connecting curriculum and creativity through art

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Ugly Duckling...Beautiful Swans

There’s no better way to discuss self esteem in second grade than with the story of The Ugly Duckling.  
You know the duck that did not look like all the others? 
How many of you have students who feel they don ’t fit in? 
My classroom is the place where anyone can excel and be the beautiful swan.

Continuing with our thematic unit of Fairy Tales and Fables, students created their swans with simple materials 
such as paper and tempera paint.

Week One: Students used tempera paint to create the
 habitat the swan lives in. 
Reed grasses, cat tails, water ponds were all discussed for ideas.

Week Two:  Students created the beautiful swan. 

We discussed the shape of the swan. An “S” shape neck that is at least 3 finger widths wide. Also the body should be larger than the swan’s head. We added a large wing and put cuts at the tip to represent the feathers. 
Lastly, the students added a head with a painted paper beak and painted a small eye. 

 Some students really explored the movement of a swan and applied that to their projects.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Frog Prince

Have you ever had a delightful class that really enjoyed their projects? Well, I have a terrific bunch of second graders. They are always excited about their projects, but this one was the favorite of the year.

Our project is based off of the Grimm’s fairy tale The Frog Prince

In the tale, a spoiled princess reluctantly befriends a frog by meeting him after dropping a gold ball into a pond where he resides. She plays with him then lets him sleep on her beautiful pillow. Finally after a kiss, he magically transforms into a handsome prince. 

The Production Time:

Week One: After listening to the story the student created their frogs on 12" x 18" drawing paper. I suggested using an upside down triangle to create the body, then oval legs with
 triangles to represent the webbed feet. 
Eyes were semi circles drawn on top of the triangle. 
Students used various shades of yellow and green paint 
to fill in the frog.

 Week Two: Students added semi circles made out of white paper with small black pupils to represent the eyes. Painted paper crowns were added. We looked at the shape of a trapezoid flipped upside down with zig-zags. Then jewels were added to the crown.

Plastic jewels for 3.98! Nothing but the best for our frogs.

After the crowns were added we painted the frogs’ mouths and dry brushed some details to the body. We glued them down to colored construction paper and used metallic markers to create a simple design on the border.

Another class created the Queens and Kings to be displayed among the frogs and other fairy tale projects. These were completed in one 40 minute class period. The materials used were pre-painted paper, animal print paper and sequins. 

The Process of Painting Paper

Recently I have received numerous emails asking how to make painted papers. The whole process of painting papers is the students favorite thing to create in the artroom. They love to paint. 
With these helpful suggestions you will too!

Construction Paper
Step 1: Grab various paper. I used 12" x 18" drawing paper and 
12" x 18" Tru-Ray Construction paper.  
Tru-Ray is really strong and does not tear 
when loads of paint is applied.

Step 2: I use So Big brushes by Crayola. They are really tough brushes for little hands. I also use some other brushes as well but Crayola handles the wear and tear of painting year after year. I suggest to the students to “hop” around their paper. 
No blending. We want to see the paint and brush strokes.

Sometimes we use texture brushes along with cardboard tubes, plastic lids and rings. Any item you can paint with or leave a print will work! I ordered these from Lakeshore. 
(A pre-primary/primary school catalog.)


Step 3: Grab the paints. I use Prang, Dick Blick and Crayola. I have found the premium paint is brighter and opaque. 
Washable paint is not as vivid.

Don’t forget your placemats to keep your tables clean.
 I use 18" x 24" manilla tagboard as placemats. They are durable and last a whole semester!

When I paint all day I start with yellow, oranges and white. 
When you add white to the paint it creates a tint (a lighter color).

 Then I go to the next color grouping : Yellow, Green and White
 Blues, Purples and again add white for some tints.

Sometimes we just need to use up paints so we mix it up!

 Spray bottles filled with watered down paint or watercolors create beautiful effects on the previous painted paper.

When you are painting paper with 5 classes a day you need a large drying rack. This has been a life saver. I can get four 12" x 18" sheets on one shelf. Just imagine the rainbow of colors of painted paper at the end of the day!
If you are painting with a few children you can lay the sheets on a table or on the floor. Use a plastic table cloth as a drop cloth.

I store the sheets in stacks of rainbows so it is easy 
to grab for future projects.

Enjoy the processing of mixing beautiful colors on paper-


Sunday, February 19, 2012

birds of a feather

My third grade teachers are loving their hallways. Why? 
Because flocks of birds are hanging around their classrooms! 
One class created painted paper bird houses with paintedpaper birds another 
with flowering vines.
We used all geometric shapes to create this project. 

Circles, semi-circles, triangles, rectangles, and ovals for the birds.

Pentagons, rectangles, and circles for the bird house. 

Another class painted morning glory vines and flowers then added a painted paper bird

we looked at the poem

(Author Unknown)

Once the Morning-Glory was flat on the ground. She grew that way, and she had never climbed at all. Up in the top of a tree near her lived Mrs Jennie Wren and her little baby Wren. The little Wren was lame; he had a broken wing and couldn't fly. He stayed in the nest all day. But the mother Wren told him all about what she saw in the world, when she came flying home at night. She used to tell him about the beautiful Morning-Glory she saw on the ground. She told him about the Morning-Glory every day, until the little Wren was filled with a desire to see her for himself.
"How I wish I could see the Morning- Glory!" he said.
The Morning-Glory heard this, and she longed to let the little Wren see her face. She pulled herself along the ground, a little at a time, until she was at the foot of the tree where the little Wren lived. But she could not get any farther, because she did not know how to climb. At last she wanted to go up so much, that she caught hold of the bark of the tree, and pulled herself up a little. And little by little, before she knew it, she was climbing.
And she climbed right up the tree to the little Wren's nest, and put her sweet face over the edge of the nest, where the little Wren could see.
That was how the Morning-Glory came to climb.

then we started to painted our beautiful morning glory vine and flowers.

Week Two: we created the birds using the geometric shapes 

I let them choose their bird's eye:
Sharpie, construction paper or you guessed it-
 Wiggle Eyes! I am always amazed at how much kids love these! 
Never take the fun out of creating because that is when the learning begins!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Princess and the Pea

We are in full production mode in our little classroom. We have been cutting, gluing and painting away! My second graders really enjoyed this project of the Princess and the Pea. I read the story first, then the students started stacking their paper mattresses. Twenty, yes, twenty mattresses with a pea underneath is what our story said the princess needed for a good night sleep. We used split peas under our mattresses! 

Week One: Student stacked pre-painted paper. 
We all counted together. 1, 2, 3.... 

Next we added the bed frame and posts.

Week Two: Students created ladders and a princess and of course some students wanted to make a prince instead of a princess.

 Check out the sleeping beauty!
 I love the little hands on this princess.

 Ribbons and a pea were glued down to complete our project.