Monday, January 31, 2011

Groundhog Day Activity

I have always had a difficult time finding things to do for Groundhog art so was very happy to come across this fun shadow art on Artsonia (

This activity works for any primary grade. We started the lesson by discussing Groundhog day and about how shadows are formed.

For the background, you could choice to either have the kids draw and colour in or paint. For the example paint was used. The kids had the choice of drawing or painting a pond and have themselves skating or just leaving it white so they would be playing in the snow. We discussed the element of Space and making trees smaller as they get further away and also the horizon line. The sky needs to either have a sun or a yellow sky to give the illusion of it being sunny in order to have a shadow.

Once background is completed, kids draw a picture of themselves on a separate piece of paper. They can either colour it in and/or add snowsuit, mitts, hat with construction paper. They next cut out their little person, trace it on black paper and glue the person and the shadow onto their background (making sure that the shadow is their mirror image)

Happy Groundhog Day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plasticine Self-Portraits

Barbara Reid books have always been a favourite in my home. Kids love staring at her amazing plasticine pictures in awe. I was trying to thinkingg of a new way for my grade 3/4 art class to make self portraits and came across this lesson from the Barbara Reid Website

The kids LOVED this activity and did a great job. I started by reading a Barbara Reid book (any will do) and discussing the pictures and how she created the illusion of different textures and what we had around the classroom that could create the same look (paperclips, pencil tips etc.) The activity took 3 full 40 minute periods. The first we used to complete the background and the other two periods were used to complete the face. I used hard cardstock for the background. It would suggest placing plasticine on top of a heater to soften it up a bit before using it. It takes quite a bit of time to knead it to make it soft enough to work with. The kids took quite a bit of time blending colours together to get the correct skin tones and hair colour.

Because plasticine is difficult to display, I took a photo of each potrait and will be displaying the photos on the bullentine board outside the classroom. I will post a photo once I am done. This really was a fun activity for the kids and a nice break from 2D works of art.

An Introduction....

Hello! I have been tossing the idea of blogging my experiences teaching art for quite a while and have finally managed to sit down and do it at last. This blog is intended for anyone who is looking for ideas/inspiration for teaching art for young children. Watching kids create art is the most amazing, rewarding experience! They are wild about glue, glitter and of course paint and have such vivid imaginations that their creations always bring a smile to my face. I have found invaluable resources through amazing bloggers with such fabulous ideas! This blog will be a day-to-day (hopefully) account of activites that I am doing and hopefully full of ideas that you can use in your classroom (or home with your kids).

Please share any suggestions or experiences with your art! I would love to read them.