Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What we've been up to - busy busy!

I've been doing a little lesson stealing. This layered landscape lesson was taken from a School Arts magazine in ...2003!! My kindergartners have been enjoying it ever since. The kids start with 4 black "landscape lines", and then color in between with chalk pastel, rubbing each color with a finger and tapping the dust off onto newspaper. They are so proud! One little boy kept scratching his face and looked like he was growing a beard. The classroom teacher and I were in stitches - he was just TOO cute, with loopy blond curls, apple cheeks, and a chalk beard and mustache!

And here's another couple of stolen lessons - so many of you have done the "Giraffes Can't Dance" lesson, but I originally "stole" it from the wonderful Patty at This work was done by my first graders.

Meanwhile, I've been making teddy bear chairs with my 2nd graders for years, since they tour the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory every spring. I think the original motivation for this lesson came from School Arts magazine.

These two lessons above were not stolen; they're mine! A couple of weeks ago, my kindergartners made these fingerprint rainbows. In our next art class, the kids colored a sunshine and painted blue skies. While they were drying, they cut out their rainbows and made some clouds out of bumpy Braille paper that was given to me. Then they glued them all together! Ironically, a few days ago I found a similar rainbow project posted here: I guess that's proof that our brains are working in parallel universes!

The ice cream cones, which we are (obviously) just beginning in grade 4, happened for 2 reasons. First of all, our Artist of the Month (officially for May, but we already began) is Wayne Thiebaud. Second of all, I was "gifted" with about a zillion paper cones. So it seemed like fate! The instructions were simple, and we are working with a short time frame to get them done, so the rule was this: build the structure in one class. Some kids put on one scoop, some two, some three, some four...and I think the one on the left was the biggest at 5 scoops plus a cherry on top.

Meanwhile, my 3rd graders still have more work to do to complete their papier-mache masks, 5th graders are loving blind contour drawing and learning about their right brains, and 6th graders are making AWESOME African-inspired masks with tooling foil.


  1. Forgot to say - you'll see more of all of these when we have our art show in 3 short weeks. There were other pics I tried to post that came in sideways, but I didn't feel like turning my head sideways to look at them, so I deleted them.

  2. It all looks like great fun, but I absolutely ADORE the ice cream cones!!!!

  3. Thanks Christie - I'm toying with whether to have the kids paint or use tissue collage. I planned on the tissue, but then discovered I have NO brown. As a chocoholic, it seems pretty criminal to not have brown as a choice - so we may paint after all.

    Anyhow, these would be a good complement to your cupcakes!

  4. I see some great projects happening in your art room. Great job!
    By the way, I had a LONG response to your post about the art show, but I did it from my phone and it somehow didn't post. Just wanted you to know that I was thinking about you!

  5. I have found since I started following blogs that many of my projects that were mine, are also someone else's, across the country, and even the ocean. In some cases it has caused to teak and improve a current projects.

  6. Phyl, I love that landscape line lesson! The color choices for the chalk pastel are wonderful.