Monday, 14 July 2014

The Day the Crayons Quit Art Lesson

For our last lesson of the term (Tues and Thurs only) we based the lesson on the best selling book "The Day the Crayons Quit" written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (our artist of the week).


This book is great - my kids love it, I love it and obviously lots of other people love it as its been #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List (Children's picture books) for 53 weeks! 

Its a pretty simple lesson - this is a great one to have on hand if you ever need a lesson with little prep and don't have a lot of time.  It would also be great to tie in with a literacy lesson as the children could write their own letters back to the crayons (or something along those lines).  I never seem to let myself off with an easy lesson so I combined this with making our own sketchbooks (earlier post) and the stormy / rain watercolour pictures (previous post).

What you need:
  • Packs of crayons (I gave each child their own pack and they got to take these home with them)
  • White paper
  • The Day the Crayons Quit book
How to:
  • Read the book
  • Ask the children to draw a picture (or two) inspired by the book (eg things in unusual colours, using black in other ways than to outline).
The Results:
Here are my three of children's pictures (I didn't take photos of the rest).


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Stormy / Rainy Day Watercolours

I spotted this post on the Smart Class blog and couldn't resist getting the children to create a similar version on the last week of term - especially because the weather was exactly that - stormy, windy and lots of rain!

No need for me to give you instructions - they are all on the Smart Class blog - thanks so much for the clear and easy to follow instructions!  I actually combined this lesson with other things (such as our homemade sketchbooks) as these pictures only took about 20 minutes to do.

Here are our results (children aged 5 to 9):

Here's to sitting inside sipping a red wine (or hot chocolate) in front of a warm fire during the cold stormy weather....(the wine's for me, not the kids of course!). 


Friday, 11 July 2014

Plasticine Pictures (Barbara Reid inspired)

I based a lot of our lessons last term on great books.  Barbara Reid is an artist and author I've been wanting to use as inspiration for a lesson for quite some time. I could possibly say this lesson was one of my favorites of all time.

I had put off doing this lesson as I was nervous that some of my younger students would have difficulties with smudging the plasticine background.  In the end this wasn't such a problem as I initially thought.  I simply worked my way around the table and helped everyone with their back grounds.  Yes some struggled, some didn't,  yet no one complained and in the end we got them all done.   Once all the backgrounds were complete I was free to sit back and watch them create and create they did!  The works of art produced in this class were simply stunning!  These are produced by children 5 to 9 years old.

Barbara's website has amazing information and the most informative videos.  They are a little long to show my class (I tried once yet they soon got bored) yet would work well with older kids.  The children were amazed by her ability to produce such amazing pictures simply out of plasticine.

We used her latest book "Picture a Tree" as inspiration, however I wasn't strict that the children had to produce a tree.


What you need:
  • Plasticine - lots of colours (I tried some cheaper modelling clay and it was really hard to smudge for the backgrounds so for this exercise its worth paying for proper plasticine)
  • Pieces of cardboard for the base approx A5 (I used pieces I had collected from the scraps pile at the local art store - thanks Melbourne Artist Supplies!)
  • Pottery tools, old toothbrushes, wooden skewers
How To:
  • Read the book and look at the pictures for inspiration
  • Demonstrate the three steps 1) Smudge background 2) Add details 3) Add Texture with tools.
  • I made sure they got the OK from me before moving to the next step
  • If they finished early I had them walk around and look at others work and then go back to their own to see if they could find any further details to add (reminding them that Barbara's work is very detailed)
The Results:

WOW is all I can say!


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Owls and Robots (more recycled art)

This lesson was actually part of our Environmental month of lessons yet I never got around to posting it.  In this lesson we again used our recycling theme and reused old magazines, scraps of paper and newspaper print to create owls and robot pictures.

I also had a big box of recycled items and the children could make whatever they wanted from the items in the box.

I just love how the owl pictures worked out.  Its a shame only a few children choose to do them.

These are based on ideas in the Usborne Book - 365 things to do with paper and cardboard by Fiona Watt.

What you need:
  • Scraps of painted paper, magazines, newspaper
  • Black paper
  • Glue sticks
  • Reinforcing rings (white and coloured)
  • Scissors
  • Metallic markers

How To:
  • Get the children to tear oval shapes from the scrap paper (for owls) and glue onto the black paper.  They may wish to add a green branch from scrap paper first (for owls). 
  • Add reinforcing rings for eyes
  • Add wings and other details (I let them use scissors for cutting these out)
  • Add details with metallic markers 
* Robots are the same process yet cut squares from the paper, add other details.  They could also use any bits and pieces left over from our Tin Can Robots that were sitting on the table.

More Results:
Love, love, love!  I even framed my children's in white frames and they are sitting in our lounge room for all to admire.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Homemade Sketchbooks and a Sketchbook Challenge

Victorian school holidays started last week - yippee!!  I love having the kids home and not getting up to do those school lunches..

Of course I couldn't let the children from my classes sit idle for two whole weeks without creating.  Time for a sketchbook challenge!  If you are not in my classes - no worries - join in now (sorry I'm a little late in posting this).  Don't worry too much about doing just one challenge a day, just ensure you get around to doing all the challenges.  I added further motivation to complete it by offering a prize to the best sketchbook shown to me at the end of the holidays - watch for the announcement of the winner in a few weeks time.

 We also made our own sketchbooks - 'cause we could! 

What you need:
  • Watercolour paper (one A4 per child folded in half)
  • Office paper (4 pieces per child folded in half)  
  • Challenge rules (below) printed out and glued into first page 
  • Hole Punch
  • Ribbon
  • Watercolour paints
  • Oil Pastels
How to:
  • Get the children to draw on their watercolour paper with the oil pastels
  • Paint with the watercolours
  • Let dry
  • Fold around the office paper
  • Punch holes with hole punch
  • Thread ribbon through holes and tie bow
The winner and results will be published at the end of the holidays.

Draw one thing each day from the list (in order)

Day 1: Yourself
Day 2: Favourite animal
Day 3: Favourite food
Day 4: Favourite book character
Day 5: A sea creature
Day 6: Your best friend
Day 7: Your family (including pets)
Day 8: Something you want
Day 9: Anything
Day 10: An insect
Day 11: A plant or flowers
Day 12: Comic
Day 13: Something orange
Day 14: A congratulations banner for finishing the challenge

You may use any art materials you wish to draw.

A prize will be awarded to the best sketch book at the start of Term 3 (please bring in your sketchbook to show Fiona first week of term).

Good Luck to everyone and have a lovely creative holidays!