Thursday, November 13, 2008

Russian Towers

This lesson is based on the beautifully patterned towers of St. Basil's cathedral in Moscow, Russia. Our students learned about this wonder of the world and then, inspired by the designs, we created our own version of the awesome towers. I found Crayola Color Surge packets at a local office store for $1.00 each! So our 5th graders enjoyed creating this project using Color Surge!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A New Year 2008-2009

Our school year begins on Tuesday. This year I am only teaching art at Memorial and Mrs. Gunderson who teaches art at the High School has taken over the art classes at Robinson. I am now teaching art in the morning and an afternoon Kindergarten class. It is going to be a challenging year for me to be both a classroom teacher and a "specials" teacher...but I am up for the challenge. And though it seems a bit overwhelming right now, I am really looking forward to having my own class this year.

For this school year, this site will be representing only Memorial students.

Monday, May 19, 2008

End of the Year Art Studio

In art, the last few weeks, many of our classes have been enjoying working in stations. I have been trying out choice art with my classes. Choice art is a way of teaching art where students are given choices (stations - like centers) to work in and they choose to work in areas that interest them. We have had some fabulous art work created the past few weeks and many of the students have been enjoying this change. This drawing was created by Josh P., one of our Memorial third graders. He created the drawing very quickly, looking down at his chair and drew what he saw. Then he colored it with oil pastels. Here are some other pictures of students working in their various stations.
At Robinson, last week, I even took the third graders outside to draw the front of our school building. The weather was great and we have some great drawings, too. I will probably upload some of those later. I did not get any pictures of the drawings yet.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Art 'a Loan

Three of our very talented East Jackson elementary students were selected last Spring to have their artwork be a part of the Art 'a Loan Program. There was artwork submitted from over 30 schools in Jackson County. 59 pieces were selected by a jury and professionally framed. The artwork was exhibited in October, 2007 at the Ella Sharp Museum. The Art 'a Loan pieces have been rented for one year to community businesses, corporations, colleges and universities and other art patrons to be on display to the public. We are excited to have our three students be a part of this great program and I plan to submit more artwork this May for the 2008 exhibit this Fall.
Congratulations to Alicia, Ankur and Payton!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Colorful Castles

Using templates made from wooden blocks, our second grade students created these fabulous colorful castles. The students first traced the blocks to build their towers with pencils. Then pressing hard with their crayons, they outlined and added designs to each block. They made these extra colorful with some watercolor paint and then painted the background with special gold paint to make them glow.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Delicious Paintings we didn't really eat the paintings, but they sure made us hungry! These paintings were inspired by American Pop Artist, Wayne of my favorite artists. I showed several of these paintings to our students and talked to them about how he used color and showed light in his work. We also noticed that he sometimes liked to paint with paint so thick that it looked like frosting. The students really enjoyed this lesson, and I think it was because the subject of our paintings was something everyone loves! Room 8 (Memorial) even got to experience the subject in art class. They won the ice cream party for the highest points in art class for the first semester! We celebrated with an ice cream sundae party on Friday. Way to go Room 8!

Play a fun math fractions game based on Thiebaud's painting of cakes! You can also select the Cake Maker from the list of activities at the top of this page and create your own version of "Cakes."

Learn about the artist, Wayne Thiebaud

See more of our Memorial students' delicious desserts on Artsonia!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Frank Stella Relief Sculptures

This is a lesson my Fifth Graders are just finishing up. We studied the art of Frank Stella, specifically his artwork "Jarama II." There is a great online slideshow that takes you through observing and talking about the artwork at When I presented this lesson I used a powerpoint that I created from that slideshow. We then returned to our seats to brainstorm a list of activities...and we broadened it to any physical activity - not just sports. We recorded these on the board. I then chose one and showed them on the board how you would represent that activity with shapes, and lines. I asked the students to think about the equipment, the movements and the colors in their chosen activity and then they spent time sketching their ideas. It was difficult for many of them to think in such abstract terms, but we kind of tried to make it like a guessing game for the viewer. We didn't want to make it obvious what the activity was - so they were not allowed to represent the activity in any realistic way. Once students had developed their ideas, they began cutting their shapes from cardboard. Once all their shapes were cut, they arranged them and I took a picture of it. After that, they began to paint. First covering all their pieces with colors, then adding patterns or designs with paint. Once everything was painted, students assembled and glued their pieces together to finish them. Click below to see our students artwork for this project.

