Monday, December 31, 2007

Mask Making

Kids love mask making projects. I've used folded paper, paper cutouts, plaster, papier mache, and clay. It doesn't matter what the material is-if you say they are making masks your students will be overjoyed. I've made animal masks, Aztec masks, artist masks, and African masks. My next mask making venture will be Egyptian Death Masks-like King Tuts.

This is a great link for mask project ideas.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Useful Art Websites

Sorry about the break over the holidays, to make up for it I'm sharing this wonderful list of art websites put together by art educator Jeanne L Bayless.
Try the site above for links to the items below

[ ]3D Texture Artelementary and high school

[ ]A Paper Folding Activity

[]Arcimboldo Style Self Portraits high school

[ ]Art and ICT

[ ]Art Quotes

[ ]ArtsEdge Kennedy Center []ArtsEdge Lessons Visual Arts

[ ]Art Educators art themes:Elementary & High School

[ ]Basic Art Lessons

[ ]Computer Art Lessons

[ ]Creative Drama and Theatre Education

[ ]Creature PaintingCycle 1-2 elementary

[ ]Drawing: ArtStudio Chalkboard

[]Drawing Encounters

[ ]Easy Tie Dye K

[ ]Elementary Art LessonPlans

[]Experimenting with Picasso

[ ]ExploreArt lessons for various levels

[ ]ExploringTheme Through Collage lesson plan pdf

[ ]Fall Bouquet

[ ]Fall Leaf Print

[ ]Fall Leaf WaterColours

[ ]Fall ReflectionsCycle 1

[]Frothy Paint Activity elementary

[ ]General ideas andActivities

[ ]Hall of Fine Arts large Listof links to Fine Arts resources Secondary

[]Impressionist-Style Tile high school pdf

[ ]IncredibleArt Lessons

[ ]Incredible Art Department

[ ]Kids Art

[ ]Learning Howto Draw illustrated notes for teachers

[ ]Lessons from the San DiegoMuseum of Art

[]Line and Wash Landscapes Cycle 2-3

[ ]Mona Lisa Pattern Printout

[ ]Painting Treesin Winter elementary

[ ]Pixel Drawing high school lesson

[ ]Planning Art Lessons

[]Primary Art lessons with video

[ ]Puppetry Home Page Secondary

[ ]Refrigerator toRenoir: 10 Great Art Lessons Online

[ ]Shadow Pictures Elementary

[ ]Straw and MarblePainting

[ ]The Art of Teaching theArts High School Level (free signup for teachers)

[ ]VanGogh Clay Plaque pdf

[ ]VisualArt Secondary

[ ]Visual Arts from KnowledgeNetwork

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fun Cleaning

One way I clean and disinfect the tables during the year is to use shaving cream. The students each get a lump of shaving cream and a smock and play with the shaving cream until it's gone. I would definantly warn against doing this with a class you don't know well or is badly behaved, because there are sure to be shaving cream fights in that case. Do it with a calm younger group. Use just enough shaving cream to get them started, it does dry quickly, so have them move to new spots and add more cream there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I do not allow my students to tattle. If I did, I would never get anything accomplished. When a child comes up to me and starts to point fingers, I simply say "I don't listen to tattling." I usually back this up with, you need to try to come up with a solution to this problem yourself. By listening to the tattling we are not allowing our children to learn about dealing with uncomfortable situations, standing up for themselves appropriately, and in the end-gaining self-esteem.

There is one exception...I do have table tattlers. These students are experts in the art of tattling and I use it to my advantage when I lay out certain materials. For example: if I put out an ice cube tray filled with freshly squeezed paint colors, chances are by the end of class it will come back to me all mixed up and messed up. Rather than being able to keep it for the next class, I have to throw out a lot of paint, clean the trays and refill. So I tell my tattlers to keep their eye out for kids who mix the paint colors together in the trays, and if you see it, let me know. I will have them stop painting, clean up, and put their heads down for the rest of the period. I make sure I say this in front of the whole table. Since I've done this, no more paint mixing has been reported!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dale Chihuly Flowers

