Setting Art Goals at the Beginning of a School Year

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I love the beginning of a school year. You have new supplies, empty walls and a fresh new start with ten months of wonderful art projects and possibilities ahead! Everything is exciting and the students are ready and eager to … Continue reading

Stained Glass Art in Pre-K

I save absolutely everything because I know that sooner or later I will be inspired to use it with a lesson. This is what happened with the vinyl packages that my art aprons came in. Instead of ending up in the garbage I cut them open at the seams and suddenly they were now ‘glass’ for a stained glass project I had in mind with my Pre-K class.

I gave my students a paper cut to the exact size of the vinyl sheet  with a frame I made with markers and we talked about each others favorite animals or favorite things. The students then drew their animals or things such as flowers, lions, pumas, etc.  within the frame and outlined it with a black marker. I placed the vinyl sheet on top and outlined their pictures with a black sharpie marker. While I was doing this with each child, everyone else colored their pictures while they waited for everyone’s vinyl sheet to be traced.

Next I showed them the ‘magic‘ paint (Plaid Gallery Glass window color) and showed everyone how to squeeze just the right amount to color in their pictures. I also demonstrated that an easy way to fill color into an area is to ‘squeeze and color in circles‘ -as the paint comes out they spread it around with the circular movements.

This was tricky at first but the kids got the hang of it in no time. Let them add quite a bit of paint and if the colors run into each other or go out of the lines a bit, all the better-the effect is wonderful!

When these dried the kids then put some dots and designs around the border to finish up. The beauty of vinyl is that it sticks to a glass surface quite easily and if you dampen the back a little it sticks even better.

The hallway windows outside my class looked fabulous with all the stained glass pictures.

What do you think?

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Eric Carle Art in Pre-Kindergarten

Sana's Caterpillar

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I have to say that I LOVE Eric Carle’s beautiful art!  The colors and the textures he creates on tissue paper is magical and the whole process is easy and fun for any age. Pre-K is learning about insects and … Continue reading

Pre-Kinder Shape Collage

Lessons for younger kids need to be fun, dynamic and full of suprises. The best thing about teaching Pre- K and Kinder is how excited the kids get when you teach them anything. Now if you make that ‘anything‘ fun then you have a hit!

My Pre-K class was reviewing shapes in their class so I planned the following lesson for them which they all loved.  Plan for two lessons when you do this with Pre-K and Kindergarten and you can adapt this idea to other grade levels.

We started the lesson by remembering all the shapes Pre-K  knew  and learned in their classroom. Here I pretended to ‘forget‘ my shapes so they could teach me  all the shapes again (they love doing this!). We  shouted out the names and drew squares, rectangles, circles, diamonds, ovals, triangles, etc.  in the air with big arm strokes.

Each student got a big plain colored paper and drew their favorite shapes (not too small, not too big) on the paper with a pencil. They outlined their shapes with a black crayon, colred them in and then cut them out.

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The students chose a big colored paper,  glued their shapes and transformed them by adding arms, legs, hats, ears, hair, feet, shoes, etc. Other details like the weather, houses, grass, flowers were also encouraged. This was a perfect lesson to review shapes and turn them into awesome art work!

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Torn Paper Lines

 

Here is a neat idea you can do the next time you need to teach LINES. Get your students to ‘feel‘ the lines by tearing out all sorts of lines using only their fingers and imagination!
IGive out 2 colored papers either to individual students or to pairs. In this lesson I gave out white and black paper because the contrast is quite dramatic but you can use any color combination such as a warm and cool color, complimentary colors, different shades, etc. Tell your students one color is for tearing lines out and the other is for glueing the lines on.
My grade three class worked in pairs. We discussed and reviewed the different kinds of lines and how to tear paper and give it the shape we want. Teach your students to gently make little tears and to use their thumb as a guide and ‘ruler‘. The students got into pairs and talked about which lines they wanted to tear. They placed the torn lines on the paper and decided on a nice composition.  Here your students can place lines symmetrically or make a picture depending on the grade level. We went for a symmetrical composition because they were learning about this in math.

tearing lines

tearing lines

playing around with the lines for composition

playing around with the lines for composition

 

 

Once the teams were happy with their lines the next step was to glue them down on the paper. They then were given the same colored paper and had to make the same or another design using the opposite color. If the students started with tearing white paper on black then they would do tearing black lines on white paper.
This lesson can be adapted to many grade levels and the result is quite lovely.

