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Inclusion/Special Needs Art Projects

Teaching Art to Children with Special Needs: AME 056

Teaching Art to Children with Special Needs: AME 056

By on May 31, 2017 | 3 comments

There is a huge effort to mainstream children with special needs but often teachers have no formal training in the special needs area. Debi London experienced this first hand as an art teacher and as a mother of a child with autism how important it is to be aware of the small things a teacher can do to create a warm, nurturing and inspiring environment for all children. This episode is for art teachers seeking inspiration and guidance from another art teacher who has walked the walk. Learn how Debi approaches her lessons, how she sets up her classroom to accommodate all learners and the resources that have made a difference to her. IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN: Helpful tips for helping you to create an art program that is accessible for all children Why it’s important to know the specific needs of all your children, including their likes and dislikes How a sensory center in the classroom can be used to benefit children with special needs How it’s ok to teach at different paces to accommodate specific learning speeds Why you need to be aware of and consider each child’s attention span How to juggle the needs of all students while maintaining positive reinforcement LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE IS SOME GUIDANCE FOR APPROACHING YOUR LESSONS: 1. Provide a Sensory Center- The student should have access to a sensory sand box (kinesthetic sand is a great option), Lego, blocks, larger paper for coloring or stamping, access to iPads with head phones (students can be noise sensitive).  Rain sticks can be soothing. A few bean bags on floor, a small carpeted area and access to a few stuffed animals. Allow movement like: walking and stretching to meet needs. 2. Be understanding of some students because they are unable to fully focus because they: fidget, flap (stem). Allow them to have access to these things at the sensory center area as usage of items will help the flow of teaching art. 3. Soft classical music helps to create a calming environment. 4. Allow for breaks (sometimes a timer helps). 5. Get to know the students. Find out likes and dislikes to avoid a meltdown. 6. Pair students with friends or pair...

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Art Projects for Inclusion Students

Art Projects for Inclusion Students

By on Apr 10, 2011 | 19 comments

I’ve received a few letters asking me about projects best suited for inclusion kids. While I’m not anywhere near qualified to answer this question on a professional level, either as an art educator or inclusion specialist, I will take a stab at trying to address what I find is helpful in my art room. First of all, I’ve taught many ability ranges in my classrooms. The school where I currently teach, has an inclusion program for K and 1st grade, but the school where I used to teach, offered the other grade levels 2-6th. So I have experience with all grade levels in elementary. It’s probably best to describe what I identify as inclusion children. These children have a learning or physical challenge such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome or other such conditions. The degrees of abilities varies so only the children who can adapt into a mainstream classroom join the homeroom classes for art. Some classes may have 2-4 inclusion children join the art class and they always have aids. They either sit at their own table, or amongst the other children. Wherever they chose. So how do you teach an art lesson to a 6th grade class with 2-3 inclusion children with varying abilities? For me, I teach the exact same lesson to everybody, but the expectations are different. My art lessons progress in difficulty so by the time a child reaches 5th or 6th grade, I expect them to know basic art techniques. After all, I’ve helped them develop these skills over the years. But when a child is nowhere near the level of being able to even hold a pencil, this expectation is unreasonable. For these kids, just being in the artroom with their peers is enough. I remember one boy with down syndrome who listened intently to my instructions and then when the class embarked on the project, this little boy picked up a pair of scissors and cut, cut, cut. He loved cutting. I suggested that he apply some glue to a piece of paper and let the pieces fall randomly. This was his art. His work. Didn’t matter if it wasn’t the “paper-cut flowers in a symmetrical vase” that everyone else was...

