Saturday, June 21, 2014


 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th:

Autobiographical Flags and Imagine a Country Flags 

For the last week of school, I knew students needed a quick, but fun and intriguing project to work on. For my 1st-3rd graders, students studied various flags of the world, including, country and state flags, sports flags, college flags, maritime flags, racing flags, and medical flags (I never knew there were so many flags in the world!) We looked at overall design, logos, graphics. We realized that artists design flags and it's important to convey a message through a symbol or pictures instead of using text. We discussed the importance of flags and the different ways and reasons they are used. This was a fun project, as students loved looking a sport team flags they easily recognized and guessing at other flags and their meaning. We talked about ways to break up the space and design an initial lay out for a flag design. Students then drew pictures within the spaces to make their autobiographical flag. The flag was to describe the student's interests/hobbies/family/etc.

For 4th grade, they studied flags from other countries. We discussed common things that related the flags. Colors usually had a meaning. Certain pictures represent something (laural leaves-peace/eagle-strength/etc). White represented freedom, blue represented justice/red =bloodshed and war. Green=fertile land and gold/yellow=gold and ore. We noticed common symbols like stripes, stars, leaves.

Students were commissioned to design a flag for an imaginary country. They used colors and symbols to represent things within their country.

Students sketched out their design, traced with black sharpie. Then, the flag was colored with crayola markers. Students could add water with a brush to make the marker ink wet and have a painterly look. 

The pictures below are a mix of 1-4th.

2 pt perspective

 3rd Grade:

2 Pt Perspective

3rd Graders explored 2 pt perspective and some common terms such as, vanishing point, horizon line and othogonals. Students completed a 2 pt perspective drawing of a building (step-by-step). Students also measured in inches a bit to initially lay out horizon line and center vertical. It was good to see students making connections between math class and art class. We use measuring quite often in 3rd and 4th and it's good review for the students I find. Students also worked together a lot during this project. Students assisted each other by holding rulers in place to draw, measuring, and reminding each other of how many orthogonals to draw. Students added in doors, windows, signs and other details to personalize their building. Students also created a radial design sky on a separate paper (red or blue). The building was cut out and glued to the sky.
This project was also a victim to my loss of many pictures of this project when my computer was being revamped. (Uugh!) However, the students did love this project..I think the freedom to make their building into ANY kind was something the students really loved. I will plan to do this project again I am sure.

Steps We Did:

Draw a horizon line (about 7 in. from the top edge)

Add 2 vanishing points (far left and right of horizon line)

Add a center vertical line

Draw orthogonal lines (perspective lines) from the vertical line to the 2 vanishing points. (I did give a guide as to how many perspective lines..we did about 4 or 5)

Add windows, doors, signs

Create a sky

Cut building and glue to sky background

Rainbow Fish

 Kinder: Rainbow Fish

Kinder students listened to the story Rainbow Fish by Marcus Phister. Students then drew the fish based on the book. They drew on white cardstock. We did a step-by-step for this. It helped to mention "leap frog hopping" for the scales. Students did this with black sharpie. The next day, students added liquid watercolor to their fish..again based on the original colors of rainbow fish. I LOVE liquid watercolors, as I was able to order the exact colors for this project.  I would say the accuracy was 100% there. I'm a big fan of good quality colors. So I was quite happy with the results. Students also glittered a few of the scales to make them special and sparkly. (again, based on the book).

 We also looked at some photos of what real ocean floors look like. They are full of starfish, coral, seaweed, fish, oysters, shells, crabs, etc. Students drew an ocean floor with oil pastels and colored in. This was done on 12' x 18" good quality drawing paper (80lb). I also told students they could create "fish bubbles" by drawing circles with the white oil pastel on their paper. The next day, they painted the ocean with blue, blue-green, then "water-painted" the top to get a nice shade of very light bluish green. This worked very nicely. Students cut out their fish. We used "pop-outs" (3-d foam stickers) to adhere the fish to the background. I found out (the hard way!) that kinder students do not do well with pop-outs as the backing of each sticker is hard to peel with their  little fingers. However, I went around and assisted and it all worked out.

Aren't these just so amazing to look at? Great job Kinder!

Ancient Egypt

 2nd Grade:

Egyptian Portraits

2nd Graders studied Ancient Egypt. They looked at the history of King Tut, Egypt's youngest pharoah. King Tut's tomb was discovered in the 1930's and many of his riches were left intact. This is how we know so much about him. Students also studied Queen Cleopatra. She lived hundreds of years after King Tut. She was also very young when she inherited the throne..just a teenager. Her and her younger brother co-ruled Egypt for a time. She then became sole ruler. She married Mark Antony. Students looked at some coins with Cleapatra's head on them. It was interesting to see how the fashion was different back then compared to today. 

Students completed a step-by-step drawing of either King Tut or Cleapatra. We paid attention to accurate facial proportions. This was review for 2nd graders, as we'd introduced this last year in 1st when we did Matisse portraits. 

After drawing and tracing their portrait with a black sharpie, students painted their face with either bronze or gold tempera paint. Students painted the rest of their portrait with violet, red, blue and black tempera paint. I had some coloring sheets of both King Tut and Queen Cleapatra so students could see common accessories and fashion styles of the day. I also did step-by-step directions for doing a head-dress and hair.

Overall, this project took around 4 one-hr art classes to complete. It was one of our longer projects, but very fun and the results are amazing!

One unfortunate thing is many of my pics that I took from this project got inadvertantly lost when my home computer was being revamped. Fortunately, a few were saved (below). These also got to hang in the hallway for awhile so all students and teachers could appreciate them!

 Cleapatra and King Tut!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Color Wheel Creations

 1st Graders: Color Wheel Creations

 First Graders reviewed the color wheel (primary, secondary and tertiary). Students then colored a 12-color wheel, traced around it, and made it part of a larger picture. I added a brass brad in the middle of each wheel so the wheels could spin around. That was obviously a favorite part for the students! I love the creative expression in these color wheel creations!!

Awesome job 1st Grade!

Monster truck!

Double scoop ice cream cone

I like how this gives scientific knowledge and is artistic!