This activity was inspired by the works of Jackson Pollock. Although I‘m not really a huge fan of his work, the children always love learning about/imitating his artistic style. This lesson is good for the end of year, and is an excellent excuse to take the art room outside. By the time May rolls around, my supply room is filled with bottles of paint that are nearly impossible to completely squeeze out the last of their contents (much like shampoo, ketchup, or any other squeezable bottle). This year, I decided to cut the bottles open and allow the kids to suck up the leftover paint into syringes. Each student then took turns squirting layer upon layer of paint onto canvas paper. This lesson was so much fun, and the finished products were amazing!
Additionally, I would like to give a shout out to Ms. McCormick-Dahm at Highcroft Drive Elementary school for donating the syringes which made this lesson possible!
To Learn more about Jackson Pollock Click here
I love doing this type of project with the younger kids (kindergarten/first grade), because it's a really good way to introduce a different type of art that they are typically not used to. Usually at this age, if you were to give any kid a box of crayons and some paper they will 9 times out of 10 draw a picture consisting of a house, a tree, and a sun in the corner. These abstract pieces were a huge hit!
One thing I learned early in my career is that if you want to get children excited about your lessons, you need to tie in elements that interest them. This is why I decided to do a themed lesson based on the song “What Does the Fox Say” by Ylvis. If you are up to date with your knowledge of pop culture, you are more than likely familiar with this peculiar song.
I started the lesson by promising the kids that if they focused on the science and art portions of the lesson, I would allow them to play a game of freeze dance at the end of class (to the tune of the song). Students learned scientific facts with the use of a fox skeleton that was found right here in Wake County. For the art portion of the lesson, I gave students the option of doing step-by-step instruction of how to draw a fox or how to make an origami fox mask (both pictured above).
The students loved this lesson, and it was a blast to teach. I would however like to apologize to any teachers or staff members in the building that may have fallen victim to the ballad of “wa-pa-pa-pa-ka-kapow!" at some point in the school day.
This lesson was inspired by one of the most memorable afternoons of my life. When I was in the NAVY, my ship pulled into port in the U.S. Virgin Islands. While out on liberty, I went snorkeling in the coral reefs off of the island of St. John. I spent hours surrounded by tropical fish, and exposing my back to the worst sun burn I have ever had...but it was totally worth it! The fish I was most fascinated with were the huge barracuda that was stalking me, and the hundreds of butterflyfish feeding off the coral.
I thought that butterflyfish, with their amazing array of colors and patterns would make excellent subjects for tempera paintings. Butterflyfish can be found on reefs throughout the world. There are about 114 species of butterflyfish. They have thin, disk-shaped bodies that closely resemble their cousins, the angelfish. They spend their days tirelessly pecking at coral and rock formations with their long, thin snouts in search of coral polyps, worms, and other small invertebrates.
I love these first grade self portraits. They embodied everything kids’ art should be…colorful, and whimsical.
We started off using plain white construction/drawing paper and pencil. I started the instruction by demonstrating the basic shape of the head starts with a large letter “U” in the middle of the paper. I then showed them how to add the hair. This was especially fun, because many of the girls had different types of braids, beads, berets and twists. I spent a decent amount of time drawing on the white board showing the kids proper hair placement. I then showed them basic ways to draw different variations of facial features.
After their sketch was complete, I stressed for each student to add creative elements to their portraits. I allowed them to add patterns to the background, design interesting clothing, and add visual narratives that show the viewer a little bit about themselves.
I did this project with every class in the first grade, and every class used slightly different mediums (oil pastel, sharpie, watercolor, tempera paint, and crayon).
These ceiling tiles were painted by my 4th and 5th grade REN day classes. The students searched the internet for pumpkin carving templates and graffiti stencils to work from. We then used an old school/dinosaur projector that I found in a storage closet to project the templates onto the tiles.
There are so many benefits from teaching this lesson. Students were introduced to street art, painting fundamentals, positive & negative space, and working in small teams to finish each tile.
To walk into the art room and look up to see these tiles is a wonderful sight!
Happy Martin Luther king Day! Mr. Regis and Ms. Gibbs's Classes worked hard over the last few weeks to complete this impressive work of art. This Large painting is the result of a collaborative effort of 48 students. Each student painted an individual panel, and all of the pieces were put together like a mosaic.
After the project was completed, easy student wrote their own I have a Dream speech. Be sure to check out the video below of some of the students reading their own speeches, as well as all of the students who worked on this project.
In honor of it's 50th birthday, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission posed the question: "What is your favorite OLD building in Raleigh?" In cooperation with Arts Together and the Marbles Kids Museum, RHDC hosted an arts contest inviting Raleigh's youth to answer that question. Winners were announced at RHDC's 50th Birthday Bash on Friday, November 2nd.
We are pleased to announce that two of our Barwell Bears received recognition in this contest!! Jim A won third place in the Elementary School category, and Kendall Williams won the People's Choice award for her art work which received the most votes among all students in the contest for her entry.
At Barwell Road, all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students worked on this drawing project that put emphasis on historic buildings here in Raleigh. Students learned concepts of how to add details to their drawings as well as essential fundamentals such as perspective. Students also learned the historic significance of the following buildings:
The Briggs Hardware Building (the oldest building in Raleigh)
The Capital Building
Shaw University (founded in 1865 it is the oldest African American University in the South)
The Mordecai House (birthplace of President Andrew Johnson)
At the end of this unit students did literacy and writing assignments based on the buildings that they drew.