Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Elective: Modern Mona Lisa

Ah, hello summer vacation!  Up here in Northern New York, most of our vacations began Wednesday or Thursday of last week...mine started at 10:45 on Thursday!  So far, it's been off to a nice slow start...complete with a cranky teething baby!  I just keep praying that it doesn't take ALL summer for these teeth to come through!

For the first half of summer, I'm going to catch up on all of the projects that were completed at school, but that I never had time to post about.  My first catch-up post is from my Elective class.  We did acrylic paintings of "Modern Mona Lisa".  This was our second last project of the school year.  With a class size of seven ladies (three seniors and four 10th graders), they were pretty slow moving on projects and it definitely took a lot of motivate them, even though they wanted to be there!  I blame it on the smaller class size.  Either way, this was one of their favorite projects of the year!

This was a simple project...the guidelines were that they had to think about women today and paint Mona Lisa today if da Vinci were around to do so.  We spent a class practicing drawing faces using a proportion sheet to help get the feature placement correct.  I taught them (or in some cases reinforced) the idea of painting from the background to the foreground.  I also made them mix their own skin tone paint...something they thought was hard but they enjoyed the challenge.  When I asked if I should buy skin tone acrylic for next year, they were outraged!  "No!  It's a good experience to learn how to do this on your own!"  Just like we used for the cubist superhero project in my Studio class, my students used the various acrylic pumice gels, modeling mediums and gel mediums to create actual texture.  I'll take it! :) Quite simply, here are their results!





Wednesday, June 25, 2014

5th Grade: 3-D Color Wheel Display

A while back I shared a tutorial on how to make a 3-D color wheel out of paper plates, which I found out from a reader comment, came from the September 2010 issue of Arts and Activities.  I just wanted to share the photographs I took of these projects hanging in my display case.


My 5th grade class this year is very small so they didn't exactly fill the case very much, but the first year I did this, I had almost 50 color wheels in there and it looked amazing!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6th Grade: Foreign Country Stamp Designs

Once the 6th graders finished their Social Studies text book, their Social Studies teacher decided to give them a country to research.  I knew I could fly with this and decided to do stamp designs with the students. During my first year of teaching, I had purchased a package of Roylco Postage Stamp Paper but had never used it.  I dusted off that old package and pulled them out for tracing templates for the students to trace the stamp edge.

This is what I required each stamp to have (or not have!):
1. A border
2. A money amount with the country's currency symbol
3. The country's name
4. A main picture that represents something the country is famous
5. The flag can be incorporated, but it cannot be the main picture by itself.
6. Outline everything in black sharpie.
7. You can use colored pencils, pastels, watercolor pencils and markers.

Would you believe that there were A LOT of students who did not know what was on a stamp!?  When I opened this lesson up, I didn't show students any pictures, but asked if they knew what was on a postage stamp and listed it on the board.  They didn't even know how much a stamp costs!  This of course lead into a conversation about who needs stamps and why people don't pay their bills on-line...oye vey!

Eventually, we got past that conversation and I showed students examples of foreign stamps, both old and new, and then the students got to planning and creating!

France and Iran...these two were probably the best in terms of craftsmanship and proper use of the media.

Turkey and Madagascar...my two other favorites!



Madrid and Iraq...it was really hard for the students who had countries in the Middle East...they all wanted to portray war, which I wouldn't let them do!  No guns, guts, blood, etc is one of my rules...