I am a 1-8th grade art teacher in Green Bay, WI. I have concocted some of these lessons or stolen them from other talented teachers. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


6th graders created woven baskets. Students viewed baskets made all over the world out of different materials. Then they received a wooden base, and cut stakes to put into the holes. Next class students soaked about 2 1/2 inches that was sticking out of the bottom to create a woven bottom. Next, students picked about 8 strands of reed. All materials were kept in brown grocery bags until next class. Students filled the sinks daily with hot water for soaking. To change the shape of their basket students manipulated the stakes. Students were careful to not have "snaky stakes" which meant that that strands were pushing against them altering their shape.

Lastly, student ended their baskets by gently curving each stake next to the one in front of it. Students could also add beads to their stakes. This has been an old stand by of mine. I have been doing these for 10 years, and the kids--yes even the boys--love them!

Warhol Soup Cans

2/3 Artists designed soup cans complete with company name, type of soup, picture of ingredients and spoon. Students learned how to draw a cylinder and were introduced to Andy Warhol's work and life. Students looked at a variety of labels for the important information and what would get a consumer's attention. "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists--Andy Warhol" DVD was a great ending to our unit. Kids got really creative with soups such as "Candy Corn Soup" and Even "Smores" Soup! One of my favorites showed tiny snails floating in the broth!

Fancy Paper Snowflakes

These were a huge hit last year--so I decided they would be perfect for my 4/5 students to do again--on the last week before Winter Break. It is a great make and take day for them. I do a step-by-step process and draw some of the directions on the board. Students can do many variations including adding more layers, using colored paper, some even used "fancy" scissors to give it more pizzazz. A few donated them to the art room :) Just make sure to borrow staplers from the office or other teachers to help the process.

High Contrast Grid Self-Portraits

7/8 Students used Photoflexer, a free internet program to manipulate their photos. Many chose to crop and use the Inkstamp function. Students then used these images to create an acrylic painting. First students gridded out their image, then painted. These were striking--I need to take more photos!

Oodles of Stools

6th-8th Grade Focus Learning Time Students created thumbnail sketches to design stools that are as unique as they are. Now if only I could get the younger students to stop fighting over the one they want to sit on! Acrylic paint with sealant. I hope to spray paint the hardware this spring. I have wanted to do this for so long!

Clay Mugs

7/8 Students created clay mugs using a slab method. Students got pretty creative with this assignment. Right before Winter Break we drank hot chocolate and celebrated our success. Wahoo!

Painted Furniture

Focus Learning Time is a new concept for our school this year. Each morning 6-8th graders work in an area of strength. Here are some of my FLT students who worked on concepts for painted furniture and beautifying the art room stools--more pics to come soon!

Apples--A Delicious Series

4/5 Artists practiced Contour lines to create their series of an apple being eaten. It was a blast seeing them eat this art project right up! Students were challenged to create a background and use a burnishing technique to layer their colored pencils. Students used a colorless blender or white to really achieve the look of paint. Wow!

Overlapping Pumpkins

2/3 Grade Artists created the illusion of depth by creating overlapping shapes. I stressed color mixing with construction paper crayons and the concept of horizon line. Next, we used watercolor to finish their work.

Scarecrows by 4/5 Students

Students used "Scarecrow Boy" as inspiration for creating our own mixed media paintings. I used the step-by-step method to give students lots of ideas for their scarecrows. Next, students used a crayon resist method with tempera cakes to create a wonderful piece. Students had to fill the background, and overlapping shapes was stressed.

Cubism--Shading Practice

Middle Schoolers practiced their shading skills--you just can never get enough shading right?? First I gave them directions such as "Draw 3 vertical lines, Next draw 2 circles . . . " Then they had a chance to add. Students used colored pencil on construction paper. This was a nice way to see who needed more guidance before more complicated projects.

Fall is a Scream!

2/3 Grade Artists studied the style of Edvard Munch. We used oil pastel on some donated folders. Next students created these pumpkins out of Celluclay--Thanks Jen for this idea! We topped off the pumpkins with some glitterglaze to make it sparkle. Students got a kick out of their "Scary" scene!

Zentangles--Powerful Patterns

Students created these beautiful Zentangles to start the year off on a successful note. Students in my Art Focus Learning Groups did these. I showed students many examples from the internet. We traced CD's and made a "Tangle" line and filled each section with a different pattern. Sharpie Ultra Fine markers are amazin!