Our fifth graders just created these fabulous monster silhouettes. They learned how contour, organic shape and negative space contribute to an interesting design.
black construction paper
Illustrations from ‘Monster Mash’ by Mimi Maxwell
We began by looking at the illustrations in the book Monster Mash by Mimi Maxwell. The monsters are all in silhouette. We discussed organic (free form) vs. geometric shape. We also noticed the most interesting monsters had pointed or swirling body parts. Many had cut-outs (aka negative space).
Fifth grade monster silhouettes.
Fifth grade monster silhouette. Allow 90 minutes.
Create the monsters
Students did a couple of thumbnail sketches, then drew their monsters on black paper. Remind your students to design large monsters with interesting body parts and cut-outs. The most common problem is when a student draws a tiny, perfect monster that is too small to cut out.
SSF art show 2014: paint cans spill a rainbow of color down the stairs; Bob Ross painting video plays throughout the evening.
We had our annual art show last week. It was amazing! Over 1000 pieces of art; at least two from each student. This show featured a rainbow theme (designed by Devan, our AMAZING parent volunteer art show chair), a FEAST! food art area, and an iPad photography/digital art showcase.
Devan used real paint cans purchased at Home Depot. The colored ‘paints’ are plastic table cover rolls. The 10 cans on the stage were drilled and hung on monofilament. Hidden PVC pipe stands hold up the freestanding paint cans.
The show featured Devan’s amazing freestanding paint can decorations.
Giant crayons and a rainbow of color in front of the plaster masks.
Five FEAST! art projects (clockwise from left): clay cupcakes with roses and alphabet pasta; Seurat pointillist food; Thanksgiving feast collage; cooking plate collage; Wayne Thiebaud geometric dessert.
Andy Warhol activity:
We had a coloring contest again this year. I used a blank Campell’s soup can sheet courtesy of E is for Explore blog. Click here to get yours. We used a real soup pot and real cans of Campbell’s soup.
Our interactive coloring contest ties in to the FEAST! unit. Check out the pot of crayons!
iPad Art Showcase:
We put the iPad showcase right up at the entrance. I printed out a few samples of the second grade iPad photography project, then stationed two iPads looping slideshows of our other digital art projects.
This achieved three goals: 1) display student art, 2) advocate for the art program and 3) thank the parents who raised money to bring iPads to our school.
iPad photography print outs, plus looping slideshows at the iPad art showcase.
Thanks to our PTO and parent volunteers
Our entire art program is made possible by the parents at our school. A big thank you to the art room and art show volunteers for all their hard work during the year and for three CRAZY days hanging the show. We also had the help of a college student, Abby, who spent two weeks observing our art program. The gorgeous room layout and decorations are the vision of our amazing art show chair, Devan, a professional party planner. We are so lucky to have Devan on board.
100% of our art program is funded by our school PTO. Thank you.
Who do children love? Ask them – they will tell you they love their family and their pets. Why not make a valentine for your pet? Our second graders did just that – they created colorful pet valentine collages.
red construction paper or watercolor paper, 12″x18″
construction paper or painted paper, assorted colors, 6″x6″
pencils and erasers
black construction paper, 12″x18″, for mounting
Talk about pets. Tally up how many students have dogs, cats, snakes, hamsters, etc. Some students have a lot of pets and want to put them all on the valentine! Some students don’t have any pets. I told them to make a valentine for a ‘dream’ pet, or for a pet that belongs to a friend, neighbor or relative.
I passed out large hearts cut from red construction paper and and watercolor paper. Students colored the hearts with oil pastels, then used glue sticks to attach the hearts to black construction paper.
Students drew their animals on 6″x6″ colored construction paper or on the back of painted paper. I encouraged them to use large simple shapes. They cut out their animals and glued them to their hearts. They added details with scraps of colored paper and/or with oil pastel.
One student didn’t have a pet. He created a pet valentine for the bird in his backyard.
Second grade results:
Second grader pet valentine collages. Allow two 40-minute classes.
Our second graders had a great time and were very proud of their artworks.
p.s. This can be a nice Eric Carle-inspired project if you use painted papers for the collage.
Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day art project?
Want to introduce your students to texture? Try a texture collage project.
Collage and Construction in Grades 1-4 by Lois Lord, 1970 edition.
I found great instructions in the book Collage and Construction in Grades 1-4 by master art teacher/author Lois Lord. You’ll need large paper for the background format, glue, stapler and scissors, plus ‘materials of contrasting texture’:
Rough textured materials include corrugated cardboard, burlap…used sandpaper, wood shavings, egg-crate dividers, excelsior, and orange, onion and potato sacks.
Contrasting soft -textured material include pieces of fabric such as velvet; scraps of fur; cotton; bits of sponge; and feathers…
Materials with smooth textures include shiny metallic papers bought or salvaged from Christmas wrappings, chewing gum, and other packets.
–Collage and Construction in Grades 1-4, p.10.
Lucky you – you get to actually watch Ms. Lord teach this collage lesson. Please enjoy ‘Collage: Exploring Texture’, filmed back in 1961.
Not only to I love Ms. Lord’s teaching style, I love how she organized her collage supplies by texture and how she distributed the supplies. I wish she had been my teacher! Although this film was produced back in 1961, it is still inspiring.
You may have noticed Ms. Lord’s students used jars of liquid paste applied with a brush. It reminded me of this no-spill paint cup filled with glue at the collage station at San Diego’s New Children’s Museum. The cups come with lids so you can cap them up at night. You will need to soak the brushes in water after use. (note: this may be a good use for the brushes that come with your pan watercolor sets). Want more glue options? Click here and here to see other glue cups in the classroom.
White glue in spill-proof paint cup at San Diego’s New Children’s Museum.
Thanks to Wendy Apfel for sharing this excellent video on Vimeo.
Happy Throwback Thursday! Stop by next Thursday to see what I’ve discovered in my vintage art education collection.