Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Collaborative Painted Paper Flowers

Timeframe: 20 minutes per class for painting, plus 45 minutes per class for cutting and assemblage
Grade Level: Any grade, but I chose to do this with my 3rd graders
Materials: large white tag board, various colors of acrylic paint, paintbrushes, scissors, pencils, glue, blue bulletin board paper, black and white printed fabric scraps, heavy duty scrapbook paper, silver tempera paint


My school hosted another event for students who had good behavior. When my third graders came, I allowed them to use the acrylic paint to free-paint on a large piece of tag board. They were allowed to paint anything they wanted using their choice of colors. They did this as they listened to music. (This could definitely be adapted for the regular classroom. The free-painting part only took about 20 minutes.)

The next week, after the paint had dried, the students drew and cut petal shapes out of the painted tag board. I asked them to draw on the back of the paper without looking at the front. This prevented them from getting hung up on the colors as they drew the petals.

We had way more petals than we needed. This worked out for the best because some petals were to small and some were to big. We weeded these out and still had plenty for each student to have petals on the finished product. (We've saved the too big and too small petals with our other paper scraps. I'm sure we will use them later.)

They worked together to paint silver dots on a blue piece of bulletin board paper. (We've spent a lot of time on how to paint dots so that they look like circles!!! Not all of them have mastered this. So, the ones who are better at it really took charge here.)

Circles were cut for the center out of heavy duty scrapbook paper and black and white fabric. Strips were cut for the stem from the painted paper consisting of the most green paint.

All of the pieces were glued to the blue bulletin board paper. We displayed one of these on a bulletin board in our media center. This would make a great keepsake or gift for a teacher who is retiring, etc.

In the photos below you can see the finished product, the free-painted paper, a petal cut from the free-painted paper, and the blue bulletin board paper with silver dots.

Leave some feedback! Ask questions! Share how you did this project!


Copyright 2013- There's a Party in the Art Room by Amanda E. Koonlaba














Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Days of the Dead




Timeframe: Up to 3- 45 minute sessions

Grade Level: 3rd


Materials: black construction paper, white tag board, oil pastels, black permanent markers, yellow construction paper, scissors, glue, construction paper crayons, paint, glitter glue

Here's what we did:

I read several books about the Days of the Dead to students. We discussed how the Days of the Dead are happy days meant for remembering and celebrating. Some connections that these books helped students to make are that the Days of the Dead are more like Memorial Day than Halloween, that Days of the Dead artwork can be seen everywhere including the mall, and that the Days of the Dead are not scary. My favorite is that the Days of the Dead artwork can represent animals as well as humans.

















Students identified a person to honor with their artwork. They brainstormed ideas for how to best represent this person, then began drawing their skulls. They drew symbols to represent their brainstorming. They included flowers because flowers are very common in Days of the Dead artwork. They drew the symbols and some flowers in the margins of the white tag board containing their skulls. They painted their skulls with white and off white tempera mixed with pearlescent mixing medium. After drying, they traced the skull and flowers with a black permanent marker. Then, they used the construction paper crayons to draw flowers on the yellow construction paper. They also used the oil pastels to add a variety of colors and patterns to the skull and tag board flowers. After everything was dry, they cut it out and assembled it to a piece of black construction paper as a collage.














Monday, March 11, 2013

Cows with Local Artist Garrett May


Timeframe: Up to 4-45 minute sessions

Grade Level: 2nd and 3rd


Materials: black construction paper, pencils, oil pastels, baby oil, white school glue


I spent several hours in the spring of 2012 with my good friend Garrett May. We talked about art, and we talked about his cows. I met Garrett May through my brother Don Greenwood about 5 years ago. Both were art students at Mississippi State University at the time. Garrett May is an interesting individual. He grew up on a farm with lots of animals, has a deep southern drawl, and is about 45 feet tall. I have to admit that I had never in my life considered that such a down-to-earth country boy could be such an amazing artist. It just didn't fit with my preconceived notions about artists. However, the more I studied his works, the more I came to appreciate my friend's talent. 


I had an epiphany about using Garrett May to teach a lesson to my students. I really wanted them to understand that artists are everywhere and that anyone can be an artist. I know they usually think of artists as living far away and being like a famous movie star. In other words, they think of artists as being very removed from their situations.



Here's what we did:

Students viewed examples of Garrett May's artwork and worked in groups to brainstorm questions for him to answer. He was kind enough to select a sampling of questions and record a video interview for the students to watch. 



They drew their own cows and outlined with white school glue.












Next, the students used oil pastels to add color.





They used baby oil to help ease the smearing process. It also made the work look more like it was made with oil paints than oil pastels.






Garrett May is from Brookhaven, MS. So, we added that to our art around the world map.





Here is one of my favorite pieces by Garrett May.


I hope this post gives you an idea about tapping into local resources for your teaching! Feel free to leave comments!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fraction Quilts

This is a great arts integrated project that our 4th graders did this year. The teachers reproduced the quilt squares and the students used what they had learned about patterns in the art classroom to decorate. This project was used to teach fractions. However, measurement could be incorporated if students drew their own quilt squares instead of coloring copied ones. I have a vision for doing this with fabric one day...As soon as that happens I will definitely share! Multiple choice test questions could be designed around the artwork to help students prepare for common assessments, etc.






This wonderful fourth grade teacher always displays objectives with her artwork!

Advocacy Board

Outside my classroom, I have a two wonderful metal boards. I use one for displaying student work and the other for visual art education advocacy. I believe it is important to make this information available for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. This is my current art advocacy board. Notice that I included a list of sources.


(P.S. My favorite is,"Art is academic. Do not confuse it with entertainment...")