Monday, March 5, 2018

Pre-K Abstract Sculptures

This is a super lesson to try with your young artists - it takes just a bit of prep and the results are so fun! You'll need craft foam, model magic, glue, scissors, pipe cleaners and small pieces of tagboard or railroad board. The inspiration for this lesson comes from the blog, Plastiquem
Before class, I used Elmer's glue to attach a small chunk of model magic to a piece of 5x5" square of railroad board. Due to time constraints, I pre-cut a bunch of shapes from craft foam (students can totally handle this step, but we were short on time) and put a pile of pipe cleaners (fuzzy wires) in the middle of each table. I showed the kids how to gently press the foam shapes onto the fuzzy wires. I made sure to explain that this step takes some practice and is a challenge - a gentle press works just fine and the wire will push through the foam when it's ready - I haven't found the right terminology for it yet, but all the kids eventually got the technique. It's wonderful for practicing those fine motor skills, patience and persistence! I left things pretty open-ended as far as how many foam pieces to add, etc. and the kids just ran with the concept and had fun building their sculptures!! 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February art happenings - spread the LOVE!

Just like many other incredible art teachers out there, I enjoy using the theme of love to drive our art learning during the month of February. I try to squeeze in as many projects as I can with as many grade levels as possible. I like to refer to it as "heartwork month." If you'd like to see more pictures, please check out my Instagram - artwithmrskim to the right of this page! 


My littlest friends - the PreK peeps, enjoyed weaving/wrapping (I'm still not sure how to refer to this process!) on cardboard hearts using small pieces of yarn. Fine motor skills practice and perseverance really came into play when we made these. Before class, I pre-cut the 5" hearts and made six notches around the edge of each one (boy, I used my art muscles!). I also cut 3 pieces of yarn per student in small lengths. Two classes used paint stix prior to the yarn work, however if you don't have them or are short on time, the cardboard looks great on its own in combination with the yarn! When finished, I added holes with a hole punch and tied on some string to make them into necklaces. We also spent some time working with construction paper crayons and paint to make a Jim Dine inspired heart to celebrate the season. 

Kindergartners made a multi-media piece of artwork that included drawing, painting, and cutting with the final element being a yarn-bombed heart (I've been calling pipe cleaners, "fuzzy wire" these days). Another class had a bit more time so they also got to cut hearts using art magic! What a fun way to sneak in symmetry and help the kids build confidence. 

2nd GRADE:

2nd graders learned about the artist, Robert Indiana - who happens to come from my home state, go Hoosiers! We had been working in clay previously to this assignment so drawing in three dimensions was a great way to explore perspective and build upon our learning of working in the 3d realm - plus, they had a lot of fun! On Valentine's Day the kids made origami hearts using this video. We will continue exploring sculpture over the next few weeks, I can't wait! 

3rd GRADE:
3rd graders were tasked with making a graphic cube inspired by Robert Indiana's work. They designed each letter to make graphic statements across the paper. Some even challenged themselves by drawing the letters three-dimensionally. Many artists chose to use the iconic word, LOVE, but the assignment was open-ended and they were able to choose other positive words with four letters like, WISH, HOPE, LUCK, COOL just to name a few. Some of the lucky kids, like Emre and Lily, have names with four letters and chose to use their names :) 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Pre-K Fossils - Two Ways

This is a great clay lesson perfect for the younger crowd - these clay fossils and necklaces were made with Pre-K students during one class period. For prep, each student will need two chunks of clay - one about 3-4" in diameter and the other about an inch in diameter. To warm up, we talk about fossils and I share a book called, Fossil by Bill Thomson. To make the charm, I teach the kids how to gently roll the bottom of their shoe on top of a small piece of clay that we place on the floor. When we are done with the shoe fossils, I pass out fossil tool kits - boxes with shells and an assortment of plastic dinos and bugs. First, they use the palm of their hand to press the larger chunk of clay into a pancake and then we have fun pressing the tools into the clay and experimenting to make the larger fossils. 

Tip: Make name tags to stay organized! I use small pieces of paper with the kids names already pre-written. To keep track of everyone's work, I placed the charm on top of the large fossil and sandwich the name tag in between. At the end of the day, I used a toothpick to write names on the underside of both pieces. 

After these were bisque fired, the kids used underglazes to add color to both of their fossils. I painted on clear coat so they would come out nice and shiny after the second firing. 

Practicing fine motor skills and adding beads to each side of the shoe charms! 

Has blogging reached an end?

I'm curious what you think - do blogs still have a place in the world? I know that I tend to focus more of my energy on Instagram these days. I can get immediate feedback and share what's going on in my class through the beauty of pictures. I can stay connected with other art teachers and collect/share a lot of information about lessons and best practices in the classroom instantly.
Let's hear what you think! 

Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Totally Squares - Process over Product

Fun masterpieces built from continued tool exploration - my lesson was inspired by the book, Perfect Square by Michael Hall. It's really all about the process with Pre-K and I am starting to really embrace this philosophy - what a feeling of freedom, not just for me but how special and meaningful for the kids! We created these over two class sessions.....

Day #1 - random sizes of colorful paper cut into squares and 3x3 origami paper squares, glue sticks, oil pastels. The kids experimented with ripping, crunching and folding the squares before gluing and moving on to the pastels.....

Day #2 - old book pages cut into squares, glue colored with liquid watercolor and glitter, paint sticks. The kids worked on tearing the book pages and used the colored glue to not only adhere, but to add colorful blotches of color, then they got to work with paint sticks!