Category Archives: 6th grade

Monster on the Loose!


My 6th graders have been working so hard on perfecting these two point perspective cities. When they were finished, they had to write a 6 word story to accompany their artwork. It was great to see some kids really flourish with the technical side of it.

Picasso Relief Portraits

Picasso Relief Portraits

When I went to my state’s art education conference this fall, I saw a really cool project idea at the United Art booth. It was bright, colorful, and a relief sculpture! You can find it here. They gave me the lesson plan for it and I have been working on the sample for my students. I’ve taken pictures of most of my steps so that I can share with my students when they are ready to make it. Feel free to use it. 🙂 I started with painting the background piece of cardboard (8×10″).

Then I drew out my main head shape, painted it white, and cut it out.

Glue some smaller pieces of cardboard to the back and then glue it down to your background.

Create a profile view of just the head – not the nose, eyes, etc.

I painted another piece of cardboard white and then drew out the rest of my main pieces – eyes, lips, nose, forehead. I also added cheeks, eyebrows, and lids. The more pieces you add, the more interesting it can be.

I used my scraps from cutting all my other pieces to create the hair and neck. Now it’s ready to paint!

I painted with tempera and let it dry before using some black lines to add some depth and really make it pop!

I love this project and can’t wait to try it with my 6th graders!

UPDATE! We completed this assignment and the results are awesome! Check ’em out:

So proud of these!!

On “The Block” with Romare Bearden


Ahhhh, my first post as a middle school teacher! Pretty exciting. 

My 6th graders are currently working on a collage project with me. We are looking at the master of collage, Romare Bearden and his piece, “The Block.” Their goal was to create their own block out of their everyday experiences and places they go. We don’t live in a huge city so they had to be creative and “collect” the places that are important to them. 

We first did an artist study to learn about Bearden and what influenced him. Then they looked closely at “The Block” on The Met’s website to see all of the amazing details and interactions that Bearden observed and was intrigued with. After inspecting his work, they created sketches of what they wanted to include in their own block. 

We are creating our collages using a 28″X11″ piece of poster board and magazines. I can’t wait to see and share what my talented 6th graders create!

IPEVO for the Win!


So, last week my awesome Tech Facilitator, Maureen Davis, shared with our faculty a cool giveaway from IPEVO. They make interactive teaching tools like document cameras. I have been borrowing a fellow teacher’s doc camera this year because I don’t have one of my own. It’s really helpful when I want to show them a new technique or anything really that I can’t do up on the board (ie, watercolor painting). It’s a camera that I can focus on what I’m showing them, project it up on the wall so they all can see while staying in their seats and not have to crowd around me. You know that always leads to a little pushing and trying to get the “best seat”. I’m know I’m entertaining, but really, we don’t have time for that. 🙂 So, I was a little iffy about this because how often do people give away things completely for free, no gimmicks, no trickery, no follow ups? Well apparently that does happen every so often and this is one of those times. My wish was granted. I now have my very own document camera that is worth $69 and all I had to do was ask for it. They have other things too – ipad pillows, lights, speakers, cases, and more. If you want something, sometimes, all you have to do is ASK!


Happy MLK, Jr Day!


The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Deep Space Sparkle: A Letter to New Art Teachers


Deep Space Sparkle is one of my favorite art blogs to read. She has amazing art lessons and she is so well-organized. I was perusing her site today and came across this letter to new art teachers. I am now in my 8th year of teaching so I don’t consider myself new, but it was a great reminder of my early days. I look back and just feel so sorry for the students I had my first couple years of teaching. For all of the classes that I taught before I discovered all of these awesome blogs. Art teacher blogs are so real and so helpful, it’s what inspired me to start my own. I love sharing lessons with others, especially those new teachers who feel totally lost in what to do and how to do it! One of my favorite things to tell new teachers is that it is completely fine to take ten classes to get a project done, if that’s what you need to do to feel calm and accomplished. My biggest mistake in my early years was trying to rush through a project and feeling like there was a deadline. I finally realized (aka, it was explained to me by a very wise Kindergarten teacher) that you just have to offer it in very small steps. Trying to run around with paint and brushes and papers and small children everywhere will only put you in a tailspin that ends in you, flat on your face, with children standing around you, staring at the wreckage. 🙂 Here is Deep Space Sparkle’s letter to new art teachers that I agree with whole-heartedly!!!

Elegant Elephants


My 6th graders saw my 3rd graders’ painted paper birdhouses and loved them and DEMANDED to do something similar! 🙂
So I rummaged around on Painted Paper’s page and found some 6th grade appropriate lessons. One of the kids said they loved elephants so when I came across the elephant project, I knew that’s the one we would do.
We started this week with painting the paper for the elephants and then starting on the background. We layered a 6×9 on a 12×9 and then added the little strips around the edges of the 6×9, to make the frame.
Next week, we will draw the elephants, cut them out and decorate them before gluing them into the background. We will also add to the black part of the frame with gold and silver oil pastels and Indian-inspired designs.
A few pictures of the work…




Finished work and they look so good!