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Painted Bunny Art Lesson

Painted Bunny Art Lesson

By on Mar 30, 2011 | 17 comments

Paint and sponge your way to a very easy bunny art lesson for kids. Painting the bunny only involves a simple line drawing, sponge painting and a few embellishments. My first graders did this lesson in one 40-minute session. Afterwards, I realized that we forgot to add bunny teeth. And wouldn’t a cottonball look adorable stuck on Bunny’s bottom? Maybe you all can add the forgotten details. Here’s what you’ll need: Colored piece of sulphite/drawing paper 12″ x 18″ Light colored chalk pastel for drawing White, pink, green and black liquid tempera paint Small sponges and small brushes Buttons for eyes and white school glue (optional) Cotton ball for tail (optional) How to sponge paint a bunny: Draw a bunny outline using white chalk pastel. If you don’t have chalk, just use a pencil. Draw a sideways oval for the head Add two long bunny ears Add a large oval for body. Ask the child if the bunny is standing on his hind quarters or munching grass on all fours? Place the oval either vertical or horizontal depending on the bunny’s position. Add a front hind leg by drawing two more ovals: one large vertical oval and one flat oval for the foot. Add small paws Paint the bunny by using an old kitchen stamp dipped in thick white tempera paint. I generally add water to my bottles of Crayola paint to achieve the consistency of cream, but if you don’t add water, the paint will be like greek yoghurt. This is what you want for this project. Dab sponge all over the bunny parts. Dip a small paint brush into black paint. If you don’t want the sharp contrast that black achieves, use a blue or even a grey. Add pink paint to the ears and nose. Glue a cotton ball to the paper for the tail. Add a decorative button for the eyes or paint using black paint. First Grade...

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Watercolor Jelly Fish Art Video

Watercolor Jelly Fish Art Video

By on Mar 20, 2011 | 16 comments

Here is another art video made during my last class with my fourth grade students. This is a super fast and fun lesson that involved drippy watercolors. Mistakes are encouraged and enthusiasm expected. All You’ll Need Is: Watercolor paper Liquid watercolors or food coloring Chalk pastels Instructions Paint puddles of jellyfish. Tap so the paint streaks downward. Add the tentacles. Split and splat to create bubbles! Then, outline the jellyfish with color pastel as desired.   View the result of the Fourth Grade Jellyfish below… Find this Jellyfish lesson in the Members Club inside the Color Theory Bundle! Click the image below to join the waiting...

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Mexican Unit: Sombrero & Poncho Art Project

Mexican Unit: Sombrero & Poncho Art Project

By on Feb 11, 2011 | 19 comments

My third grade classes are a creative and energetic bunch. They have a hard time sitting still. Instead of trying to reign them in, I take a different approach: offer a lesson as energetic as they are. For my Mexican Art Unit, I selected the sassy sombrero and colorful tunics. The kids loved it and the art room was an explosion of color and style   Here’s what you’ll need for the sombrero: 18″ x 24″ sheets of bright colored paper (I used red, orange and yellow) Black oil pastel for drawing sombrero Scissors White glue Tubs of bright tempera paints Lots of brushes Pans of sequins or other embellishments like pom-poms Black paint Tissue paper and paper scraps. What to do: The students followed a simple directed line instruction for drawing the sombrero. Afterwards I brought out paints and placed six tubs of paint per table. My solution for keeping things relatively under control is to provide one brush per paint color. If that color is being used, a child must use another color. I rarely have more than 5 students at one table, so it seems to work. At this point, we set the sombreros on a rack (barely fit!) and allowed them to dry. The next class, children add more paint details and then outline all of their patterns with black paint. Set a tray of sequins or embellishments, yarn and some paper scraps on a table and allow the children to decorate according to their tastes. This was a fun project. I didn’t work too hard trying to enforce standards, although we did look at the color wheel. Third Grade Sombreros Poncho Art I began a unit on Mexico this week, celebrating the vibrancy of the Mexican Culture. Like the sombreros, the ponchos were a huge hit with first and second grade students. This is a magical age in which kids love to stand up and move around, finding the perfect embellishment or color of yarn to add to their art. Starting with a 12″ x 18″ piece of colored paper, first grade students cut a 5″ slit down the center of the paper. Then, they cut a triangle from both sides of the slit. This creates the neck opening. Next,...

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Painted Paper Hearts Art Project

Painted Paper Hearts Art Project

By on Feb 7, 2011 | 13 comments

Laura at Painted Paper is my go-to source for inspiration. No one can teach color theory like she can! So when I saw her Picasso-Inspired Hearts, I knew I had to give these a try. I had one more Kinder class left in my rotation, so a one-session project was required. To aid in the expediency of the project, I pre-cut large hearts from 18″ x 24″ paper before the kids came to class. Of course, it would be an easy lesson to show the kids how to fold the paper and have them draw and cut their own hearts, but time was not on my side. I placed various colors of tempera paint on the tables, plus white. My goal was to have the children think about colors and how adding white affects them. These are Kinders mind you, and sometimes the mixing got a bit out of hand. That’s okay. It was really a fun process for them. I also encouraged them to paint whatever designs they wished. I anticipated an explosion of color but strangely enough, many kids were very, very careful with their paints. Some kids attempted to outline their designs with black paint, while others balked. Either way was fine by me. This was a fun project and super easy. Thanks, Laura! Kinder hearts…...

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