Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Notan Leaves in Complementary Colors with slideshow, video, directions, and rubric!

Notan Design! It's a classic fourth grade art project. Isn't it? I have never once in my many years of teaching ever taught Notan design, but I saw this pin and thought, ooooh this looks cool.

My fourth graders had just finished up this seriously long color spectrum painting project, so we did not paint our papers, but perhaps in the future, this will be a nice twist. We discussed positive and negative space, which was also discussed in our color spectrum project, and learned about Notan Design from this slideshow. Okay, I always fess up that I am a picture stealer from the web. I'm not selling anything, I'm just resharing what is already out there...however this time, I'm resharing another slideshow that I worked into my slideshow to make it work for me. It was from SlideShare. I edited to my needs, and do give credit at the end. By the way, my fourth grader's heads' just about EXPLODED when they saw the face in the vase pictures. They were mesmerized. This was about 10 minutes of our whole discussion.
I passed out instructions, and every child was super confused. I knew this was going to be a tough one for some friends to grasp, so I made another video.

The kids were super impressed that I drew my leaf in one shot on the tracer without sketching, mistakes, and erasing.  Pro-tip- I had it drawn in white colored pencil on the paper first.

Students made their tracers first.  The project isn't about the tracers though, it is about the positive and negative space and complementary colors.  I had about 6 students struggling to get any semblance of a leaf on their card and offered "pre-made" tracers to the entire class at the very end of the hour. That small handful took me up on the offer.  My only intention here was to not have them already turned off from the project after the first step.

We folded and traced onto the colored paper.  The trickiest part is the cutting, like I showed in the video, it's easy to forget what you are doing and just start cutting.  But don't. Make sure students cut on the fold first!  Then cut our their shapes.  After that it is pretty easy peasy.

A few kids had a hard time figuring out the positive and negative parts, but overall it was smooth sailing.

The last day we went over our rubrics all together.  
Here are a few completed pieces:

Check out our entire gallery on Artsonia.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Spoopy (spooky) Silhouettes - Printable Lesson, Tacer, & Clipart for Halloween

Last year I was asked to leave an art project for the 5-8th grade to do during their Halloween Party/free time afternoon.  Unlike what sometimes happens, I did not get a classroom full of kiddos in head-to-toe costume dropped off to have art class in lieu of their party...or after their party.  

I did not want to leave something lame, but I didn't want to leave anything too involved since I wasn't going to be there.  Hence, Spoopy Silhouettes was born.

It's a classic Pinterest project.  All I've done is put it into one nice downloadable package for you. This is a nice one to do on Halloween when you do have to teach, but you don't dare touch those beautiful landscapes the kids have been working on for weeks, or get out the chalk pastel self-portraits.

The lesson includes:
2 page printable instructions
1 tracer
10 pages of halloween clipart - from the internet, I just curated them for this project.  I did not draw them!

You will need:
Coffee filters
Watercolor Paints & supplies
Black Construction Paper
Sharpie Marker
We put our coffee filters on the air vents to dry quickly! 

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Abstract after Kandinsky - First Grade Lesson with video and printable directions!

I enjoy teaching about Wassily Kandinsky's art mostly because I like to play Flight of the Valkyries for the first graders and kind of scare them a little. I read that Wagner was a favorite composer of Kandinsky's, so I go with it.
 I also like the kids to pretend like they have synesthesia to an extent.  I want them to learn about lines, line qualities, shapes, and colors.  I don't actually care if they "feel" the music in a classroom setting of 23 first graders, or I'd end up with 23 scribble scrabbled brown and green "masterpieces".  Not my jam. Feel the music at home, kid.
I like to show the Mati and Dada Video about Kandinsky to start off the lesson.  Most of these videos are pretty great because they show just enough information to keep the kids entertained and then end.  Whoever decided 7 minutes was enough art history in cartoon form was a genius. If you watch these on YouTube, definitely bring the link over to ViewPure though.  These videos are cluttered with pop ups!!  Also, if you've watched nearly all of them like I have, there is a formula that they follow that the kids haven't picked up onto yet.  Literally the same thing happens in every episode with a different artist, different media.... anyway.

This year I made my OWN little video demonstration of the entire lesson.  I make goofy voices. It's how I teach.  If you want to see the whole lesson in action:

When I do actually start to teach the lesson, as mentioned above, there are some limitations.  Even so, no two projects look the same, and the kids are still learning what I'm trying to teach.  There is also a direction sheet for this lesson.  Direction sheets are great for students to see what they are supposed to be doing, and what is coming next.  It is not a step-by-step-do-it-this-way-or-the-highway page, it is just additional guidance.  Plus, when you get kids saying "what am I supposed to do now?"  You can say, "Read the directions!"

