The Art Buffet

This week has been jam packed with so many different art projects, that I am referring to it as the Art Buffet.  And the title is actually very fitting for the first project I am going to introduce you to:

Now Presenting: My Favorite Family Meal

Students in 5th grade were asked to write about their favorite family meal in their sketchbooks.  They had to go into detail with it: who makes it, how often do they get to eat it, what’s in it, how does it taste, how is made, etc.  After the written description they had to draw a picture of it and THEN they were asked to create a paper collage of the meal.  They came out fantastic, and I was super appreciative of students adding details such as silverware, ice cubes, spices, etc.  It’s the little things that make all the difference in a masterpiece 😉


Next up: Weaving with 3rd Grade

I introduced 3rd and 4th graders to the wonderful world of weaving.  This was a very in depth process and both grades rose to the challenge.  They learned how to thread a loom and how to weave and switch colors.  They got really into it: the concentration levels were through the roof!


Under the Sea Value Studies & Perspective with 4th Grade

I know….I know….I love under the sea stuff….this will be the last ocean inspired project for a while!  I promise.  Anyhoo, I taught 4th grade how to paint using value with watercolor.  This week they added sea creatures using perspective.  I asked them to pretend they’re at the bottom of the ocean and they had to draw large and small fish in relation to how close they were to them aka Perspective!


Matisse with Kindergarten

Not only do I love under the sea creatures: I also love the artist Henri Matisse!  Kindergarten learned about the wonderful artist Matisse and his use of bright colors and patterns.  I taught them how to illustrate one of his most famous patterns too!

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All in all: a very lovely week full of variety!

Under the Sea with Kindergarten

The last 2 weeks Kindergarten and 1st grade have been working on “Under the Sea” art.  I am such a huge fan of the ocean and sea life.  As a kid I would pretend I was mermaid: so teaching my students how to draw under the sea life is always super exciting for me.  In the weeks prior to, I had the students create a water color wax resist to create some beautiful, realistic-ish waves.  We used oil pastels to create wave lines and painted over them with blue paint.

When we came back to art class the following week I taught the students how to illustrate various sea life: we drew “schools” of fish, crabs, jellyfish, sharks, and sea turtles.  I demonstrated how sea weed moves with the water.  The kids were super engaged!

Take a look at what Kindergarten created today!

Welcome to 2017!

2017 is looking very promising!  The Art room is about to have a wonderful new addition to the program in the next couple months and I’d like to keep it a little secret until it’s officially here.  The suspense shouldn’t last too long because I am anticipating our new addition in a few weeks: so bear with me!

This week I got to visit the “Little Littles”, as I call them, at the Nursery school.  My trip up to the North Woods of Wisconsin over Winter Break (which was FULL of snow), inspired me to create a snowman project for my Nursery school students.  Although we didn’t have snow at the time, ya’ll know it’s just a matter of time before we do!  This is winter in Chicago we’re talking about over here!

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I asked the Little Littles to arrange their snowmen in the “correct order” smallest circle to biggest and they had to glue them down.  We added hats, scarves, eyes, carrot nose, and arms.

We finished by adding Snow with white paint all around the snowman for an extra wintery effect!

This project had a variety of elements: cutting and using scissors for the 4 year olds, arranging by size, gluing, assembling, and painting.  It was all in all, a very good project for the age group with super cute results!


….Meanwhile back in the main building… 

6th & 8th grade are learning about M.C. Escher and tessellations!

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I taught the students how to make their own tessellations and I’ve got to say: they got so into it you could hear a pin drop in the classroom.  They were amazed at the fact that they were able to create something that could fit perfectly from all directions.

They will get to figure what their tessellations resemble next week!

William Wegman, Paper Weaving and Collage Galore!

We are back from yet another break and ready to get back into action…that is until we break again on December 23rd 🙂 !  My kindergarten students have been watching one of my FAVORITE art videos of all time: William Wegman’s alphabet soup!

The kids get such a kick out it because, C’mon!  …It’s dog heads on human bodies!!  The students were provided with dog heads and asked to illustrate a human body underneath it.


 

In 6th grade we have been working on creative collages.  I was really inspired by these images and thought it would be cool to do a project inspired by them.

I provided the 6th grade students with animal eyes.  They had the option of either owl or alligator eyes…and they were asked to create a collaged version of their animal.

This one was created by Emma Felix!

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And to end this weeks recap: 1st-3rd have been working on paper weavings.  This is really a lovely, tactile project that involves eye-hand coordination, and pattern identification A.K.A. GREAT project for little ones!!

They were so into it!  Awesome week boys and girls!  #SoProud

Weavings for End of the School Year Ants in the Pants

I like to save my tactile art projects for the “End of the School Year Ants in the Pants” syndrome, as I call it.  One of the projects I’ve done in the past that has been met with tremendous success – would be the Plate weavings.  I changed the project up a bit this year and had the students design their plate which serves as the loom.  5th- 6th graders are doing this project.

I first provided the students with a compass to make circles within circles – and then create designs within them.  That portion of the project took up about 2 class periods.

Next I had the students cut 19 slits all around their plate and get their loom prepped.  It somewhat resembles a bicycle wheel…

I had enough time to show some of the students how to begin their weavings and all I’ve got to say is “SUCCESS….AGAIN!!”  Hillel Torah students: girls AND BOYS love to weave.  The boys have even mentioned that the weavings resemble kippahs – so who knows….??  Maybe we will be able to successfully pull the weavings off and they could be used as kippahs.  We shall see…!

