Thursday, January 31, 2008

Egyptian Art Unit

Egyptian Art
Grade: 5/Art Club
# of lessons: 3

Art Resources: Egyptian photographs and artifacts from trip, Art and Religion in Ancient Egypt by Leslie Kaplan, teacher products, and visual aide.

Art Materials: clay, clay tools, gold and silver paint, rulers, pencils, blue/turquoise paint, watercolor paints, paintbrushes, buckets for water, pre-cut paper triangles (gold, red, and blue), glue, toothpicks, string, and scissors.

Objectives- Student will:
- create a series of artworks based on ancient Egypt.
- use a variety of 2-d and 3-d materials.
- learn about various types of sculpture.
- use hieroglyphics for writing.
- learn about life and art in ancient Egypt.

Relation to life/Why this is important: Student will learn about the art of an ancient culture.

Interdisciplinary Connections: Language and Social Studies

Vocabulary: cartouche, hieroglyphics, hamsa, scarab, Nefertiti, King Tut, mummy, ruin, pyramid, tomb.

Lessons: The display will consist of the following components:

A. Clay Hamsa- will use hamsa tracer to cut out the shape of a hamsa from rolled out clay. Student may carve into their hamsa for details or keep it smooth. The hamsas will be fired and painted with watercolor paints.

B. Hieroglyphic Cartouche - Students will write their name in hieroglyphics on a cartouche worksheet. The student will cut out his cartouche and use it to trace the oval onto rolled out clay. Student will trace his name through the paper onto the clay. Student will add the bottom components of the cartouche in clay and it will be fired. Student will paint his cartouche either silver or gold.

C. Scarab Necklace- Each student will roll a scarab shape into clay. Then he will carve a traditional into the clay with a paperclip and poke a hold through it. The scarab will be fired and paint with turquoise paint. The student will string it with three strings and use paper beads as the chains.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Differentiation in the Art Room Tips

I'm currently finishing my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at UNLV. The course I'm taking is Differentiated Instruction for the Classroom. As I continue in the course this semester I am sure I will be giving you more information on how to differentiate both in an art room and/or regular classroom.

1. Pretest- This could simply be asking the students to verbally tell you what they already know about a subject beofre you start the lesson/unit. It could also be a sketch, a thinking map, or a questionnaire of some sort. I find this really helpful when teaching to younger students. If I am teaching Ancient Egyptian art how do I know if my first graders have heard of pharohs, pyramids, or even know Egypt exists?

2. Multiculturalism and Cross-Curricular activities- Two major ways that students differ is by culture and learning styles. By bringing multicultural and cross-curicular activities into your curriculum you will reach more students.

3. Grouping Strategies- Having students work together in teams, pairs, triads, and individually gives students several opportunities for success. Frankly I think group work is very important because that dynamic will follow the student throughout his life. Therefore the younger he is when he begins working with others, the more likely it will be that he will work cooperatively as an adult.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Egyptian Profile 1st grade

I created templates for the hair, face, and necklace and the students cut out the three shapes. They colored each one in and glued them using glue stick on blue construction paper. If they finished in time they could get 3 gems for their empty spaces.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Classroom Management Tip

This happens everyday, especially with younger students. I'll be explaining directions or reading a story and a hand goes up. I usually keep questions or comments for later, but this student is really smart and may have something special to add so I call on him. "Miss C. do you like my new sneakers?" he asks sweetly. Now I'm off track and so is the rest of the class. Here is a tip how to manage this. Explain to your students what a relevant comment or question would be and tell them when they raise their hands for that to have all five fingers. Explain what an off topic question or comment would be and tell them to only raise their pointer finger for that.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Post it, Point it Out, Ask a Friend

There are no dumb questions...hmmm I don't know about that. Everyday I have a student ask me a question about a regular procedure that I have done with the students several times before. By answering this student's question I am enabling students to ask questions that they should already know the answers to and it allows them to not be independent thinkers. So what do you do?

1. Post the procedures around the room. Have the same place for items that are continuously used by students so they ought to know where to get them (You could even make signs as to where to find objects in the room).

2. Point it out. You don't even have to speak, just point. "Where do I get a pencil?" Point.

3. When a student was not listening to procedures I tell him/her to ask a friend that was listening. This gets students into the mindset of asking their peers for help and not relying on the teacher as much.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Covering Tables

Whenever I use clay, paper mache, and sometimes paint I always cover the table for easy claenup.
Warning: Clay dust will stick to the tables long after they have been washed and washed and washed!