Bertha Robinson's 5th grade
Memorial's 5th grade

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jasper Johns Mixed Media Paintings - 1st Grade

This is one of my favorite lessons to do with my first graders. I do this one every year. The kids really enjoy it. I think they enjoy it because of the opportunity for creativity it provides. This is a lesson I developed myself after a friend gave me about 200 packages of old unused vinyl letters and numbers (the kind you might use on signs and in graphic design).

letter and number stencils (I use bulletin board letters and stencil sheets)
number and letter stickers
9 x 9 inch square white drawing paper

We begin this project by looking at artwork by Jasper Johns. We talk about the process of creating prints (as most of his work is). We discuss the colors and ways he used the numbers in his artwork. We also discuss the way he overlapped his numbers, and repeated them in specific pieces that we look at on a powerpoint that I have made.
First, I provide each table with an assortment of letters and numbers to trace onto their white paper. I always demonstrate how to trace "the right way", because sometimes first graders haven't learned this yet. We also talk about overlapping and letting the numbers and letters go right off the page, that they don't have to be organized into rows.
The kids really do a nice job with their compositions and when they finish the next step is to outline and color them in with crayons. I encourage them to fill their letters and numbers in with patterns like stripes or zig-zag lines.
After the coloring is finished, the students are provided with several sheets of letter and number stickers. I don't really give them a lot of guidance on this part. It's fun to see how they place them on thier artwork...sometimes we even have kids spelling out names or words and phone numbers!
The last step for this project is to paint with watercolor. The students notice that they can't cover up the crayon...and that certain colors of paint really make the crayon stand out. They always turn out so colorful and make nice abstract works of art that they are all proud of.

We spend three to four class periods on this project.
...more student examples here...

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Student Gallery at ARTSONIA

I have recently been working on uploading artwork to Artsonia, the largest student art museum on the Internet. This is the coolest thing! I have been wanting to publish some of our students' fantastic work in a gallery, and Artsonia is a great service that I am very excited about. Artsonia is the world's largest online art museum with thousands of works of art by students in over 100 countries. I believe this project will help boost the students' pride and self-esteem, technology awareness and multi-cultural understanding. Further, the project enables parents, relatives and friends to view the child's artwork online. I encourage you to participate in Artsonia by registering. As a registered parent you can submit artwork to your child's gallery, invite family and friends to join the artist's fan club and also approve any comments that visitors leave in your child's guestbook. Besides showcasing our students' artwork, Artsonia also offers parents cool gift items imprinted with your child's artwork, much like Art to Remember (our Spring Art Fundraiser). Our school art program will recieve 15% of all the order revenue. So not only do you get great gifts and keepsakes, but your order directly supports our art program. You can view your student's artwork by visiting and searching for our school or by first name. Not all students have artwork published yet, but I'm working on it. When your student's artwork is published, I will send home a note with their screenname and password. You can find out more about Artsonia and all they have to offer by clicking the link.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Our annual Art to Remember fundraiser will be starting soon. This is a great opportunity where your child's artwork can be reproduced on a variety of quality items that can be used for gifts and keepsakes. We participate in this program every year. Our East Jackson parents have been very supportive in the past. It is an important fundraiser for the art program because it helps us offer a quality art education to our elementary students by providing the main funding of the art materials and supplies that we use throughout the year. Please consider participating in this great fundraiser. Order packets will be sent home the first week of March and orders will be due on Friday, March 21st.

Crazy Cactus

I left this art lesson for my sub while I was on my maternity leave. I was impressed with how they turned out. Our fifth graders did a fantastic job. The inspiration for this lesson was the artwork of Carmen Lomas Garza. It was a great lesson for reviewing line and pattern.

watercolor paint, markers, colored paper, gluesticks and scissors

After looking at Carmen Lomas Garza's artwork, the students drew their cactus and painted it with shades of yellows, blues, purples and greens. The following week, students added line designs and patterns to each part of the cactus. Finally, they finished it out with triangles they cut from yellow, blue, green and purple construction paper.