December 7, 2012

Lesson 1: Scratch Art, Emotions, & Sketchbook Design

Student  sketching

Student sketching

For our first lesson, students were introduced to a new material – scratch art.  The students first looked at a PowerPoint and how emotions can be conveyed through

Scratch Art

Scratch Art

artwork.  The students were then given scratch paper and a skewer to create their image that portrayed emotion on their

scratch paper.  After finishing their scratch art, the students were given their own sketchbook.  The students found images from magazines and used mod-podge to decorate the cover of their sketchbook and make it their own.  The students used these sketchbooks throughout the semester to plan projects and to create artwork.

Sketchbook design

Sketchbook design

21st Century Skills:
·      Creativity – students used their imaginations and personal experiences to experiment with scratch art and create unique works that portrayed emotions
·      Innovation – Students were able to think and use magazines and found images to create a collage that was personally meaningful

Lesson 2:  Narrative Paintings

Painting Demonstration

Painting Demonstration

The student used acrylic paint and paper to created a narrative that invoked a feeling or emotion using warm and cool colors. The students discovered new colors by mixing a few colors at a time and were given the colors yellow, blue, red, black and white to experiment with. Students learned the difference between warm and cool colors and created paintings that showed emotions and feelings. The student

worked hard in this lesson and



demonstrated their knowledge of warm and cool colors to portray certain feelings – for example warm for happy and excited or cool colors for calm or sad. The objectives for this lesson were in accordance with Colorado State Standards for Art Education.

21st Century Skills:
·      Creativity – Students were able to create new colors on their own by experimenting with the primary colors and create narrative works of art to fill the entire page
·      Communication – Students conveyed their understanding of warm and cool colors in order to communicate and express feelings within a narrative

Lesson 3:  Class Narrative & Masks

Group paintings

Group paintings

Students looked at historical artwork and were able to identify the foreground,

middleground, and background in the images. The students then created a class story by each student adding one sentence to the story.  The students used

Mask Sketch

Mask Sketch

their knowledge of foreground, middleground, and background to work in groups and create

the scenery for their story.

Making Masks

Making Masks

In the following classes, the students chose a character to portray and made masks out of paper mash, which they added acrylic paints and found materials.

Painting Masks

Painting Masks

 Once the masks were finished, the students acted out their story using the scenery paintings and their masks.

 It was important throughout the lesson to incorporate literacy as well as encourage the students to observe, reflect, create, and transfer with the information we taught – the four overall standards for Colorado in Art Education.

Here is the story the students created…

Acting practice

Acting practice

Once upon a time there was a Unicorn Pegasus that wanted to play. The dragon snuck

up on it with a ninja riding it. And a ninja spy princess saved it. And they cut the castle

in half and it fell to pieces. But before it could fall, everyone got

out. And a tornado struck. And the castle was in the middle of the forest. A bear took

Acting out the play

Acting out the play

over the castle. The animals were nice. And when the tornado stopped it filled with whoopee cushions. Then it was winter and all of the animals came to hibernate. One of the animals was in outer space and they were sucked up. Then a fairy made it spring again. And the animals stepped on the whoopee cushions.


21st Century Skills:
·      Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving – Students were able use literacy and verbal skills to create a logical story
·      Communication – Students were able to communicate their story by working together collaboratively in small groups

Lesson 4:  Tree & Environments

Making Clay Trees

Making Clay Trees

For this project, students looked at different types of trees and created a story or environment for their trees to live.  The students began by creating clay trees which were fired in the CSU art department.  In the following weeks, the students created a place for their tree to live out of shoeboxes by painting these scenes with

Painting Tree & Environments

Painting Tree & Environments

acrylic paint as well as adding found materials with hot glue. The students were very knowledgeable about trees because they have been incorporated in many other lessons in Denise’s class so it was great to see the students relate to trees in an artistic way.  As art teachers, we focused on the

Tree & Environments

Tree & Environments

Colorado Education Art Education standards to create, reflect, and especially transfer their knowledge of trees and

color mixing to create these works.

21st Century Skills:
·      Technology Literacy – Students were able to use new tools to create trees out of clay
·      Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving – Students were able to troubleshoot and plan how to create a scenery for their clay tree to be surrounded.

Colorado State Standards that were addressed during the the Class


November 16, 2012

This week, the students started a new unit all about trees!  The students have been learning about trees throughout Denise’s class and this week they created their very own tree out of clay.
Allison began the lesson by discussing the various parts of a tree through a PowerPoint.  The students knew all about trees and could discuss what they were seeing in detail.


Allison showed how trees could be shown in a unique way through artwork and in a gallery.  One example was a tree in a gallery with all of its roots completely visible.