1. Butcher paper is great, and you can fold it up and reuse it until it's way too gross.

2. Laminate sheets of paper to be used as placemats, or go to the dollar store and get placemats.

3. Rolls of painters plastic or plastic tarps.

4. Cut the seams from large garbage bags and lay them out.

Another tip: Instead of sponges, buy washcloths. You can wash them at home when they get real grungy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Safety Tips

Safety is always a big concern for any teacher, as you are in charge of children. Here are some tips to help in the art room:

1. I have a big problem with students throwing materials to each other. If I catch a student throwing an eraser, he is no longer allowed to use an eraser. I have really had to teach the kids to pass supplies, get out of their seats and get them, or roll them. Another idea is to have several supply boxes around the table for easy reaching.

2. I have a big talk in the beginning of the year where I tell the kids about the paper cutter. I explain to them the dangers of it and show them that it is locked and chained (I went and bought the chain and lock last year with my own money).

3. I do not allow students in the kiln room (without me there)or near the kiln(never ever!). I show them the light that means that it is on and tell them about the dangers.

4. I practice fire drills with kids the first three weeks of school and routinely go over the procedures.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Some More Financial Advice

Save receipts! If I go to Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, or Dick Blick I make sure I remember to save my receipts for tax write offs. Last year I moved twice for my job, once to Las Vegas and once across town so I would be closer. I kept my receipts from UHaul and the movers. Any workshops you take, any art supplies you buy for yourself, and college courses you take are all tax write offs. The more you claim the more you get back, so keep a manilla envelope during the year and shove receipts into it for anything that can be construed as a buisness expense. You will thank me in the spring!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Feedback Friday

Being that this is a new blog, and I am completely new to this I thought it would be helpful if I received some feedback every now and then. What do you find most helpful from this blog? What would you like to see more of? Email your answers to Thanks!

Wild Hair Self Portrait

The itinerant art teacher at my school, Melissa Kehr, shared with me this lesson and it was a lot of fun! Students drew linear self-portraits in pencil. When they got to their hair they would draw a circular bubble shape that runs off the page and fill it with their name written in stylized letters. As far as the handwriting fonts were concerned I let the students come up with their own. They traced the whole picture with Sharpie markers and colored their hair, eyes, lips, and clothing with crayon.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mccarran Airport Contest

My students are lucky enough to be participants in the McCarran Airport Art Contest. McCarran Airport is building Terminal 3 and asking world renowned artist Robert Silvers to create 10 photomosaics using 30,000 student works of art from Clark County School District. They asked that each artwork be 9"x12" or 11"x8.5;" brightly colored; and depicting a plane, train, or automobile. The 10 best drawings will be chosen as the large images of the photomosaics. This was a great assignment for copming back to school after the winter break. It's not messy, simple in terms of supplies, and I'm using the same supplies for each class.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Amazing Projects With Plastic Bags

I have recently become aware of Craftzine which is a magazine dedicated to new ideas in crafts. You should definantly check out his site and even subscribe to the magazine. Here is a link to craft projects made out of plastic shopping bags. Some of these could be used in the classroom and are quite inexpensive! They introduce students to the idea of found object art, recycling, and fashion design. It's really amazing what you can do with a plastic bag.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Clay Fish Sculpture Lesson Plan

Instructional Methods in D.B.A.E

K-12 Visual Arts

Clay Fish Sculpture Lesson Plan

Multicultural / Asian Science

Adaptable to all grades


Mignon Slentz

Title: Clay Fish (Koi) Sculpture Grades: Adaptable to all but written for grades 3-5
Sessions: 4 sessions (50 minutes per session)

Academic Integrations: social studies and science

Goal: Students will use clay to make a three-dimensional art form


Students will: learn the Asian cultural background of the Koi fish, learn how to identify and correctly draw a fish, use clay to make a fish sculpture, create textures and patterns in clay, demonstrate craftsmanship, explore ceramic decorating techniques.

National Standards for the visual Arts: grades 3-5

Art Criticism- 1.1 describe works of art. 1.2 analyze, identify & discuss art elements. 1.5 share or evaluate own artwork.

Art History- 2.1 can associate works of art with cultures or time periods. 2.2 understand the influences of art.

