Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stick snowman ornament

Here is the picture of my stick snowman. I do this project with second grade. I takes 3 classes. The first class we assemble the sticks. There are two short sticks on the back to brace the project, although it seems to hold together without them. If there is time at the end of the first class, we make the star. Second class paint, third class decorate. The smile is made from pre-cut rug yarn, but you could use yarn that you cut or paper (hole punched "coal" would be cute). This project is a bit difficult (assembling the sticks) but I have had many positive comments from my parents.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Cardinal

I found this from another art blog:

1.Make cardboard wing templates for students to trace to keep the scale of the bird from starting out too small. The rest of the drawing was done with step-by-step instructions on the board. Describe the wing as needing to be tilted a bit, a “shark fin” was added on top, and a belly below. The black face looks a bit like half of a butterfly, and the beak extends directly to the right of it. A tail is added below, along with feet. The branch is behind the feet so it’s lines jump over the feet and tail.

2. After the drawing is done, it needs to be traced with a thin black marker.

3. Lastly, all except the snow is colored in with oil pastels.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Russian Palaces

This is a lesson I do with Kindergarten. You can change it up and make it more complicated, or simplify it. We looked at pictures of the Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral in Russia and discussed the similarities and differences between those buildings and buildings they have seen. Then we talked about different lines and shapes they could use to make patterns on their buildings (like the towers on St. Basil's). This year, on the first day I had the kids paint the sky (I splattered on the snow later), and work on creating the patterns on their 4 towers and door (in other years I've done it more simply without the frame and painting the background). The second day we cut out the Hershey kiss shapes for the roof tops and added sparkles and a frame.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Buffalo Skins"

I read Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie DePaolo to my second grade students when they are learning about the Plains Indians.
They use a crayon resist technique on brown kraft paper to paint their "animal skin".

Medicine Bags

Second grade students make these Sioux "Medicine Bags" when they are studying American Indians. I do a lesson from each of the different groups of American Indians. I tell my students that the Plains Indians would use animal skins and rawhide with bead decorations on a bag. We use lunch bags, graph paper, raffia, feathers, and pony beads.

3-D Paper Poinsettias

Students trace and cut out three petals and three leaves. Each table of students gets one stapler to share and they help each other fold and staple petals together. We wad up a piece of yellow tissue paper for the center of the flower.
These look great on a bulletin board in December and parents always love them when students take them home.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Monthly Mentor Blog (NAEA)

Here are some very interesting blogs about different areas of art education from assessment to special needs students. The latest one is about an art teacher's community art program where she partnered with Fred Mutebi to create a mural exchange between Texas students and students in Uganda: Monthly Mentor.

Positive/Negative cutouts

This is a super lesson to do around the holidays. Students will first learn the terms ''related shapes '' and ''radial shapes''. On a 9'' black paper square, class will draw their design with pencil. Place design on a newspaper and cut using exacto knives. (...threaten first, and remove knife if anyone ''plays'' with it ).When design is cut out, use scissors to cut pieces of tissue to glue on the back...remind them that each shape has a different color. They may also use the knives to do the smaller pieces of tissue to fit. Display in any window using small pieces of masking tape.

Hands -Positive/Negative

This is a simple positive/negative lesson I do with younger children. Start with a 12'' square paper and 2 colors of 6'' paper, 3 each. Students will draw their hand onto one-do not touch the sides or top, and cut out. Trace the one hand onto the other 5. Cut all out, saving both the outside part and the inside hand.( positive and negative ) Arrange the pieces in a balanced design on the 12''square paper, and then let them glue it. Simple, easy, and may use any shape that can be easily reproduced.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I found this idea on another art blog. I really liked it, so I changed it up a little and tried it out with second grade. It has been very successful. They loved doing it and all of them came out great, as you can see from the  photos of a few of them.  We drew the nutcraker step by step using basic shapes, outlined it with sharpie and then painted with cake tempera the first week. The second week we went over anything we needed to touch up with sharpie, cut them out, glued them on the black paper and added glitter. I love the project, will definitely do it again.

