17

Apr

Model Magic Pinch Pots in Second Grade



If you need a project that will take 5 minutes, this is it.
I do not have a kiln, or a classroom, but I still try to do additive and subtractive sculpture projects with each of my classes every year.  Model Magic is not a cheap option, but it is clean and easy.
I opened a 1/2lb. package of Model Magic.  Using my teacher scissors, I cut it in half longways, then in half on the short side.  I continued dividing the clay in this way till I had 16 small pieces.  I tossed them in a zip-loc.
Students received a disposable lunch bowl and wrote their name in the bottom.  We discussed the rules of the clay (no throwing, tossing, or pulling apart).  I gave each student a piece to roll into a sphere.

Step-by-step I took them through making a pinch-pot.  Like I said, 5 minutes tops.  They put their little bowl in their lunch tray and we set them to dry.  I came in to their room later in the afternoon and wrote their names on the bottom with Sharpie once they were dried a little.

Week 2, we used patterns and Sharpie and decorated our pots.

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16

Apr

Please don’t tell your first graders they didn’t have recess because they have art.

Not quite Native American Kachina Dolls in Second Grade.

I sometimes cringe when I see a display of brightly painted African Masks, or paintings of patterned Native American scenes, but, I’ve also been able to fine validity in my own teaching of multicultural art.

Second grade’s not quite Native American Kachina dolls is an example of this.  We started with deep learning of the Hopi Native Americans.  We watched YouTube clips of real Native Americans discussing their craft and the meanings behind their sacred art.  We visual analyzed several pieces, and applied this art to history. Second graders already understood the meaning of Kachina dolls, and why they were so important to the Hopi before they embarked on their own doll.

Students did not copy a Hopi Kachina, rather, they thought about something very important to them and designed from there.  Their stuffed dolls now hang in the hall.



The Art of Education just recently published a blog post on this same topic.  It mirrors my sentiments to a tee.




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15

Apr

Vincent van Gogh, Dr. Who, and crying fifth graders.

I designed an entire art unit around an episode of Dr. Who.

When I saw Season 5, Episode 10 of Dr. Who, Vincent and the Doctor, I immediately knew I had to show this to my class.  It would be a perfect way to initiate emotional responses.  It could work as a great presentation of master work, and it could inspire kids to create!  All those visual arts standards would be integrated!

I took my class through a flashcard slideshow that I found on YouTube to reintroduce them to van Gogh’s art.  Next, we watched Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists:  Vincent van Gogh.  I prepared them that it was a little depressing for a cartoon.  (As an aside, my copy is VHS!  We had no way to watch it…. so I checked it out from my local library.) We’ve learned and discussed van Gogh other years, and for other projects, but I wanted to have students gain a greater depth of knowledge.  It’s so Common Core. Which is not as cool as hard core.

We discussed the movie and I tried to answer questions about his life, his ear (was it Gauguin!), and his death as best I could to a group of fifth graders.  My class was very concerned about his suicide and depression.  I explained to them that he was ill, and constantly frustrated for not gaining recognition as an artist, and he lived in a much different time.

But what if 1886 Vincent van Gogh could travel in time to 2010 and see his artwork in a museum?

Intro to Dr. Who.  The Doctor is an alien who travels through space and time. I wish it didn’t sound so nerdy, because I love it so much.  In Vincent and the Doctor, he travels back in time to deal with some kind of goofy invisible monster that’s been messing with Vincent van Gogh.  I have to thoroughly explain to the class that this is complete fiction.  I show a brief five minutes of the 46 minute episode.  It starts at 38minutes and 30 seconds.  The Doctor, Vincent van Gogh, and Amy Pond land outside the Musee d’Orsa.  Vincent is overwhelmed by the collection of beautiful art.  Then, he enters a room packed to the brim exhibiting his work.  The Doctor asks the museum docent to briefly explain Vincent’s art and contributions to art history.  Vincent stands within earshot as the docent proclaims the immeasurable impact van Gogh had in the art world, and society.  Vincent is overwhelmed, amazed, and inspired.  He practically breaks down in disbelief.

It’s an emotional scene.  I thought it was pretty moving, and my fifth graders did too.  Several were on the verge of tears, and several wanted to watch the entire episode.  As a class we discussed the impact of something like that really happening.  Everyone had theories to share.  I could tell they were making a connection to van Gogh as a man, not just an old artist.

I presented Starry Night and  Sunflowers via Google Art Project.  The class loved seeing the close-ups of Starry Night.  The cracks, the canvas, and the blending of colors were all fascinating.  I ven took them on a tour of the van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands.  I love this part of Google Art Project, but it’s a little anti-climatic after awhile.

Fifth grade did a few written assessments and reflections about what they learned.  We also used these studies for a few different creating or art production pieces too.

I discovered along the way that I wasn’t the only nerdy teacher using Dr. Who in my lesson planning.
I found these on TeachersPayTeachers:

Elementary Art Lesson 4th: Van Gogh Impressionism Oil Pastel Sunflowers Dr Who

Elementary Art Lessons: Van Gogh Impressionism K-5 Bundle & Marzano and Dr Who





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14

Apr

How to Draw Dogs. Free downloads.

11

Apr

Modern Mona Lisa: Free downloadable coloring page of Mona in her roller skating finery.


I like to follow up our da Vinci studies with a parody in art project.  In some classes, I become pretty involved in making my own parody along with the class.  This happened with my roller skating 70s queen Mona.  I decided to turn it into a coloring page!  Enjoy!
Here are some of my third graders’ work:



PS I started an Amy Pond and The Doctor parody, but I’m not sure if I’ll get it finished!

PPS did you notice the corner suns in some of their work?!  Nothing makes me happier.



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10

Apr

I was thinking today about all the different “types” of students I have in each class.  I thought it was a good idea for a cartoon, and I was inspired to start drawing some of them.  I was thinking about the kid that always wants to talk to me, the kid that always needs approval, the kid that asks a million questions, etc… but then I remembered this Matt Groening Comic and figured it’d been done, and I will not get fired for it.

I was thinking today about all the different “types” of students I have in each class.  I thought it was a good idea for a cartoon, and I was inspired to start drawing some of them.  I was thinking about the kid that always wants to talk to me, the kid that always needs approval, the kid that asks a million questions, etc… but then I remembered this Matt Groening Comic and figured it’d been done, and I will not get fired for it.

Cylinders and Raindrop sculptures with Kindergarten

Paper Quilled Hanging Sculptures is a lesson plan given to me by a colleague many years ago.  The lesson seems simple enough… and it is!  I teach this lesson every year and I always get fabulous results.

I introduce the lesson with photos of various types of sculpture.  We talk about abstract and figurative sculpture and what makes these different than a painting or drawing.  This lesson introduces a lot of great vocabulary too; height, width, depth, 3D vs. 2D, form, and cylinder.  I also like to demonstrate holding a sculpture in my hand and seeing it from all views, or walking around or under a giant sculpture.

Sometimes we hang our sculptures, other times I attach them to matte and hang them on the wall, sometimes they are meant to just sit on a shelf.  Every variation works.  I’ve even added puff ball spheres, and rectangular prisms at times.

This lesson works great for a substitute too!

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