Aesthetics- 3.1 art issues: the purpose of art, engage in aesthetic inquiry by discussing responses to art.

Art Production- 4.1 elements of art. 4.2 principles of design. 4.6 create a three-dimensional art form. 4.7 create a pottery form. 4.12 create a work of art that shows the influence of a particular culture.

Vocabulary- Nishikigoi (Koi), Carp, China & Japan (locate on world map), “swimming flowers”, “living jewels”, barbels, gills, dorsal, fin, sculpture, texture, slab roller, slab construction.

Materials- fish visuals, paper, 6’x9’ pattern paper, pencils, scissors, canvas mats, slabs of clay, plastic knives, clay tools, rolling pins, textures, bowls/plastic bags, ceramic glazes, brushes.

Media- show two Power points.

Procedures:Culture/ History: Session one - Introduction and motivation…..1. PowerPoint and discussion of Asian art depicting Koi.Nishikigoi, commonly referred to as “Koi” are the national fish of Japan. “Nishiki” means colored cloth and “Goior Koi” is the Japanese name for carp. Iran is thought to be the ancestral home of the Common Carp, from which Koi were first developed. This wild carp, which is an excellent food source, was carried to China, Japan and Western Europe by traders about a thousand years ago. A first account of them being kept by an emperor in Japan apparently dates back to AD 200. There are actually many theories and dates relating to the original introduction of the Koi. The wild carp has long been a symbol to Asian and Far Eastern countries and has been evident in their paintings, utensils, pottery sculptures and carvings. For hundreds of years, farmers in Japan have been raising Koi for extra food in the ponds they used to flood their rice paddies. About 200 years ago one of the farmers noticed a carp with some red color. Some of the farmers started separating the fish that had different coloration, and breeding them together. Some were kept as pets and in 1914 some of the most beautiful varieties were shown at an exposition in Tokyo and presented to the Crown Prince Hirohito. With the development of air travel, Koi started to migrate to other countries and were introduced to California in the mid 1960s where they became popular residents of fish enthusiast’s back yard ponds.

2. Students will look at pictures of a Koi or other fish and be able to identify the different features.

3. Students will practice drawing fish, adding gills, fins, tails, eyes etc. If time, textures can be drawn in (scales, patterns, designs, etc.). These can be saved for a later lesson.

4. Students will draw a fish filling a 6”x9” scratch paper making sure there are no narrow parts. Cut out. This will be used as a template / pattern.

Production:Session Two:
Preparation- Have enough clay slabs rolled out for each student. Canvas mats, clay tools, water and textures should be on the tables.
Students will watch PowerPoint on clay fish slab construction and discuss if there are questions.
1. Students will each have their paper fish pattern and be given a slab of clay.

2. Students will place their pattern on the fish and trace around the paper cutting into the clay. Remove scraps from around fish and save for adding features.

3. Using water, smooth cut edges of the fish with your finger. Press or roll on several (at least 2) textures into the clay (plastic texture
sheets, lace, nylon string bags etc.).

4. Using scraps of clay, make an eye and attach by pressing edges with a tool (texture with the end of a screw). Cut or roll a strip of clay to form gill line behind the eye and attach with a tool. Cut a triangular shape for the side fin and attach with a tool. Lines or patterns can be added. Add a mouth.

5. Write name and teacher on the back with a tool.

6. Place flat in a box or set into a bowl for a curved shape or drape upside down over a wadded up plastic bag and let dry.

Session Three:
Preparation: bisque- fire clay fish. Prepare glazes.
1. Students will glaze their clay fish (or watercolor).

Session Four:
Preparation: glaze-fire clay fish and return to students

Students will self-evaluate their fish sculptures using the following questions.
A score of 9 and above = E A score of 8 and below = S

1. Is your fish approximately 5” x 8”?

2. Does your fish have a dorsal (top) fin?

3. Does your fish have a bottom fin?

4. Did you add a side fin?

5. Is there an eye?

6. Are the sides of the fish smooth?

7. Did all your parts stay attached after the 1st firing?

8. Are there at least 2 different textures?

9. Did you add any other decorations/patterns?
10. Did you apply several coats of glaze?
11. Did you use at least 3 colors?
12. Did you show good craftsmanship /neatness?
13. Did YOU write your name and teacher’s initial on
the back?

