Search This Blog

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Theme of the Year, art displays,pandas, Chihuly, name designs,and kinder sculptures

This year, I am going with a “Try Your Hardest” Nemo theme. We talked about how Nemo always wanted to try everything and didn’t let his little fin keep him from going to school to learn and doing great things. We talked about how Dori says “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” and I changed it to “Just keep Drawing, Just keep painting, Just keep Creating” Sometimes they get so scared to make a mistake, that they don’t want to try.

edit32 edit34 edit36

Our School Theme of the Year is “One Team, One Goal, No Limits. The first few weeks of school each grade worked on a drawing to make a large group mural to exemplify the theme. Here are the results. Below, kinder and first grade students made self portraits wearing blue and green (school colors) and holding something that represents them to show how we are all unique, but part of one big team!edit16 edit44

For this projects, students learned how to make hexagons and pentagons to create a soccer ball. We talked about how a soccer ball has 20 white hexagons and 12 black pentagons. Students decorated their balls with a variety of lines and colors. One hexagon had to have their name in it disguised with lines. I got this idea from


For “No Limits” the students made space shuttles in outer space. We watched a video on of the shuttle taking off and the kids were SOOOO EXCITED! I got this idea from and made my own modifications

We used toothbrushes to splatter paint the stars and little cardboard squares under the planets, shooting stars ,and space men to create dimension. They painted the shuttles with watercolor, and the fire with tempra. Students learned about warm colors (fire) and value when they made their watercolors go from dark to light in each section of the rockets.

edit33 edit18 edit19

I got this name design idea from

Students folded paper into eight sections, wrote their name in one triangle, and made a graphite transfer of the name onto each section. They then colored with markers and crayons. Students learned about symmetry, radial design, and color schemes.



edit11 edit12 edit14

We have been learning about the artist, Dale Chihuly. The kids have seen videos of him creating his giant glass sculptures and really enjoyed this artist study. These Chihuly “sea forms” were created with watercolors, then details added with oil pastels, and construction paper.


This lesson was soooooo much fun for the kids and I enjoyed seeing their outcomes. I gave them strips of construction paper and we talked about how to fold and glue them into a variety of shapes. An accordian fold makes a star, or a staircase for a slide! After they learned how to make a variety of shapes and forms, they went to their seats to create their sculpture. Some made shape cities, some made shapes on top and inside of larger shapes. Some made roller coasters, ferris wheels, swings, slides, trees, cars, it was an explosion of creativity and for the very first time this year, kinder and first grade were silent. They were working so hard in the “zone” that they were almost totally silent while COMPLETLEY engaged in this lesson!! Here are a few of the results.

edit1 edit2 edit3

some kind of creature

edit4 edit5 edit6 edit7

This one was a park, complete with monkey bars, a swing, merry go round, slide, see-saw, and tiny people!

edit8 edit9

On Fridays I have a class that is not on the regular rotation, so we usually do some sort of painting excercise for a particuler technique or skill. Kinder has just started painting, so we were practicing painting with tempra paint, and cleaning our brushes. It is very important for your brush is clean when you paint with black and white, so we did not want to see any gray pandas. They did a great job! We looked at a variety of different paintings of pandas in different styles of art. We talked about how artists have different styles and how every panda will be different.

edit20 edit25 edit21 edit24 edit26 edit27

students added details with crayons and construction paper.

edit28 edit31 edit29 edit30

For the Chihuly baskets (in my last post) students created a sea form shape on Styrofoam and printed with silver and black ink. This was a great skill in learning how to draw 3d forms, and it was their first experience with print making. One of the teachers told me they made her hungry because it looked like the Cabana Bowl from Taco Cabana ~~SIGH~~ I havn’t been able to look at the project the same way since!!

edit38 edit39 edit40 edit42 edit43


  1. Love the Rocket ship idea! I might use this idea for a line project for my K's! Thanks!

  2. I adore your mural of self-portraits and would love to borrow this idea.

  3. Natalie--I tried your whole-school mural idea at one of my little schools. The kids loved it, and the result is outstanding! Our school theme this year is "high levels of learning for ALL students." Our mural went up today and my principal LOVES it. I am sending you a great big hug! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to post the photo on my blog today, credit your post, and add you to my side bar. Have a great day!

  4. sorry, my computer glitched and I posted twice


Total Pageviews