Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tis the Season.. for Great/Cheap Art Prints!!!

Every year I try to buy calendars on sale.  I find that this is the most economical way to build my art print library.  Barnes and Noble seems to always have calendars 50% off right after Christmas.  I like buying online because there is a better selection.  Here are a few of the calendars on my list for this year…
I  googled Barnes and Noble coupon codes and got a few extra bucks off too (and free shipping of course)!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Marshmallow Prints

This is a quick lesson I did with some 1st graders right before break.  They were already using white paint to decorate their gingerbread houses, so they made prints as well.  I showed them how to not make the paint thick, so they would try in time to decorate with oil pastels.  If I do this again next year, I will not rush them through the decorating process. 
I made sure to save extra marshmallows for eating too!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cubism… with Tints and Shades

I really was happy with this lesson.  My students learned important concepts, while making a fun Christmas project.  I got this idea for this lesson from the blog Kids Artists and adapted it for my 2nd graders. 

1) We briefly talked about Cubism and Pablo Picasso.

2) We used rulers to draw a large triangle on 12x18 paper.  We then added a trunk and star.  Next we used the ruler to break the picture into different segments.

3) We went over our pencil lines with black oil pastel.

4) Then we began to paint.  I introduced the students to the words tint (adding white to a color) and shade (adding black).  We also reviewed how to make green.  I gave each table a plate with yellow and blue.  They mixed green and painted a section of their tree.  Then I gave them a dab of white paint to make their first tint.  They painted another section.  We continued this process until we made 4 tints.  The next class we continued this process but made shades.  Then we repeated the process with red. 

5) In the final step we used oil pastels to decorate the tree.  I also had students go back over some of their black lines.  This project took 3 class periods.


In the future I think the kids would like to had sequence for ornaments. I also hope to get them done in time to hang them in the hallways.  Live and learn!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Special Surprise!!!!

Yesterday, I received a special gift in the mail.  I thought I would share it with you, my art friends, because you can appreciate the honor of such a gift.  Mr. Welt sent me an original James Rizzi painting as a Christmas gift.  How awesome!  I had the privilege of meeting Henry last year when my husband and I went to New York City. He said this painting reminded him of us.  It is titled “Me and You. You and Me.”  100_5658   This gift has special meaning to me because of the difficult things I have gone through in the past year.  Both my parents and my only sibling are chronically ill and were hospitalized several times this past year.  I started my first year in a new school and was struggling to not let my personal life  impact my effectiveness as a teacher.  I felt  that there was so much more I wanted to do with my students, but I was emotionally drained.  Then I started teaching about James Rizzi.  The events that occurred (see previous posts) after getting in contact with Henry and corresponding, were amazing.  I was receiving the affirmation that I needed at such a difficult time.   I am the only art teacher in my building and one of two in my district.  Sometimes I question my skills as a teacher because I am all alone ( I am sure some of you can relate).  It may sound silly, but I needed to be valued.  So…thank you for valuing what I do as a teacher!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Egyptian Profiles…

Egypt is always a fun art topic.  The kids seem to enjoy learning about Egyptian history.  I like telling them about the mummification process. This year with 4th grade we created Egyptian Profiles. I modified a lesson found in the book Art Matters.

First, on 18x24 paper I traced each student’s silhouette using the overhead as my light source.  While I was working with each student, the rest of the class had an Egyptian packet to work on (draw a mummy case, how to write in hieroglyphics, ect…).

Next, we drew in the face together.  We looked at Egyptian pictures and discussed how the eye often appears to be a front view even though it is a profile.  Then I demonstrated different headdresses and students added their choice.  We also added a collar.

Then we began to paint.  We used a set of multicultural colored paints for the face and hair.  The rest of the colors where mixed with Pearl It and or Glitter It Crayola mediums. 

When the painting was done, students used oil pastels to define designs and facial features. Then the cut their profile out and clued it on to a large piece of construction paper. 

They added final touched with glitter, sequence, and rhinestones.  They were also encouraged to add Egyptian inspired designs in the background if time permitted.
Good Job 4th graders! 


When I have a few extra minutes, I like to share this SNL video.  The kids enjoy the silly song and dancing by Steve Martin. 
Saturday Night Live - King Tut - Video -

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our “Ugly Dolls” photo-shoot

My new group of 7th graders have been busy creating “Ugly Doll” inspired monsters.  I recently found these 2011 calendars on Amazon and was inspired. 
Yesterday a few of my students took their dolls around the school and took photos.  Below are a few of the results…
Enjoying a Christmas book.
Surfing the net.
Feeling festive!
Half the gang hanging around…. more to come!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gingerbread House Drawings...


