Welcome to Lines, Dots, and Doodles. This is the place for students, parents, and teachers to find out what has been going on in my art class. I have included pictures of my student's artwork and basic explanations of the projects. I hope when you leave this blog, you feel inspired to create. Feel free to browse this blog and borrow any of my art lessons.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Printmaking for elementary?

I have recently gotten a substantial grant to buy art supplies. I have been debating on what to buy with this money. One thing I would love to buy are printmaking supplies for the upper elementary students. Now I know the easiest thing to do is to just make prints with Styrofoam, but I would love to do something more complex with my 4th and 5th grade students. When I taught middle school, I used EZ cut printmaking blocks. I thought this was rather easy and had no problem with it. What does everyone think about doing real printmaking with sharp gouges with upper elementary students? Is it too dangerous for them? I would love everyone's opinion.
The pictures I put on this post are printmaking examples from my middle school students from several years ago.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We won 5,000 dollars!

One of my schools won a 5,000 art grant from Bounty paper towels. Our PTA president signed us up for the contest, and then people voted for the school on Facebook. The school with the most votes won. We did not win the grand prize, which was 25,000 dollars, but we were a finalist and therefore got 5,000 dollars. Along with the money, Bounty sent their Art Bus to my school. This morning, a big pink bus drove into the school's parking lot filled with art supplies. Each class rotated in and out of the bus until all of the classes got a chance to experience the Art bus.
One of the stations inside the bus was a bubble painting machine. Bubbles came out of the top and onto the paper underneath. Students wore ponchos to keep the paint from getting on their clothes. Outside of the bus, there were tables set up where the students could draw while they waited for their turn to go inside the bus. The students really enjoyed today. Some of them told me that this was the most fun they have ever had! This was truly awesome.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Van Gogh Flowers, 3rd Grade

For this project, I had my students look at flowers painted by Van Gogh. My 3rd graders always complain about their drawings not being "perfect", so I like to point out that Van Gogh flowers are not perfect either. Many of the flowers in his paintings are wilting and loosing its petals. I really think this helps them not worry about "perfect" in their drawings.
This project was finished in a quick one hour class period. It's always tricky for me to do projects with tempera paint because all of my art lessons have to be finished in one lesson. This gives no time to let paint dry between steps. However, this one worked out fairly well. I had the students start drawing with black crayon because I didn't want them to get picky and spend too much time erasing. We drew a vase with at least three flowers in it. Then I had the students use tempera paint to paint the vase, flowers and table. For this project, I did not let my students mix many colors. The only thing I allowed was tinting the colors with white. They could add white to red to make pink, or add white to blue to make a lighter blue. The background was painted with short paint strokes. This was suppose to simulate the kind of strokes Van Gogh would have used in his own paintings. However, it ended up looking more like confetti in the background. Still cool, but am not sure if the students got the point.I really like how these painting have so much movement. One of my students told me that the flowers look like they are dancing, and I totally agree with her.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Monet, 4th Grade

Recently, I have been teaching the fourth graders about Monet. For this project, I wanted the students to paint in the style of Monet. Before beginning, we looked at many examples of artwork by Monet. We discussed how he used short thick brush strokes in his paintings. To begin the project, we drew a very simple lake in pencil. To paint the lake, we used white, blue, and purple. I encouraged the kids to paint with tiny brush strokes. To paint the background, we used green, blue and yellow. Lastly students used black to paint in the bridge. Some students chose to paint waterlilies in their lakes.
Overall, I think these turned out really well. I think the fourth graders really do understand Impressionism now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Self Portraits, Pre-K

Today I did this cute portrait project with my little Pre-K students. This project was a self portrait project. I really wanted my students to not just make a person, but to make a person that actually looked like them. We began by talking about our skin color. I gave my students pre-cut paper heads, and asked students to choose the color that looked most like their own skin color. We did this by holding the paper directly to our skin and choosing the closest one.

We then talked about where our necks go. We discussed how necks hold up our heads, and belong directly under the head. After this, we glued the necks to our paper. Next, we discussed our eyes. We looked in a mirror and saw that our eyes are directly across from each other. Then we glued our eyes to our papers. Inside the eyes, we used a black crayon to draw an eyeball. After the eyes, we drew our noses and our mouths using crayons. The last part of this project was to add our hair. I had several colors of yarn, and asked the students to choose the color that looked most like their own hair color. We glued the yarn using Elmers glue, which we applied with a Q-tip.
I love teaching the Pre-K students. They are always incredibly enthusiastic, and have no fear when it comes to their art. Each one is different and unique.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Artwork

Being an art teacher and an artist can be tough sometimes because I spend most of my time creating art lessons for children. It's sometimes hard to squeeze in time for my own artwork. However, this summer I found a little time to paint. My artwork almost always has bright vibrant colors and big brush strokes. This painting is for my father, who loves ocean scenes. It's always hard to let my paintings go, even to a family member. It feels kind of like giving away a child.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Giant Came to Town, 2nd Grade

I found this fun lesson on The Incredible Art Department. This was a great way to teach some basic perspective concepts. We discussed how overlapping in a drawing can make one object look closer than another. Also, we talked about scale. For instance, We know that the giant is large because he is taller than the buildings. I began this lesson by having students draw a horizon line. Then I showed the students how to draw a road that goes to the horizon. Students then began drawing their buildings. Everything was outlined in black and then colored with crayons. Then the Giant's legs were drawn and colored on a separate piece of paper. Finally, the legs were cut out, and glued to their drawing.

Overall, I like the results of this project. However, many students struggled with understanding the perspective concepts. If I do this project next year, I may wait until the end of the year. I think the second graders would be able to understand this concept better later in the year.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mice Portraits, 1st Grade

Part of my job is to work with the classroom teachers to incorporate art into the curriculum. Last week, the first grade teachers asked me to create an art lesson based on the books by Kevin Henkes. If you have never read a Kevin Henkes book, you should. They are really cute and always have a great moral. Most of his books feature mice as the main character. I based this lesson off of his book Chrysanthemum. This story is about a mouse named Chrysanthemum who doesn't like her name because the other mice make fun of her. By the end of the story, she learns to be proud of who she is.For this lesson, I had each student illustrate themselves as if they were a mouse. I asked them to try to make this mouse look like them. For instance, they could add glasses or hair that look similar to themselves. I did walk the students through drawing the mouse's head, but the details were up to them. After this, we glued our mouse onto construction paper. Lastly, I asked students to write their name, and draw things that describe themselves around the edges. I think these turned out adorable.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Paper Sculptures, Kindergarten

This was a fun Kindergarten art lesson that I did this week with my students. I tied this lesson into the idea of Dr. Seuss and Whoville. I showed the students pictures of Whoville and we talked about the crazy roads, stairs, and houses in Dr. Seuss' artwork. I then told the students that we were going to make our own 3D Whoville. This got the students very excited.
I then had my kindergarten students create these really fun paper sculptures. We began with long strips of paper which we glued onto a piece of paper. I showed the students how to make the paper pop up off the page. When glueing, I had the students count to 10 while holding the paper to make sure it actually stayed in place. Then I had students cut out shapes like circles and triangles to add to their sculptures. Lastly, students crumpled up tissue paper and glued it to their artwork.
My students absolutely LOVED this project! I love how the simplest projects make the Kindergartners excited.