Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mission 10,000 Rockets

"Every invention starts from a simple drawing on a paper." Students in grades 1,2,3 & 6 have been busy creating drawings of rockets for a program called Mission 10,000 Rockets. The program is a celebration of the launch of Digital Globe's World View satellite on a Delta II rocket. The satalitte will be equipped with a huge telescopic camera which will be used to capture images of houses, schools and many other places for Bing Maps. Bing is commemorating the launch with a book including 10,000 drawings of rockets of tommorow created by students in grades k-12 and we are hoping to see many of our drawings included.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What if Picasso Made Witches

Cubism and profiles are both difficult concepts for kids to pick up on and yet this silly seasonal project seems to help with both. Perhaps it is the extreme features and natural distortion of the subject matter that helps. Or that they are having so much fun creating a crazy character that they don't over think the concepts. Whatever the case it really seems to work. We take a look at Picasso and his art and have a discussion on how his style gradually changed before taking on the cubist characteristics. Students then experiment using Mr. Picasso Head a website where students can create portraits in the cubist style. With the ground work layed we tie the idea of cubism and portrature to that of the seasonal subject matter of witches or characters in costume and the kids take off with results that are awesome.

The Flavor of Fall

Warm colors, falling leaves, spooks and goblins, these are just some of the things that come to mind at this time of year. The first and second graders worked on projects that incorporated these ideas. The first graders learned how to draw trees with branches and then used sponge painting and warm colors to add the leaves to their pictures. The second graders created a tissue collage using warm colors and then added a line drawing of a tree and other things that reminded them of fall.


Whatever happened to October......I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I've posted anything. Here's to better time management in the days to come. :)

We just finished up a workshop on cornhusk dolls with local artisan and long time friend of the Manawa Middle School Art Department, Judy D. I am so excited to have the kids experience art projects that tie in to the rich cultural heritage of our country and corn husk dolls are an excellant way to do this. The kids are excited to be working with a different art medium and even though the subject was "dolls" boys and girls alike worked with great enthusiasm.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blazing Banyon Trees

Looking for attention grabbing art projects? Check out "Dynamic Art Projects For Children" by Denise M. Logan, Crystal Productions. One of my favorite projects from the book is The Blazing Banyan Tree. It is such a high impact project that it is a great way to draw kids in at the beginning of the year. My students really enjoy working on this project. If you would like to see more examples of this project check our Artsonia exhibit.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

4th grade Dinosaurs

Kids love dinosaurs! That makes this subject a great art tool. The excitement for the subject matter makes it an excellant opportunity to work on things like composition, use of elements and priciples, style, and skill development. We use silky crayons to add color to this project, a medium which the kids are always eager to work with.

First grade Line Drawings

After discussing the art element of line and using verticle, horizontal, diagonal, curves, spirals and dots as jumping off points my first grade students began working on their first official drawing of the year. I've included a couple of examples here. I love to see the spontaneity and creativity of these young artists.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Outrageous Hair - 5th grade

The kids in 5th grade love starting the year with this outrageous project. We have been talking about lines for may years by now and the kids take the opportunity to show what they know about this important art element. We review line types, the use of repetition to create pattern, the use of variety to create interest and use portrature to tie it all together. Students begin with a U or upside down U to start their face. They then may choose to place hair either on the top of the head or on the face as long as the paper is filled with outrageous hair.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's a brand new year at school

There is something so wonderful about starting a new school year. Everything has a new glow. Everyone is looking forward to a fresh start. My first day back I had two young gentlemen run up to me, throw there arms around me and state, with grins on their faces, "long time no see". The excitement of the start of a new year is electric. So I say, "Welcome school year 2009/2010". I am looking forward to a year filled with new possibilities. Our Artsonia web gallery is nearly ready for it's first post and my 3rd, 4th & 5th graders are busy creating their first ATC's (Art Trading Cards) and looking forward to an exchange with a school in Monroe, North Carolina. I am also looking forward to trying out some new projects that I have found thanks to my friends at art ed 2.0. Hopefully I will be able to maintain this new enthusiasm long after my art room floors have lost their shine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Introducing Artsonia

As we begin a new school year look for student art work to begin appearing on the online gallery Artsonia. Students in grades 3-6 have just had pieces posted to the gallery and others will soon follow. Want to know more about Artsonia? Check out the great video by Tricia Fuglestad and her students at Dreyden Elementary found in the bottom left hand corner of the Artsonia home page.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Second grade question of the week

What is your favorite color? Why do you like that color?

First Grade - Rainbow Fish

After reading the story of "Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister my first graders proceeded to create their own rainbow fish. We discussed illustrations as well as the use of patterning and cool colors as we began. Students began by drawing their fish using basic shapes to form the body, fins and tail. Then they were asked to add a face and to fill the body with scales using a repeating curved line that was layered row on row. We talked about where fish live and what types of things might be seen in their habitats. The kids were excited to start their backgrounds and were asked to include a couple pieces of seaweed along with anything else that they thought would fit the scene. In this project the scales of the fish were painted with cool colors of watercolor. The seaweed leaves were also done in watercolor and the background was colored with crayon. The last step of the project was for Rainbow Fish (teacher example) to share one of it's glittering scales with each of the other fish. The kids were excited to find just the right spot to "tuck in" their special scale to complete the project.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What Do You Think?

"Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye." The Little Prince

What is your response to the image and the quote? Is the image a visual expression of the quote? Why or why not? Does the quote express anything of importance in relation to your art?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where do I begin?
As I jump in with both feet, I will admit that this attempt to become more tech savvy is largely driven by my need to fulfill a class requirement. On the other hand I am very excited by the possibilities I can envision, both personally and professionally. I have already found some exciting tools and ideas that I am eager to try. Look for my students artwork to appear at Artsonia in the coming school year.

So why blog and why now? "On many levels, it seems we are falling more in danger of becoming irrelevant in our students' lives. And so this remains the central message of this book: In order for us to prepare our students for what is without question a future filled with networked learning spaces, we must first experience those environments for ourselves." This quote from Will Richardson in his book, BLOGS, WIKIS, PODCASTS And Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms pretty much sums it up for me. As a teacher and parent of two middle school aged children I want to do what I can to stay relevant for them and for myself. So here I go. I'm taking a giant leap off the end of the read/write web dock. Watch for the splash! :)
Got advise for a beginner?