This lesson ended up being spread out over several weeks for my class because of holidays and field trips.  To review the information I showed the class a video of someone reading the book "The Noisy Paint Box."  It is cute and gives some nice information about Kandinsky's life, work, and inspirations.

Here are some pictures from my friends painting on day one:

I was a little nervous on our last day when I passed out the black oil pastels for our super black-thick-black-outlines.  I was suddenly seeing little black finger prints all over the place. However, I needn't worry.  I started hearing music as I photographed the finished pieces!  

See the rest in our Artsonia Gallery!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Alma Thomas Radial Design Rainbows with Slideshow and Directions

First grade learned about the color spectrum and the colors of the rainbow by looking at the art of Alma Thomas. I started by sharing this little slideshow about the artist and her art. We discussed her color paintings and specifically what colors she used, and sometimes what colors she used them in. We started our own Alma Thomas inspired rainbow collage with construction paper. To mix it up a little bit, I told them they could start in the middle with one square, like it says on the directions... but it didn't have to be red. For whatever reason this made the place go bonkers. I said if they didn't feel comfortable mixing it up, they should use red, but if they were up to a challenge they could use a different color. It was a sneaky way to differentiate. Then on the board I wrote:

Roy G. Biv   and we talked about what each one of those initials meant.

Then I wrote:
Oyg B. Ivr
Ygb I. Vro
Gbi V. Roy
Biv R. Oyg
Ivr O. Ygb
Vro Y. Gbi

The pressure was on doing that in front of a bunch of 6 & 7 year olds and not making a mistake.  I did in fact make a mistake and a kid caught it.

The students just had to look at the rainbow order that they actually started with to complete the rest of their collage.  I had the strips of paper up front in traditional rainbow order as well to help them.

Here is the link to my artsonia gallery for this project. And here are some great ones!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Pumpkins in Chalk Pastel Complete Lesson with video, slide show, rubric, directions, & more!

My third graders rocked the pastel chalk pumpkins this year.  It is one of those classic lessons that isn't too difficult to get awesome results, but admittedly, sometimes they "get" it and sometimes they don't.

First, before I get into the actual lesson, I want to bring something to the attention of the art teachers out there.  This first pumpkin was outlined with traditional Elmer's glue.

This pumpkin below was outlined with Jot, AKA Dollar Tree glue.

Under normal circumstances, I despise the Jot because of it's glossy, and honestly, not as adherent and liquidy quality, but in this instance it is amazeballs!  I love the way that turned out.  

I have Jot in one of the schools I teach in because the students bring in supplies to donate to the art room and about 2/3rds of the kids purchase the kits where I have dictated the brands etc...and the other 1/3rd bring in rando things.  Sometimes rando things are okay.  They'll bring in amazing artist quality pastels that I would've never asked for, or super nice sketchbooks for their cubby, but sometimes you end up with Jot glue.

Back to chalk pumpkins.  I began this lesson with a slideshow where we discussed still life objects, and what makes up a still life.  I am completely honest about stealing images off the internet for my slideshows for educational purposes.

The second part of the slide show discusses analogous colors, but I usually save that until after the drawing part of our project is done.

I have been using direction pages a lot this year.  They have been great for when kids are not paying attention, kids who need a little extra help, and for the kids who are constantly asking what they are supposed to be doing.  Sorry, this one isn't the best quality.  It was before I learned I had to use a 5B pencil to write it out!  Anyway, the directions page shows the kids how to draw the pumpkin.  I draw with them too.  Like I said, the direction page just help keeps them on track.  It's not a substitute for my teaching.

As they drew the additional objects in their still life, I had little items for them to look at set out around the room.  Some kids did just take ideas from their imaginations though, which I said was OK.  I tried not dissuade them from anything Halloweeny though, simply because our art shows at both schools are in the Spring, and pumpkins will look okay, but jack-o-lanterns will look out of my place in my opinion.

Once we have our still life drawn, I have a video of me adding glue and color to my project.  It is about 5 minutes and gives those visual learners a little extra nudge to see what it is exactly we are going to be doing.

The practice coloring sheet isn't really necessary.  They could just practice on one of the pumpkins they practiced drawing. However; my kids usually practice in their sketchbooks, and it got kind of messy last year.  So, this year they practiced on this pumpkin, but I printed the rubric/assessment page on the back...and well....when I went to grade projects it was also very messy.

Timing wise, this project may have it's issues.  The gluing of the black paper has to be done the week prior to using the pastel - so if you end up with a weird time thing - I sometimes have them put a glue outline on their practice papers too.

Besides the video, I did go step-by-step through their practice page on how to mix the colors.  I walked around as they did the rest to see if there were any major issues.

As mentioned above, I had great success with this project this year!  I hope you do to!  Check out my school Artsonia galleries below.

