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Dinosaurs and Dragons

Chinese Dragon Painting

Chinese Dragon Painting

By on Jan 23, 2014 | 2 comments

I love Chinese Dragons and so do my students. Every kid from 3rd grade all the way up to 6th grade enjoys drawing this mythical figure. Some kids keep it real simple while others spend hours on the details. This lesson plan will offer you the full lesson technique for 4th grade and then explain how to scale the lesson down to 3rd and up to 5th and 6th. There are lots of goodies within these pages; I finally have a place in which all my dragon facts and drawing aids are contained, so yes, creating this PDF was a bit selfish of me! Hopefully, you will find it handy as well. Here’s what’s included in this 13-page lesson plan: 4th Grade student gallery Teaching tips for 3rd, 5th and 6th grade students 2 dragon drawings/idea handout 1 Color-Me Dragon handout How to Draw a Dragon handout Watercolor tips Chinese Dragon Facts Full-color photo tutorial  ...

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Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli Art Project

Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli Art Project

By on Nov 29, 2011 | 41 comments

Barbara Jean Hicks is a beloved children’s book author from Port Hueneme, California. If you visit Barbara’s website, you’ll discover that she is not only a writer, but a lover of cats! I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Barbara recently and as a tribute to her adorable book Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli my first graders created some very hungry monsters (full lesson tutorial below). Patty: I love to read picture books to my students. They seem to like every kind of story. What sort of books did you enjoy as a child?   Barbara Jean: Love-love-LOVED Dr. Seuss!  The silliness factor, both in the text and the illustrations, and the wonderful nonsense rhyme made me want to read them over and over. I also loved a picture book I can tell you a little about but not the title or author. Maybe somebody out there knows it? I’d love to find a copy!  It was about a puppy named Timmy, and had as its refrain: “And there was Timmy—right spang in the middle of everything.” I still love that word “spang.” We also had a set of Childcraft books in our home when I was growing up, and I especially loved the poetry volumes. My favorite authors as a middle grade reader were C.S.Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle. I was very much a reader of fiction and poetry and didn’t read much nonfiction. I’ve always felt that good fiction is in some ways “truer” than nonfiction because it speaks to the heart. Patty: You sound just like me! I adored reading as a girl. Is this love what inspired you to become a writer?  
 Barbara Jean: My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Green, started me on my writing path. We were studying westward expansion in social studies, and she gave us an assignment to pretend we were a child in a wagon train and write a diary of our journey on the Oregon Trail. I must have written 30-35 single-spaced pages, and I’d never had so much fun. Thank you, Mrs. Green, wherever you are! Patty: Many people would love to write a picture book. I know I would! Can you describe your path to publication? 
 Barbara Jean: 
I was newly married and living...

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Painted Dinosaur Art Project

Painted Dinosaur Art Project

By on May 15, 2011 | 3 comments

Drawing a dinosaur takes center stage in this art lesson. Students sit up and listen as all are eager to learn how to draw their favorite subject. After the drawing, students use brightly colored tempera paints to complete their artwork. Art Lesson Set Up You won’t need any fancy supplies here, just some paper, oil pastels and tempera paint. Lately, I’ve been favoring a “tub” approach to setting out paints. I have a supply of pre-mixed tempera paints that I keep in pint-sized plastic containers with lids. It makes setting up and cleaning up easy. All I need to do is place an assortment of colors on the table, and when the class is over, I put lids on the paint and set them away. How to Draw a Dinosaur To draw the dinosaur, start with a backwards letter “C” on either the top (long neck) or bottom (Stegosaurus) of the paper. This is the head. Next, draw a long neck for the Long Neck dinosaur. Be careful not to go too far down the page. For the Stegosaurus, draw the back next. This guy has a big back that turns into his tail. Draw a big hump for the back and a straight line for the tail. Draw a straight line back towards the head. Now all you have to do is add two rectangles for legs. To make drawing even better, extend a curved line up from the legs to inside the body. This line makes it look like the legs are strong and powerful. For the Long Neck, add a curved line for the body and the tail. Add the belly and the legs in the same way as the Stegosaurus. Add spikes, armored plates, horns and any patterns that you wish. Finally, draw a horizon line. This is where the sky meets the earth. Painting the Dinosaur Dinosaurs created by Second Graders     Other Dinosaur Lessons: Rompin’ Dinosaurs (Watercolor) Dazzlin’ Dino’s (Chalk Pastel)...

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Rompin’ Dinos!

Rompin’ Dinos!

By on Mar 7, 2011 | 5 comments

This is a lesson I did last year with my third grade students. It’s featured in my PDF Art Booklet “Art & Literature”. My second grade students are studying dinosaurs right now and even though I created a new dino lesson for them (featured later this week), I wanted to show you these cute little dancing numbers. Drawing Handouts and full lesson tutorials available in my “Art & Literature” PDF. Third Grade...

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Dazzling Dinosaurs Art Project

Dazzling Dinosaurs Art Project

By on Mar 22, 2010 | 17 comments

My first grade students absolutely love this lesson. For an art teacher, pulling out chalk pastel is always a bit dicey. You just never know if they’ll get more chalk on their hands than on the art work. I always throw caution to the wind and let ’em at it. To me, there is nothing more adorable than watching chubby little fingers wade through a cloud of chalk dust. I demonstrate two very simple dinosaurs. Basically, they are drawn the same way, just with the head in different places. Encourage the kids to add spikes, bony plates, horns, etc. Of course, you’ll always get a dino expert in the class who will insist upon proper anatomy details. I usually bring this kid up to the front of the class to explain-away. Here are a few helpful teaching tips: Draw the dino with a black oil pastel Limit sky to one color Limit ground to one color After filling in with chalk, outline again with a black oil pastel Tap excess chalk on the edge of table and onto the floor instead of blowing it onto another child’s artwork Spray artwork with hairspray to set Have...

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Tissue Paper Dragon Mural

Tissue Paper Dragon Mural

By on Mar 9, 2010 | 5 comments

Every few years I pull out this lesson for my first and second grade students. This year, we assembled our dragons together to create a mural. (I’m channeling my favorite art teacher over at Painted Paper here!). Tissue paper is so much fun to work with and despite it being flimsy and light, the organic nature of this project tends to be satisfying and not at all frustrating. You can pick any subject matter for this project. I was inspired by the new movie “How to Train Your Dragon” and I thought the kids might be as well. The process is simple. Tear tissue paper and brush liquid starch (laundry aisle of grocery store), watered-down Mod-Podge or even watered-down glue to paper. After the piece dries, the kids use oil pastels to create an outline, add details like scales and teeth. Cut out to paste onto a huge mural. This was a quick, satisfying and colorful project. Can’t ask for...

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