As many of you know who have been to Las Vegas, Dale Chihuly has an installation here in the Bellagio. I attempted this fall to recreate a similar installation in my art room. This was a ver successful project for my first grade students as their first art project with me. My first grade students created a coffee filter Chihuly flower. I sprayed the coffee filters with water and had the students create designs and patterns on the filters with old markers. Once the coffee filters are dry; the student will punch a pipe cleaner through the center of the filter, and twist in loops. The flowers will be displayed bunched together hanging from the ceiling.Check out for video and pictures of his work!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Leftover Paper Scraps

Here are some ideas as to what to do with your paper scrap pile:
1. Make paper beads-cut the papers into triangles, put a dot of glue at the tip of the triangle, and roll up from the base.
2. Use long strips to make bookmarks
3. Cut into small squares to make mosaics.
4. Have students cut out imaginary, organic, and geometric shapes to make a collage.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Day Before Christmas Break

One of the art teachers in my district posted it, I don't know who wrote it, but it is so true.

Workin' in an Elementary School (Sung to the tune of Winter Wonderland)

Children scream,
they're not listenin'
When they go,
we'll not miss 'em
In all of this pain,
we try to stay sane
Workin' in an elementary school.
Christmas comes,
they're excited
Though our nerves,
they've ignited
They're off of the wall,
they run in the hall
Workin' in an elementary school.
In the lunchroom we can hear them yellin'
And we know that they are really wound
Someone hits,
the other says, "I'm tellin'"
And this is when our hearts begin to pound!
Pretty soon,
we'll be restin'
'Cause our nerves,
they've been testin'
We're happy, it's clear,
it comes once a year Christmas in an elementary school

Color Theory Handout

You'll want to space out the questions better and use microsoft word autoshapes to draw the necessary boxes:

Color Theory Handout-Fifth Grade
1. What are the three primary colors?
2. In the boxes below color the three primary colors.
3. What are the three secondary colors?
4. In the boxes below color the three secondary colors.
5. What are the six tertiary colors?
6. In the boxes below color the six tertiary colors.
7. What are the four neutral colors?
8. In the boxes below color the four neutral colors.

Directions: Mix the following colors together to see what you get in the boxes provided.
1. Blue and Orange
2. Red and Blue
3. Green and White
4. Red and Orange
5. Blue and Grey
6. Violet and Blue
7. Red and Brown

Directions: Write your answers in the spaces provided.
1. What does mixing white with any color do to that color?
2. What does mixing black with any color do to that color?
3. What are complimentary colors?
4. Name three sets of complimentary colors.
5. What happens when you mix two complimentary colors together?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Psychedelic Self-Portraits

3rd grade: Psychedelic Self-Portraits- Students read John’s Secret Dreams:the Life of John Lennon by Doreen Rappaport and saw the portraits of the Beatles by Richard Avedon. Students teamed up with a partner and traced the outline of their head, neck, shoulders in pencil. Students used a ruler to draw random vertical lines across their papers. Students will use circles/shapes to break up the color scheme throughout. Students colored each section as a striped pattern using two colors that alternate in marker.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Art History Games

I currently have my three art clubs creating games based on the lives of famous artists. So far we have Rousseau, Warhol, Riveira, O'Keeffe, Seurat, Da Vinci, Titian, Van Gogh, Grant Wood, and Hopper. I've deivided each club into groups of four and had them research the artist and create sketches for their gameboard for three sessions before building the boards and drawing on them. I've bought dice and we used Crayola Air Dry Clay for the pieces.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Insanity of Santa

Around the last few weeks before vacation the kids get wilder than usual. I try to avoid highly academic projects or projects that have a lot of steps. Instead, I focus more on fun projects that will make the kids excited enough that they stay interested and out of trouble.
1. Clay finger puppets- I show the kids how to build and add features with smaller pieces of clay. I fire them and they paint their puppets with tempera the next week.
2. Cartooning- I have a Bruce Blitz cartooning book that I share with the students. They make their own cartoon characters off of it.
3. Clay ornaments- I use tempera and glitter to decorate.
4. Watch art related movies in the classroom.