Mosaic Penguin

What you'll need:
1 sheet light blue construction paper
Construction paper: black, white, orange, and red
Glue stick
Black marker
How to make it:
Place pattern on top of the light blue construction paper and trace it with a pen. This will create an indent in the blue paper.Add a simple line behind the penguin's body, just a few inches above the penguin's foot. This is the land.
Tear white and black construction paper into strips, and then tear the strips into squares.
Remove pattern. Apply glue with glue stick to small areas of the blue paper, using the indentations as a guide. Start with the "land" area first, pressing white paper scraps in place.
Still working in small areas (so that your glue doesn't dry before you get to it) press on all the black paper areas. Finish with the white area in the center of the penguin.
Tear or cut out a triangle beak from the orange paper and glue on to the face. Use black marker to add two eyes and eyebrows. Tear or cut out a bow tie from red paper and glue in place under the beak.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Majolica pottery

Majolica pottery demonstrates that a beautiful idea can travel
the globe! During China’s Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), potters
used cobalt, an Arabian mineral, to create a dark blue glaze to
contrast with China’s white porcelain clays.
Later, Islamic potters mimicked the look with their reddish, iron rich
clays by painting bright oxides and stains on a tin-glazed,
opaque white background. Their wares became as popular as
Chinese Ming pottery and often were shipped from Spain to Italy
via the port of Majorca, an island off Spain’s eastern coast.
Pottery painted with colors over a white base became known
as “majolica” and was widely produced in Italy during the
Renaissance. Florentines Lucca and Andrea de la Robbia were
the best-known majolica clay artists, creating large religious relief
sculptures glazed with bright colors on a gloss-white base.

Preparation: Gather photographs of Ming Dynasty
pottery as well as Islamic and Italian pottery in the majolica
style. Display in the classroom resources that explain the style’s
movement across cultures.
With the students:
1 Start with a baseball-sized lump of clay (about 1 pound)
for a small goblet and an orange-sized lump (about
1 ½ pounds) for a larger one.
2 Make a pinch pot:
• Roll less than half of your clay between your palms or
against the tabletop into a perfectly round, egg-sized
• Push your thumb about halfway into the center of the
ball and turn it, pinching the clay gently between your
thumb and fingers. Focus on the thick parts, pulling
upward and inward to create uniform walls and a tall
tulip shape (not a cereal bowl). Keep the rim thick
enough to prevent cracks.
• Tap the bottom of the pot gently on a table to flatten
it slightly.
• Invert the pot on a small board or piece of cardboard.
3 Roll the remaining clay on the tabletop into several ropes
the diameter of your little finger. Set aside the best rope for
the rim, covering it with plastic.
4 Score and slip the bottom of the pinch pot. Then score and
slip the ropes and coil them atop it, pressing them gently
together. Make the coils close and tight near the pinch
pot, where fingers will grip the goblet, and coil the ropes
upward to the goblet’s desired height.
5 Turn goblet right side up. Gently tap the base coil flat so
the goblet is stable and the rim is parallel to the tabletop.
6 Score and slip the pinch pot rim and place the reserved rope
atop it. With a wooden tool or your finger, gently smooth
the joint, affixing the rope firmly and tidily to the rim.
7 Texture, stamp and sprig goblet as desired. Support goblet
gently with your fingers as you texture or stamp it; score
and slip any sprigs and clay pieces you add to the goblet.
8 Turn goblet upside down to dry. Check that the base is
parallel to the tabletop.
If you choose:
Decorate the goblet with the majolica technique:
• Brush two to three coats of lead-free
White (LG-11) using a wide brush. Glaze evenly onto
cone 04 bisque-fired goblets. Glaze may be applied onto
bone-dry greenware (without bisque-firing first) but
beware as the pieces would be very fragile.
• Paint images and designs by brushing one to three coats
of Gloss Decorating Colors over the dry Opaque
White Glaze to emulate true majolica. Fewer coats give a
translucent, watercolor effect.
• When dry, fire to cone 05. Do so slowly if you have
applied glaze to bone-dry greenware.



1. tissue paper (brown, purple, blue, yellow,
red, orange and green)
2. (1) 9" x 12" piece of newsprint
3. (l)9"x 12" white construction paper
4. liquid starch
5. paint brush
6. black crayon

  • Steps:
    1. Cut a cornucopia out of brown tissue paper. Cut various fruit shapes from the other
    colors of tissue paper.
    2. Have children arrange their design first on newsprint.
    3. Paint the white construction paper with liquid starch. Move the arrangement from
    the newsprint to the white paper, one piece at a time. Go over the top of each piece
    lightly with the liquid starch. Be careful not to go over the edges so the colors won't
    4. Outline the design with crayon after it is dry. The colors of the tissue will have run a
    bit and this makes it more interesting. Outline the original fruit design.