This website was designed to be a professional portfolio of what I do in the classroom in order to help and connect with other art teachers. I periodically posted some of my favorite lessons. Now, the website is transitioning to also become a resource for parents during this time of distance learning. All student lessons for distance learning can be found under the tab at the top of the page.
This is what we have been working on so far this school year! Since December, students have working on a music and art unit on Florida nature. We have been learning about our state and why our region of northern Florida is so special.
Right now, all of our work is on hold. There are ceramic projects still in the kiln, a mural left unfinished, and collage pieces all over the room. I can't wait to get back and finish our work. Until then, these are a few images of what we created before Spring Break.
These sweet butterflies were made by my kindergarten students! Each class made butterflies with a different color and they were glued to the mural created by third grade. The artwork was then displayed at our Night of the Arts!
I've always done the same lesson across all of the classes in a grade level, so having the different colors was new to me. Some classes mixed colors for their butterflies, others did not, but all classes created tints when printing the spots.
This was also the first time I have used glitter in my classroom! And I was crazy enough to do it with kindergarten! It was better than I ever could have imagined. They did such a great job and were so responsible. I loved how their work sparkled up on the wall for the art show, so it was worth the mess!
This lesson was definitely required more work on my part, but it was worth it for such a special part of our Night of the Arts. I hot glued all of the painted paper plates together and glued the pipe-cleaners after school. Students could have done this with regular school glue, but I wanted to make sure they were sturdy enough to be displayed on the mural.
Everyone loved these beautiful butterflies! I'm not looking forward to taking them down. I love seeing them everyday!
This was a quick two class lesson that I used to reinforce cutting and gluing skills while I worked with small groups to finish the butterfly lesson. I needed to get the butterflies completely finished for the mural, but I wanted to have the other students working on something creative and purposeful. I'll post the butterfly lesson soon!
I gave my kids bins of the beautiful painted paper scraps from the first and second grade paper weaving lesson and had the kids cut (no drawing first) and arrange them on their paper for about twenty minutes. Then, I gave them about ten minutes to glue the pieces, get cleaned up, and meet me on the floor. I did these same procedures for two forty-five minute class periods.
I was so impressed with what they came up with! They all wanted to tell me stories about what was happening in their artwork and how they made their pieces come together into a picture. There were so many beautiful houses, landscapes, animals, and people! This was a great short lesson that I can see myself doing again when a class gets ahead or when I need students to be able to work mostly on their own for a short period of time. It worked well for the second semester when students already knew classroom procedures and had prior practice with scissors and glue.
This is probably my favorite version of this lesson that I have done so far! In the past I used toilet paper rolls to make the hearts and had students stitch the sides of the paper with yarn. Lesson here.
Now, I've made the switch to cookie cutters and I had students use oil pastel to create a variety of line types on their paper. I could also have them sew the sides, but I like keeping this lesson to two class periods and not any longer. The cookie cutters were in a set from Amazon. I use them all of the time for printing with pre-k!
Each group gets one color to print for a few minutes, then I switch the trays and they get the next color. On the second day of the lesson, we created line types on a new red or pink paper with oil pastel. Then, we traced a heart on the back of their black paper, cut it out, and used a glue sponge to glue it.
This was a new lesson for kindergarten this year! I was searching for a lesson for early October where we could review all of the secondary colors. We did the orange and purple and was I satisfied with having just two represented in the work, but realized we could make the eyes green with oil pastel! Perfect!
We created a simple orange painted paper for the background and a smaller painted paper in purple for the spider body. A few of my classes got weeks behind, so we just used purple construction paper for the bodies.
For the webs, we created three diagonal lines from one corner with black oil pastel. Then we made small straight lines, filling in one section at a time. We did this all step by step together and by the end I was much better at teaching it. All of the spider webs turned out wonderful. I love all of their beautiful mark making.
Creating an accordion fold was more challenging than the webs, but again, by the end I was much better at teaching it. Even if all of the legs weren't perfect, they did it and they were proud of their work.
