Wednesday, November 7, 2012

After School Program Projects

Well, this week marks the end of the first 10 weeks of school.  I have been in a scramble to try and correct artwork that I am behind on correcting because of being out of school sick...I've also had to try and start new projects with about half my students.  It never seems to fail...even though I try to stagger projects, I usually end up finishing and starting new projects with numerous grade levels, no matter how hard I try not to.  Oh well.

Here are some projects that we have been doing after school the last few days.

On Tuesday during the Extended Day program, we made lighthouse sculptures.  I bought this kit through S&S Worldwide, but you could definitely do it with materials you probably already have in your room. 

To make one lighthouse you need:
-cardboard cone (from yarn)
-colored tagboard or construction paper
-brown/tan sand
-tacky glue
-hot glue

Basically, first we painted our lighthouses white, and then added a stripe.  While that dried, we cut out windows, a door, and a roof.  To make the roof, we cut out a 3" circle and then cut a slit in it to the middle.  Then we pulled it around and glued the ends together to make the pitched roof.  We glued all of those on using tacky glue, as it holds faster for this quick after school projects.  We lined the bottom of the lighthouses with tacky glue and then dipped them in a plate of sand.  For the final step, I let the kids glue sea shells on using a glue gun.

Some got smart and glued paper to the bottom of their lighthouses to make it easier to glue the seashells on!  If I would have had more time with them, I would have turned this into a 2-day project and had them do more details, but I had 28 students in my room working on this in 45 minutes, and another 4 students working with another teacher making Thanksgiving wreaths!  Whew!


Today was also my first day of After School Art Club.  Today I only had about 8 kids out of 16 show up...go figure.  However, most had a reasonable excuse for not coming today.  And, it was great only having 8 kids to work with.

For our first art club project, we are going to paint a mural in the nurse's office.  Our nurse is currently out of school recovering from major surgery, so I thought it would be nice to surprise her when she comes back with a mural!  She asked me to paint her one with my art club the first year I started, but I didn't feel I was ready to tackle something like that, but this year we're going to do it!  

In preparation for that, I started my art club kids off today by painting fish today.  I bought these little fish shaped canvases from Nasco so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to use them since we are going to paint an underwater mural.  The goal of our painting these today was to get a feel for acrylic paint and to start to learn how to mix colors on the canvas.  I tried to get the kids to use a pointillism technique so they could see how acrylic paint will actually create a real texture and emulate fish scales.  

Here are our results!

My fish is the one at the very bottom of this picture.

I had five 6th graders and three 5th graders today for these.  I think, for the most part, they did a great job!  First we did our fins, then the body.  We let them dry before adding the rest of the details, like the eye, the fin on the side of the fish, and some metallic scales with metallic acrylic paint.  The 6th graders did a really great job on theirs and really understood the concept of how to mix the paint.  The 5th graders struggled a bit, but they still did pretty well!  I should point out that we did not use a picture for reference to see how light reflects off of a fish...I didn't have enough time to get any references ready.  

Next Wednesday, we will surf the internet to find what each student wants to paint on the mural.  They will draw it and then create a template to trace on the wall.  While we paint the background of the mural, I will have the students do a practice painting of their own mural item before they get to do it on the wall.


  1. Well I just totally spent my whole evening reading hot blog after finding it online yesterday! Love everything you do! I had a question about your 5th graders, not sure how to email you or get in contact with you privately.

    1. Thanks! My blog email is Guess I had better post that somewhere!