"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.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mondrian Hearts

I decided to start my February Valentine-themed lessons early this year! So here are the first crop of 'love' themed artworks to share.  My Grade 3's made these Mondrian style hearts. The project was inspired by THIS post on the Mrs. T's First Grade Class blog.

Instead of a template, my Grade 3's made their own heart on black paper by folding the paper in half then drawing half a heart shape. They used this heart template to create a slightly smaller one on white paper. Using a ruler and pencil, they drew horizontal and vertical lines, aiming to create a variety of different sized rectangles and squares. (We had looked at a slideshow of Mondrian's work to get an idea of his style and discuss the concept of non-objective art).

Once the lines were mapped out, students chose which ones to colour in the primary colours as well as black. We used wax crayons for this step; tempera paint or oil pastels would also work very well.

Once coloured, I had pre-cut a whole bunch of 1/2" strips of black construction paper using my paper cutter- fast and efficient :)  Students glued these down covering their pencil lines and trimming the edges afterward. Then they glued them onto their black heart which created a nice frame/border.
This project took about 2 - 4 minute periods for all students to complete.

Some of the Grade 3 results:

Any students who finished really early could do a second one but using colours of their choice- I love this one!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Egyptian Portraits

Here's a lesson I love teaching: portraits of famous Egyptians. It started off originally as a King Tut portrait, inspired by THIS post from Kathy from Art Projects for Kids. Since then so many students ask me if the can instead do Cleopatra or Nefertiti, so now I just call it "Egyptian Portraits".

You can find my original post HERE.

Grade 6 students drew their portraits on 12 x 18" heavy white paper. they outlined them in Sharpie and then panted them with liquid tempera (mostly blue and gold).
Stay tuned for our upcoming name cartouches!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Chalk Pastel Owls

Here's one of my favourite owl lessons- hanging chalk pastel owls.

Grade 5 students started off by drawing an owl- have books or photo reference handy for them- it helps alot! Once drawn out, they outlined them with a heavy outline of black wax crayon.

Then they coloured them in using either chalk pastels or construction paper crayons; whichever they prefer. Most chose chalk pastel because you can get so much lovely colour blending using them. Of course the drawback is they've very messy- so give extra time for clean-up at the end of class.
As you can see in the photo below, I store our chalk pastels in these awesome bowls from IKEA: the KALAS bowl, which is in the children's section. They are shallow and wide so never tip over. 
And you get 6 bowls for $1.79! 

Once coloured in, I have the kids 'bubble cut' their owl out (leave about a one inch border of white paper all around the edge- it acts as a frame of sorts).

Then they glue stick it to black construction paper. Then again bubble cut this out, punch a hole at the top and thread some yarn through if you want to hang them.

Some Grade 5 results!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Science Habitat Dioramas- Forest Towers

Here's some photos from a project any Science teachers (and Art!) out there might find interesting. We have a very creative Science teacher at our school who often has really unusual projects for the kids. This is a lesson I look forward to every year. Grade 6 Science students construct large scale animal habitats out of boxes. Many of these are over 4 feet tall!

Update: see the 2023 versions HERE.

They are essentially stacked boxes (some are made from empty photocopy paper boxes which students can collect from the school or their parents' workplaces). Others are made from stacked shoe boxes or other smaller types of sturdy boxes. 

Then the insides are covered with construction paper and/or painted in some way. Each layer represents a different layer of the chosen habitat. I teach most of these kids Art so it's interesting to see how they approached this project and what materials and techniques they used. 

Materials used within each box range from handmade items to store-bought items: Cardboard tubes for trees, animals made from Plasticine or bought at the dollar store or printed out from the internet, lots of dried or fake plants and leaves, or plants made from construction paper, pipe cleaners, dried moss, etc. All the elements are neatly labelled. They're so fun and interesting to look at! I think the kids did an outstanding job and learned about habitats along the way. Being able to express their learning in such a creative way is really special.

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