For 40 years, the U.S.Postal Service LOVE stamp series has featured a wide range of subjects, including flowers, Victorian lace, cherubs, swans, candy hearts, and abstract designs. I showed our students the U.S. Postal Service love stamp slide show. Then I told them we would be creating our own LOVE stamps!
The U.S. Postal Service issues an annual Love Stamp. The program began in 1973.
Step 1: Create heart art
Fourth graders used oil pastels to create these hearts.
We started with a fine art project. We used oil pastels to create these hearts. Instructions in my free Jim Dine heart art Keynote. This step took two 40-minute sessions.
Step 2: Use iPads and Face on Stamp app
After the students finished their heart drawings, they photographed their art using the Face on Stamp Booth app. Next they added text. I encouraged students to add text found on real postage stamps, such as USA, Forever, Love, date, and stamp price. A lot of kids added their favorite activities (soccer, archery, golf, cheer, basketball etc.) Click here to see even more iPad Love Stamps in our Artsonia gallery.
Step 3: Create a collage (‘sheet of stamps’)
After completing their iPad love stamps, students emailed them to me. I created a grid of the photos using my computer and the free Pic Monkey collage maker. You could also use an iPad and the free Pic Collage app.
Students uses fine art, free Face on Stamp Booth app plus iPads to create individual ‘Love Stamps’.
End result: wow! Students were very pleased both with their heart art and with their iPad love stamps.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Do you have a favorite art project for Valentine’s Day project?
If you are looking for a creative way to integrate art and text, consider the iPad app Type Drawing. I learned how to use this app in just a few minutes at the iPad workshop at the CAEA Southern Area conference.
I started out by finding an image of a Garibaldi fish on Google. I saved it to my iPad camera roll. Next I opened the Type Drawing app and opened the fish photo. To create an image, I selected text (I chose ‘fin’, ‘gill’, ‘tail’ etc.) and traced my finger on the screen. Look carefully – all the lines are composed of words!
I matched the text colors to the fish using the eyedropper tool. I played around with the background color too.
Here is a piece of middle school artwork shared by our instructor, art teacher Lyn Gardner.
Type Drawing flower by Kylie C., created when she was an 8th grade student at Valley Christian Middle School.
Want to see even more Type Drawing artworks? Look at these beautiful illustrations from Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.
Beautiful Type Drawing art from Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
Type Drawing is not a free app, but it is a nice, easy to use typographic art tool.
Thanks to our instructor, art teacher Lyn Gardner, for presenting Type Drawing at the California Art Education Association Southern Area Conference in Idyllwild.
This is the first year I offered art club. It was so much fun! Small group. Motivated kids – sixth grade only. Friday afternoon. Ahh…
We did block printing and the kids who learned this skill were enthralled. They kept popping by the art room every day, hoping to carve a little more. They skipped recess to carve. They hung around Friday after the bell rang.
Students started by sketching a variety of simple designs using pencil and copy paper. They traced their favorite design onto tracing paper, then transferred the design to the eraser. Then they carved out the white parts of the design using a lino cutter. CLICK HERE to see an excellent carving video. I did this project with sixth grade last year – read more in this post.
Once students had a little carving experience, they moved on to more complex designs on the back of their erasers.
Students used the same techniques to transfer their designs onto the larger blocks. Some students used Crayola markers to ink their blocks (I think the inked blocks are beautiful on their own!).
Others used block print ink applied with a brayer.
iPad in the art room:
We used iPads two different ways for this project.
Looked at images of linoleum carvings on Google images
Had fun testing out the carving process using the free Ukiyoe app (available on the app store).
Art club was a hit. Carving was a hit. I will definitely offer it to my sixth graders next year.
Do you offer art club at your school? What sort of projects do you do?
Magnified snowflake photo by Kenneth Libbrecht. Source: scientificamerican.com
This is a good time to discuss radial and bilateral symmetry. Just like real snowflakes, our iPad and cut paper snowflakes will have radial symmetry, with six identical branches.
Folding the Paper
Next we folded our coffee filters in sixths. Students folded the round coffee filters in half, then used a protractor to divide the semi-circle into thirds. See this post from the Heart of Wisdom blog for great directions on folding the coffee filters.
Cut paper snowflakes start with a round coffee filter folded in half, then into thirds. Then one more fold in half to create a skinny wedge.
Designing the Snowflake on the iPad
I demonstrated how to use the My Flake app, guiding my finger on the screen to make virtual cuts on the paper image.
Students spent the next five minutes exploring the My Flake app. The app allows them to test out different designs virtually by ‘cutting’ a folded paper image, then previewing the design. They can go back and undo or redo one ‘cut’ at a time, and preview the resulting changes.
Once the students settled on a final design,they copied their My Flake design on the folded paper, and finally cut the folded paper to match.
Tip: encourage students to try a simple design on their first snowflake, and draw pencil lines lightly.
Sixth grade student work:
Matching paper and iPad snowflakes
Mount cut paper snowflakes on construction paper.
Our school is 1:1 iPads in grades 4-6. However, this project can be done collaboratively in pairs or in small groups. Several students can share an iPad, each adding a virtual cut or two. Then they can all cut the group design (U.S. art teachers – collaboration is a big part of new Common Core standards).
These two students collaborated on an iPad My Flake design, then both cut to match.
On its own, the My Flake app may also be an option for an inclusion activity. Students who cannot easily manipulate scissors may be able to design virtual snowflakes on My Flake and print them out for decorations.
If you are looking for a book to accompany a snowflake project: our librarian likes Snowflake Bentley, the Caldecott-winning book by Jacqueline Briggs Martin about real-life snowflake photographer Wilson Bentley.
In the book, M. Sohi arranged leaves on a white background to create fanciful animals, then photographed them. Click here to see more examples.
To prepare for this lesson, you need to gather a variety of leaves and flatten them. I placed the leaves between the pages of an old phone book. Plan to do this at least a couple of days in advance so the leaves will be really flat. You can also ask kids to bring in leaves from home
On the day of class, cover tables with white paper to create a backdrop and spread out the leaves.
Cover tables with white paper to create a unified backdrop for the collages.
Students arranged the leaves to resemble animals. Butterflies were very popular!
Student arranges a leaf butterfly.
We used camera-equipped iPods to photograph our artworks. Our third grade is 1:1 iPod Touch so each child was able to take photos of their own creations.
Students used camera-equipped iPods to photograph their collages.
Students then rearranged their leaves and repeated the process. Most of our third graders made 3-5 animals during the 40 minute class.
Third Grade Student Work:
One of the benefits of this method is that students can re-use and share leaves. Remind your students not to crumble the leaves, and you can reuse them for multiple classes. Students can work alone, in pairs or in groups – there is no argument over who takes the work home because everyone can have a digital copy of the work.
Next class we will learn to rotate and crop our photos, and how to email them.
Upload to Artsonia
Email the images home, or put them up on the class wiki
Create a large class poster of all the images for the art show
Students can write a paragraph about their animals, or illustrate a story.
For further inspiration, check out the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. The artist used real fallen leaves to create her illustrations.