Thursday, October 27, 2011

Having too much fun during conferences...

So....last night was the 2nd night of parent teacher conferences. At my school, parents schedule time to speak to classroom teachers, but I usually don't have too many that stop by the art room. I usually will work on getting caught up on grading work and do other little things that I get behind on during the course of the year. Yesterday I decided to do something a little more fun. You're seeing the results of my not working on grades! Carving like this is done almost entirely with loop tools that are traditionally used for clay. It was a great way to spend my extra hours at school!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

5th Grade Keith Haring Social Cause Posters

This is another project that I enjoy beginning the year with. In 5th grade, I design projects to push the boundaries of what students have done in art before. My lessons for 5th grade are increasingly complex, either technically or intellectually. This particular project is inspired by the work of Keith Haring.

Instead of starting out with a Keynote presentation, I start this one old school. I break out a class set of Scholastic Art magazines from 1998. We start the project by reading a couple of short articles about Haring's life and artwork. After talking about Haring's style, I focus the class on major themes in Haring's work. We talk about major social causes that Haring addresses with his work. Each student chooses an important social cause to make artwork about using Haring's style. It takes a whole different thought process than most students are used to using. I have them focus on boiling down all of their ideas into just a few key images that will get their point across without the use of any text. It is a challenge, but most students end up with very powerful work. 

Download this lesson plan!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

4th Grade Totem Poles

4th graders just finished a lesson about totem poles. Students learned about the significance of totem poles and that they were (and still are) made by native tribes who lived in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. 

The big word for this project was stylize. We learned that some artists stylize their work by changing shapes, colors, etc. in order to give their work their own personal touch. Each student created one stylized animal in the style of a real totem pole. (There are some great resources on totem pole parts online here. Unfortunately, I didn't find this until we were almost done with the project!) In the past, I had kids paint the finished product, but I decided to try collage this year after seeing an example from another blog last year. I really like how clean the collage is. More importantly, the students were more successful using collage.

My lesson plan can be found here
My keynote for this lesson is here
A PDF version of my keynote can be downloaded here.
Feel free to use or modify for your own room!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

3rd Grade Aboriginal Animals

For some reason, I really enjoy beginning the year with this project for 3rd grade. It is a nice combination of drawing, pastel, collage, and painting so it gets the students back into the swing of things. For this project, we study the art of the Aboriginal people of Australia. Each student chooses an Australian animal and begins by doing an "x-ray" drawing of the animal on construction paper. These drawings are colored using oil pastels. Next, backgrounds are designed using a different color of construction paper. This really makes the animals pop. Usually, the simpler the design, the better the background comes out. Finally, students used q-tips and a limited range of colors to paint the background. 

The lesson plan can be found here.
My keynote is here.
Please feel free to use these in your classroom!