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Here is a slideshow of the lesson.

Lines Go Walking In Kindergarten!

I couldn’t resist not doing my previous lesson “Taking Lines for a Walk’ with my eager Kinder kids. We talked about lines and we looked for them in the classroom. We drew imaginary lines in the air and then they were ready for their art project.

Every child got a 18 x 12 piece of white paper and a black crayon. I explained to them that they would take their crayon on a wonderful adventure all over the paper. They can start on any edge of the paper and curl, twirl, curve, zig-zag all around the paper till you say “stop!” They nned to end their line and go off any edge of the paper. Here you need to watch what everyone is doing and make sure the lines don’t get crowded and messy on the paper. In other words, don’t drag this part of the lesson too long!

Taking a line for a walk

Taking a line for a walk

 

Next, tell your kids to color in some spaces with crayons and to fill in the areas with different lines they can think of such as dots, crosses, hatched lines, etc.

Coloring in some of the spaces

Coloring in some of the spaces

Next and final part of the lesson is to paint the paper with watered down tempera paints (stick to three colors max) or water colors. The result is fantastic and the kids will know everything about lines!

Painting in the rest of the spaces

Painting in the rest of the spaces

 

 

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Art Lessons for Kids is on Facebook  and we are GROWING. Hit the  “Like” button and join the conversation. We are ALL waiting for you!! You can also follow my adventures on Twitter (@Ms_Alejandra).

Need art supplies? Click on the link below to visit check out my new Shoppe!
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Lines All Around

 

Filling in spaces with different kinds of lines

Filling in spaces with different kinds of lines

I have started my next big unit on LINES as part of the Elements of Art Theme. It’s important for kids to have an understanding of these elements which will help them when they go and make their own art. By knowing what the seven elements (line, shape, form, color, value, texture and space) of art are, kids will appreciate that all the art in the world is done with one or more of these elements.

I choose to look at each element seperately so that my students can really get a good grasp of them  and practice using them when making their own art work.

Start by telling your students that they will become a detective. This is a good time to define what a detective is and then tell them they will be a ‘line detective’ This is a hit with younger kids, grades 2 down.  We first brainstorm all the lines we know and I let my kids come up to the smartboard and draw their lines. We them establish that a line is a mark made by a pointed tool such as a pencil, crayon, marker, paintbrush, tree branch, etc. For older kids you can get into more detail about what a line is. It’s important for kids to learn that lines can be vertical, horizontal, straight, diagnal, wavy, zig-zag and curved. Of course add more ‘line’ words to your list but these are essentially the basic lines to know.

Then give each student their sketchbook, a pencil, marker and a crayon and hunt for lines in the classroom. Once they find a line, they record it in their sketchbook by copying it. Once you have found some interesting lines in the classroom, go outside and record more lines.

Kids have a great time finding lines and it makes them aware of all the lines around them. When you come back to class discuss your findings and then show a slide show (that you previously made!) showing lines in nature such as leaves, buildings, birds,  architecture, water ripple etc. Have your kids point to the lines they see and use the correct word: horizontal, curvy, zig-zag, vertical, etc.

Amazing Color Blots

Making new colors

Making new colors

Making color blots are fun and the kids get a real sense of how colors mix to make new colors. Give each child a white piece of paper and have them fold the paper in half. Meanwhile you have already set up a painting station with the primary colors in tubs and with a plastic spoon in each tub.

I really like this blot!

I really like this blot!

Discuss the primary colors (red, yellow and blue). Explain that you cannot mix other colors to make blue, yellow or red. The primary colors are special colors because if you mix two of them together you make a new color called the secondary colors.

Allow them to discover the new colors they make by letting them choose their combinations. They should spoon a dollop of two primary colors into the middle of the crease on their paper. Tell them to close their paper, rub the paint around, open the paper and what do you see? Their amazement at discovering a new color is wonderful and they’ll want to make more colors! Let them do this with other primary color combinations till they have made green, orange and purple (the secondary colors).

Fill the white space with primary colors

Fill the white space with primary colors

With the Grade Ones and Two’s I encourage them put paint on their paper and fill the entire white space with two primary colors. Then they close it, rub it a little and their final product looks pretty awesome!

Great result!

Great result!

 

Blots