Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Tree Quickie

We made these holiday trees today in the art room and the kids were so excited.  I used this plan for kindergarten, first, and pre-school and all levels were able to do them in one sitting with time left over for a holiday story.  First graders started their tree by drawing a big triangle then filling in with the side of a chalk pastel.  The idea is to get a little color on the page.  We blended the chalk with a tissue to soften the color.  Next, we added evergreen branches by stamping with the the edge of a small piece of cardboard.  When the branches were done the pastels and green paint was picked up and kids were given a palette with red, green, and blue paint.  They used one finger to dot on the lights and decorations.

Here's what I learned in doing this project....almost everyone wanted a star on top of their tree, so for the second class I had yellow pastels ready and we added that detail right from the get go.

Also...the project got a bit messy with the first kindergarten class. Chalk everywhere.  For the second class we used crayons to color the big green triangle, and the star.  We stamped as usual, but skipped the finger dotting.  They added decorations with the eraser end of a new pencil.  

For my pre-schoolers I drew the big triangle for them and they colored it in with crayons, stamped, and dotted.   Everything done in on session and ready to hang on the fridge for the holiday.

This lesson was inspired by the amazing blog Creativity First.  Check it out here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Poinsettia to Do Today

If you're looking for a quick holiday project idea that you can do today and cover the idea of tints, shades and complementary colors this is it.  This was a fun and engaging for my sixth graders.  The painting can be done in a day, but we discovered the project looks great if you take the time to cut out the flowers and mount them on red paper.  That's what we did with ours.  We got tons of compliments on them and they are on their way to deck the stage for the holiday musical.  Sorry I don't have photos of that step, but we experienced a bit of a time crunch this afternoon.
To make our poinsettias students used a piece of light colored chalk to mark out the place for the center of the flower.  Magenta was added to white to make the pink tints.  My students began by painting in a few radiating lines, like spokes on a wheel to keep their petals straight.  More petals were added to fill out the flower.  A bit of green was added to white to make a tint of green for the leaves and the leaves were painted in.  We didn't bother rinsing our brushes today, just wiped them on a paper towel between color changes.
Using a smaller brush green veins were painted on the pink leaves and pink veins were painted on the green leaves.  We dotted in the center of the flower with the back of the brush.
Cut loosely around the flower when dry leaving a bit of white paper and glue on red background....Stunning!
This is not my project...I found it on Pinterest.  Unfortunately it was an "uploaded by user" photo without a source.  If this is your project please leave a comment so I can credit your fabulous idea.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Scratch Art Owls

Grades 3, 4, and 5 have been working on Scratch Art this month. Here is some fifth grade work that turned out really well.  We made our own rainbow scratch boards for this project and reviewed the colors of the spectrum in proper sequence then used crayon to lay our base layer down in an interesting pattern.  Black oil pastel was used to cover the crayon and a rough draft design was created from reference photos.
When students were happy with their design the transferred it to the scratch board by laying the sketch on top of the scratch board and going over their lines with a pencil.  The faint transfer lines were etched into the scratch board with the end of a Popsicle stick and patterns were added.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's Pumpking Time!

I guess you know you're behind on posting when still posting fall things as winter begins.  This lesson has been floating around the web and is so cute I thought I'd give it a try this year and found it to be a great early art activity for the little guys.  I'm on the cart and am always looking for ideas that are easy to organize and implement in the kindergarten room and this fit the bill, plus it gave us time to work on naming and  cutting basic shapes, practicing careful gluing, and arranging shapes to represent the features of the face.  
To begin I gave each child a black 9 X 12 inch paper on which I had glued a large white oval.  We read "It's Pumpkin Time", which is available in big book format.  We mixed up some orange paint and painted our pumpkins on day one. 

On day two students were shown how to cut a circle from a square by carefully snipping the corners, and how to cut an oval from a rectangle in the same way.  Long strips of paper trims were handed out for snipping teeth. 
I've switched over to using Elmer's tiniest glue bottles for all my students.  Yes, they're kind of a pain to refill, but they are easy to handle and don't clog up like the big bottles.  We practiced opening and closing the bottles and using small dots of glue.  I love these little bottles because kids don't seem to engage in excessive squeezing or become mesmerized with falling glue like they do with the larger size.
I really love Shari Halpern's illustrations in  "It's Pumpkin Time". so bright and cheery.  And the big book format can't be beat.  I found a cute little" life of a pumpkin" sequencing PDF to use as a filler activity for early finishers and you can check it out  here .
Another lovely book illustrated by Shari Halpern that would be a great accompaniment to apple printing or other fall inspiring art.

A little late for this year, but bookmark it for next year!  Love those robins.