connecting curriculum and creativity through art

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blast off to Outer Space

Are you excited for Back to School? 
I know I am getting excited to head back to the classroom to create with all my little artists! 

There have been years that I just was not ready to head back. I was not sure what I was going to teach and the stress of coming up with new ideas put me in a downward spiral. 

My school does thematic units every year and here is one of my favorite themes- 

Well, I am happy to say that I have finally put some of my favorite projects and 
thematic units in full color PDF's. 

If you need some guidance getting started for your new school year head over to the shop and look around for some fun projects. 

All of these lessons are kid approved and administration approved too. :) 

Need more space lesson ideas?

Here is another fabulous project created for our Space Unit.

Here is another fun, super large project
 for your kiddos!

My art club, containing lots of happy 3rd graders, meets in the bright and early morning.  

Some of those kids need that nudge of a template to get their ideas rolling. Some just need the supplies and blast off, they are creating.

 I find it interesting that many of my boys are not afraid of taking risks. Whether creating shapes or expressing ideas they are happy with the "process" of creating. 

My girls are much more into the layout. They plan things out to the last step before even beginning. Then their art teacher has to explain to their homeroom teacher why they are tardy to class.

For materials I put out all different scraps, foams, 
old paper borders, painted paper
and of course, our placemats that we use
 for cleaning brushes while painting.

Lastly, we outlined with black tempera paint. Pop!

I just love the wild colors and added streamers on these fun cruisers. 
Dig out some scraps and paper and start creating! 

So hopefully if you are struggling on what to do the first few weeks of school, don't worry
I have given you some fun successful projects!

Keep on Creating!
Laura :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tennessee Arts Academy 2015

Tennessee Arts Academy 2015

Just another day in Paradise!

Where do I start? What an AMAZING week of Professional Development and 
Inspirational Theatrical and Instrumental Musings
 presented at the beautiful campus of 
Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Luckily, I was offered a faculty position to teach a workshop for the 2015 Tennessee Arts Academy. The workshop session I created involved teaching elementary and middle school art teachers the process of painting with children. 
So I packed my bags and paint brushes and headed south. 
After the first 10 minutes of teaching, I knew I was where I was supposed to be. These were my folks, more like family! 

We did not waste a minute! The studio was a buzz with laughter, fun and lots of painted paper!

...and of course

The first project was to create a mixed media still life art piece inspired by Claude Monet's 

We used Model Magic air dry clay to create our beautiful flowers. They were then dried on a piece of 5" x 5" cardboard. 

On the second day of the workshop the participants painted their flowers with tempera paint. They then created a painted paper arrangement and glued them with tacky glue on to the painted paper background.
These were so beautiful when completed.

Here are just a few......

 The next project was to create painted paper.
We painted paper. Lots of paper 
with lots of fun materials.

After the painted paper session was completed we started on various painting projects based on the artist Paul Gauguin.
 Tahitian landscapes, tiki heads and 
tropical flowers to name a few.

       Tahitian Landscapes & Tiki Heads lessons can be found at the shop

Just look at these awesome students creating projects bursting with colors! My heart was just filled with delight.

Symmetrical tiki heads 
created with painted paper.

We also created large tropical flowers with tempera paint.

**Freebie alert**
 you can download the Painted Flower lesson plan here

We also had time to do 
Reflections of a Day with Claude Monet!

If you ever have the chance to visit 
Tennessee Arts Academy 
it is a must!

The folks in Nashville are lovely and will treat you wonderfully!

Love to all my new friends in Tennessee!

Keep on creating! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

TAA Summer Workshop and AOE Conference

Hey folks! 
So excited to hit the road next week!
I have a busy week ahead 
but nothing that a cup or 2 of coffee  
can help me manage.

I have been getting ready to teach 
Summer Workshop at 
Tennessee Arts Academy
next week in Nashville, Tennessee. 
Lots of fun painting lessons will be covered and displayed so bring your camera.

Also, while planning I stumbled across this quote by Paul Gauguin, 
it is just perfect for next week's sessions.

Plus on July 16th 

yours truly will be presenting 

Recipe for Success:
 Top Ingredients Needed to Spice up your Painting Projects!

Want to know successful strategies of painting with kids? 
Curious what fun ingredients 
I use in the classroom? 

is just the ticket!

