Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Historical Printmaking

The students at Iron Springs spend about 40 minutes a week in visual art class. Each week they exercise their creative muscles making art about the things they learn about with their classroom teachers. First graders have been making whimsical portraits with shapes, second graders spent time making simple mosaics using the 100 chart from math. Fourth graders are making books that illustrate the water cycle and the fifth graders studied color theory which complimented their science core.

The third graders have been learning about our local history over the past few months in their regular classes. They visited the Frontier Homestead Museum (formerly Iron Mission) and several historical sites in Parowan. After their field trips, we made block prints illustrating the things that they saw. First we made our preliminary drawings, and tried to include texture and details. Then we transferred our drawings to styrofoam printing blocks. Finally we used plexiglass, brayers, and water-based ink to create stunning block prints. Many of these prints are on display on a bulletin board in our hallway. Please stop and take a look the next time you're in the building.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Here is them movie that the first graders made this year. It's all about changes in nature. They came up with these ideas, created story boards, drew pictures, took photos and made sound effects all by themselves. Amazing what 6 year olds can do, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What a Year!

I have just assembled a video that documents most of the major projects that we have done up until this point for the year. Beware, this slideshow is 10 minutes long.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Art Partners

In our first and second grade classes, we have been playing an art game that my daughter sort of made up. I'm calling it "Art Partners." It is great. Basically two kids work together, each with their own paper. They decide on what to draw (or leave it undecided.) One person draws the first element, then the next person copies it onto her own paper. Then that second person adds a detail and the first partner copies it onto her paper. And so it goes, until they have created something quite wonderful.

We pushed all the chairs out of the way, so kids are working on the floor. And it just got so still and nice (and occasionally giggly) as the kids worked together to make just fabulous drawings.

The kids and I talked about how their brains have to actually work pretty hard to play this game. They have to compare and contrast, measure and count, focus, concentrate, and also be creative.

I think this also gets their minds in gear to understand diagrams and charts and all other kinds of visuals that are on the end of level tests that are always looming near, you know.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2nd Grade Around the World

The second graders in Utah learn all about maps, and continents and all that great stuff. So we're going to spend a month or two going around the world in art. We started in Italy this week and learned about Michelangelo and the ceiling of the Sistine (not SIXTEEN, I told the kids) chapel. Our lesson plan was an elementary art teacher standard. We just taped papers under our desks and drew. We drew pictures of people--bodies in motion, which is something we studied a lot when these kids were in first grade.

The kids drew for about 25 minutes and after the first 3 minutes, they were ready to be finished! It was a fun day after all and it was especially nice to crawl around on the floor and gain an appreciation for the hardwork that Michelangelo went through over four years as he painted the ceiling.

Paul Klee Faces

Our first graders are creating their Paul Klee faces again. This is a project that I just love because they all turn out great and just so playful. We're still focusing on drawing faces using shapes, bold lines and bright colors, but we're doing it a bit different this year. This time we're starting with thick white using white oil pastels. The kids are really learning how to press strong and to trace over a line a few times to make it bold and smooth. Next week we'll fill in the faces with either warm or cool colored regular chalk pastels, then we'll fill in the background with the opposite colors. These kids were already so proud and excited about their work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Grade Bodies in Motion

We have just completed a three week unit in first grade all about the body. It is pretty similar to what we did in first grade last year.

Week One: We had all the chairs and tables pushed up against the walls and we worked on the floor. Everyone had a clipboard, pencil, and plenty of scrap paper. We looked at our bodies and realized that normally when we draw people, they look like boards--straight and stiff with no bending. So we moved our bodies and figured out all the places and directions our bodies can bend. We talked a little about bones and joints as well. Then we took turns modeling in our craziest, bendiest poses as we drew short--30 seconds to a minute--gesture drawings. We especially loved it when the classroom teachers modeled for us.

Week Two: On this day we remember all the joints that we talked about last week. Then we created "Geometric Kids" using card stock shapes. Then we carefully repeated our kids in crayon rubbings.

Week Three: We finished the unit by making bodies in motion out of paper strips and glue. We looked at Kieth Harings artwork, then added "energy lines" to our pictures.