Saturday, February 23, 2013

1st Grade Owls - Pattern & Texture

My first grades just finished up some really cute owls.  The inspiration came from some cute patterned owls from The Elementary Art Room.  This lesson covered several things...  We reviewed drawing with shapes to create the owls, they added patterns to the bodies, then learned about visual and tactile texture and incorporated them into their backgrounds.  This lesson took us three 40 minute classes to complete.  During the first class the kids drew their owls.  I demonstrated several ways to draw their owls and discussed patterns using lines, shapes and colors.   The students drew them out in pencil, outlined them with black marker and added their patterns with construction paper crayons.

In the second class I discussed visual and tactile texture with my first graders.  I showed them how to use our rubbing plates to create a visual texture in their skies.  Rubbing plates are always a fan favorite!  I gave them Crayola Color Sticks to do their rubbings.  I purchased a class pack for this school year and had not used them yet.  They are excellant for rubbings!  The colors are bright, they go on easily without a lot of pressure and best of all did not have to peel a thousand wrappers off of them! 

To create the bark texture in their trees I had the students draw into their paint with the opposite end of their paint brush while the paint was still wet.  They loved the process and it made a nice tactile texture when the paint was dry.  

In our third class the kids glued on their owls, had a chance to add some green leaves (if they wanted to) with some painted paper scraps and students who were behind for one reason or another got a chance to catch up.  


The children loved their finished owls and couldn't wait to take them home! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

1/2 Day Schedule = Quick STEM to STEAM Lesson!


Theo Jansen  –  Dutch Artist and Kinetic Sculptor

~ Wind Powered Beats that are Works of Art ~

Today was a half-day at school so that the teachers could do our yearly in-service training on work place harassment and anti-bullying laws (it was re-scheduled from a previous date that was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy).  At the 3d-5th grade school we have a half-day schedule that is completely different from our regular schedule.  The classes that came to art today had already had their regular art class this week, so this was their second time in the art room.  Since Friday's classes were now not getting their regularly scheduled art class (setting us back a week, sigh...)  I was not going to start today's groups on the next step of our new lesson (putting them ahead of everyone else), so as I drove in to work today I thought about what we could do....

I remembered that I had pinned the above video about Theo Jansen, a Dutch sculptor who invents these really cool wind powered "Strand Beasts" as he calls them.  I found the You Tube  clip for it on a post from Phyl at There's a Dragon in my Art Room.  I was so excited to see the link for the clip!  I had seen the interview on CBS Sunday Morning and thought his pieces were incredible!  The video clip is about six minutes long which was perfect since our class is only 30 minutes long.  After the video (which they all wanted to keep watching because they were just amazed by his pieces!)  We talked about Jansen's creations and then I asked them to draw their own mechanical creation's. 

The students came up with some great ideas for robots and machines that would do something for them.

Some of the many ideas they came up with were....    A Create Your Own Fashion Machine that would design and make One-of-a-Kind clothing for you.  A robot that puts teachers in a trance so they couldn't give classwork (ha!ha!).  Two of the boys worked together brainstorming and came up with a very cool contraption that Hunters/Fisherman could take with them on outdoor trips...  It carried everything they needed plus had a seat and a hunting blind they could sit on!

Many of the creations also did homework and/or cleaned their rooms for them!

The above creation is a house submarine!

This one carried you around and let you play video games.

This one was a drawing machine!  

Even though this was quick lesson, done in one 30 minute class, the students got to see how an artist used physics to create some very cool sculptures that walked simply powered by the wind.  

The kids used their own imaginations to dream up machines that would do something for/with them.  All the classes had a lot of fun with this lesson.  I will be doing this one again!


This is the February bulletin board outside my room.  I rotate months with the 4th grade teacher across the hall from me.  I needed something quick at the beginning of the month so I found this quote I pinned long ago, drew out the letters and had some of the students who were done with their projects color it in.  I used old painting placemats for the borders and cut stars from some painted paper scraps. 

These pics are views from my driveway on the morning of Valentine's Day.  We had a snowstorm the night before and everything was coated in beautiful white snow!  It was very pretty!  Even the sky had the Valentine's Day spirit with the pink clouds!

One day later, today,  the temperature was in the high 50's, sunny and felt like Spring!

It's a four day weekend for me.
We have Monday and Tuesday off from school for President's Day! 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Mrs.C  :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

1 Point perspective and 5th Grade

My fifth grades recently finished up their One Point Perspective hallways last week.  This is the post where I talked about starting our perspective lessons.  The lesson comes from this post by Phyl. My 5th graders really loved this lesson and I think they did a great job!  

One class I had to re-teach the lesson as I was out sick one day while we were still drawing them.   The sub completely ignored my very DETAILED sub plan binder and proceeded to try and teach the kids the rest of the lesson!!!  (intro page of sub bunder says do not try to teach lessons from my plan book!)  She admitted that she had no idea how to teach it, however did it anyway!  Needless to say I came back to many complaints from my kids and made many apologies for the events of that class.  

These next three pieces were created by three of my favorite students.  I have known these three kids since they were in PSD.  They have various special needs and I modify the lesson to fit those needs.  They worked very hard on their pieces and they did a great job!  I was very proud of them as they worked on their ruler skills, coloring, drawing and cutting skills.  

For their people I dotted out the shapes for the people.  I had them trace around the dotted lines, cut them out and glue them where they wanted in their picture.  

I am going to really miss these three when they move up to the Middle School.

The remaining pictures are from my general ed students.
I let them choose from marker, crayon and colored pencil to color in their pieces.

This was a fun lesson that the students enjoyed!  It did not take more than three 30 minute classes to complete if they were on task.  We will be doing one more perspective piece before the end of the school year.  That one will have buildings in it!

Have a good weekend!  We are looking at getting a bit of snow tomorrow night into Saturday.  6-10 inches is in the forecast.  I'll be out shoveling Saturday morning! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY !!! (and warm/cool flowers)

Happy Groundhog Day!!!

Phil did not see his shadow so it looks like an early Spring!  I hope so!  It's bright and sunny here but it's 22 degrees!  Brrrr!

Here are some colorful flowers my 4th grades did before Christmas.  Let's think Spring everybody!!!