"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Handprint Snowflakes

This was a lesson I did with my Grade 1's right before the Christmas holidays. 
I wanted something fairly simple (no paint!!) as I was knackered at that point ;)
This took about 2 - 40 minute period for all the students to complete.
All you need is white paper (regular thin photocopy paper works best), scissors and glue sticks.
Students need to trace their closed hand-print 6 times (to create a 6 pointed snowflake).
Then cut them all out (this takes longer than you might think!!). 

Fold the hand in half vertically, then cut out little shapes along the fold line.

Open it up and you have a pretty pierced paper design,

I photocopied a bunch of pre-drawn circles for the centre of the snowflake. 
I used the lid of a yoghurt container, I think. I needs to be large enough to comfortably fit 6
little kid hand-prints to be glued around it, basically,
I forgot to photograph this step, but the centre circle gets cut out, folded in half twice and cut like a snowflake as well. just don't cut the outer edge.

Glue all the hand-prints around the center circle. If you have a laminator, it's helpful to laminate these are they're fairly fragile. I used clear book cover plastic on my sample below.
Once these are finished, they're not really flat, so I flattened them underneath a bunch of heavy boards overnight.

Most students did quite well with these, but a few struggled. Those with fine motor skills had a bit of difficulty with the folding and cutting so I had to help them quite a bit.
About half the class finished these in one 40 minute period. The other half needed an extra period.

Ta da! 

An adorable hanging ornament/decoration for the kids and 
their parents to remember how small their hands were when 
they were six years old!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Laminator and drying rack suggestions

The teachers at my school were recently asked to fill out a 'wish list' letter to Santa. We were able to ask for one thing for our classroom and one thing for the school. I went all out (why not, right?) and asked for a drying rack for my art room (I actually don't have one) and a large roll laminator for the school (we only have a small one currently). Today I found out I can get both- Yay! Thanks Santa :)

I've never bought either before- they've just always been in previous schools I've worked in. If any art teachers out there could give me suggestions of types/brands they like, I'd be super grateful. I'm located in Canada if that makes any difference.

Here's what I'm looking for:

Drying rack:

The drying rack needs to be a floor model as I have zero available wall space. Something that holds a minimum of 20 artworks. A large-ish size- maybe something that holds up to 18 x 24" paper? My biggest thing is that the draying racks lay fairly flat- I've had racks before that have a slight tilt to them, and then watercolour paintings or glue line paintings tend to drip :( 
Budget: anything up to $500
Laminator: I have no real experience with them. Basically something that's going to be big enough to laminate large posters. I have no clue how much these cost, so any suggestions will be great.
Thank you to any and all suggestions! Add them to the comments please!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


This is a perfect winter art lesson for all the "Frozen" fans out there. My Grade 3 students loved this project! To start off, I put a photo of Olaf up on my big screen TV. The students were able to refer to this while they did a pencil drawing of Olaf. 

One student also brought in her Olaf stuffie, so we had him up on display for reference as well :)

Once Olaf was drawn, I showed students how to lightly shade one side of him 
using a grey coloured pencil. Then we cut him out.

We then worked on the background- we drew three layers on light blue construction paper: the sky, some simple hills and a frozen pond. We coloured this using chalk pastels and varying the direction of our line: diagonal for the shy, curved lines for the hills and horizontal lines for the ice. 
We blended, blended and blended some more with our fingers.

Then Olaf was glued on- use white glue because glue sticks didn't work for us.

My sample

We cut out arms and 'hair' using brown paper.

They came out so cute and happy!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter Cardinals

This is a cute 2 winter lesson  that my Grade 2's really enjoyed.

The first class they drew cardinals in pencil. I encouraged them to draw large and fill the paper. Then they outlined them in a black wax crayon and painted them using red liquid tempera.
Once dry, I added red glitter to their wings- they had the option of that or a red feather. 
Only about 3 chose the feather. The next class they cut these out.

Then they chose either a blue or pink sheet of 9 x 12" construction paper for the background. They placed their cardinal on the paper where they wanted it, then drew branches around it.

The branches were coloured in using oil pastels.
As you can see below, I've started using paper placemats underneath the kids work to protect the tables. They're great (when I remember to actually bring them out).
I found the idea for the placemats on the wonderful Painted Paper blog.

Once the branches were completed, students added pine needles. Then, using white tempera pint, they dipped the end of their paintbrushes into the paint and dotted on 'snow'. They used the bristle end to add some snow to the tops of the branches. 

Grade 2 results:

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