Friday, November 18, 2011

Lesson Plans!?!

At the beginning of this school year, I started posting links to my lesson plans when I post images of a new project. I'm more than happy to do that because I think the spirit of art teacher blogs is sharing ideas and making all of our lives easier. I want to know if having the actual plans posted is helpful for anyone. Has anyone been able to go to the Google Docs page and download them? Click on the link below to see all of the lesson plans/presentations that I've uploaded so far. You can also scroll down to projects I've updated recently to link directly to those lesson plans. These are all totally free. No strings attached! I'm not that kind of art teacher!

Art Lesson Plans! 

Once you open one of the lesson plans, you can go to the Google Docs navigation where it reads File, etc. Click on file, scroll down, and you can download as multiple file types.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1st Grade Rockets in Space

Notice that all of the planets are included (in the proper order and size relationship) in this one.
Wow! This artist has an amazing knowledge of science even as a first grader!

This project has become a favorite for me for 1st grade. We start out with a pretty simple overview of space, planets, and space travel. I also show the kids a video of the space shuttle launching. They are always super psyched to see that. Most haven't seen a shuttle launch before. We like to listen for the NASA guy telling how fast the shuttle is traveling. The acceleration is unbelievable. 

I then have students draw 4-5 planets on a 12"x18" white piece of paper. They color the planets using crayon, but pushing down very hard so the color is vibrant. The next day is spent painting "space" with black tempera. I suppose I could have the kids cut out their planets and glue them on black paper, but I want to give them as much practice painting as possible. They love painting, so I try to give them every opportunity to practice. The rockets are made on the third day and all of the paper comes from my scrap box. The fourth day of the project is spent finishing any coloring or rocket assembly that is necessary before gluing the rocket onto the background and making stars. The stars are simply made using the back of a brush. The results are alway great and my students love this project. 

Here is the link to the lesson plan!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


100 followers?!? It's funny. When I started this blog a couple of years ago, I was just looking for a place to share lessons and art with parents and other art teachers in my district. I really never thought that I would actually have so many people commenting and following this blog. I appreciate everyone's feedback and I hope to continue to make the blog interesting to read. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3rd Grade Day of the Dead Calaveras

 Third graders just finished a project about Day of the Dead. I'm trying to have at least a couple of new projects per grade level this year and this is one of those new projects. I've got to say that I was really pleased with how this one turned out. 

We started out by discussing the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Students compared and contrasted it with our holiday of Halloween. There are some similarities, but Day of the Dead is much more involved. Essentially, it involves honoring, celebrating, and remembering friends and family members who have died. 

The calavera (skull) is one of the major symbols of Day of the Dead. Each third grade student drew a large calavera that included many patterns inside. They worked to make their drawings symmetrical as well. I hate to use markers, so these were colored with colored pencils. The kids were so impressed with how bright they could color with the pencils when they pressed down a little harder than usual. They then cut out the skulls and glued them on a piece of construction paper with a simple "frame" made of strips of paper. We kept the background simple in order to make the skull stand out as the star of the work.

In addition to the usual lesson plan link below, I'm putting up the artist statement I have the students complete after they finish their work. They just tape it on the back of their art and I use it to more accurately assess their knowledge. 

Download the lesson plan!!!

Download the artist statement I use for grading this project!

Friday, November 4, 2011

2nd Grade Scarecrows

2nd grade students at Thomas just finished a project based on the book Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown. After reading the book, we discussed how farmers and farming are important in Ohio. Next, each student drew a simple farm landscape with oil pastels. Each hill in the landscape included a different pattern. The hills and sky were then painted with watercolor. Finally, each student made their own scarecrow. Many of the scarecrows had one of the six super silly faces made by the scarecrow boy in the book. Overall, this was a very successful project.

Click here for the lesson plan!