After the PowerPoint, Allison gave a demonstration of building clay tree sculptures.  She made an example of a tree with wild roots and a hollow trunk.  After building roots and the trunk to form a base, Allison taught the students how to slip and score – a technique in clay for adding two clay pieces by scratching and wetting both surfaces before attaching and smoothing them out.


After adding many branches using the slipping and scoring method, Allison gave each student their own piece of clay to make their own tree sculptures.  The students worked carefully to hollow out the inside of their trunk and many of the students’ added roots.


One student discussed his tree, “It’s leaves taste like sugar but it’s good for you.  It doesn’t hurt it when you pick off its leaves.”  Another student said “I’m making a tree that birdies can go into.”  Soon the students had finished their sculptures with a variety of appendages.  Once the students were finished it was time for them to go outside to recess.


In the video below, one student shows the slipping and scoring method and how the clay felt in her hands.

Allison and Mary will dry and fire the sculpture trees to make them solid in the kiln and next week they will be ready to add leaves to their trees and create dioramas for the environment surrounding the trees.


For this class, the students performed a play for their classmates using the masks they had created in the weeks before!  Allison gave everyone their very own ticket to the class play and each student had a numbered seat that matched their ticket.


Allison set up a stage at the front of the room with curtains.


She pulled back the curtains and showed the students a wonderful example of a musical often seen on Broadway: The Lion King.  The students then practiced how they would act for various activities in the play like sleeping and floating in space.  Below is a video of the students practicing some of these actions.

The students then got into groups to discuss how they would wear their masks to perform their play.


Students had an assigned part in their groups’ play ranging from ninja princesses to dragons to forest animals.  One student was also the tornado that “stopped (in the forest) and filled with whoopee cushions”.  Each group had a turn to act out their play in front of the other students wearing their amazing masks.  During each play, Allison hung up the background the group had created the first week when they wrote their story.


After all three groups finished their play, Allison had the students discuss as a class what went well and what they could improve.

The play was a great way to end our mask unit and the students had a great time wearing their masks and entering through the curtains of the stage.  Below are videos of each of the groups.

Next we will begin a brand new unit about trees and the environment!

If you would like to get a student excited about gluing anything just give them low temperature hot glue guns and watch them go!

Ms. Mary talking about the texture on the mask and how the mask makes you feel.

Ms. Mary started the class with a review of what the students did last time and what they learned. She then went on to explain what they would learn in today’s lesson. They started by looking at the textures that different masks had. In the word of one of the students it was because “Real things have texture!”

Ms. Mary went on to show the students how to use the hot glue

All of the kids crowed around the table to see the hot glue demo. Then the kids in the back came to the front to see.

guns in a safe way so they would not burn themselves.  She started the with showing the yarn she

choose and explaining the reason why she choose it, because for her cat mask it was a good color, black and because it was soft, just like a cat. All of the kids wanted to feel it before they moved on.

At that point the kids started to work on their masks, gluing all the things that they like onto it. Many came up with inventive ways to use the materials to represent different things.

A student talking about their mask and why they chose the material that they did.

A student talking about their mask and tell what it is…the Dragon who can See and Smell everything!

Student hot gluing a pipe cleaner on as a jewel.

This is a student’s finished mask who decided to add little embellishment.

Although most students added a lot onto their masks some decided that it would be better to just add a little. When asked why they weren’t going to add anything they said “Because it is all painted.”

Not all of the students made paper mash masks, one of our students made a paper mask, when asked how he made it he said “I folded it.” After which he glued on beads for the nose and cut holes out of the middle for eyes.

The students worked hard on their masks and when they were done the all wanted to put them on. We had 18 masked children in the room having a great time!
Look in next week because we will be doing our group plays with masks and background landscapes!

Painting the Masks!

October 19, 2012

During this class, the students painted the masks they had created the week before.  Mary began class with a brief PowerPoint showing how other students and artists had decorated and embellished masks in the past.  Mary then gave a quick demonstration of how to paint the masks using the two-color rule.  The students then got started painting their own masks to portray their character from the story.  The students were very excited. Below, a student created her own colors using the two-color rule.  She describes how she made the color saying “I made this new color by mixing a lot of blue and a little bit of white.”


Here, a student carefully paints her Unicorn-Pegasus with a color she mixed herself.


Here, we see a dragon painted with red eyes. The student also said “I painted the eyes red so the dragon would look scary.”

Once the students had finished painting their masks, the students took out their sketchbooks.  Mary handed out colored pencils and had the students draw their mask with any items they wanted to add to their mask the next time class met.


A student draws yarn and other items he would like to add to his mask.

The students also thought about how they were going to hold the mask.    When the students were finished with this, they gathered around the oval and helped Mary make a list of all the items she should bring for the next class.


This student plans on using yarn for texture on his ninja.

In the video below, a student describes in detail all the items she plans to add to her mask.

