Friday, October 28, 2011

Not so Ugly Dolls!

 Fifth and sixth grade artists are creating original Ugly Dolls!  They are learning about symmetry in their classroom, so this project ties in very nicely.

We started by folding a piece of free draw paper in half the tall way and drawing half of a monster shape along the fold.  Then we cut them out and traced the monster onto colored paper.  We glued our ugly dolls onto black paper and used scrap paper and black markers to add simple details to the faces.

The next phase of the project is to make an Ugly Doll out of felt.  We traced the monster onto two sheets of felt, then cut them out.  We used scraps of felt to add details to the doll and then sewed the two pieces together with whip stitch.  We stuffed the Ugly Dolls with filling.

Each artist named his or her not-so-Ugly Doll and came up with character traits and a short story about the monster.

Here are the finished paper not-so-Ugly Dolls

Students folding paper and cutting out symmetrical shapes. 

Students breaking my cardinal "no shadow puppets" rule of using the projector.  They are using their Ugly Dolls as shadow puppets on the official Ugly Doll website

Friday, October 21, 2011

Spin Art!

First and second graders are studying Force and Motion.  We used a Spin Art machine to create art that demonstrates centrifugal force. The artists enjoyed observing how their artwork looked different in motion than still. We used liquid watercolors, including silver and gold paint.  

Kindergarten Pumpkin Patch

Many Kindergartners and working on their cutting skills.  Making Jack O'lantern faces made them practice cutting small pieces and helped them to think about creating expressive facial features.  

"I'm finished early. What should I do?"

This week I introduced several new independent activities that students can choose to do if they have finished their artwork early, including magnetic pattern blocks.  

Other "anchor activities" include free draw, how-to-draw books, coloring pattern pages, Fractiles, magnetic tanagrams, and drawing on white boards.  My art teacher victory of the day was to recondition all of my old mini whiteboards with dry erase paper.  They are as good as new!  My goal is to keep students focused and creative even after the main lesson of the day is completed.  Some days all anchor activities may be available and sometimes I will limit students' options.

I am wondering what independent activities are offered for early finishers or for students with special needs in other art classrooms?

Steve Jobs Quote

‎"We do not teach the arts to create great artists anymore than we teach math to create the next generation of mathematicians or language arts to create the next generation of writers. We teach the arts in our schools to create great people so they are empowered with skills and knowledge to be successful in life… to do great things regardless of the vocational pathway they choose." Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Making Puppets with Jim Henson, Creator of the Muppets

Third and fourth graders are making puppets.  This video of Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, gave us some ideas about how to create our characters.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vegetable Tops and Bottoms- Watercolor Resist

We read "Tops and Bottoms," by Janet Stevens and "Rah Rah Radishes," by April Pulley Sayre.  These two books were our inspiration to draw all different types of vegetables, both above and below ground.  We used oil pastels and watercolor and observed the watercolor resist technique.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunflowers Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh by First and Second Graders

First and second grade artists looked at one of Vincent Van Gogh's famous sunflower paintings.  We used black oil pastels and liquid watercolors to make our own original sunflower compositions based on Van Gogh's painting.  Click here to read more about Vincent Van Gogh's sunflower paintings.