Holy Trinity School Third Grade

Elm School Third Grade

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Family Dinner - Complete Lesson with slideshow, directions, video, rubric, oh my!

For years I have taught the parts of composition to third grade with a lesson I've called "Me in the Art Room".

I mean come on, for third grade, that is some pretty accurate detail of the things happening above my cabinets.

Admittedly, I've gotten kind of sick of it. My team and I have been working on a lot of curriculum lately and someone brought up family portraits.  I remembered an old coworker making these super cute family dinner pictures 10+ years ago. 

I decided to revisit the idea and go overboard with resources.  I started the lesson with a slideshow.

I took the class through a million and twelve examples of families at dinner and had them examine the size of everyone's head, as well as where things were placed.  All of the pictures were stolen from the internet.  The slideshow took us nearly an entire class to get through.

Next, we started our drawings.  I like to put a direction page on each table.  I tell my students that we follow the directions, but our projects do not all end up looking the same.

Once we got a pretty good start on that, up to about heads and shoulders, I showed the the video of me completing the entire drawing portion.  It's kind of time-lapse so it only takes under 2 minutes.

I like to pause it on the last screen and point out a few things about proportion and scale. Plus, how I drew some of the facials features and arms.  I stress that it isn't really about drawing things realistically.

You may have noticed my use of tracers.  I made these tracers ahead of time to distribute to the students.  They are small, medium and large.  This project would work just fine having the kiddos draw their own table, and drawing their own heads.  Definitely. However, with the tracers it 1) has much higher success rate, and 2) it makes the kids really think "Who's head would be big?  Who is in the foreground?  Which one would be the smallest? etc.."  Just drawing them we might not be able to visualize their thought process.  On that note, I had one student who was brand new the day I taught this and he drew the entire family in one straight line exactly the same size. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Once their family has hair, faces, and clothes, I pass out the "What's for Dinner?" page.  I made this brainstorming page because I realized how little kids could remember about what goes on their dinner table!  Or what they ate for dinner the night before!

The next time I saw the students, I wanted to have a little review and pass out their rubrics.  I made up a review page for them to work at with their table-mates.  I drew four family dinner pictures and they had to discuss and write down what they felt was wrong with the pictures.

So, all the people are too small in this one except for the one person.  Who is an adult?  Who is a kid?  Look at how big the furniture is?

This is a common problem for the kiddos.  They want to make the people going AROUND the table.  It has to be nipped in the bud when they are tracing the heads.  Also, it is not a bird's eye view of the table, even though it seems very round.  Keep the plates ovalish.

What is the center of interest here?  The vacuum?  This was brought up in the slideshow.  What the artist wanted to draw your eye to is in in the middle ground with interesting things around it.  Here, the interesting things are spread out.

 No "horizon line to indicate where the floor starts/ends.  Is that a cabinet floating.  That guy isn't even at the table!  There is no sense of composition here!

Then, as a class we went over their rubric.
I emphasized adding a million details while we were still in our drawing phase.

Finally, kids moved on to drawing their backgrounds, tracing with Sharpies, and coloring everything.
The very last day I asked them how they could "take it a step further, and make it even better?" like it says on our rubric in the EXCEEDS column.  I asked them to think about some of the skills we learned with our last project, which happened to be pumpkins fall still life.  They caught on that I was trying to get them to remember mixing analogous colors and adding shadows.  The finished pieces I think families will truly cherish!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Middle School Christmas Ornaments in Oil Pastel - with PowerPoint and handout

This is my first year with my middle-schoolers, and I have had a rough time knowing what skills they have, and which they still really need to work on.

After our last value study project seemed like a real struggle, I thought I'd take it easy with a step-by-step guide on drawing and shading color values with Christmas ornaments.  This project is not concerned so much with the reflections of the ornaments.  We only concentrated on 3 parts: cast shadow, mid-tones, and highlight.  We also practiced building layers with our oil pastels and mixing tints and shades.  Also, I teach in a Catholic school - so Christmas ornaments are A-OKay.

I started with a handout full of stolen images from the Internet and a PowerPoint too.  We discussed the parts of light and shade that create value and the difference between grayscale and monochromatic color schemes.
 Christmas Ornament Handout & Rubric

The handout coincides with the slides on the PowerPoint and discusses vocabulary.
Next, I take the students step-by-step through the process of drawing and coloring and rendering their Christmas ornament in 3D. They do actually have an ornament in front of them to look at and draw.  The slides were up on the TV as the kids worked, so we mostly all stayed together, but some friends needed additional help.

Included in the handout is a rubric for this lesson.  Overall I am pleased with the results!  I only see my middle schoolers once a week for 45 minutes.  It was a learning process at the beginning of the year, and I felt I was never going to get through any sort of curriculum.  We've started working smaller and less independently, and that seems to work.  Here are some student works: