Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blog Recommendation!

Whenever someone comments on my blog, I like to click on their profile to see if they also have a blog. I figure that if they like my posts, they must have good style! Last week, I discovered a new blog this way that I think is incredibly useful. It is called "Ms. Gram's Artopedia." 

Ms. Gram is a first year art teacher who blogs about books that are useful in the elementary art room. The books are all organized by topic and/or the artist is is about. I love to use books with my first and second grade classes and I was thrilled to find this resource. Check out her blog!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Skeletal Fun!

I have a plastic skeleton in my classroom that has been here for years. Last year, I began moving the skeleton around the room from time to time to have a little fun. It started out on top of a cabinet, relaxed and reading a book. Later I moved it to a plastic bottle cap bin and made it look like it had gotten stuck inside. My students get a big kick out of the skeleton, so this year I decided it needed a Halloween costume. I used some fishing line to rig it so it would hang from the ceiling just like the classic Spiderman pose. This is why being the art teacher is the best job in the whole school.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

5th Grade Personal Logos

Each finished piece shows multiple drafts to show how the logo evolved.
Example of the artist statement attached to each piece.
This one goes with the image above it. 
This is a lesson plan I just wrote this fall and I think it has been my favorite to teach so far this year. I'm writing several new plans for 5th grade that are based on careers in art. I'm hoping to show them all of the possibilities that are out there. I don't think that most students (or people in general) are aware of the amount of jobs that are directly related to art.

For this project, each student created a personal logo. We started out by talking about famous logos and discussing similarities between them. We decided that most logos are fairly simple and that sometimes logos evolve over time as people become more familiar with them. 

I was incredibly impressed with the outcome of this project. My students came up with some amazing logos. Students used the design process to help them come up with their final logos. They started with thumbnail sketches before conducting peer reviews, making a second draft, discussing their work in a class critique, and making the final version. I had them include parts of their first and second drafts along with their final logo to show the progression of their idea. I will definitely be doing this project again next year.

Please feel free to use my lesson plan!

Monday, October 8, 2012

4th Grade Totem Poles

I think this project is pretty popular. I see it pop up on Pinterest all the time. My students and I certainly like it. This is the second year I have had my students do their final project using cut paper. It really works 100% better than paint. 

The emphasis of this project is the concept of stylization. The artwork of the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest is very unique. I have found several good resources about specific shapes used in making totem poles that have been very helpful to my students. I tell my students to fill up 95-100% of the paper. I tell them to pretend like their paper is a little glass box that they have to push the animal into. It is a struggle to some students at first, but the concept eventually clicks. 

If you are new to my blog, you're in for a treat. I post all of the lesson plans I write. For free! Feel free to use them in your classroom. Check out the lesson plan for this project here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

2nd Grade Expanded Images

Another round for this project. I think I may replace this project next year. It is one that the kids really enjoy, but I don't get the overall results that I'd really like to see. 

Essentially, I use this as a warm-up project for the year. Each student gets to select an image from a magazine. They cut it out, then glue it on a large piece of paper. Next, they use their imagination to decide what else is going on in the picture. I tend to get a lot of aliens and monsters. They paint using watercolors and I have them focus on trying to make sure their colors don't mix. 

I really enjoy what the kids come up with in their drawings. It's really cool to see how their brains work when they have a very open-ended assignment. Again, I'm not going to post a full lesson plan for this project due to the fact that it's pretty simple to figure out. Look out for more posts next week. I have several projects that will be finished throughout this week!