Thursday, January 30, 2014

Upcoming Super Fun Time!

Stop Motion: The only project in which a 7 foot cardboard shark eats a 5th grader.
8-Bit Portraits
More stop motion hilarity.
Collagraph quotes. Awesome. 
 I'll be that first picture got your attention. What is it? Oh, just a 7' cardboard shark (complete with a hinged jaw) eating one of my 5th grade boys. This is reason I love totally opening up my stop motion project. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm in the middle of a bunch of really fun projects that aren't finished yet. I'm too excited about them, so I'm posting a few preview pictures. 

5th grade has been working on stop motion forever. (The flying cat is also from the stop motion project.) Most classes are nearly finished filming, so all there is left is to edit in iMovie and add voices. I'm excited to see how the animation turns out this year. 

4th grade is nearly finished with a new lesson I wrote. Growing up in the 80's I was totally into some of the early video games. I based a portrait/character project on the video game graphics of that era. Each student is making an 8-bit version of themselves. Very fun.

3rd grade has recently started a collagraph printmaking project that I adapted from something I saw on Pinterest. They are choosing a quote that is personally meaningful and working with foam and chipboard to create the print. This is the first time I've done the lesson and I'm thrilled with the work so far. More pictures to come!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ancient Maps by 3rd Grade

I'm trying really hard to incorporate many new projects into my curriculum this school year. I usually add in a few new lessons, but this year I've come up with quite a few brand new project ideas. This is one of those lessons. 

I'm working on my Master's plus 30 hours, so I've been taking graduate courses. My professional development plan is pretty wide open. Other art teachers reading this know exactly why. We don't just teach art. We teach everything; it just happens to look nice. Over the summer I took a course about maps. I had originally planned to create a pirate map lesson, but I was completely inspired by the artistry of old maps in general. The lesson focus turned into old maps in general, but added in many geography terms such as landforms that my third graders will learn more about next year in their academic classroom. As a bonus, I got to use the word "cartographer" over and over. Words are cool.

Essentially, I asked my students to create a map of an imaginary place. It could be based on a fairy tale or it could have been entirely made up. My students went nuts. I saw maps of fictional lands, video game worlds, cartoon worlds, fairy tale locations and many, many more. The drawing was first done in pencil, then inked with a thin Sharpie. Watercolor washes in limited colors were then added. When the painting was finished, I allowed the students to further age their maps by crumpling them and even burning the edges. Of course I wasn't using open fire in my classroom. The "fire" was simply wet on wet watercolors on torn edges of the maps. 

Click here to see my lesson plan!
Here is the handout that I put together for this lesson. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wild Things Printmaking by 2nd Grade

Welcome back to a chilly Ohio art room. Classes got off to a slow start after winter break due to the dreaded "Polar Vortex." We had wind chills here near 40 degrees below zero, so school was cancelled the first two days back from break. 

This project is just too much fun. My friend and colleague, Drew Jones came up with this lesson several years back and shared it with me. I've been using it since. I feel like this is a pretty strong printmaking project and it's inspired me over the last couple of years to come up with equally strong printmaking lessons for all of my other grade levels. Printmaking is something I enjoy, so it's been fun brainstorming and pinning ideas that I'll use later in the year. 

This particular project is inspired by the Maurice Sendak classic, "Where the Wild Things Are." It really allows my students to get really creative in designing their own wild thing. From a technical standpoint, this project is a pretty big jump from first grade where the printmaking was essentially just stamping. My students love the project as well as the process. 

Check out the lesson plan here!