Tag Archives: 6th grade

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!

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!




Teach Peace


I saw this sign on Pinterest that someone had posted that said Teach Peace and the First and Last letters shared the middle three letters. I really liked it and decided to use it for a bulletin board idea. Back around Christmas time, I had my 5th and 6th graders paint peace signs with an earth in the middle of it. Some of them came out so beautifully. I displayed them at one of my schools but didn’t get to display them at my other school because of time contraints. I finally put them up today and created the “Teach Peace” title. Hope you like it! : )




Alma Thomas Mosaics


I came across Alma Woodsey Thomas a couple years ago and loved her abstract work. I decided to have my 6th graders create a paper mosaic in the same style and I always have several that come out beautifully. I try to teach them that the key is to be consistent. All the pieces need to be close in size, they need to be spaced evenly apart, and the colors need to be aesthetically pleasing. We only use paper from the scrap box and we definitely discuss the proper way to use glue. : )
Let me know what you think!

Jackson Pollock-style Hide-A-Name


Jackson Pollock created “Mural” in 1943 and it’s now hanging in the University of Iowa Museum of Art. There are claims that he hid the letters of his name in the painting. I had my students study the painting and see if they could find the letters. We only found a few. : ) So then we went to work creating our own hide-a-name pictures.

First I had them fold their paper in half and write their name, in cursive, only on the top half. Then they paint their names with black paint and fold it over to make a symmetrical print. They painted over the print if it didn’t transfer very dark.

Next, I gave them blue, yellow, and pink paint, reviewing how to mix colors and to rinse their brushes in between! After they paint and it dries, they use oil pastels to add additional lines to further hide their names. I think they are turning out well!