Time flew by and it was already time to clean up.  After clean up, Mary had the students bring their painted masks to the counter and the students discussed the techniques they had used to build and paint their masks.

Stay tuned because the masks should be finished at the end of next class!

Masks with Paper Mash!

October 12, 2012

On Friday, Allison began the lesson by going over the story from the previous week with the students.  They discussed the characters they had created and how those characters might feel.  Then, Allison gathered the students in a circle and showed them a variety of masks and how masks can be used to show emotion.


After discussing emotions in masks, Allison had the groups decide who would be what character in the story they had created.  Some of the characters included the dragon, the ninja spy princess, various animals from the forest including a bear, tiger, cat – just to name a few.


Here, a student draws a ninja!

The students drew sketches of the characters they chose in their sketchbook.

This student shows that he will be attaching a popsicle stick to help hold his mask in front of his face.

Many of the sketches included ideas about whether they will hold their mask or be able to wear it with a strap.


The students watch around the demonstration table as Allison presses paper mash onto the mask form.

Allison then showed the class how to use a new material – paper mash!  The students put the paper mash over premade mask forms.

“I’m making a ninja spy princess. I did this because ninjas don’t have two eyespots they only have one big one.”

At first, some of the students were getting used to the new material.  One student said, “The stuff we used to make the mask is really slimy and wet!  And it kinda looks gross!”  But by the end of the lesson they were all having a great time.

“I’m making a Unicorn-Pegasus!”

The students began to build up the mash for unique facial features. You can see this in the student’s work below.

Here are some examples of the masks at the end of this class session.

Next week the students will paint and plan out their other embellishments for the masks!

Last week the students created their very own story.  Allison started the lesson with “Once upon a time….” and gave every student the chance to add their own sentence to the story.  The students loved the activity and created a rather elaborate story that goes like this…

“Once upon a time there was a unicorn pegasus that wanted to play.  The dragon snuck up on it with a ninja riding it.  And a ninja spy princess saved it.  And they cut the castle in half and it fell to pieces.  But before it could fall, everyone got out.  And a tornado struck.  And the castle was in the middle of the forest.  A bear took over the castle.  The animals were nice.  And when the tornado stopped it filled with whoopee cushions.  Then it was winter and all of the animals came to hibernate.  One of the animals was in outer space and they were sucked up.  Then a fairy made it spring again.  And the animals stepped on the whoopee cushions.  The End”


Allison carefully writes out the story on the smart board as the students tell her each sentence.

After the students created their story, Allison gave a brief demonstration of landscapes.  The students seemed to know what the foreground, middle ground, and background were right away and could point them out on various landscape paintings as we see below.


Here, a student points out the foreground of the painting on display.

After the slide show, Allison put the students into three groups to collaborate on a landscape painting for the background of the story.  The students went to work right away and were very excited.  The groups each chose a different way to display the scenery to go with the story they had come up with as a class.


Here, students work on the space scenery.


Here the students are beginning a space scene according to their story.  The students added many planets, including Saturn with its rings.


One student works on other planets including Earth.


One student commented, “I’m making the Earth because the Earth is in space.  So we live in space!”


Here, we see a more finished Saturn on the left and the space tornado on the right.

One student commented, “The tornado is in space too!”  We can see Saturn with its rings in the photo above as well as the space tornado.


Here, students are working on the land and grass in their scenery.

Above, we can see that another group concentrated on part of the story that was on Earth.  One student said, “I’m making green grass because this is all land.” As well as, “We’re making blue sky!!!”


A student carefully creates the foreground.

The third group focused on the forest and castle aspect of the scenery.  One student commented on his placement of his forest, castle, and trees stating, “These are the trees.  They’re part of the foreground.  It was going to be part of the middle ground but there was too much stuff already there.”


Whoopee cushions!

The students worked very hard on their scenery, and many students focused on one aspect of the scenery that was meaningful to them personally.  In the photo above, a student focuses on the whoopee cushions.

When the groups had finished their paintings, Allison guided the class to each painting table around the room to discuss each groups work talking about what they liked and what they would have done differently.  The video below shows the class critiquing one group’s painting.

Before we knew it, the time had come to clean up.  The students learned a lot about collaborating this week and did a great job working with one another.  Next week the students will get to focus on the characters for their story!

Mary taught painting this week, the students finished their narrative paintings first. The break in the middle seemed to push kids past where they were going to stop originally. This is shown in the monster paint, last week this was one of the first to be put on the drying rack. However this week instead of the it’s done comment I was expecting to hear it was one of the last on the drying rack.

Picture of a monster on the second day of working.

A few of the kids fill every bit of white paper, where others used did not fill all of it in the extra time. This gave a variety of pieces and feelings to each narrative.

This is one of the students who filled every bit of white space, when asked about the painting the student said,”This is Mom, Dad, and Me running from a thunder storm.”

