Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

As an art teacher, I'm forever looking at amazing art work and think: "How can I turn it into an art activity?" I was aware that the Year 5/6 students this term were embarking on a unit entitled 'Engage with Asia', so during the holidays I started searching for ideas and saw this idea on someone's blog, I can't remember who. This was such an easy activity and we completed it in 90 minutes.
First I prepared the moon cut outs, which were laminated.
Next the students chose and explored rubbing soft pastels to achieve their desired background.
Then I squeezed black food dye (ideally I should've used black ink but I didn't have any) on each students' work. They then began to blow through a straw. Thus creating realistic trees. They painted the blossoms, mixing red and white paint.
The results were amazing!

Artist Trading Cards

I was invited to participate in an Artist Trading Card swap with Mini Mastisse.  The Year 2 students created some amazing cards all based on Mini Beasts.  So we have sent them off to the USA.  
So I took it upon myself to invite another fellow Art Blogger from The Netherlands to swap (http://jufjacquelien.web-log.nl/). The Year 6 students created all sorts of amazing art and now we are awaiting another parcel from The Netherlands. This project is wonderful on so many levels.  It's a great way to make new international connections, to engage students and ultimately to share amazing art.
So, if there is anyone out there who would like to trade with Essendon North Primary School, I'd be more than happy. In fact my Year 3/4 students have asked me why they haven't had a go yet. Please send me a message if you're interested!

Warning! Large mosquito in the art room...

I saw this amazing mosquito mural in one of the pubs in Melbourne and thought I must make a replica for the art room.  I had the privilege of having a wonderful student teacher for 3 weeks, she was fantastic and talented.  She made the mosquito out of a plastic like card. We painted it and the Year 1/2 students glued plastic bottle caps. At the moment, it's living in our large gymnasium and some of the caps have come off, so I will have to use hot glue to repair it. My plan is to have it on display at our annual art show.  The students were engaged and excited in being part of this small project.. well not so small!

Textured painting - Prep

This is always a most enjoyable art activity that I do every year with the Preps.  As part of the Safety Unit, in art we focus on different safety aspects.  So of course in Art we did fire paintings.  So we used warm colours. The students were encouraged to use different tools like card, stampers and hands. They absolutely loved it. The students were free to explore and create texture. 
The result was fantastic!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Amazing Mini Beasts - Year 1

In 1 session, the Year 1 students created the most amazing mini beasts. They have never worked with wire. So I demonstrated some basic construction techniques. It was an open-ended activity because the children were free to create and explore.  So they could choose from an array of interesting resources like, chenille sticks, wire, coloured icy-pole sticks, beads, cellophane paper and straws. I was overwhelmed! 

The best thing about being an art teacher, is that you just don't know what the children are going to come up with...

Bugs in Trees - Year 1

This term the Year 1 and 2 students are learning about mini beasts. It is a fantastic topic to cover in the art room. We're focusing on patterns in insects.  The children are really enjoying the unit.  
This activity is so very simple and effective. So we started drawing all kinds of mini beasts on an A3 white cartridge paper. The children had images to look at.  I encouraged them to focus on drawing the insects as realistic as possible. They outlined the drawings with black sharpie markers and coloured them in with fluro pencils.
The next step was to draw the trees.  For this section, it was a step-by-step process.  We then went outside and using a brown crayon, children placed their drawings on the ground and created amazing textures. They loved being outside.
Back in the art room, they used soft pastels to add more colour and added texture to their trees and backgrounds. The insects were cut out and glued on the trees.  Some of the children found some very creative ways of gluing their insects. I was very pleased with the result.  Well done year 1s.