocking. The bottom shelf has a snowflake, tree and menorah. It was so much fun to overhear the kids talking about it in the hallway. I think I'm going to let them play with the caps for a few weeks as an art center activity before we work on our designs.

PBIS Bulletin Board

This happened sort of by accident. I was trying to quickly fill the skinny bulletin above my chalkboard and had drawn and cut out the head of my school's mascot (a falcon). It looked kind of empty so I used our PBIS tokens (which are paper tickets) to create feathers. The kids love it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elementary Scope and Sequence

This summer I created a scope and sequence document in excel. I used color coding to separate the grade levels and add the project name so that I can see at a glance what I still need to get to.  The other page features a marking period at a glance chart, also coded by grade level. It's available for free download over on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Sneak Peek:

New Items Posted

I recently uploaded a few more items to Teachers Pay Teachers over the long weekend after selling two more items last week. This morning I added a 35-slide introduction to perspective. Ideal for middle & high school students.
Sneak Peek:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Closet into Wrapping Station

Conference week and Thanksgiving holiday means more time around the house. This weekend I turned an unused closet in the basement into a wrapping station.

The top shelf holds extra boxes for odd shaped items.

Under the top shelf I hammered in some nails to sort gift bags by size and occasion.
The second shelf holds tissue paper and bags without handles.

Next to the foot locker I have one of those upright tupperware containers for holding gift wrap. It is too short to hold some of the longer rolls, so I store them without the lid. I always have extra bits of paper that get wrinkled, torn or ruined so I repurposed a six-pack container to sort and store the extra bits.


That container went inside the lid (turned upside down) with bows on the side.

When you open the lid to the footlocker, it's the kind with a tray, so I put the scissors, tape, sharpies, ribbons inside. When the lid is closed I have a large flat surface for wrapping. I also labeled two large envelopes to keep gift cards and gift receipts inside.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Valued Pumpkin Patches

The students have finished the lesson on creating value with oil pastels. I decided to use this lesson with second grade students. First we read the book "Spookley the Square Pumpkin" as our inspiration and then we really looked at pumpkins. The beginning question about what shape and color are pumpkins quickly changed from "round and orange" to "they can be any shape or color." This is a sample of the items on display throughout the lesson.

The next thing to do was practice using values with our oil pastels.

That was about all we had time for in our first lesson. During the second session, we looked carefully at pumpkin shapes. They aren't round at all! I showed the students how to make a pumpkin with 5 ovals (four of them are hiding behind the first guy.)

Then we shade in the darkest areas with our black, careful not to cover the tops. Some of the students noticed the highlights, so that helped us remember to save the tops for white.

The next step was very difficult for the students. They had to blend the color into the black. Many wanted to color across the pumpkin instead of going with the contour. I had them make little tiny circles all over the black to soften the hard lines.

Then we wiped the edge of the pastel clean and colored in the remainder of the pumpkin.

The final step is highlights. We did a dot on each section and then blended over it with color.

Here are the amazing results!