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1st Grade Art Lessons

Play Doh Colorwheel Activity

Play Doh Colorwheel Activity

By on Feb 2, 2016 | 7 comments

This is a great way to teach the color-wheel for young children. I’m not sure where this lesson originated but my typewritten copy is by Lois Ann Lynn from Rosamond, UT. Thank you Lynn! Print out the Color Wheel Chart PDF and photocopy onto card stock. Each container of Play-Doh yields about 30 pieces (this is dependent on how big you make the balls. I would try for the size of a red grape). Each child receives a color wheel sheet plus 3 balls of Play-Doh. Place the yellow ball on the “yellow” on the colorwheel. Do the same for the red and blue. If you are working with very young children who don’t know how to read, you can place the balls on the sheets for them. Pinch off a piece of the red ball and a piece from the yellow ball and squeeze, squish and roll together. You’ll know whether you are on the right track by the squeals of delight from the kids. Once the color is created, place that color ball on the space between the two colors that made it. Repeat with the other colors. Press the finished pieces onto the card stock to...

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Create With Clay Projects for K-3

Create With Clay Projects for K-3

By on Jan 27, 2016 | 3 comments

As much as I like watching kids color and paint, there is absolutely no substitute for the tactile experience of clay. I am lucky to have a kiln at my school but not everyone does. You may be a home-educator who doesn’t own a kiln (nor should you!) or even a classroom teacher who prefers to work without the kiln-experience. While it’s true that it’s hard to replicate kiln-fired clay and gloss glaze, you can come pretty close. If you have access to basic art supplies like Crayola air-dry clay, liquid tempera paints and Mod-Podge, then you can do all of the projects in this booklet. I explain how to create a fish and a lizard using both kiln-fire and air dry clay and these techniques can be applied to all projects. This booklet is designed to give you step-by-step instructions so you can make creative clay projects with your kids and students. There are SIX projects included in this packet and every project sis easily made with either kiln-fired clay or air dry clay. Templates help students easily create the shape from a clay tile....

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“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

By on Jan 26, 2016 | 7 comments

Incorporating literature into art projects remains my favorite type of lesson.  Last year, I introduced Petunia to my third grade students. Using a painting technique that I call smoothing, my students sketched a goose with pencil then  painted with happy colors, just like the book. Don’t have the book? You can download this delightful video found on YouTube: WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper Pencil and Eraser Red, yellow, white, blue, green and black liquid tempera paint (I use Crayola) I medium tip round brush 1 small tip round brush (for outlining) Black marker, black crayon or lack oil pastel as optional outing supplies.   DRAWING I photocopied a few pages from the book and placed on the children’s tables. Using observation techniques, the kids practiced drawing their own Petunia. I encouraged them to make a dot near the top of the paper and one near the bottom. The dots provided guidelines for where to start the head and where to place the feet. This ensures the goose will be drawn large enough to fill most of the paper.     PAINTING Once the drawing was complete, children dipped a medium paint brush in the red paint and painted sections of the background paper. We used the smoothing technique to achieve a smooth paint finish. The children carefully painted around Petunia and the spring flowers. After the background was complete, the children painted the flowers and leaves with a collection of green, yellow and blue paint mixed with small amounts of white. This created TINTS and resembled the illustrations found in the book.   OUTLINING Once the paint is dry, children can use a small pointed brush dipped in watered-down black paint to outline Petunia. Notice how the children didn’t paint Petunia white? The white paper offered enough contrast so that painting the goose white seemed unnecessary. Although, children can paint their goose if they wish. If you don’t like to use black paint to outline, you can use a thick black marker or even a crayon. Experiment and see what medium works best for you.  ...

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How to Draw & Paint Ferry Boats

How to Draw & Paint Ferry Boats

By on Aug 30, 2015 | 5 comments

Growing up on Prince Edward Island offered me the opportunity to travel to the mainland by ferry boat.  We loved discovering which ferry we would ride on and we knew each one down to the smallest details. This was usually the best part of our trip. I created this 5 minute video to detail a few features of my favorite ferryboat, The Abegweit. My first grade students had fun looking at a few James Rizzi prints, especially his ocean-themed painting. His animated style of drawing is perfect for kids. We used his ferry boat illustration as our inspiration for this watercolor painting project. To start, the kids looked a James Rizzi styled boats then got busy drawing. You can do a directed line drawing for the boat but I preferred to show the kids the various shapes involved and let them draw at their own pace. My first graders used oil pastels, liquid watercolor and pan watercolors on watercolor paper but you can easily use regular drawing paper, markers and even color pencils or crayons to color. The important part of this lesson is the drawing and learning how shapes combine to form recognizable objects. My advice is to try drawing a ferry boat using your preference for materials and see what happens. In the full version of this lesson, I give my suggestion for materials in order to scale the projects up or down for various grade levels. Using liquid watercolors, the kids painted the background first then used pan watercolors for the details....

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How to Draw a Robot

How to Draw a Robot

By on Jul 23, 2015 | 1 comment

Teach your kids how to draw a robot and use fun metallic paints and pastels to add polish and shine. No doubt using shapes to draw you robots allows for a great connection with math but that’s not my motivation.  For me, it’s all about the imagination. I have two robot books that I love: Robots: Spaceships and Other Tin Toys The Robot Book I place these books on the ledge of the whiteboard as I demonstrate the lesson. As I talk about the basic part of the robot, I’ll pick up the “tin toy” book and show a few (bookmarked) ideas for heads, bodies, etc. If you are doing a robot lesson that demonstrates shading like my Value Robots, the photographs are particularly good as they show great contrast. Here’s What You’ll Need: 12″ x 18″ colored drawing paper ( just happened to have a lot of eggplant colored paper at the end of the year!) black oil pastel for drawing (crayons are fine) Metallic oil pastels or metallic tempera paint Regular oil pastels (optional)   Drawing the Robot Start with the head. Leaf through the book to show the head shape possibilities. Show the kids how to start near the top of the page. They need to leave a bit of room for antenna, etc. For very small kids you may even want to control their first shape by using a template. It could be a playing card or any rectangular shape. This helps establish the size of the drawing so that the rest of the body remains large. This is just a suggestion. Draw the body next: an oval, square, rectangle, trapezoid, etc. Many kids looked through the book to see the different shape of a robot’s body. Most often it is larger than the head but it doesn’t have to be. Add a “connector” shape between the head and body. Without adding a connector shape, draw a pelvis. This part is optional but many robots have this as a separate shape. Draw a connector shape (accordion shapes are popular). Draw legs and arms. The trick with these appendages is that the shapes shouldn’t curve. So, to make them bend, you’ll need to draw a connector piece like a circle (ball), accordion shape or...

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