Friday, May 25, 2012

End of the Year Creations

All Hail The Creativity God , Elizabeth 2nd Grade
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Necklace by Leslie, 2nd grade

Collage, Bryan 2nd Grade

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Class Portraits Fun Style

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I thought it would be fun for the kids to create a class portrait to remember this past year and their friends.
They could fold the paper to create various rectangular shapes or they could draw lines to place each student drawing in.  I projected their class list from the projector so the could write everyone's name on their portrait.   One class period did not provide enough time to finish but I let them take them home to finish and they were super excited. This was a lot of fun, it worked out perfectly for an end of the year project!   I did it with Kinder and First. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Paper Cuttings Inspired by the work of Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Anderson used paper as a medium not only for writing poetry and fairy tales, but also as a means for his imaginative expressing of paper cutting.    While telling a story,  he would  hold a big pair of scissors in his hand along with a sheet of paper, at the end of the tale he would unfold the paper to reveal a fantastic work. As I read abut this, I thought about how wonderful it is to have a story read to you, your mind is free to conjure images at will.  Why not try it with my class?    I decided to read The Great Sea-Serpent and The Pine Tree.  I only read a small excerpt from each
 piece, this way,  the kids could imagine their own endings. 

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...The small ones swam side by side close together, as herrings and mackerel swim.  But as they were swimming their prettiest in the water and thinking of nothing, there sank with  prodigious noise, from above, right down through them, a long heavy thing that looked as if it would  never  come to an end...

from The Great Sea-Serpent by Hans Christian Andersen


1st Grade paper cuttings

In the woods there lived a nice little Pine Tree.  He stood where the sun and the fresh air cold get at him.  Around him grew many comrades- other pines and big firs.  But the little Pine wished so much to be a grown-up tree. 

from The Pine Tree

3rd grade paper cuttings

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Styrofoam Explorations

‘If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.’
— Rachel Carson

work in progress, 2nd grade student
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These explorations are yet to be finished but the 50% mark (or so?) is so dear that I had to share them.
Each student had a cardboard tray, scissors and a glue stick.  I showed them how to thread a needle. The journey was theirs for the taking.

So today was the day, we were able to finish our styrofoam explorations.  Watching the kids create these was like watching the ocean ebb and flow as there was not a set ending point, it was constant creation.    As one student said,  "I can see myself adding more to this at home and turning it into a huge sculpture."

"I started off making 2 swords but now  I don't know what it is, I've kind of lost myself  while I 'm making it."
                                                           Ian, 2nd grade student

That my friend, is flow.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


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These were so fun to do and easy to set up.  We used a pack of transparency sheets (the kind teachers would use for the old projector models).  I demonstrated the process of painting on the transparency, placing a paper on top, burnishing with your palm, and pulling the print.  What's cool is they could explore the printmaking process over and over because they could 'build" their print as they went along.   For example, the first step is to paint your main image, pull print.  Next, paint background, pull print.  Then add details, pull print, etc. Matching the transparency and the white paper was a snap so there was great 
comfort in exploring. 

work of Ibrahim Emiko

The inspiration for the project came to me  literally about one hour before class started.  One of my favorite blogs is The Art Room Plant.  Hazel had just published a post on the work of Ibrahim Emiko.
 He works on glass to create what appears to be monoprints.  The site is in Japanese so even if you translate the page, meanings still  get lost in translation.  But as they say, art is a universal language!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Arts

Did you learn a lot at school today?

 ...If you mean did I invent, visualize, share my ideas, construct, create, write, discover, plan, experiment and imagine what could be, then yes, I learned a lot at school today, in art class.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Creative Cardboard Constructions

Kamryn, grade 1

I'm imagining what this piece of cardboard could be.  Could it become a tree, a doll, a bus?  Using cardboard, scrap fabric and crayons the students constructed a very simple and unique toy inspired by the work of James Castle.

Kindergarten artwork
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 This project was based on the work of the elusive American artist James Castle (1899-1977). James Castle was unable to hear, write, read or use sign language.   His form of communication was his art.   Through his art we can see into his world as well as our own.   As most visionary artists, Castle used found objects such as packing papers and handmade tools to create books, paintings and paper constructions and drawings. 

artwork by James Castle, source here

Doll by Annabelle, grade K


flickr photostream of Castle's work