Monday, February 8, 2016

Black History Month Value Portraits

For Black History Month, I wanted to do a portrait drawing lesson showing value scale.  Last week, the students were given one of 6 famous African Americans and read a short biography about their person.  To begin the lesson, we made value scales and practiced shading with pencil.  Next, students practiced drawing their person's portrait on a scrap piece of paper.  My main goal was for students to draw their person on their tie-dye paper (which we made in a previous class) and use sharpies and pencils to add the value.  However, I could see that this particular skill was far too advanced for 5th and 6th graders.  I quickly realized that drawing value portraits was too abstract of a concept for my students because they were instructed to look for the shapes that the highlights and shadows made on their faces.  Most students got so discouraged that they stopped drawing altogether.  I had a week to devise another plan before I totally scrapped this project.  So, I came up with the idea of drawing on transparencies and painting the shapes the shadows and highlights made by tracing them right on the transparencies.  I feel this was the perfect accommodation for my students in learning about value scales and realistic portrait drawings.  In the future, I will start with this technique and develop another lesson to follow this one where students can create a grid drawing and paint the value scales on their own.  We will be displaying these striking portrait paintings at our annual Black History Program!

Booker T. Washington by Adreana 

Bessie Coleman by Amani

Frederick Douglas by Jayven

Jackie Robinson by Antoine 

Rosa Parks by Faith 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  by Sidney

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Art & Music

"Hyper" by Briauna

"Energetic" by Shania

"Hyper" by Jada

"Energetic" by Zariyah

"Calming" by Jenaryea

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


This is a great art project to go along with the Ukrainian folktale, The Mitten by Jan Brett.  We read the story together and discussed why the story is considered a folktale and what happened in the story that is unrealistic.  Students were give blue paper and white colored pencils to fill their paper with snowflakes of different sizes and varieties.  Next, students traced their hands in the shape of a mitten and added lines, shapes, and colors.  Lastly, for some fun detail we added a yarn string and a giant die-cut snowflake and some glitter!

Winter Villages

This is a great seasonal art lesson, perfect for grades K-3. To begin, we read the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and we discussed some of the similarities between the character's snow day and our snow days.  Next, students wrote about their favorite thing to do on a snow day.  We used gray paper for this project because the long winter days in the Mid West are filled with mostly gray skies.  To begin, I demonstrated drawing houses using basic shapes.  We colored the houses with regular Crayola crayons and used a lot of pressure while coloring so the colors would look as bright as possible on the dark paper.  Next, we tore white paper to create the texture of fluffy snow.  The torn paper was glued under the houses and between the houses to create depth.  Lastly, we used white paint add snow on the top of the houses, trees, chimneys, and in the sky!  The students did a great job on this project, and it looks even better with iridescent glitter sprinkled on the top!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Art + Language Arts

This is a great lesson to do with 1st graders! Pick a story and have them sequence it illustrate it! We divided our papers into four sections, labeled them 1, 2, 3, 4, and drew what happened 1st, 2nd, and so on. This was a great story about kindness and treating people with respect, even if they're different than you.