Saturday, March 2, 2013

STEM to STEAM - Chalk Pastel Abstracts - 5th Grade

What a week!!!  I don't know about the rest of you but ever since we have come back from our President's break, our students have been off the wall!  A full moon and spring fever have definitely hit!

We have though been getting a lot done in the art room!  My 5th grades have been working on some chalk pastel abstracts inspired by space nebulae. 

Our first class I began by showing the students this video clip...


The artist demonstrates several simple chalk pastel techniques.  The kids loved the clip and were eager to practice.  The remainder of the class was practicing the different techniques.

I created a poster of all the techniques so the students had a visual in front of them to help remember the different ones.

I also reminded them to think about their color choices while they were blending.

In our second class I had the students view this video clip from NASA of space nebulae.  I found reference material at Hubblesite.  If you click on movie theatre you will find some great video clips!  I used the one entitled: "Planetary Nebula - A New Twist."  It's very short, about two minutes.  I then showed them images of different planetary nebulae.  You can find them by going to the section called picture album and then click on nebulae.  The pictures are from the Hubble telescope and the students were fascinated by them! 

I printed out a few examples for the students to have on their tables. 

Out came the chalks and the kids excitedly began.  I demonstrated how to use some of the techniques to create their nebulae inspired abstracts, gave them some black construction paper and they began!

So many beautiful pieces to choose from to show you! 

We are taking one more class to create some more before we move on.  The kids really enjoyed working with the pastels!  This was a very successful lesson! 

I have several more STEM to STEAM pieces in the works to show you very soon!

Have a great weekend!
Mrs.C  :)


  1. Thanks so much for posting this - I had pinned a similar idea with the Hubble images in chalk and I love the techniques examples you've shown.

  2. Thanks! It really helped the kids to watch and listen to the advice of a pastel artist! I told them that even though they think I know everything I don't and that I was learning with them! They were amazed by her pieces! Some students still tried to dive in and just start rubbing everything together and soon realized after seeing the results of others that they needed to slow down and follow the techniques they were given. They were much happier with their next attempt! :)

  3. Thanks for being so comprehensive Mrs C! The results are ethereal and engaging : )

    1. Thanks Joe! The kids had a lot of fun with the lesson! :)

  4. Those are awesome. It´s rare to see artists paint space art with pastel crayons (speaking from own experiences on youtube, where I am one of very few, who combine those two.
    So I´m always looking for others, using the same technique.