Showing posts with label 2nd grade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2nd grade. Show all posts

Friday, June 6, 2014

Projects for Pacon!

completed project idea ~ 'Designing Negative Space'
When I was at the NAEA convention in San Diego, in the vendor area, a gal from Pacon was looking for art bloggers willing to write up lessons incorporating a new material that they would send for you to sample.  I thought this sounded like a fun challenge, so I accepted the offer.  In return, I received their new Pacon Basic Black Drawing Paper in three forms: a package of 9"x12" sheets, a spiral sketchbook of the same size, and a large project roll.  The paper is especially designed for use with gel pens and metallic markers.
completed project idea ~  'Getting Buggy: Still Life Collage'
I used the spiral pad as a place to experiment, and I discovered that the gel pens I was using did not show up well.  Since the paper is intended for use with gel pens, I contacted the rep and she immediately popped a set of Sakura GellyRoll Moonlight Gel Pens in the mail to me, and yay, they worked fabulously on the black paper!  I definitely recommend them.  I also had success with a variety of metallic markers (also recommended for use with this paper), with Faber Castell Metallic Gel Sticks, and white acrylic ink (using a bamboo pen).  I'm not going to show you all my fun doodles, but I must say, I do love the idea of a black sketchpad!  Next I'm going to be using the sketchpad to test white charcoal pencil and some white and sepia-tone conte, and I expect they might both work well. 
completed project idea ~ 'Wacky Woven Flying Carpet'
About the black paper - it is lighter weight than construction paper, with a very smooth surface on one side and a slight tooth on the other.  Due to its light weight, I don't think I'd recommend it for wet media.  While I haven't yet tried it (but I will), I think the paper would suit well for some folding and curling techniques.  The only criticism I have of the paper is that the black is not a deep rich black, but actually more on the gray side of black.  But of course, that means that a black Sharpie shows up on it for adding subtle detail, so that's kind of cool, isn't it?

Anyhow, in typical fashion, I went overboard and I developed three lesson ideas, all using the 9"x12" paper, and I'd like to share them with you.  I haven't come up with any fabulous ideas for the larger size paper yet, since the fine points of gel pens and metallic markers lend themselves more to small sizes.  But like I said, maybe a folding/rolling/curling type of project?
My first lesson idea (pictured above, below, and at the top of the post) is the simplest: an easy project I called 'Designing Negative Space'.  With a white gel pen, I traced an ordinary object (I used a scissors) many times on a sheet of the Pacon black paper, turning it in various directions, overlapping, and even going right over the edge of the paper.  The idea would be to talk with students about balance, repetition, and movement to create good a composition.  Then I filled in all the sections of negative space, using repeating patterns and designs.  Again, I used the GellyRoll  pens for this.

The second project 'Getting Buggy: Still Life Collage' is my favorite, but has more steps.  I referred to the artwork of Dutch artist Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750), whose lush still life paintings always include 'creepy-crawlies' (insects, spiders, small lizards, butterflies, snails, inchworms, etc) tucked in among the flowers and on the tables. Here are a few images of her paintings:
I decided to make a colorful flower still life collage with bugs in it, to bring this to an elementary level.  The backgrounds of her paintings are usually dark, so I selected a deep blue Tru-Ray construction paper for the background (12"x18"), a piece of brown Tru-Ray for the table (6"x12"), and a piece of the 9"x12" Pacon Basic Black Drawing Paper for the vase.  (Definitely not as dark as hers!)  I folded the black paper in 1/2 like a book, and with the fold on the side drew a gentle 'S' curve from the top to the bottom.  I cut on that line and unfolded the paper to discover my vase, which I then glued on the table in my artwork and decorated with the metallic gel sticks.
I drew a bunch of insects with the gel pens (and addeed some black Sharpie detail) on the Pacon black paper, and cut around them loosely.  On assorted scraps of Tru-Ray construction paper, I drew some simple flower and leaf shapes, stacked some pieces together and cut them all out.  I then arranged them, including the bugs I had created, and glued it all together.  Finally, I used the gel markers to add details - veins on the leaves, lines on the flower petals, dots in the centers of flowers, and so on.  I enjoyed making my sample, and I think this could be a really fun lesson to do with kids!

