Since the leaves were falling outside, they became the subject matter for this exploration. It could really be anything you wish students to draw. I had some leave shapes that the kindergarten students could put under their paper and trace if they wanted or just look at and draw from. I would have preferred to have real leaves for them, but that morning it was raining and plans didn't work out.
After leaves were drawn on the paper, a thick line of glue was applied to the lines. Many students needed lots of time for this. It's unfortunate that many Kindergarten teachers shy away from letting students use bottles of glue. Many forbid it in their classrooms opting for glue sticks that don't ever really stick. Some will use the good old bottles of Elmer's but will pour it into a plate or sponge for students. They need that fine-motor practice of squeezing and applying the glue, so I gave them that opportunity whenever I could.
Once the glue lines were covering the lines, the students sprinkled a generous amount of coarse salt onto the glue. I tapped off the extra and placed them on the drying rack for the students.
The following class, I tapped any remaining salt that isn't stuck down off and passed out the papers and supplies to students.
We had a brief discussion about what they think will happen when they put the watery paint on top of the salt. I wrote down some of the answers to document them with the final products. Here are some of what they said:
Giving students a chance to experiment with color without asking them to produce a work of art can be both helpful and fun. If you haven't tried the Milk and Soap color experiment with students yet, consider setting up a station in your room for students to give it a try.
Here's what you need:
Like many great projects, I stumbled into creating this one trying to help my students with a problem they were having. A handful of years ago, I had a group of 3rd grade students who were struggling with the concept of Intermediate colors for some reason. A quick pre-assessment told me this was an area we needed to work on. I knew they needed some more hands-on experimenting to practice mixing those in-between colors that seemed to have this group baffled. What better way than to spend a class period or two making painted papers!
The following two art classes, students spent time creating a landscape collage inspired by the work of Grant Wood. They had their six papers and many decided to cut them in half and trade with other students so they had even more different textures to work with. The whole unit took about 5 (45minute) art classes but was well worth the time spent. The last day of landscape work, I showed them Dropping in on Grant Wood while they worked.
Before starting a new lesson the next class I had students do a cooperative learning activity as a formative assessment to check to see if they were ready to move on. With their finished project in hand in one hand and the other in the air, they did a "hand up - pair up" activity. They wandered around the room and gave a "high five" to another student to pair up. Then one student pointed out one part of their partner's landscape that they liked and did two things. 1. Named the Intermediate color and 2. Explained how they would make that color. Then they switched roles. When the pair was finished their hands went back into the air and they found another student to pair up with. I was able to wander around and check to make sure everyone had the concept down. I had my class list with me and just made a quick mark to document where they were at.
Trying something new
The once-a-month subscription box craze started with cosmetics and has grown to include all sorts of things from wine, snacks, dog treats and more.
I saw an advertisement (probably on Facebook) about ArtSnacks and thought it looked like a fun way to try out different supplies. So...I signed up. I figured I'd try it for a few months and cancel if I didn't care for it.
I have a handmade sketchbook that I purchased in Florida last year that I haven't used yet. It was so uniquely created that I had to buy it. I try to make a point to purchase something handmade from artists whenever I travel. This artist boiled the pages with flowers and leaves pressed on some of the pages. The colors from the natural elements created beautifully stained pages. She put these in among some unstained ones to create fun books. You can see these on her website -rachelleeason.com
My goal is to fill the pages using the supplies I get each month. I think that I will attempt to use only the supplies contained in each month's box for a page or spread in the book. I'm going to let the month inspire the creation.
Here's my first one - October
Do you have a subscription to a monthly box? What is it? Can you recommend any subscriptions?
So...take the students outside and gather up some leaves and start printing!
View the video demonstration below for complete instructions.
Some of the best times I can remember in the art room with my youngest students were during our first color lessons. Seeing the fun experimentation and pure enjoyment as they discover how colors mix has to put a smile on your face. It wasn't uncommon during these classes that I would look up and see the classroom teacher at the door because we lost track of time.
I like using hands-on ways of introducing the concept of Primary colors and how they mix to make new colors. One of the ways I have done this in the past handfuls of years is with an activity I call Color Handshakes.
The next class we continued the color explorations.
As students were working, I would periodically ask what colors they were seeing. It was fun to observe their conversations. One student would look over and ask another how they got a certain color. They were always excited to share what they did to get that color.
Zentangles - a fun, creative way to use Line in artworks!
I will admit that I don't necessarily follow the "rules" of the Zentangle that the website above instructs. I am more inspired by the idea of the Zentangle and go from there. I will tell you that if you get your students started on this art form expect to have them engrossed and on-task for a good amount of time.
Have you tried to incorporate Zentangles in your classroom?
Different ways I've incorporated Zentangles into my classes -
Here's a great YouTube to show students when doing this -
Theresa Gillespie spent over 20 years teaching Art in the Moline School District in Illinois. She has a BA degree in Art Education and a MEd degree in Education & Technology. She also is a graduate level instructor for The Art of Education
where she enjoys helping art educators from around the world continue their education and professional development. In the spring of 2013 Theresa and her husband Chuck opened up ArtysBug Studio in Moline. She left the classroom in the spring of 2015 to spend more time working with the artists that come into ArtsyBug and working with teachers taking AOE courses. Though she has left the classroom, she has not left the Art Education field.