Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Creative Corner

When students finish a project early I usually will give them odd jobs or have them help me with a task around the classroom. If there is nothing to do, or they complete the extra task ahead of time, they are allowed to go to "Creative Corner". I have a back corner in my room sectioned off with book shelves which are filled with drawing books, activities, blocks, puzzles, creative challenges, etc. All activities challenge creative problem solving skills.

The pictures below are from a 2nd grade class. EVERYONE finished 15 minutes early (im thinking I forgot to review something...) Anyways, they have been craving "Creative Corner" for weeks now so I thought letting their minds wander for a bit in the world of unbridled creativity was just fine for me:)

Black lounge chairs available to those want to read a book
(I try to change the books and correlate them with what we are doing in the classroom).
These students are attempting to decode a "minds eye"!

This is a "creativity challenge".
The drawing paper has two lines  printed on it and the student
must finish the drawing being as creative and original as possible.
She has chosen to make a clown:)

Four students working together to unblock a "traffic jam"

The smaller foam shapes were used in a challenge to
create robots that do your homework for you:)

Todays challenge with the large wooden blocks was to create a time machine
for Ms.L to travel back in time to meet Vincent Van Gogh:)
Sadly they only had time to build the planet and not the worm hole...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Art Historific!

WHY ART?: A Timeline Story of Art History(Part One)

So great! Would love to try something like this some day in my classroom. We have acted out concepts before but never at this scope and never across ALL age groups! This is what learning looks like...

Part Two! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dale Chihuly!

I have quickly discovered it does not take a lot of my energy to get students motivated to begin a Dale Chihuly inspired project, his work truly speaks for itself! Every grade level is exploring his style of glassblowing and loving every minute of it. I have seen a lot of different projects on blogs and through search engines, chandeliers in particular, and almost all have really impressive results. Below I have posted a 2nd grade project that was created in once class period using permanent markers on recycled plastic water bottels... 

The starting inspiration for this project came from the blog Art Bait
For my interpretation, I left the color exploration up to the students and gave one guide line, all clear plastic must be covered...

I made a start cut in the plastic so the students could easily cut a spiral. I assembled the waterbottels around a large thick cardboard tube using a hot glue gun. We made three chandeliers in total and have gifted them to various location in the community, one being the elementary schools main office!  

More Chihuly projects to come! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shibori: Japanese Resist Dye (4th Grade)

Shibori is a fabric resist dying technique from Japan that uses different methods of stitching, binding, knotting, compressing, and folding fabric to resist dye from being absorbed.

In my 4th grade class, students used 100% cotton fabric, watered down acrylic fabric paints, and clothes pins to create their very own Shibori fabric art!

1) Write name on fabric with sharpie (I used approximately 12"x18" sized pieces of fabric)
2) Dip fabric in water and then wring it out
3) Lay flat on table and fold like an accordion (1" wide)
4) Place clothes pins on damp fabric compressing the places you want to resist dye
5) Place compressed fabric in plastic tub and pick 2 of the 3 primary colors
6) Saturate the top of the fabric with dye
6) Turn fabric over to back and fill in any white spaces
7) Let sit for a minimum 2 hours (I let mine sit until the end of the day)
8) Take off clothes pins and press folded fabric between two towels to absorb any excess dye
9) Open up fabric and lay flat on drying rack over night
10) Once dry trim off frayed fabric edges with a pair of fabric scissors

Step 7: let compressed fabric sit for a couple hours
Steps 7-9
Optional: During the next class period I had students use embroidery floss to stitch a 1" fold on the top of their fabric. This allows us to place a dowel through the fabric and hang it for display! (for the dowel I bought a 100 piece package of thin kabob skewers from the dollar store and hot glued them together in pairs to make them longer.)

Overall a fun project that was fairly inexpensive. The fabric was covered by the local lions club and the fabric paints were donated by another classroom teacher. You can go and splurge on the Dynaflo fabric paints or other expensive dyes, but truly if you are not going to wash the fabrics there is no need to spend the money!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gyotaku Inspired Collographs (5th)

A print before color was added

Students first learned about Gyotaku and collographs printing. They then sketch out some fish designs and picked one to be the inspiration for their final fish. I gave them a print out that had a variety of fish images on it for them to work from. After coming up with some ideas, students drew a fish on a 1'x1' piece of black tag board. 

