Monday, April 9, 2012

Warm Up Fun!

Everyday I have each class come in and do a warm up.  Their packets, which consist of all the projects we will be doing in their classes have about 20 warm ups in the beginning. When each class comes in they complete a warm up.  During the warms up students are expected to stay quiet for 5 minutes and concentrate on their work.  This helps them to calm down and get adjusted and ready to work on their projects. Here are some great examples of just how creative and funny kids can be!

Plastic Bag Totes

As I have no doubt mentioned before this session I am teaching a wearable art class.  This was our first project. We created a tote bag out of old plastic grocery bags.  This was a great way to make something new and original with something everyone has a million of and wants to get rid of!  The students loved this project.  They got to use an iron, so it required a lot of responsibility and coordination on their parts.  They also had to really work on following step by step instructions and working independently as I bounced around from student to student. They did a wonderful job and these were a highlight in our city wide art show. So many people complemented them, I couldn't have been prouder of their hard work. 

What you need: 
Plastic bags
Iron (ON LOW)
Aluminum Foil
Something hard and flat (plywood)

Step 1: Prep your bags: Cut the bottoms and the handles off the bags. Cut up the side so your bag lays flat on the table.  Cut out any logos or designs on your bag and put them to the side. With the rest of the bag, cut it into strips that are about 2 inches wide. 
Step 2: Make the Handles: The handles require longer strips of plastic. Take a few bags and cut width way so that they are longer strips.  You will need 6 strips of plastic for each handle. Knot your strips together at one end but leave about 4 inches of extra, not knotted bag for fusing later. Then take a single strip and wrap it around the plastic strips and end at the other end, in a knot. Put your handle in between two pieces of foil.  With your iron on LOW iron the handle.  DO NOT TOUCH THE PLASTIC WITH YOUR IRON!!!!  Then flip the handle over and do it again on the other side.  The plastic should fuse together. 
Step 3: Set up your Tote Bag: Lay out two sheets of foil that are 50”x 20”.  This will make a bag that is 25” tall by 20” wide. Start laying down your first layer of pre-cut plastic diagonally on your foil.  Make sure you OVERLAP your plastic. When your whole foil is covered start your second layer.  This time, lay your plastic down diagonally going the other way so that it creates a crisscross. 
Step 4: Add Details: Now you can take sharpies and pieces of plastic and create designs, these designs will be put into your bag.  BE CREATIVE! When you are done lay your details down on top of your plastic.  Remember! The plastic is going to be folded in half to make the bag!!
Step 5: Add your Last Layer: Cover your graphics with the last layer of plastic.  Be sure to use white or clear bags so you can see your details. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eric Carle Collage

Eric Carle Collage is a lesson many art teachers and Kinder-1st grade teachers love.  The students enjoy it because it involves a book and many visuals for them to work off of.  It also involves a fun way of creating a collage that involves the students getting messy, cutting, using glue, and above all else requires no specific art skills (they can't mess up!).
We started this lesson by reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  We then created either caterpillars or butterflies (the students could choose) by painting paper, letting it dry, then cutting out shapes to create the artwork.  This is a project that any younger student would love and it is very simple.
It is definitely a two day project. One day to paint the paper, then next day to glue down the shapes.  Depending on your students you can cut shapes out for them, or they can cut shapes out on their own, either pre-drawn or using a tracing stencil.  I normally like to give my children as much artistic freedom as possible and would usually let them draw their own shapes and cut them up but if you have a large class size you may want to think about pre-cutting the shapes for the students.  You can also talk about the shapes that are in the butterfly and caterpillar, this is a good lead up for a drawing lesson. (I like to teach students to draw by breaking their subjects into shapes.) This lesson is just great overall and is a wonderful lesson for differentiated instruction. Here are some examples.


Feather Accessories

I started making these after the craze of feathers started showing up everywhere I looked. I sell them at craft fairs and online.  Occasionally, I will wear one of these to school and my students always complement me on them, so I decided to add them to my wearable art class. They quickly became a fun and VIBRANT way for the students to express themselves.  I am so happy they chose the brightest most extreme feathers they could find, mine tend to be more neutral colors and much smaller but these are just so perfect for their personalities that I couldn't have asked for more beautiful representations of each child. To make these feather accessories we....
  • cut a piece of felt into a teardrop shape
  • cut feathers where they needed to be trimmed
  • placed feathers down in rows starting with the back row and working towards the pointed side
  • glued down the feathers with a hot glue gun
  • chose a fun button to go at the point 
  • glued the hair clip to the back side
These really came out great and the students were so proud of them.  I know what your thinking...what about boys? Well I do have a boy in this class, he made a boutonniere which came out so fun, he chose more modest colors and we put a safety pin on the back so that he could attach it to his shirt. 

BEWARE: If you do this project, be prepared to pick up A LOT of feathers!!! They get everywhere!!


Recycled Sculptures

Whale before gluing 
Whale final product

I created my sculpture class with an older group in mind.  Originally, the class was supposed to 3rd-5th graders however because of low enrollment (mainly kickball being at the same time block) my only student set out to recruit students so we could keep our class.  In the end he came up with 5 very excited 4 and 5 year olds.  This being said, I had to change the plans of my class a bit.  It was lengthy and there was not one day that the students were not excited about it.  I am very proud of the work my young students have accomplished.

  • The first step was for the students to draw their animal.  
  • They then broke it into shapes.  I was so impressed with the way these students were able to compare a shape to their animal and break it down systematically.  
  • They then made a list of their shapes and how many of each they would need.  
  • Afterwards, they searched in the recycling bin for the shapes they needed. 
  • When they had their shapes collected they had to lay out on the table how they wanted to set up their shapes in order to make their animal. 
  • When the students were satisfied with their composition we hot glued them together.  
  • Since most of the materials were plastics, paint wasn't really an option.  We used tissue paper and modge podge to collage on top of our recyclables to create the colors. 
  • The students then glued google eyes onto their animals and BAM! Amazing artwork!! 
I think these came out awesome. There were animals ranging from butterflies, bunnies, and sharks! It was a great way for the students to work on following directions and could be used to follow drawing lessons on breaking down objects into shapes to draw them.  I love how these came out and I hope you do too! 

Dog before gluing 
Dog final product

Recycled Bangles

Currently I am teaching a wearable art class with 3rd - 5th graders.  In this class we create works of art that can be worn and used by the student. The students LOVE it! They love it so much that during homework time (after all hw is done of course) they request to continue their projects, they have been researching different ideas to create artwork, and they have requested that I continue the class for the next session that continues through the end of the school year.  If anyone has the liberty to create a class, just for fun, this is a great one! I start by giving the kids an idea for a project and basically give them TONS of materials and let them run with it.  These are recycled bangles.  We created them by cutting slices of Pringles cans then wrapping them with fabric, ribbon, paper, whatever the child could think of, then decorating it with bling! The neat thing is that we used manly recycled materials or materials that I found around my house.  This is a great use for small scraps of fabric. Here are a few of the bangles that were displayed at our city wide art show.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coil Pots

 In Ceramics class we made many fun projects including these coil pots.  The students had a great time experimenting with glazes and using crazy combinations.  Here are some examples from the two ceramics classes I teach.