A New Addition to the Art Room…

I am so excited to introduce 2 new additions to my art room: they are an Elmo Document Camera and a projector.  An Elmo document camera is pretty much a camera that films how I am painting/drawing in live time and the projector projects it on the board.  The students are now able to watch how I draw something in a movie-style format.  It’s so cool.  It’s also EXTREMELY helpful because Art is such a visual subject.  Sometimes words can only get you so far and students need to be able to SEE it in order to DO it.  It’s so helpful when I’m giving illustration demos.



This week I began a Turkey lesson for kindergarten through 2nd grade.  I had the bodies of the turkey pre-illustrated and the students added feathers.  I had them practice drawing a variety of line styles such as zig-zag, wavy, swirly, loopy, straight, diagnol, vertical, horizontal, dotted, and curved.  Lots of lines for lots of feathers!

my example

Here are the kiddos working on their turkeys.

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Owls are complete and they look so precious.  Owls are really an adorable bird.  I’ve been watching youtube videos of them and I think I’d like to have one as a pet except I’m not sure how I’d like it flying around my house…so maybe not…

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3-D’ish pumpkins are all the rage right now.  Students are super amazed at how beautiful they look when they’re complete.  They are very, VERY proud.

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Simply Amazing.

All Things Fall

Awwww the leaves are changing on the trees and when this happens – I just can not resist Fall art projects.  It’s the perfect time of year to talk about color schemes such as warm: red, yellow, and orange and secondary: orange, purple, and green.

Nursery students and a couple of Monday and Tuesday classes did Fall leaf rubbings.  I drove around Evanston and Skokie trying to find a variety of leaves and boy! Did I ever!  Evanston and Skokie have some beautiful trees. I brought in my assortment of leaves and laid them out on the art tables.  I showed the students how to lay the leaves with the veins of the leaf facing up (Bumpy side up) and we then placed a sheet of white paper over the leaf and rubbed our crayons over the leaf.  We used red, orange, yellow and brown crayons.  Our last step was to watercolor the blank areas of our paper – just to make the art look even more beautiful.  Students of all grades and ages loved it and I would have loved to have done this project the whole week through, but my leaves sadly dried out by Tuesday.

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Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades made collage owls.  They tore up light and dark brown paper and glued them in the outline of their owl.  We finished by adding big yellow eyes and orange beaks and feet.  Something about the torn paper really gave the owls a nice feather-like texture.


4th and 5th grades illustrated fall harvest veggies and plants and colored and painted.  I spoke to the grades about secondary colors – which was perfect timing with pumpkins being orange, grass being green, etc.

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I taught them how to illustrate a 3-D pumpkin and how to add highlights for an even more convincing 3-d effect.  They did great work.  🙂  A teacher later told me that she just so happened to be working on the life cycle of a pumpkin and illustrating a pumpkin was part of the assignment.  The students were apparently VERY excited that they knew how to do this already.

I normally post on Fridays, however this past Friday I had the pleasure of helping out with The Shabbot project which was just so amazing.  It was really a unifying experience.  I hope you all are enjoying this fall season thus far – I know I can’t wait for Thanksgiving!


I am titling this entry as “The Flood” because I feel like I have a lot to share about this week.  Where do I even begin??  Also just a side note – I am going to try really hard to not use as many exclamation marks – I just can’t help it sometimes…

This week 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students made their fish even MORE fancy by outlining with oil pastel.  If you haven’t used oil pastels before – you should try them.  The best way to describe them is like smooth/creamy crayons.  They smear and blend very easy and they’re extremely bright.  I looooove using oil pastels whenever I can.  Check out the results below:

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This week I also introduced certain grades to something called Zentangle.  This is such a cool genre of art that is becoming all the rage in the art classrooms.  Essentially, it’s fancy doodling and it’s done strictly with black skinny markers (although you can use larger markers depending on the size of the project and design).  My students in the past have loved it and I can tell the Hillel Torah students do as well.  🙂  Here is 5th grade trying their hand at it.

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8th Graders were naturals.  They really, REALLY impressed me.

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and parents if you want to try it yourself…here’s a step-by-step guide and the book I use…

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My club group, The Art Stars, completed their first project:  The Surrealist Collages.  wpid-wp-1445010855341.jpg wpid-wp-1445010865022.jpg

How cool are those??!   Might I add – they are very proud of them.


This week I had the pleasure of meeting several parents face to face at the Open School Nights.  I had several parents come up to me and tell me how much their children are enjoying art and it sincerely warms my heart.  I also passed out handouts explaining what the students are learning in art and how they learn it, so if you were unable to make it out on either night I am going to attach it right here in this post.   If you click on the hyperlinks below you will be able to see it.  🙂

k-4 art handout              5-8 art handout

Lastly,  I am asking that students in grades 3-8 have a sketchbook for art.  It makes all the world of a difference when it comes to giving the students illustration demos, practicing for a more challenging art project, taking notes on the elements of art, and just having all their art knowledge in one place.  My students normally LOVE having a sketchbook because they’re able to come home and show their parents what they learned to draw for the day and they can keep practicing.  I ask for a spiraled sketchbook instead of a sketchpad because they are more sturdy and can last for several years if taken care of.  You can find sketchbooks at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Big Lots, Michaels, Dick Blick, Hobby Lobby, and Utrecht to list a few places.  I have also had students find some shnazzy sketchbooks at TJ Maxx and Marshalls but those last 2 places are never a guarantee.

Skizzenbuch mit Ringspirale, 80 Blatt, DIN A3 [Spielzeug]

Here is what they may look like.

Thank you all for viewing the blog and a special thanks for mentioning me in the PTA facebook post!  I was super honored!  (there goes those exclamation marks again…)

Back from Sukkot Break

We are back and SO ready to get back into the swing of things!  Kids jumped right into where they had left off on projects that were started before our break.  Our clubs have also started and the art club is called Art Stars.  A lot of students have been asking me what exactly is Art Stars and what do they do?  Art Stars is term I created for my advanced art students – but in this case I use it for students that will be working on more advanced projects and are giving it their all.

My 5th grade Art Stars learned about Surrealist art and artists, contemporary artists AND collage! phew – that sounds like a lot – but they took it all in and were super interested in the slideshow I showed them.  We analyzed artwork made by Salvador Dali, Magritte, and Frida Kahlo.


Next we looked at collage artwork and then they got to work on their own collages.  We are creating portraits using magazine cutouts to form a surrealist face.

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…looking great so far!

k-2 Came back and jumped right back into their whale project.  We colored and painted and I think they’re looking pretty cute so far.

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Can’t wait for next week when I get to see ALL the classes!