I have to admit I do enjoy adding some festive lessons plans into my curriculm. The students enjoy them, and they tend to fit well in the art schedule right before break. Here are a few cute gingerbread houses my 1st graders created.


We started by drawing a house together. I then showed pictures of gingerbread houses and we discussed what to add to their houses. The students used color sticks and construction paper crayons to colors their houses (I showed a demo on how well theses materials work on back paper in comparison with regular crayons. The kids are always amazed). On the next day they added “frosting” of white paint, to finish their pictures.


This little girl was absent on the first day we drew our houses, but I love what she came up with on her own. Very creative!


Paper Molas in Elementary and Middle School..


100_5532This year is 3rd grade we are studying the art of different cultures. Each student has a Passport (which I will share soon), and they fill it out every time we study a new culture. We recently learned about fabric Molas, and the Kuna people who create them. The Kuna people live off the coast of Panama on the San Blas Island.

When teaching about Molas, I like to use the video “Paper Molas” with Peggy Flores. This video demonstrates how to create two types of Paper Molas. The first method involves an x-acto knife (I used razor blades wrapped in tape) and is subtractive. The second method uses scissors and is additive. This year my 3rd graders used the scissors method. As seen in the pictures above. Below are examples from my 7th graders who used the subtractive method.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Warm Mittens in the Cold Winter

I was going through some of my old pictures and was reminded on this winter lesson. Students traced their hand to make mittens and decorated with warm colors. Then they used white oil pastels to add snow in the background and colored with cool colors. I believe I found this idea on Artsonia a few years ago.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Working with Rizzi…

In my previous posts on James Rizzi, I have shared a few lessons my students created. Luckily, learning about Rizzi did not end there. I was able to contact Rizzi’s Representative Henry Welt and share the work my students had done. One day I received a package in the mail with a book, and this lovely letter by James Rizzi himself.

RizziLetter 001

I was giddy and so were the kids. We eventually made our own letters and sent them to Rizzi. It was a wonderful experience!

I am still in communication with Henry Welt, and he is excited to hear that other art teachers are using Rizzi’s artwork in their art classes. He has told me that he is interested in seeing what teachers are doing with their students. We are hoping to accumulate all different Rizzi lessons. If you have ideas and pictures you would like to share, please link to this blog or contact Henry Welt.

James Rizzi seems to be passionate about the art of children. He is even in the process of creating a future book/toy. Let me know your thoughts? What would you like to use in your classroom? Do you or would teach kids about the work of James Rizzi ?

More Rizzi Inspired Art…

This is a simple lesson I taught to my 1st graders. I only spent one 50 min. class on this project. In retrospect, I would have taken two days. I think the results would have been better.

Step 1: We looked at pictures of James Rizzi’s silly buildings (as I call them)

Step 2: Each chose a colored piece of paper and cut it into an interesting building shape. Some students made a pop out door. They glued their building on a 9x12 piece of black paper.

Step 3: We added details using construction paper crayons (I first demonstrate how these crayons work on black paper compared to regular crayons. The kids are always amazed.)

Step 4: Lastly, I gave the students sequence and foam shapes to add to their buildings.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Candy Boxes in 2-Point Perspective

In 7th grade I teach my students perspective. I found this candy box lesson on Artsonia and thought it would be fun to try. We started by practicing one-point perspective, then I introduced 2-point. When stundets showed understanding, we drew 2-point perspective boxes. Then we decorated them to match the real thing. I was able to talk briefly about shadows and shading too. This was a fairly quick project which accomplished my objectives. The students seemed to enjoy it as well.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mouse Paint....Learning about Color

Every year I introduce the Elements of Design to my 1st graders. We we have been learning about color and just completed our Mouse Paint project. I saw this idea on Artsonia probably 4 years ago and having been teaching it ever since. The kids always seem to enjoy this lesson.

Day one: We start by reading the story and discussing primary and secondary colors. Then we add circles of the primary colors on white 12x18 paper. The we mix the secondary colors and add circles. Then I let the kids mix all the colors together to get brown.
Day two: We use black sharpie and turn our circles into little mice. We then add extras like cheese, paint buckets and the cat. We finish by adding crayon. I like how this student colored the background.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Inspired by the “Happy Rizzi House”

File:Happy RIZZI House.jpgFile:Rizzi-Haus Braunschweig.jpg

We started this project by looking at pictures of James Rizzi’s work and focused on the “Happy Rizzi House.” This building is located in Brunswick, Germany. I then show students how to make a 3-D building with tag board (thanks to an art teacher at the MAEA conference). We add windows and doors and discuss design ideas. Students use marker to complete their building. The kids loved this project!

As an extension to this project we wrote letters to Mr. Rizzi. In Germany Mr. Rizzi’s art is used widely in art curriculum.

how to make a box 001

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