"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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oil Pastel Sunflowers

My art room is exploding with sunflower projects at the moment- I think I have 4 on the go with various grade levels, haha. Some years I am so sick of sunflowers, but I've had a break from them for a couple of years and now they're back with a vengeance, haha!

One of my classes is a mixed grade class of Grade 4-6. They created these whimsical, fantasy-like sunflowers. They could choose whatever colours they wanted and could draw either the whole flower, or just a zoomed in portion. 
They started by drawing their sunflower on black construction paper, 
then outlining it in white oil pastel.

Then they coloured them in using oil pastels- I enjoy the Pentel brand- inexpensive and effective.
Students needed to mix at least two colours within their petals and try to create a gradation through blending.

The new oil pastels I buy at the beginning of the school year stay in their original boxes. I try to get the kids to keep them as neat and organized as possible, for as long as possible. Once the boxes and pastels get a bit battered and used up, they get relegated to "the bowls"- haha! 

I bought shallow plastic bowls at Ikea and keep them stacked in a green plastic bin, also from Ikea. 
I use these bins for everything- they are super sturdy and amazing.

I ordered the Crayola oil pastels class-pack last year. I don't like the quality overall, (compared to the Pentel) but love that it comes with extra whites and blacks. I keep these separate for projects and they're pretty handy.

Here are some results from Grades 4 - 6:


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Apple Trees Art Lesson

This is a watercolour/illustration lesson based on one of my all-time favourite books from my childhood: Apple Pigs by Ruth Orbach. It's about a little girl who takes care of a neglected apple tree which then ends up producing thousands of apples. It contains wonderful messages of taking care of nature and sharing.

I read this book to my "Storybook Art" class which I teach to a group of Grade 2 students. 
After reading it, the kids sketched out an apple tree landscape scene in pencil. Then they went over their lines in Sharpie.

They painted them using watercolours- I use the brands Prang and Crayola (8 pan colours). Both are similar in quality but both have vastly different blues- the Crayola one is a beautiful turquoise while the Prang one is more of a true blue. Yes, I'm one of those Art teachers that does comparison painting test charts for different brands of paint! I love reading other bloggers reviews of different brands as well :) Here's a great comparison by Mini Matisse

For the apples, I found this bag of "decorative balls" (tiny styrofoam balls) at the Dollar store. 
They're supposed to be for filling vases for fake flowers or something. 
They are the perfect size. One bag was enough for 10 students.

Once the pantings were more or less dry, the kids glued on the 'apples' using 
small dots of white glue ('just a dot, not a lot'-  haha!)

I think they are so sweet, cheerful and charming!

Oh, early finishers painted apples which we're going to cut out to use for the border of our bulletin board display. Stay tuned- I'm hanging it on Monday!


Saturday, September 17, 2016

If I Had Animal Teeth!

This is a super cute lesson I taught in collaboration with the Grade 3 teacher at my school. 
It's based on the book "What if You Had Animal Teeth" by Sandra Markle.
The students read the book with their classroom teacher and then researched different types of animal teeth. Then drew a final sketch of the teeth they would use in their art project.

For the lesson, I referred to the lesson posted HERE on the blog "First Grade Wow". Nancy includes a Google doc link to some handy templates which worked great for this particular project. 

I started off by having the kids pick a matching skin tone sheet of construction paper. I order this 'multicultural' construction paper from PACON- it's great. 

Then students cut out the template for the head and traced it onto the construction paper. 
Then they do the same thing for the open mouth and the tongue. 
Glue everything together with a glue stick.

They cut strips of paper for their hair; this was probably the trickiest step for everyone. 

Then they drew on a face (eyes and nose essentially) and traced over it in black marker.
On white paper, they drew their chosen teeth and then cut them out and 
glued them onto the open mouth.

In their Grade 3 class, they had to do a little write-up about their teeth- some facts and whatnot. 
I mounted these onto construction paper and glued them to their self-portrait.

I think they came out so fun and have such personalities!! 
Great white shark teeth were, by far, the most popular!


Great white shark

Narwal- their horn is actually a tooth!

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