Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our Favorite Art

A great bulletin board idea is to have children vote on various works of art they have learned about through the year. This is also a good tie in to math and writing. I had Kindergartners write a few sentences about why the artwork was their favorite and draw a picture to accompany their sentences. It was a great one day, cross curricular activity that tied up a lot of loose ends at the end of the year!

Tar Beach

I love incorporating literature into my art projects whenever possible. Here is a great and easy project third graders created after reading Tar Beach by Faith Ringold. We used painted paper, pastels, and fabric scraps for the borders. The results were stunning!

Egyptian Animals

I really do love teaching about Ancient Egypt! Here are a few of the projects we completed with a unit on Egyptian art. Egyptian cats were made by thrid graders with paints and pastels with hieroglyphic backgrounds. The blue hippos are my favorite. There is an adorable book that goes along with the hippo and the kids love to learn about these tiny works of art from Ancient Egypt. The falcons were painted and glittered, then formed to 3D. And the scarab beetles were made from various colors of model magic! All of the projects were a lot of fun and very successful!

Autumn Owls

First graders made these playful line owls with oil pastel and construction paper. We filled our owls with different patterns and line designs. Our trees are made of torn bits of paper towel.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt lessons are some of my favorite to teach! Last year I took all of my books, posters, stamps, dvd's, music, and handouts and made an Ancient Egypt discovery box to organize all of my curricular materials. It's a great way to keep everything together! Here is an easy lesson I did on posterboard with my first graders. We used tempera paint and then outlined with oil pastel. The results were very impressive!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Few of my FAVORITE books!

Many times when I am stuck on an idea or need inspiration, I turn to other art education blogs. All of the amazing blogs I've seen have inspired me to share my own ideas with a blog. Another great tool for teaching art is a book! I love the Usborne drawing and art books. They are truly valuable and full of great material. I suggest them to every art teacher I know! The pages also copy nicely for handouts and can be left for sub plans. Check out the Usborne website!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paul Klee Pumpkins

Second graders are learning all about Paul Klee in Art class. His child-like, playful drawings and paintings are the perfect subjects for young artists. We decided to use his portrait style to create some Halloween jack-o-lanterns. We used warm and cool colors of tempera paints to create our bright designs!

Paul Klee Cat and Bird

Kindergartners are learning all about famous artists. One of the works of art we liked best was Paul Klee's Cat and Bird. After looking at that famous work of art, we read a similar story by Lois Ehlert and practiced a guided drawing to create our cats!


Fourth and fifth graders learned about the celebration Los Dias de los Muertos, when families in Mexico honor their ancestors with colorful art, traditions, and fiestas. Decorations like intricately cut tissue paper (papel picado) and paper mache skeletons can be seen as decorations. Students had fun designing their calaveras (skeletons).

Anansi the Spider

Second graders were read several of the Anansi books in art class. The Anansi tales are Ashanti tales from Africa. In Gerald McDermott's version, Anansi's web is full of pattern and geometric shape. We were so inspired by his illustrations that we created our own Anansi webs.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Second graders loved making these fanciful giraffes! We talked about drawing simple shapes for the head and face and adding a long neck poking into the page. We practiced printmaking to make the leaves surrounding our colorful giraffes!

Mexican Bark Paintings

Mexican Bark Paintings
by Third Grade Artists

I love teaching children about different cultures. This project was one of my most successful! After viewing many examples of Mexican Folk Art and bark paintings, children used oil pastel and paint on brown paper to create their masterpieces!

Paul Klee's Yellow Birds

Paul Klee is a great artist that kids can relate to! His simple shapes, bright colors, and playful designs make for great discussion. This is a project my first graders worked on in art class. We began by looking at Paul Klee's art. We used pencil to draw many shapes for leaves and plants. We used oil pastel to outline and add pattern to our plants. Finally, we painted with liquid watercolors. On the second day, students cut and assembled their pictures. They added simple yellow birds to finish their designs.