On the last day of the lesson, we made the sweet little faces and glued everything together. I loved all of the creative faces they made! I will definitely encourage more of that next year. The littlest kids always make the greatest faces on their little characters!
I honestly wasn't sure how this lesson would go because of the web (I usually don't do this much guided drawing) and the accordion folding, but my kids did so well! It was a great lesson to review line types, secondary colors, mixing and painting skills, and cutting and gluing skills. This lesson took four 45 minutes classes, which was longer than I expected, but I think it taught so many great skills and the results were worth it.
This is easily one of the most adorable projects we've ever done. My littlest artists create the cutest faces, so I always love having them make sweet little animals. This year, it was baby tigers since we are the Eastside tigers!
First, we created orange together and painted the paper plates. They continued to make orange on their own as needed. Then, we added texture to our tigers by printing with plastic forks with the red, yellow, and orange paint. We made a "tap, tap, tap" sound to avoid smearing paint with the forks.
After the tigers dried, we cut out and glued the ears. Then, we added the face and stripes with oil pastel. I have students first practice the face on piece of scrap paper. We do this step by step and then again step by step on the paper plate. In previous years, I had them practice faces on the back of their plate, but I think they do better when they can see their first try when they draw the face again.
These tigers were used in our mural for the Night of the Arts.
Kindergarten has been working to complete their first project! One the first day of school, we learn the primary colors and color a simple worksheet that allows me to gauge fine motor skills ability levels and ability to follow directions. During the next class, we began these adorable primary color parrots. I was looking to do a different primary color painting lesson this year and our school theme is pirates, so parrots were perfect! I found the basic idea on Pinterest and adapted it to teach additional art skills and make them even cuter!
On the second day of the lesson, we painted the red and blue pieces, focusing on "grabbing" paint, painting technique, primary colors, and clean up procedures. On the final day of the lesson, we drew the eyes, wings, and beak together using black and white oil pastels. The kids LOVE how well these show up on the painted surfaces and how their little parrots come alive once they have faces. I had already stapled the two paper plate halves together. Students selected one strip of paper in each primary color and practiced using glue sponges to attach the pieces as the tail. I displayed some of them for Open House and hung others in the window in the classroom.
I think this will now be my go-to scissor skills lesson for kindergarten! I love that we used a variety of techniques and that the kids were so proud of their work. I wouldn't recommend doing this lesson early in the year because scissor skills like this can be overwhelming for them, but it really works well mid to late year.
I had done bubble printing before, but hadn't extended it beyond printing multiple colors on one paper. This year I wanted to do more. We printed blue and light blue on white paper and the printed red on orange. The cutting and finishing touches took longer than I had anticipated. We did the sand and grasses on one day (practicing drawing wavy lines). On another day, we cut and glued the fish and used oil pastels for the details. My kindergartners LOVE oil pastels. They think of them as really special soft crayons. It's adorable when they get so excited about art materials.
We created these turtles for the first time late last school year, and I knew they had to be in the Night of the Arts this year. They are adorable and the kindergartners loved their turtles and the process for making them.
On the first day of this lesson, we made green, and more green, and more green until the paper plates (buy the thick ones!) were filled. Some students took their time and delicately painted every speck, taking nearly the entire forty-five minute class period. I don't want to rush anyone when they are working so well, so we do the printing during the next class. I try to do this lesson after other printing lessons to build on those skills. During the second day of making the turtles, we also trace the shapes for the legs and head. We draw the eyes with oil pastels and cut and glue the pieces to finish up the turtles on the third day of the lesson.
And then if we have a few extra moments, I let them play with their sweet turtles, because what five or six year old wouldn't want to?
I am an ninth year art teacher with degrees in Art Education from Flagler College and the University of Florida, living and working in northern Florida. Each week, I teach over six hundred students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Here you will find what we are learning virtually and in the art classroom!