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.