Resources: Clay fish sculpture****

Monday, January 14, 2008

Line Project For Second Grade

For this project as part of a unit on the Elements of Art I displayed several works of art that I thought had an interesting use of line. We had a class discussion on the use of line in the examples of art displayed. "Is the line curvy? Part of a pattern? An outline?" Then I had the students complete a worksheet on line. They had to draw eight types of lines. I also asked each student to come up to the board and draw on a piece of large paper a line different from all the other lines on the paper. This paper was built upon by my classes throughout the week, so in the end we had over 100 types of lines. For the final piece each student will drew 8 line patterns in pencil on 3”x3” paper, traced in crayon, and matted on black 11”x14” paper.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Great Idea for Art Night by Mimi Diehl

We had an art and academic night last week. Each kid had something on display. I of course wanted parents to look at all the work, not just their kid's class. Furthermore I wanted them to really look, not just glance. So I had an art scavenger hunt (actually, three in all so everyone didn't get the same one). When parents came in the door, I had a table set up with new "pointy" crayons and a stack of scavenger hunts that required hunters to find something specific in the artwork of each grade level. For instance, one item was "Find a cityscape with a clothesline in the 2nd grade gallery". Another was " Find a house collage that looks like it's at night in the 1st grade gallery" and so on. The scavenger hunt had a place to put the hunter's name and phone number or child's room #. People then took their completed scavenger hunt to the MP room (where a sculpture gallery was set up on the stage) and put it in a huge raffle box. The following day I pulled out scavenger hunts from the raffle box and those people won prizes. We actually had a glass blower performing (The Crystal Wizard...he was a HUGE success). Everything he made that night became prizes for the raffle.I'd never tried anything like it before and was worried about how it would go. It was amazing. People were out in the halls scrutinizing the work instead of just passing by. They were having fun. The artwork overshadowed what was going on in the regular classrooms. I'm going to make it even bigger next year.Anyway...I just wanted to share this with you because you might be able to make a version up that would work well at your school.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Recipe for Moon Sand

by Debra M. Fornero

Recipe for homemade moon sand:
(1 batch)6 cups of play sand (I got a 50lb bag from Lowes, it was $4.99 plus tax)
3 cups of cornstarch (most dollar stores carry it for $1 per'll need around 24 boxes for the whole 50lbs!)\
1 1/2 cups of cold water

Step one: Mix the water and cornstarch together thoroughly, this will take a few minutes to get it nice and smooth.

Step two: Gradually mix in the sand, one cup at a time. You'll need to really work it in with your fingers.

Step three: Play with it!

Step four: When you're all done, pop it in an airtight container.

Step five: When you next play with it, you'll need to revive it with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Just sprinkle it over and work it in.That's all there is to it. Very cheap, very easy and the kids will get to play with heaps of the stuff. Play sand also comes in different colors, so buy different colored bags to mix things up a little. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cleanup Tips

My coteacher assisted me with this list, Melissa Kehr, she is awesome! Here are some tips to make cleaning up run a little more smoothly:

1. Tape a plastic shopping bag to each table for paper scraps. It will reduce the amount of traffic in the art room.

2. Rather than have each student clean up their own mess, pick helpers to do specific jobs while the remaning students stay in their seats.

3. If you do not have sink in your room you can either use a bucket and a sponge or baby wipes from the dollar store to clean hands and tables.

4. Covering the tables really helps with cleanup for messy projects. Use large sheets of butcher paper or laminate pieces of paper to be used as placemats.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Fun is Over

So after Santa, family visits, vacations, and staying up all night to see a New Year my students and I are back to work. To be honest today went very well. The advantage of coming back from all this excitement is that the kids are worn out and wondering "Why are we anywhere other then our cozy homes at this hour?" So they are quiet, which is half the battle. The other half was being prepared when I got back. To help with this I had my lessons planned before break, set up my display boards, and kept my lessons simple for the first week back (nothing messy, only drawing). I also made sure that whatever the students would be working on when they returned would be exciting. To that end we will be working on our drawings for the McCarran Airport Terminal 3 project that involves world renowned artist Robert Silver.
Happy New Year!

Snowflake Sculptures

These snowflakes are truly sculptural. I don't do much holiday art, but seasonal art is fine for everyone! This site includes a lesson plan.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Encouraging Creativity

Here is link to a great article about encouraging creativity in your students. There are also many other helpful articles on this site.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Critiquing Children's Art Do's and Dont's

1. Don't be too harsh, they are children after all. Make sure your lesson plan fits the grade level of the class, but also be prepared to adjust it along the way. If the whole class has a tough time with it, it's not their fault.