Not So Icky Bugs…

I can not believe how fast this school year flew!  I literally did a double take at my calendar when I seen how little time I had left for my remaining art lessons. On a sadder note, my phone with all my glorious pictures of beautiful student work, has ceased to work.  I am terribly sad because I had some beautiful pictures to share with you all.  However, all is not lost because I take photos regularly and have already accumulated a good amount on my new phone to show you what has been going on in the art room.

Before we left for Pesach Break, I had begun a Bug Unit with my younger kiddos.  I have a love/hate relationship with bugs.  I love their designs and patterns and I think they’re pretty cool creatures, but I HATE when they crawl on me….oooof!  I’m getting the Heebie Jeebies just thinking about it.  Anyways, the kids loved them.  They started by designing their own insects.  Then they selected their favorite insect and painted it large.  They also created a styrofoam print of the insect and made insect prints.  I think they turned out so cool.  I personally would matte and frame these!  Here is the lesson/process of how we made the print.

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And here are some of our Kiddo’s results.

 

Even if the print didn’t come out clear every time, the art was still very beautiful.

The next project on our list for kindergarten is creating 3-D paper mache bugs.

I am expecting them to be pretty rad…

Parents…Gotta Love ‘Em!

I sincerely appreciate when I have students that are crazy, enthusiastic about Art…it only further cements the reason of why I became an art teacher.  So when I had a student approach me last week , bursting with excitement over an idea she had for an art lesson – I of course, was all ears.  She suggested making tie-dye pillow cases for passover using sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol.  Sounded cool enough for me – I was in!

Luckily for the students, school and myself, her mother sponsored the project and also came in to give a demonstration for the students!  How cool?? So this is what we did:

Students were supplied with white cotton pillowcases and given a variety of sharpie markers.  We put a big piece of cardboard in the pillowcase to keep the markers from going through to the other side. The students were encouraged to come up with abstract designs that they wouldn’t mind “bleeding”, meaning that the ink would spread once we hit it with some rubbing alcohol.

We used spray bottles and droppers to distribute the alcohol once their sharpie marker designs were completed to their liking.  The kids loved this project due to the freedom of design and the “coolness” of the rubbing alcohol spreading the ink.  A couple of tips for those who would like to try this – definitely do the alcohol portion of the lesson outdoors if possible or somewhere that has amazing ventilation – the smell of alcohol is pretty powerful.  Also if you would like the design to bleed through to the other side – simply pull the cardboard out of the pillow case and then distribute the alcohol.  When the alcohol spreads it will automatically soak through to the other side of the pillow case and color it as well.

A BIG, BIG thanks to Shani Jacobs for sponsoring our Tie-Dye Passover pillows and to Dalia Jacobs for coming up with the brilliant idea!

Painting Galore!

These last few days have been filled with lots and LOTS of paint…and if you teach art – you know that paint = mess = fun = lots of work.  I usually spread my painting projects out so that they aren’t occurring simultaneously, but that just hasn’t been the case this week and I’m totally fine with that!  My tables are looking beautiful, bright and abstract!

This week I’m having kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade play with primary colors.  I took rolling pins and covered them with bubble wrap and asked the little ones to cover their pins with red, yellow, and blue paint.  Then they were able to have at their papers by gently rolling the pin up and down their large white paper.  They were so excited to see the variety of colors they were getting.

 

The results have been beautiful!

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We will add more to the dried pieces next week, but that is a surprise!


 

This week with 5th grade, I’m having 5B create color wheels.  I typically save color wheels and paint mixing for 6th grade, but I felt this group was up for the challenge, and they definitely were.

 

Look at the concentration on those faces!


 

I of course can not end this post without mentioning our school’s Purim celebration last week!  We had some amazing, amazing costumes: the creativity was out of this world!  I only wish I was able to get more pictures…

Here were some of my favorites:

And here was my costume:

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What do YOU think I am??

A New Resolution!

I have admittedly had a harder time updating with all the activities and days off we’ve been having with Fridays.  Fridays are typically my updating day.  However, I attended the NAEA (National Art Educators Association) conference this past weekend at McCormick place and I came back totally inspired (even more so ;))  and absolutely dedicated to the idea of regular consistent updates, even if it kills me!!

I attended a lecture on Art Teacher Blogging, which was led by the phenomenonal Cassie Stephens http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/, Phyllis Brown http://plbrown.blogspot.com/, and Laura Lohmann http://paintedpaperintheartroom.blogspot.com/.  All incredible art teachers and totally inspiring.  I even had the opportunity to take a picture with Phyl who I am sure was like “Who is this crazy lady asking for pic?”  Anyways here we are and I look completely geeked (which I was!)

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I can’t wait to share some of the techniques, lessons, and ideas I’ve gained from the NAEA conference in my lessons to come!


 

Anyhoo, going back to the Picasso lesson I taught not too far back: the results are in and they are…drum roll please: …..STUNNING!

I’ll guide you through the steps/process I took for this lesson.  First I had the students illustrate faces and color them in using coloring blocking.  This lesson was altered for the nursery school students since obviously their fine motor skills are a bit limited.   Then I had them cut their faces up and rearrange to create a face in the style of the Marvelous Pablo Picasso.  Gluing them onto black paper made for a more dramatic effect.  This lesson is great because it can be tweaked and altered for ages 3-10.

Here are a few more results!

I hope you all have a great Tuesday despite these clouds and forecasted rain.  Up NEXT: Purim!!!