For the past few years, creating mosaics with paper has been the final project for my upper grades. It gives them a chance to work on something together and still learn and create after they have taken all of their own art home. It's also great to do during testing because I get some classes more than others, so a project with more steps and benchmarks is difficult. Classes can work on the mosaics once or three times and it still works out.
I show examples of murals in Florida and then demo how we are going to make them out of paper (LEAVE SPACES between pieces and pretend it's a puzzle). Then I pull out the scissors, glue sponges, and my scrap paper boxes organized by color and we get to creating!
When the mosaics and complete, I cut them out and laminate them. They will be hung in the classroom next year! I love having student work already in the classroom on the first day of school. It's their space to learn and create and I want it to look and feel like that.
This is my second year of doing ceramics and it has been so much smoother this time around! I gave fourth and fifth grade students more time (three days for the coil pots and two for glazing) and changed the procedures for glazing.
We began the coil pots together, creating a slab and cutting out a medium circle by tracing a plastic lid. Then, we made the first two coils and I made sure they attached them well. After that, the design was their own. I wanted them to make something personal that they loved, and I was so impressed their their work. The animal bowls turned out beautifully, so I think I may have students make animal coil pots in the future.
For glazing, I had a counter set up with nine trays, each with labeled cups of a different color, brushes for each color, and the bottle of glaze. I also had a laminated picture from the Blick catalog taped to the counter to show how they glazes would look after firing. Students could get one color at a time with a brush from the tray (no rinsing brushes), do their three coats, and return the cup and brush. This worked SO WELL and we used less glaze than last year when I had the glazes on the students' tables. We had no issues with spilling or dropping cups of glazes. I love having opportunities for students to be independent, so I will definitely be doing this again next year.
Fourth and fifth grade students made these beautiful pumpkins back in October and November. This was our big painting project of the year and took just over a month to complete.
To start, we discussed works by artist Romero Britto and how they made us feel. We talked about use of pattern with line, color, and shape. Then, we drew HUGE pumpkins on the front and again on the back of our papers. They chose the best one and then we practiced drawing patterns to fill the spaces.
I taught a similar lesson where students had complete freedom with colors, but decided to limit this project to a monochromatic color scheme to help encourage students to create more complex colors and to save time. It's much faster to continue to alter colors instead of mixing completely new ones.
To finish the pumpkins, students had the choice of painting black lines and/or using black oil pastel. This helped my students to get those tiny details they drew. I was surprised by how many students chose to use black paint for everything, and I was so impressed by their work! I have stressed painting technique from early on with them and I think it is paying off! How gorgeous are these pumpkins?
I am a seventh year art teacher with degrees in Art Education, living and working in northern Florida. Each week, I teach over six hundred students in grades PreK through fifth. Here you will find what we are learning in the art classroom!