Monday, May 22, 2017

5th grade clay fish sculptures



I was inspired to teach this lesson after seeing these beautiful sculptures on Pinterest, from the Italian website http://www.biavatibottegadellestelle.it/ - La Bottega Della Stelle.
I was taken with the simple fish forms and textures, and I really wish I had some of those beautiful neutral glazes, but no luck this late in the year, so we opted for bright tempera. Maybe next year! 
We built these in one session - we started with a thick pinch pot and flipped it over and added a variety of coral, seaweed, starfish, and other details. Then we formed a slab and added details to both sides to create the fish. Lastly, at the end of our 45 minute session, we poked holes in both using a wooden dowel and a slight stirring motion to enlarge the hole for shrinkage. 


After a bisque firing, we painted the surfaces with liquid tempera and added a bit of hot glue. They turned out beautifully! 












Friday, May 19, 2017

4th grade embroidered monograms


Fourth graders practiced threading needles, tying knots, sewing on buttons/beads/sequins, and several different types of stitches during our embroidery project this year. We also made paper frames for presenting our work after we removed the embroidery hoops.

















Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New K-2 drawing exercise

I am happy to share our latest drawing exercise for my younger students, as I usually focus on drawing exercises like gesture and contour with my older kids. In our last few days of art this year, we have been doing "1 drawing, 1 minute" practice, which uses the "drawing from memory" part of our brains. I created an "inchies" worksheet a couple of years ago, that we have used for a number of different activities, and it is perfect for this. Here's how it works:
1. I call out a random object, let's say a hamburger. On the inchies sheet, which has 30 square inch boxes, students will draw a hamburger from their memory in a minute or less - usually about 45 seconds.
2. I call out the next object and the students draw it in the second square. I usually choose a theme for each row of five boxes - first row: food, second row: animals, third row: vehicles, etc. This helps me stay on track and not repeat. Sometimes I do funny ones, like their teacher's angry face.
3. The kids get super into this and are really quiet and focused. It makes a perfect time for me to walk around the room, organizing and packing and tidying for end of year. :)
4. Once the 30 boxes are filled, we turn the paper over and do an observation drawing for contrast. I have a big box of stuffed animals and other toys - the students choose one and do an extended observation drawing, say 5-10 minutes, and we discuss how drawing from observation is different than drawing from memory.
5. This perfectly fits in a 45 minute session.
My "inchies" sheet is available here on my Teachers Pay Teachers page - for a buck-fifty you can skip getting out the graph paper and ruler and making one yourself - haha!  Have fun drawing...




 This guy had inchies all over his shirt!