The final project is called 'Wacky Woven Flying Carpets', and is similar to a 2nd grade paper weaving project I have posted about before on this blog.  (Hint: it is much less complicated than it looks!)  I won't give you all the process details here,  but I will mention that all the black paper in the weaving is the Basic Black Drawing Paper and was decorated with the gel pens.  My idea is that after the paper weaving and patterning techniques are all complete, the weavings would be displayed on a sky mural, and that the students could have fun creating whatever should ride on their flying carpets:  cats on carpets? (I've done that before); rattlesnakes on rugs?; flying french fries?... you get the idea!  Silly is good!!! Or, the weavings can just be backed with construction paper as I did in the 2nd image below, for use in a display about repeating pattern and design. 
If you want more information about the paper I was provided to use for these lessons, you can find links to it here: Basic Black Sketch Diary, Basic Black Drawing Paper 9"x12", and Basic Black Art Roll 24"x10'.  And if you've never visited the Pacon website before, here is where you will find assorted projects and lesson plans.  And here's a link to their Facebook page.  I'm hopeful that in the near future you will find the full details of  my three lesson ideas included on their website!  Yippee!!!!

And finally - I enjoyed coming up with ideas how to use this paper, and I want to say  THANK YOU to Jessica at Pacon for giving me the materials and the opportunity.  It was fun! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

You Gotta Have Heart(s)!

 I first posted this lesson (with these pictures and much of the text) two years ago, February 2012.   I thought it would be fun to share it with you again today, with Valentine's day in barely a week.

 The fun (and messy) quickie lesson took two sessions, but turned out to be a lot tougher for my 2nd graders than I expected, though in the end everyone was successful and happy, and the hallway display got rave reviews! 
  The kids began by choosing 2 colors of tissue paper, and cutting out hearts (this was a hard part). We used our papier-mache paste ("art paste") to glue them down with a paintbrush.

Then everyone took one toilet paper tube and crunched it into a heart shape for printing. Thanks to the blogger who recommended this to me, though I could not find where or who that was. The kids had a hard time making the heart shape, so I went around the room and crunched for them. They LOVED stamping the hearts! I let them use both ends of the tube, and a few kids discovered they were also making heart stamps in their palms, because of the paint on both ends. They were SO excited about this!
 We completed these by selecting a construction paper mat for a border, and then using a thin Sharpie and other thin markers to write things we love, and to add more design and color. I was tickled at how many kids wrote "I love art" or "I love my art teacher". Some of their spelling is pretty funny, but I really likeD what they wrote. A lot of them wrote "I love myself"! I guess they have pretty strong self-images. Hmmm...

Here's the bunch of them all displayed together on one hallway bulletin board.  
I hope you enjoyed this 'vintage' lesson from my blog!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Return of the Texture Fauves

 I've been looking through my blog stats, and I want to, from time to time, bring back some stuff from a few old posts that never got many views on their first runs, because I think they deserve a 2nd chance!  So these images were originally posted here, in December 2010.

My 2nd grade students had been learning about Matisse and fauvism, had done a Matisse goldfish bowl painting project, and knew that the word 'fauve' means 'wild beast'. We also had previously done some work with textures, so they knew the meaning of the word.  So to use up some junk accumulating in the art room, the kids created these 'texture fauves' - wild beasts or creatures made out of various textural materials, mostly recyclable.  We had fabric scraps, pieces of foam, ribbon, lace, corrugated cardboard scraps, pompoms, feathers, doilies, toothpicks, wood shapes, and of course some wiggle eyes just for fun.
I purposely showed them NO examples, so they would use their own imaginations and creative thinking to solve the challenge.  They were given scissors, bottles of Elmer's Glue-All, and a piece of scrap mat board each for background, and I had all the assorted junk materials arranged on my counter-top. 
While most kids used lots of materials, I especially love the simplicity of this amazing shark (above) cut from just a few scraps of foam!  Bravo!
 Don't you love the written explanation on this one (above)?
 The kids were given the option of using construction paper crayons to alter the negative space, as you can see on the piece below in particular. 
  Straight from my prior post, these were the only rules/guidelines that were given:
  1. Nothing sticking up off the board (the artwork should fit in the drying rack).
  2. No blood or weapons.
  3. You had to be able to tell it was a beast or creature.
  4. Students could only take one thing from the selection at a time, and had to return stuff the same way it was found (ribbon rolled up, feather bucket closed, etc).
  5. Everything had to be glued down by counting to at least 10.
Since the students had to get up from their seats numerous times to retrieve materials, I had them take their scissors with them (to cut off a piece of ribbon, for example, rather than taking all the ribbon to their tables).  So we practiced the 'scissor rap', complete with hand gestures and sassy attitudes:  "Points down, hands around, points down, hand around!" 

I hope you have enjoyed this repeat performance! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Seems weird not to be doing these...

I get bored easily, so in my years as an elementary art teacher, I would continually try out new ideas with my students, and I liked to introduce the kids to different artists each year. When I repeated a project or idea, I tried to give it a new 'spin'. But there were certain projects I did every year without fail, and never tired of them (I suppose that's like a singer singing the same favorite song in concert after concert, year after year).  They were the projects everyone expected to see, no matter what.

But this year, I am retired, and this time of year, four particular annual projects are on my mind, and are not likely to be in my replacement's repertoire.