So many awesome speakers will be presenting at this fun, fast-paced 
online conference.

I will be demonstrating various tools, and painting techniques that I use in my classroom.

Grab a PDF of one of my popular lessons.

Banish your fear of failure, grab your aprons, and get ready for some good ol' recipes that work in the art room. 

If you are attending get ready to 

Painted Paper!

Laura :)

(once a traveling art teacher always a traveling art teacher)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Let's Celebrate Sharks!

 Hey Guys, it's Shark Week!

Kids love Sharks! Period. Why not create some of these awesome creatures in their beautiful coral reef habitats? These mixed media projects are sure to delight your students. 

The fourth in our Habitat series, 

is now available. This unit contains information specific to the 

coral reef habitat and connects fun art lessons and science together while 

bringing Biscayne National Park to your classroom. 

The chain of narrow islands that make up the Biscayne's Keys divide the 

Biscayne Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Here the coral limestone faces outward 

toward the sea and the coral reef exists. It is a destination your students will 

love to learn about while gaining an understanding of a coral reef habitat. 

Project One creates a beautiful layered mixed media Coral Reef landscape with paints, oil pastels and painted paper details
Project Two creates a mixed media shark common to the habitat of the coral reef of Biscayne National Park
Project Three creates an Octopus using mixed media - painted paper and oil pastels
Project Four creates painted paper sea turtles constructed out of easy, basic shapes with fun details

These art lessons are easy to follow while being successful and fun for students.These lessons cover grades 1-4, but any age will love creating these projects.

Each project requires 1-2, 40-minute art sessions depending on grade level.

Included in this 22 page digital lesson plan:
Step by Step full-color photo tutorials for each lesson
Background information of each project
Background information for Biscayne National Park
Learning Objectives
Vocabulary Word Wall
Supplies needed for each project
Reproducible Coral Types Handout
Reproducible Shark Handout
Reproducible Octopus Handout
Reproducible Turtle Handout
Facts about Sharks Information Sheet
Student Galleries for each project
National Core Art Standards checklist

If you need a fun project for camp or summer school this is a perfect addition to your library while connecting to the science standards. 

Hope you are having a enjoyable summer 
and keep on creating!

                                    Laura :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Salute to the American Flag

Happy Birthday America!
Who doesn’t love a birthday party? What about all those fabulous decorations? I love celebrating America’s birthday and seeing the Flag with all its stars and stripes displayed so proudly at this time of year. 

In fact, I love seeing it displayed all year long! There is something so majestic about the flag.  Maybe it is the bold bright colors or the special significance that it means. 

So in honor of the American flag and our love for our country, I had my kiddos create this awesome project inspired by the artist Peter Max.

It is a quick 40 minute lesson but 
the results are stunning! 

I have created a full color lesson plan that you can download in honor of America’s birthday.  Head over to the shop to get your free lesson.

Have a Safe and Happy 
4th of  July!

Keep on Creating!

Laura :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

4th of July Sale

New lessons have been put into the shop! 
Come back tomorrow for more information!

Keep on Creating!
Laura :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Habitats: Life in the Desert - Grand Canyon National Park

Tired of teaching the same projects? How about

connecting some fun Art lessons and Science 

together while bringing the National Parks to your 

classroom? The first in a series, 

               Habitats: Life in the Desert- 

                              Grand Canyon National Park 

is a perfect start. 

The Grand Canyon is a popular destination for 

travelers. Why not make it a top destination for your 

students as well while they learn about the desert 


Project One creates a beautiful layered landscape 

with paints and painted paper details

Project Two creates large cactus plants common to 

the desert

Project Three creates a painted snake with fun 


Project Four creates a painted paper scorpion

These Science inspired art lessons are easy to follow 

while being successful and fun for students. They are 

geared for grades 1-4, but truly anyone will love 

creating these projects.

Included in this 16 page digital lesson plan:
Step by Step full-color photo tutorials for each lesson
Background information of each project
Learning Objectives
Vocabulary Word Wall
Supplies needed for each project
Reproducible Geology of the Grand Canyon Handout
Reproducible Snake Handout
Student galleries

National Core Art Standards checklist

Each project requires 1-2, 40-minute art sessions 

depending on grade level.

Thanks for stopping by and for letting Painted Paper 

be your top destination for art lessons.

Keep on Creating!

Laura :)