Chengdu: Panda Bear Art Project

Chengdu Art Lesson

I received this book in the mail a few months ago and as soon as I opened up the package and saw sleepy Chengdu, I knew my first graders would love him. Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg tells the story of how little Chengdu couldn’t fall asleep no matter how hard he tried. The illustrations are simple and created with a limited color palette of black, white and greens. Although … Read More →

Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall Art Projects

Cousteau-and-Goodall-art-lessons

Sometimes books take me away to that creative place where I just want to break out the tissue paper and pastels and get busy making art. The illustrations in Dan Yaccarino’s book, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau were that inspiring and that beautiful that they were the launching point for a collection of art lessons based on scientists and explorers. Soon I was browsing through books stores looking for the … Read More →

Watercolor Sunflower Resist Art Lesson

How to make a sunflower watercolor painting

I tend to revert to flowers as the subject of my art lessons near the end of the school year.  They provide an opportunity to explore a wide color palette and endless shape possibilities. For my first grade class, I read the book, Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt and then we dove into the lesson. This is what we did: Starting with a 12″ x 18″ sulphite drawing paper, … Read More →

Colorwheel Clowns

Colorwheel-Clowns-art-Project

Second grade is perfect grade level to introduce primary and secondary color mixing plus creating tints. It’s the tint factor that creates the WOW in this painting lesson as it takes color mixing to a whole new level for seven and eight year olds. For this lesson you’ll need: 12″ x 18″ white sulphite/construction paper Liquid Tempera Paints (blue, yellow, red and white Black oil pastel CLICK to download information … Read More →

Easy Tissue Paper Art Project

Easy tissue paper art project

Sometimes I need a make-up day for my students to complete unfinished projects. Sounds great but there is always a group of kids whose portfolios contain all finished pieces. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an entire class of these kids? It’s not likely, so for them I like to offer a project that moves beyond typical free-choice art and allows them to create a simple art project that still … Read More →

Activity Pack: Color Theory and Literature

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse is my first literature pick for My DSS Activity Packs.

In my attempt to respond to my most frequently requested materials, I am thrilled to announce the arrival of my newest genre: Art Activity Packs! There are quite a few of you out there who want so desperately to read a book to your students (or children) and offer a simple follow-up art activity. Notice how I said activity? In my mind, there is a distinction between an art lesson … Read More →

Homophone and Homonym Art Activity

Homophone and Homonym Art Activity

Based on the book “Cat Tales” by Michel Hale, children explore the color wheel by creating secondary colors from primary colors. Using shapes to create the Cats from the book, children become aware of movement, expression and composition. This 8-page lesson plan includes full color photo tutorials, student agllery, a handout to show how easy it is for first graders to make a shape cat and tips for encouraging the … Read More →