This student used the white in the background to their advantage.

After the students finished their pieces from the week before Mary talked with them about warm and cool colors and the effects that you can get from them. How cool colors can make you feel cold or calm, and warm colors can make you feel warm and happy. The students identified which colors were warm and which were cool with in paintings. along with this the students talked about how the paintings made them feel.


Mary teaching the students about warm and cool colors in narrative.

After they finished identifying warm and cool colors they tried to name them and name things that were those colors.  The students came up with a number of things that were each of these colors, including berries, the sun, oranges, ect.

Mary and students making a list of warm and cool colors, and objects that are those colors.

When the students started to work on their warm and cool color paintings they all had different ideas. Some of the more advanced students had no trouble getting right into it and distinguishing between warm and cool colors.

One of the more advanced students painting. When asked about it they said, “I’m using red for the flower pot. I want it to have equal happy and sad colors”

Other students had a little more trouble and created colors such as black which was then placed over the whole piece.

When asked about their painting part way through the painting this student said, ” It was a face, but the smile is to low.”

Some of the other pictures that were done were of cars skidding on the road.

The student who painted talked it being “A car that skidded and lit the road on fire.”

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

This student painted a pot of gold and the end of the rainbow.

This student explains their picture and talks about the color they got.

Like the lesson clean up went smoothly.

Stay tuned because next week we will be doing landscapes and Narratives.

Lesson 2: Narrative Paintings

September 21, 2012

Lesson 2: Narrative Paintings
September 14, 2012
This week Mary taught the kids about narrative in pictures and a little about painting. The lesson was started by looking at several images of famous paintings that have a narrative. The kids really go into this when asked about what they thought was going on in Seraut’s Sunday on La Grande Jatte. The kids said that they saw a monkey in the painting and that maybe the people were going sailing, however one of the most interesting comment was that the people were going on a picnic and they were eating waffles.

Kids talking about Seraut’s Sunday on La Grande Jatte

After talking about how pictures can tell stories Mary Talked with all of the students about mixing paints. We used the two color rule. You can only mix two colors at a time. This helps prevent the mix everything and get brown. Each table got red, yellow, blue, white, and black so that they had to mix all of their own colors. Each child got their own plate to mix on and they all went to work.

Mary’s painting demo

For the first painting that the kids did they had a lot of different ideas, dolphins swimming pools, volcanoes, rain clouds. The ideas kept expanding as the kids mixed different colors and figured out how to create the colors they wanted.  The students came up will many different ways to create the colors they wanted, making the paint thinner, painting certain colors first, and just seeing what would happen if you mixed black and white.

Student talking about how to get a gray blue color that is transparent.

Student talking about the narrative in their painting.
Mary started the second paint towards the end of class so that the students would be able to work with as much time as we could give them and then finish next week. The ideas were just as creative, we had Zebras, monsters and quite a few tornadoes. With the second picture the students seemed to have more control over the paint and the colors. You were able to see clean lines and even tones of color over a large surface. A new technique was discovered by one of the students to create more than one color in just one stoke. By having the base coat wet, and then putting another color over the top of it the two colors mix differently throughout the stroke. So the end result is that you have multiple colors in one stroke.

Student talking about the narrative in their painting and how they got a specific texture.

Painting of houses

Clean up when surprisingly well and smoothly, the students worked with together to bring paintings to the drying rack, clean brushes and tables.

Next week we will be continuing to talk about narrative in painting, as well as how color can effect which emotions that we feel.

September 7th
Friday was our first day working with Denise’s class at the Lab school! One hour goes by quickly so Allison started right away with an exciting powerpoint about artwork and emotions.  She then asked the students  how facial expressions can portray our emotions.

Allison then showed the students how to use scratchers on scratch paper.  After the demonstration, we gave the students their very own art sketchbook and had them try drawing two different emotions before trying the scratch art.  Many students focused on the details in the face that hinted at the emotion they were trying to portray – small circles for tears and arched lines facing upwards or downwards for happy or sad mouth. Here are some examples of their sketches!

After showing Allison or Mary their two sketches, the students were able to start their scratch art.  Below are some examples of scratch art in progress as well as some of the finished products.

The students were able to show a wide variety of detail within their scratch art as you can see here.  In this example, a student carefully adds tiny dots and lines to add detail to the dress the happy girl is wearing in her scratch art.  She later adds even more descriptive detail (carefully filled in clouds) in the scene surrounding her happy scratch art girl to help the viewer understand why the girl is having a great day as you can see below.  A beautiful sunny day was important for many students to portray a happy person within their scratch art.

After finishing their scratch art, Allison explained how to modge podge the cover of their sketchbook using magazine clippings, scraps, leaves, and other interesting items!

Here a student works on her journal cover using found paper patterns.The journals came out great and we can’t wait to use them in our future art lessons!