2. Do be honest, but be gentle. Children have to grow from their mistakes. One criticism I find myself saying a lot is:"We need to stop with the scribbling, we're getting too old for this. Why don't you watch how I color? Make sure you fill in all the white areas."

3. Do allow the students the opportunity to work on their project more in order to make improvements based on your critique.

4. Don't allow students to be hard on themselves. Tears are definitely not necessary.

5. Do make critiques fun. I have a plastic blow up cube that I wrote on each side one of the Elements of Art. We toss the cube around the room like MUM and whatever side is facing up; the students discuss how they used that element in their art.

6. Do self-critiquing and peer critiques. You can have a worksheet you pass out at the end of each project and ask the students what they felt was the most fun part of the project, what they struggled on, what they learned. You can also pair up students who based on their level of achievment can truly help eachother.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Contour Line Landscapes

Art Lesson Plan
Contour Landscapes
Grade 4th
# of sessions: 4
Art Resources: teacher product, landscape paintings by Paul Cezanne, Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Paul Cezanne by Mike Venezia, and visual aide.
Art Materials: 11”x14” white paper, pencils, erasers, watercolor paint, water containers, paint brushes, and crayons.
Objectives- Students will:
*learn about Impressionist art history and techniques.
*create a landscape that uses contour line.
*learn and use crayon resist techniques in their artwork.
*use pencil, paper, watercolor paint, and crayon to create a landscape
*learn about the art and life of artist Paul Cezanne.
*share their artwork in a class critique.
Relation to life/Why this lesson is important: Student will learn about Impressionist artwork. Student will create their own landscape painting using contour line: a technique visited in later art classes in both middle school and high school.
Interdisciplinary Connections: History and Geology
Vocabulary: Paul Cezanne, landscape, Impressionism, contour line, and crayon resist.
Procedure: Day 1: Students will participate in a discussion about landscape paintings by Paul Cezanne (“What is similar about these paintings?” “What are these paintings of?” “How did the artist or artists use color and brushstrokes in these paintings?” “Do you think these paintings were made by the same artist?’”). Teacher will explain what Impressionism is and how Cezanne is well known for his landscape paint. Student will listen to teacher read Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Paul Cezanne by Mike Venezia part 1. Student will review vocabulary. Student will view teacher product and discuss project. Student will watch teacher demonstrate how to draw a simple landscape using only the outer contour line. The mountains will be curvy lines that start in the middle of the paper. The grass goes underneath the mountains with one strip across the paper of three vertical lines in a set. Then water is drawn below. The sky is started with 3-4 large swirls surrounded by smaller swirls, and then connected with contour lines. Student will draw landscape using pencil and white paper along with the teacher.
Day 2: Student will review vocabulary and art history. Student will listen to teacher read Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Paul Cezanne by Mike Venezia part 2. Student will review the teacher product. Student will watch a demonstration on how to fill in their landscape with contour line. Student will fill in their landscape using pencil and white paper.
Day 3: Student will review vocabulary and art history. Student will listen to teacher finish reading Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Paul Cezanne by Mike Venezia part 3. Student will review the teacher product. Student will watch a demonstration on how to trace their landscape with crayon. Student will trace his contour line landscape in crayon. Day 4: Student will review vocabulary and art history. Student will watch a demonstration on crayon resist painting. Student will paint his landscape using watercolor paint.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ignorance is Not Bliss

So you're in the back of the classroom helping a student and suddenly you hear a commotion from the front of the room. All your students are out of their seats shouting "Fight, Fight, Fight!" and two kids are pushing eachother. What do you do? You missed how it all started. Of course you immediately break up the fight and tell the kids to go back to their seats (if they don't they can join the fighters in the Principal's Office). You and the two kids step aside to talk about it. There are two sides of every story, and that's quite obvious now.

This is what I would do...if anyone is hurt, send them with another student to the nurse. If no one is hurt, write them up, and call the office to send someone down to pick them up. Often, when things calm down and get more serious in the office the truth comes out. As far as the other kids who were shouting, they just saw you in action and know you're serious about behavior.

For less serious offenses that you did not witness such as swearing and misuse of art supplies, rather than trying to find out the culprit, remind the entire class that this is unacceptable and that you will be watching more closely from now, unless you get a confession.