Thumbprint Pussywillows!
 *Note: the pussywillow pic at the top of this post was found on facebook, and I apologize that I do not know the source.  But it's so cute I wanted to share it with you!  
Before everything starts to blossom and bloom in the spring, there are the pussywillows! Year after year, in early March, I have slogged around in melting snow to find pussywillows and bring them to school for my kindergartners to see and touch. In years where I couldn't find them outside, I resorted to purchasing them in the floral department of my local supermarkets.  I'd put some on each table, and we would examine how the black seed pods would open and let the little soft silvery pussywillows out.  The kids would color a vase, and maybe a table, on colored construction paper, and draw the stems and seed pods.  Then, with tempera paint (a mix of white with a dab of black and a hint of silver) they would use their little thumbs to stamp the soft fluffs.

Spring Hats!
You may call them Easter bonnets, but this little Jewish art teacher (me) simply called them spring hats, and my kindergartners made them every year before spring break. The materials were paper plates with a hole punched on each side and a ribbon or hunk of fat yarn strung through, colored paper tape, scissors, and moist sponges to activate the glue on the paper tape.  The kids learned how to fold, cut, bend, twist, and curl the tape, and the hats became as crazy as they wanted.  Here's a group of happy kindergartners!

Teddy Bear Chairs! 
The 2nd graders in my school district take an annual springtime field trip to tour the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory,  traveling by ferry across Lake Champlain to get there.  Many of the students purchase a Build-a-Bear while at the factory, plus they all have some sort of stuffed animal friend at home.  So each year, my 2nd grade students built teddy bear chairs, out of 4 toilet paper cores (the legs), 2 paper towel cores (the back supports),  two 7" squares of cardboard from shipping cartons (the seat and the back), and Elmer's Glue-All.  We painted them either with acrylic paints, or tempera covered with a tempera varnish or Mod Podge to seal the paint.  I think my replacement has chosen to make bear beds instead, and I'm sure they will be adorable.  But they won't be the chairs!

Q-Tip Lilacs! 
I have some lilac trees in my backyard.  Every year when they bloomed, I would cut big bunches of them and bring them to my art room, putting a vase full of fragrant flowers on every table.  Ahhh!! Every year, one first grade teacher, upon smelling the flowers, would say this to her little ones: "Do your very best today!  This is my favorite project!  I will hang them all up for Author's Day!"  Then the students would create a vase, a table, stems, and leaves, and finally paint the flowers using Q-Tips with with various tints of violet, lilac, blue, pink, and white.  Over the years, the vase, table, stems and laves were done with various materials: crayon, oil pastel, collage, etc., but the flowers always were exuberantly painted with cotton swabs. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Three Little Kittens - a morning surprise!

Today started with sweet 2nd grader Vivi coming to my room to show me her creations.

Let me back up. When Vivi came to kindergarten, from Mexico, dressed like a little princess in homemade dresses with lace and bows, she didn't speak a word of English. As a matter of fact, she didn't speak a WORD her whole kindergarten year in art class. I was worried, but she always drew beautiful pictures so I knew there was a child inside the beautiful exterior.

Beautiful, shy, artistic Vivi seems to enjoy art class, but even now, she is still soft-spoken, and rarely initiates any conversation with me. So today's visit was a surprise. My morning began first with a phone call from her teacher, telling me Vivi was on her way to my room to show me kittens she had made from boxes. He called me in case she couldn't/wouldn't actually verbalize why she had come to see me.

Simple and cute, these kittens were made from tiny boxes. I asked her questions, and SHE ANSWERED!! She said that she made them herself and nobody showed her how! Don't you love the little paw sticking up on the kitty on the right?

Below is momma kitty.

And here's the kicker: the two kittens fit INSIDE of momma kitty!

Vivi told me she had two more boxes, pink and purple, and she was going to make a kitty for ME! Her visit got my day off to the best kind of start!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sneak Peek - Garden Gnomes

Here's a look at our gnomes in progress! They should be finished next week.
And of course there will be gardens for the gnomes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Here Comes the Sun... 2nd graders & Laurel Burch

My 2nd graders looked at the "Celestial Dreams" designs of the fabulous Laurel Burch.
Here are a couple of samples of her artwork that I shared:

The kids said my window-shade (pic below) reminded them of Laurel Burch's suns. Thanks, kids!

The kids drew on 18" square paper, each incorporating some sort of frame into their design. Some drew suns and moons in a split design; others did just suns. They painted solid areas of color with bright pre-mixed tempera colors, mimicking the colors of Laurel Burch. Then they used oil pastels to add pattern, outline, and extra details. I'm so proud of their exuberant work!

Here's a couple of bulletin boards full of them. So cheerful!