On day 2 and 3 students cut and glued foam pieces over their tag board fish to create their collographs. I had them first focus on establishing an outline of their fish first emphasizing the need to include fins, tails, and scales in some way shape or form. A red signature seal was made when they finished on the third day. The signature seal was carved into a small piece of printing foam with a pencil. (They really got into the signature seal portion of the day making secret codes and discovering how to make letters not print backwards. Awesome creative problem solving opportunity for them. I kept my lips sealed and let them be the detectives)

Day 4 was printing day and time to add some color. I found it best for them to create a test print just to get the hang of the process. I had them do this on the back side of their final to save on paper. Once their final print was made, the fish was outlined and colored in with oil pastels (portfolio series oil pastels are my favorite for color mixing and blending, LOVE THEM!) The red signature seal stamp was the final step of the day. I'll post more pictures once the next 5th grade crew finishes! Definitely going to be doing this again. The kids loved it! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

More Scrolls! (2nd)

More 2nd grade scrolls, except this class painted their branches using "Y" and "V" tree techniques instead of blowing the ink arouns the page. I found that when the pastel was put on too thick the ink had trouble absorbing and instead rolled around the page. From beginning to end this project was truly trial and error for me. The good thing, each students had a beautiful artwork in the end! The pandas on these really give a special touch:)

Cherry Blossom Scrolls (2nd Grade)

These scrolls start with a chalk pastel blended background and india ink branches blown out with a straw.   

Students then used Craypas to create their blossoms and used a small red foam square to create their signature seal. (I wanted to purchase a real signature seal but could not find one so instead I created a seal using an exacto blade and an old pink eraser!)

Some classes ended up with extra time so we drew "Stillwater"the panda from the book "Zen Shorts" by Jon Muth. 

For displaying these lovely projects, I used hot glue to attach popsicle sticks together to ack like a dowel on the top, and glued a single popsicle stick to the bottom to give the scroll a bottom weight. A small red string to hang was the finishing touch. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gyotaku Texture Fish Prints (K-1)

Day 1: Students learned about Japanese Gyotaku prints and watched a short video demo. of an actual fish print taking place. After I got their attention was talked about fish prints and the country they originated from. Using the bottom of our shoes we used crayons to create a texture rubbing that would later become the body of our fish. After the rubbing was complete students added triangles for fins and half circles for scales. We then cut the fish out. 

Day 2: We learned about coral reefs and watched a short video that helped students understand how amazingly complex reefs can be. Using crayons, we drew plants and animals in our reefs. Then, using tissue paper dipped in water, we painted our plants, animals, and sea water in vibrant colors. The fish were glued on during the first ten minutes of their next art class! Woo hoo, FUN!

Cherry Blossom Scrolls (K-1)

I had posted about these projects in progress a couple weeks ago. Here are the finished products! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Koi Fish Scratch Art

Day 1: We learned about Japan and practiced drawing koi fish on half sheets of white drawing paper that we then colored. 

Day 2: Talked about organic vs. geomagnetic and warm vs. cool colors. Students folded the koi practice drawing in half and on the back side drew a line down the middle. One side was drawn on with organic lines and shapes, while the other was drawn on with geometric lines and shapes. Once the drawing was done, we used crayons to color one side in with warm colors and the other with cool. 

 Day 3: We reviewed warm vs. cool colors and organic vs. geometric shapes. Students drew a large final koi fish on stiff paper. The koi's body was drawn in with organic or geometric shapes. Students could then choose warm or cool colored crayons to fill in the drawn shapes. Crayons must be drawn with very hard to get a good coat of wax.

Day 4: We finished coloring fish and then used a flat foam brush to paint a light coat of black tempera over the entire koi drawing.

Day 5: FINALLY we got to scratch! Using overlapping half circles (or "Smiley's") students created scales and added fish details. If students finished early I had them work on a mural pond painting for our fish to be displayed on! yippie, a fun project!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean" by Kevin Sherry

One of my favorite books.... 
That stars one of my favorite animals from the sea.... 
And he has a mustache...
This is going to be a fun project!

After reading "I'm the best Artist in the Ocean" by Kevin Sherry my K-1 students learned step by step how to draw a squid. Nice large circles for eyes and eight wavy lines were key (that and the mustache our squid artist is so famous for having!). As they were drawing I went around the room and one-on-one asked each student to share with me what they are best at, what makes them sepcial. This was a great opportunity to give each one of my students some undivided attention. We had about ten minutes left at the end of class to pencil sketch out our final squids on a blue piece of 8.5"x11" paper. 

On day two we reviewed our squid facts. Them, using white cray-pas we colored in the eyes, and using "squid ink" (watered down black tempera) we traced our pencil lines very carefully to create a black outline. Emphasize the delicate application of paint. The results ate uniquely splendid. 

 Happy squid for all! The next part of this project will be paper squid sculptures! stay tuned...