First Day of Art

I tried out this suggestion for the first day of art, as did many of the art teachers at CCSD this year. Sally Moss, an elementary art teacher in the district, posted this in our forum. She says she got it from a book called Color Code. This is her email post:

I like to figure out who's who are my "leaders", who are my "reliables" , who are my "helpers" and who are my "entertainers". I tell a story about a little girl who has a mouse for show and tell.........the mouse gets loose in the classroom. Kids do different things. If you would try to help her out........color your mouse blue. If you would laugh yourself silly, color your mouse yellow, if you would try to organize everyone into detective teams, color your mouse red, and if you wish everyone would just be quiet, sit down, and let her find her own mouse, leave your mouse I know who's who. I seat them accordingly.Blue (helpers) next to White ( serious workers) Next to Red (Bossy)........only 1 Yellow per table...........spread out...............They have no clue what I am doing. I did this last year and when I showed the teachers their own class's color choice, they said they were RIGHT ON! The year went much better after that.The second week I have them work on pictures for my fund raiser.This lasts about 2 weeks and then I start my regular lessons......lots of multi-culture art in my room.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ceramics Tip

Something that I do very often is have students practice creating their ceramic projects out of modeling clay before creating the project that will be fired. This gives students a chance to learn about the tools, building, modeling, and smoothing with their fingers rather than water.


I'm so sorry, I haven't been on. I lost my internet connection due to a windows update. I will be back regularly posting now.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Classroom Management Tip

Here's a great tip for pencil sharpening. Have two buckets in your room: one with freshly sharpened pencils an d another one with pencils that need sharpening. When a student finishes his work early he can sharpen the ones that need it.

Glitter Chaos

For art teachers the issue of glitter is always one that there is strong feelings about. I have used glitter before on several occasions, and with double classes.
Here are my tips:
1. For the little ones K-2 you can have them paint the glue on where they want it and come up to you and you shake the glitter on.
2. You can set up glitter stations in you classroom for older students with trays for catching the glitter.
3. You can make glitter glue that they paint on, buy glitter glue, or buy glitter paint. Some teachers feel that glitter can't be on serious artwork, I don't agree with this. When did kindergarten get so serious and drab?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Modigliani Style Self-Portraits

Miss Liza Camhi

Art Lesson Plan

Modigliani Self-Portrait

Grade: 4th

# of sessions: 4
Art Resources: visuals from the Girl series by Amadeo Modigliani, art criticism packet, teacher product and visual aide.
Art Materials: one 11”x14” sheet of white paper per student, pencils, erasers, and oil pastels.
Student will:
- create a self-portrait in the style of Amadeo Modigliani.
- create a drawing using pencils and oil pastels.- learn about the art of Modigliani.
- discuss the artwork of Modigliani according to the Principals of Design and Elements of Art.
Relation to life/Why this is important: Student will learn in detail how to apply the Elements of art and Principals of Design to an artwork.
Interdisciplinary Connections: none
Vocabulary: Amadeo Modigliani, Modern Art, Principals of Design, Elements of Art, and Self-Portrait.
Day 1: Teacher will introduce visuals from the Girl series by Amadeo Modigliani. Teacher will discuss the art criticism part of the lesson with the student and go over vocabulary. Student will view the visuals and begin work on art criticism packet. Student will answer the first section of the packet with the teacher’s help as to how to apply the Elements of Art to the portraits of Amadeo Modigliani. The teacher will demonstrate how to draw a self-portrait in Modigliani’s style. Student will draw his/her self-portrait and pet using pencil.
Day 2: Student will review vocabulary and teacher product/visual aide. Student will finish the art criticism packet filling in the Principals of Design section with the teacher’s help. Student will begin coloring in self-portrait.
Days 3-4: Student will review vocabulary and teacher product/visual aide. Student will finish coloring his self-portrait and present his artwork to the class.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Online Timeline of Art

Here is an online art history timeline that is also interactive.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Word to the Wise...

