Monday, January 11, 2016

Chinese New Year Lanterns in 3rd and 4th Grade

The beginning of the winter semester is always unpredictable. We miss days and have interruptions with holidays and college week. I decided to start off the semester with winter and Chinese new year themed projects. 
I found this Chinese lesson on Instagram. I share my personal pictures and some some art lessons on my BethCarter77 site. Some teachers have a totally separate classroom site. 
I don't, but I save those posts for my class twitter site. 

Check out this awesome CNY site with worksheets and Videos too!

Back to Instagram, I love Instagram and I love photos and the friends that I have made on IG.
 I found Mr. DeWilde and this great Chinese New Year Lantern lesson in a feed of Art Teachers that post on Instagram.  He was also nice enough to share with me his paper sizes. Check him out!

The red paper on the large lantern is 9 x 12 and the gold/yellow paper is 7 x 9.
Fold it like a Hot dog, and make thick or then cuts to a guide line through folded paper. 
Very similar to paper weaving. 

I am going to have my classes that I missed make a mini version.

I encouraged the kids to draw traditional Asian Cultural images. 
We also checked out this website and many books from our Library. 

I printed up some Chinese word sheets and most of my student's have personal devices to look up words and images. Many of my student's are also Chinese. I learned that the Chinese Lantern Festival is a week after the Chinese New Year starts. This year it starts on February February 15th.  Chinese New Year starts on February 8th. 

On day two we assembled the lanterns during the last half of the class period with 
Glue all and Staples. 

Notice that we removed one slit to allow over lapping when you twirl into the form. 
 Either staple or glue.

Add a handle and you are finished with very happy kiddos. We are going to display them in our library next month! 

The thinner cuts seemed to show their artwork better. 

Notice the little mini for the odd classes that missed a week. So Cute!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter lessons

And it is 70 degrees outside!

School is out for two weeks and I am home today without a car. Its a good thing. I have gotten all the little things done and even have a clean house.  I am trying to get use to my new computer too. 

I took down all of the fall displays before I left and added some winter themed art work. I put up this board with 3rd and 4th grade work inspired by Paintbrush Rocket and her friend Painted Paper.

The painted Alpine trees were a perfect one day lesson on a week of interruptions in 3rd grade. Thank you Laura for the great lesson. 

I used two weeks with the 4th graders to created the Winter Bird lesson. 
The kids painted and printed the 9x12 paper on the first week
using cardboard and tempera paints. We also looked at the art of Charley Harper

On the second week they used oil pastels to create a bird. I also had shape tracers or they could use their devices to look up birds.  Personal device was the most popular option.

Some added a little snow!

I tweeted a few too!

I am so glad this will be up and ready to start off the New Year!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Relief Sculpture

Remember the Alamo?
No not really!

I am not from Texas and in 4th grade I took Indiana History...

so learning about the culture of my now home state is really fun for all. 

I came up with this lesson a few years ago after a TAEA conference host presented a lesson on creating the facade of the Alamo in Clay.  I tried the lesson with Air Dry clay, I had no kiln, 
and it was a disaster. 

I recreated the lesson using 36 gauge aluminum from Sax School Specialty.

The student's did an observational drawing of the Alamo using pictures and technology. Since the structure is symmetrical I guided them with some simple contour drawing steps. 

The manilla paper was 4.5 x 6 inches to utilize utilize the aluminum size.  I precut the metal on my paper cutter and taped it for them to the paper to avoid sharp edges. 

They traced their original drawing with pen on top of the metal with felt underneath. This step transfers the drawing.
They lifted the paper and tooled into the metal with a wooden stylus to create the tooled texture. 

This was day two of the lesson. I was really picky with them on the details. 
I encouraged some to flip over the metal and flatten the open spaces with a flat tool to create more relief which is the Repousse technique.  
Be careful, some kids may rub out their texture if they don't understand. Oh no....

I cut the top of the facade off, to avoid cuts and to show off the iconic structure. This is another way to engage in one on one conversation about their work. 

The student's then painted or aged the metal with a mixture of India ink and soap.
Let dry until the next class. Be does stain.

The student's also printed a FRAME for their Alamo using my old Fiskar brayers and printing ink on 9x12 construction paper. You can create any type of background, but my kids love these things. 
I pulled out the white ink since its WINTER! 

On Day 3 I pass back the background frames and the blackened Alamo.

They think I am crazy for having them paint it black, but the little piece of 
Steel Wool brings it to life!

We polish the flat areas and leave the ink in the valleys.
I hot glue it to their frame and it is a Ah Ha moment!

This lesson would be successful with any landmark that is symmetrical. 
Some relief sculptures look better when flipped over and some with the original contour drawing side up, The take away from this lesson is using a new and engaging material, which really is a hook for engaging all the students and they can all be super successful. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I am So grateful to have the week off to stop and enjoy Thanksgiving. I 
reused some of our wedding props and chalk pens to make these today.  I love chalk pens. 
You can wipe them off if you need too. 

Hopefully you all will have time to rest, enjoy family, and reset for a busy three weeks 
next month. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Native American Pictograms

This is an old lesson repurposed. I used to do the traditional paper bag and headdress lessons with Kindergarten and 1st grade, but they now do it in their classroom. 

I still have all of these handouts. 

Most came from the Art Teacher's Book of Lists
My learning to read and ELL student's love these. 
I decided we could still use them but on a 
Canoe Sculpture.

 Using the Reading Rainbow streaming video of 
The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush as my lesson introduction
 the student's expressed a story with pictures on their paper canoe.

I pre traced a canoe on a 12 x 18 folded sheet of brown paper. The more faded the better.

to add a little texture and fun we rubbed on color using the texture sheets and peeled construction paper crayons. What fun!

The students then wrote their stories with black crayon and colored them in with the construction paper crayons. I went around gluing the curved ends while they drew. 
I stapled in a little seat made of tagboard when they finished to pop it open like a real canoe. 
They were pretty happy to be taking this home this week! 

Needless to say it was a crazy glad to have one week off!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Day of the Dead

We are finally finishing up our Oil Pastel Sugar Skulls in 4th grade this week and learning about the Mexican Holiday Dia de los Muertos

On week one I introduce the lesson with books and videos such as this one below.

We used chrome books and ipads to learn to draw skulls using this awesome site: 

The student's drew the skull big on Tru Ray Black that I cut into a 9 x 12 size of construction paper. 
Good paper is the key to keep it from falling apart in the water at the end. They traced all pencil lines with a small piece of white hotel soap.  
The lines appear gray.  Then they begin coloring all the white first with small circular strokes being careful not to go onto the soap line. It takes about two class periods to color.

here is a picture of the small chunks of white hotel soap bars.

Put the paper into a tray of water to wash away the soap. I dry on newspaper on my drying rack.
They oh and ahh at this time.....

Finished just in time for the hanging up before the holiday.