Friday, February 24, 2017

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" By Eric Carle Printmaking Lesson

I was trying to think of a way to teach an Eric Carle Lesson to 1st Grade without taking 2 classes to make it.  Printmaking seemed like a fun way to create this lesson and they would still be making all kinds of textures and patterns with acrylic paint.  This lesson can be done in one class session.

I usually have the students create textured paper with tempra or acrylic paint and different texture tools.  Then they let that dry and we make the animals from the dried painted paper - like below.  This method requires 2 class times, but it is also a great lesson.

You will need:
Foam plates
foam brushes
acrylic paint
Q tips
Watercolor paper
Colored pencils

Start by reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
I'm going to ask my students to describe how Eric Carle made his Caterpillar, and how they are going to make theirs.  We will discuss how we are using a different method to make ours, printmaking.
I'll demonstrate the process and we'll brainstorm all the different kinds of patterns and textures we can make.  Words print backwards and Eric Carle doesn't have words in his so I'm going to ask them to  use only patterns, no words.

They can use templates to cut two ovals out of the foam plates.  One large for the head and one smaller for the body.

They will start by making the body using the smaller oval.  They paint the oval with the foam brush.

Once it is painted they use a Q tip to create a pattern on the foam.

Next they put the foam face down and press evenly on the back.  Making sure all the edges and the middle are touching the paper.

Have them start the first section of the body a little bit low on the paper so they can curve it upward and back down again as they print.
They just keep repeating this process again and again until they have their finished body for the caterpillar.  I overlapped mine a little bit.  If you just use green you don't have to wash the foam between prints.  If you want to use other colors you'll have to wash the foam between prints.

When they have their body done they can print the larger oval as the face.
Once they are done printing the caterpillar hopefully the paint will be dry enough to add some details with colored pencils.  If not you can always use a blow dryer to dry the paint quickly.

They can add feet, antennas and fuzz with the colored pencils.
I think my students are going to love this printmaking project and make some fantastically creative caterpillars!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mona Lisa Parody Art Lesson

My students have been learning about Mona Lisa a little bit each time they come into our studio.  I was inspired by this article I found:

We are using the "Mona" "Lisa" call back and it's working great.  The students are very interested in the Mona Lisa and learning all about her.  Some of them have even drawn their own Mona Lisa or researched about her online.

I created a Mona Lisa Bulletin Board which I keep adding to.  They have really gotten the concept of a Parody because I keep bringing new versions of the Mona Lisa in each month.  Recently they have started talking about what other versions of Mona Lisa could be created, so I thought it was time for them to create their own Parody.

They can choose two ways to create their parody.
One is to add their own background, placing Mona Lisa in a different place, change her clothing, add accessories etc...

The other is to change the Mona Lisa into another character of their choosing.

I'm teaching 1st and 2nd grade so I am going to offer two ways to create their own Mona Lisa. Some students will happily jump right into drawing their own Mona Lisa, others will feel intimidated. I want to build confidence in all of the students.

The only guidelines are:
It needs to remain a portrait.
It needs to resemble the Mona Lisa so that people can recognize it as a parody.

I created a simplified version of Mona for students who want to try this as a jumping off point.
This is a Jpeg if you want to use it.

I'm going to keep the lesson very open - We'll brainstorm and then they can go to work.
They can do some collage by adding to the drawing also:  Putting something in her hands, jewelry etc..

If there's time the students can create gilded frames for their Mona Lisa.

The possibilities are endless for this project.  I can't wait to see what my students create!
I had them sign their art with Da Vinci as their last name.

2nd Grade Art:

 Disney Lisa
 Soccer Goalie Lisa
Winter Lisa (with hot chocolate)
Lisa's House
Baseball Lisa
Tropical Lisa
Unicorn Lisa

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Woven Christmas Tree Art Lesson Tutorial

Using a simple paper plate loom students can create their own woven tree.

I was inspired by this pin on pinterest:

I changed it a bit and came up with this.

You'll need:
7" paper plates
Beads and bells if wanted

Using this template I cut notches in the sides of the plates.
Then I used approximately 3 yards of yarn and folded it in half.
I put the folded end under the 2 notches on one side of the plate.

Next I put one side of the yarn through a notch on the right top and another side of the yarn through the notch on the left top.
I kept the yarn separate and kept on looping it into the notches on each side.  The yarn goes underneath the plate through the bottom notch again and back up to the top notch over and over.
The back of the plate.
Bring the two strings up to the 2 notches and cross them over each other.
Criss cross the yarn over the top and under the yarn two times and then pull the strings tight.
Now tie a knot with the strings to keep the top of the tree tight.
Tie another knot in the two strings up higher to create a hanger.
Now you're ready to begin weaving.
This is called the warp on the loom.  The yarn we weave with is called the weft.
I pre made my looms since I am doing this with 1st grade students.
Tie a piece of yarn to the outside string of yarn and weave it over and under each strand of yarn.
I start over the first strand and then alternate.  You always have to do the opposite of what you just did - over and then under - over then under.
You can weave it into the wider strings toward the bottom, which is easier, and then pull it to the top and snug it up.
I am using shorter lengths of yarn, maybe a yard at a time to make it easier.  When I get to the end I tie another strand on with a knot and keep going.  If you want to put beads on just thread them onto the yarn.

When you get to the end simply tie the yarn onto the outside string.

This is a simple weaving activity where students will see the results of their effort quickly.  It will be confusing for some at first, but when they stick with it and master it they will be so proud of themselves!
My 1st Grade student's work:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Santa Gnome Ornament DIY

Easy to make Gnomes using a cork as a base.

A Tomte, Nisse or Tomtenisse (Sweden), Nisse (Norway and Denmark) or Tonttu (Finland) is a mythological creature from Scandinavian folklore which is typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. It is generally described as being no taller than three feet, having a long white beard, and wearing a conical or knit cap in red or some other bright color.  The tomte / nisse will deliver gifts at the door, in accordance with the modern-day tradition of Santa Claus.  He usually lives in the forest and travels to homes on a sled with reindeer, but they don't fly.  It's tradition to leave him some porridge with butter as a thanks for his visit.

They often have an appearance similar to a garden gnome and are believed to guard your home and family, protecting them from misfortune, particularly at night, when everyone is asleep. If you take good care of a Tomte, he will protect you and watch over your family!

You'll need:
Wine Corks
Red Felt
White Yarn
Wooden Ball - 3/8"
Decorative Accents

5 yards of yarn folded over until it is about 6" long
I used Yarn Bee Fleece Lite yarn from Hobby Lobby
Tie a piece of yarn around the center of the yarn and make a knot.
Glue the middle of the yarn onto the top of the cork with hot glue.
This is a pdf pattern for the hat - 2 hats fit on half of a 8 1/2 X 11" sheet of paper
Cut the hat out of felt and glue the hanger to the inside of the hat.  Glue the edges together to fit over the yarn and the cork.
Let the yarn hang down over the cork, put hot glue on the bottom edge of the hat and place the hat over the yarn.
You'll need to trim the beard - you can leave it long all around or cut the back a little shorter so it's not quite so shaggy.
Glue the nose and decorations with hot glue.