Three years ago when I began teaching, I was doing a critique using the Elements of Art for Van Gogh's Starry Night. I asked the class "How do you think this painting would feel if you touched it? Would it be smooth or bumpy?" Hands went up and I called on a fifth grade boy who asked if he could come up and feel the poster thinking it was the real painting. I realized then that my students did not understand the world of museums and art, something I take for granted coming from the urban east coast. I still run across this on a regular basis, so please take the time to explain how precious art is and that these are only copies of great masterworks.


When a class has been particularly disrespectful I have them fill out this worksheet. Then we share our answers and talk about how we can change our behavior.

1. Write a definition for the word RESPECT.
2. How can you show respect for your teacher/art teacher?
3. How can you show respect for your classmates?
4. How can you show respect for school supplies and school property?
5. What should you do if someone is not acting in a respectful manner towards the class, the teacher, or school property?
6. What should you do if someone is not acting respectful towards you?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Monet Lesson

Miss Liza Camhi
Art Lesson Plan
Mountain Landscape
Grade: 1st
# of sessions: 2

Art Resources: examples of Claude Monet’s Haystacks, teacher product, and visual aide.

Art Materials: one 8”x11” sheet of blue or purple paper per student, pencils, erasers, and chalk.

Student will:
- create a landscape drawing using bold colors and line.
- create a drawing using pencils and chalk.
- learn about the art of Claude Monet.
- learn how colors change in nature to reflect the time of day.

Relation to life/Why this is important: Student will learn how colors in nature change depending on the time of day.

Interdisciplinary Connections: History and Science

Vocabulary: Claude Monet, Landscape, and sunset.

Day 1: Teacher will introduce the Haystack series by Claude Monet and ask “What time of day do you think he painted this picture in?” Student will discuss how the colors become cooler and softer as the sun sets. Student will learn/discuss the meaning of the word LANDSCAPE. “How is the landscape we see outside different from the one in Claude Monet’s painting?” (mountains, desert) “If the colors in the landscape Claude Monet painted changed because the sun went down, do you think they change here when the sun sets?” Teacher will discuss colors the students will want to use in their landscape. Teacher will demonstrate how to draw a simple mountain landscape. Student will draw his landscape in pencil and hand it in.
Day 2: Student will review vocabulary and teacher product/visual aide. Student will review how colors in our landscape change as the sun sets. Student will view teacher demonstration of how to color in his landscape. Student will color his landscape and share it with the class.
For an online gallery of Monet images:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Art Based Fundraisers

Here are some programs where you can use student artwork as fundraising method. A portion of the proceeds can go to your school, district, or program depending on the fundraiser. This is great if you have a small budget or want to do something special with your students and needs the money to do so. Many of these fundraisers will display student work on t-shirts, mugs, posters, totes, etc. that parents can buy as mementos-so it's also a good advertisement for your program.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

To Yell or Not to Yell That is the Question...

The first week of school I lose my voice every year. I feel that by being more authoritative the first couple weeks, especially when the students are learning procedures and rules is important. I raise my voice and have a very serious expression on my face. I'm a young female teacher, so all in all I'm not intimidating-but sometimes I need to be. I had a class this year come in that were not under control for anyone. They were wild for their teacher, specialists, and subs. So the first time I met them, they were very sure to let me know who they were and what they were about. I made them put their heads down the whole period and gave them a lecture on entering my classroom correctly-a 50 minute lecture. The next week they gave me dirty looks as they gloomilly walked into my room. "Are we going to do art today?" was the question du jour. I answered "That's not really up to me as much as it is up to you." We sat down and took attendance- three times until they did so correctly. We talked about last week and what went wrong for about twenty minutes while also going over the rules and procedures. Then we painted. They were thrilled. Two weeks later they were my first class to use clay and they actually said thank you. One of the boys in that class told me "I'm only good for you and my daddy. You make me so frustrated." That made me happy. They are one of my best behaved classes now and best-loved.
I will not say whether raising your voice is right or wrong, I think it just depends on the situation.