One of my very favorite parts of teaching elementary art is demonstrating techniques and the work of the day. There are a few that really wow students and this project is definitely in that category.
This project is based on the book Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae. The book has a nice message about how everyone has their own talents. It also provides a platform for a really fun mixed media project.
Each student gets to draw their own dancing giraffe. I alway get a few really inventive poses each year. The giraffes are drawn and colored pretty simply. The background is where the fun comes in. A wet on wet tempera technique is used to make the moon "glow." I then demonstrate how to make the grass. I always say that of course grass is usually green as I dip a brush in yellow paint and start painting on the bottom of the paper. The kids immediately tell me that I messed up. I shrug and just keep going. I then paint green over the yellow, flip the brush over, and use the handle to scratch off the wet green paint to reveal the "grass" below. Kids (who are easily impressed to begin with) gasp with excitement. It's hilarious.
Click here to download my full lesson plan.