I hope everyone’s first week back went well and that you had a nice recovery over Labor Day weekend!
I had a great first week but I’ll admit that doing the same rules and procedure spiel for almost 34 classes in one week was insanity-inducing. Thank goodness for my prezi – it really saved the day for me and the kids seemed to enjoy it too.
The first project of the year really went over well. I always like to try to get at least a little bit of art in even on the first day. Over the years I’ve become a softie and I just couldn’t handle the looks of sadness when we “ran out of time” that first class. So I’ve made it my mission the last few years to find or come up with a small first day project. Click here to check out last year’s. At some point over the summer I came across this on Pinterest:
I loved it of course and thought it would make a great point of jumping off into self portraiture. So we chatted about selfies and how the cool kids (artists) have been making them forever and it’s really nothing new. Then I gave them an outline of a cellphone and they had to draw a “selfie” for me to hang up on one big board. I managed to get pretty much every kid in the school on there. The kids loved it. The teachers and parents have enjoyed seeing them. And I managed to successfully squeeze in an art lesson on the first day. Mission accomplished. Check it out!
Random photo, I know, but I saw this as I was walking into school during the first week and I just loved it. Graffiti would be so much more socially (and legally) acceptable if it was as positive and sweet as this:
The first graders did such a great job on their snow day self portraits, I decided to do this lesson I saw on Art Projects for Kids. It can difficult to get children to draw big sometimes, so really forcing the issue and giving them specific measurements and requirements helped. We followed APFK’s directions for the most part but I gave them options for a couple of variations as well.
In the first class, we discussed Chuck Close and his amazing paintings. Next we drew our pictures with pencil and then traced with Sharpies. That pretty much took up the whole class so next week we will paint them. I’ve already had kids asking if they have to paint their real skin color or if they could paint crazy colors. I really don’t care either way. Just looking at the drawings, I know they will be super cute and filled with personality!
(For real this time!)
So, I know I joked on our pitiful snow day but it did actually snow that night! We had a great time waiting and watching. I had just as much fun with the first graders, drawing self portraits in the snow!
Originally I had planned for this to be a directed drawing. But after the art conference I attended, I decided to have a go with asking the kids a question and their response is the artwork. After discussing self portraits with them, I asked them, “if you drew a self portrait in the snow, what would it look like?” They did such a great job with this! There were kids making snow angels, some having snowball fights, some riding sleds, and some up close and personal portraits of sweet smiles and ear muffs.
We used construction paper crayons on black paper.
We also took time at the end of class to point out some great things about each others artwork. The kids had some very thoughtful points to make and they all enjoyed it.
And check out some real snow pictures!
Fifth graders are going to turn themselves into calaveras for Dia de Los Muertos. We are starting this week so I’ll post pictures when we are finished. Here’s my example, step by step.
After I took my photo with Photobooth, I cropped it in pretty close, edited it to make it much brighter and then printed it out as a 5×7.
Draw on the colorful decorations. They usually include circles or flowers around the eyes and the holes on the nose like a skull.
After gluing my face into my journal, I used painted paper to make flowers to go around my face. Another option would be a black top hat with a flower in it.
The last step is to use a sharpie – I used a metallic gold because my page was a dark brown – and add lots of designs, kind of like zentangles.
Here are some student examples. I love how they are turning out. Some of them are also learning the valuable lesson of *less is more*.
I’ve been doing this project for years and the kids always do such a great job. They always find the history of Egypt interesting and they always have so many great questions. These are “in progress” so I’ll repost their finished pieces later.