Friday, November 12, 2010

Veterans Day Art, Patriotic Art

     I went over the top on Veterans Day this year.  As I participate in many PTA events I have subsequently become part of the PTA board.  They had a desire to have more during school assemblies so the music teacher agreed to make a 3rd grade performance during the Veterans Day assembly, while I took on the sponsorship of the Veterans Day Wall of Honor (a wall filled with paper placards stating the name and rank of veterans related to our students). 

     I work closely with the music teacher, which I highly recommend to all art teachers.  We arranged to project images of artwork during a couple of the songs performed.  This first artwork was created by the third graders and played during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

    I taught the students about the War of 1812, particularly the battle of Ft. McHenry, when Francis Scott Key penned the poem that became our national anthem.  (This is a great cross-curricular lesson, especially since our students don't receive much social studies now a days) 
Day 1) Power point on Ft. McHenry, Wax resist of the fort, flag, and ocean
Day 2) Power point on ships, Drawing a ship
Day 3) Trace ship lines with crayon and paint, wax resist
Day 4) Cut out ship, masts, and sails (use foam or 3D O's to make ship pop off the paper
Day 5) Add 3D waves and rigging
Day 6) Finish what is needed

The second artwork was in reference to American Gothic by Grant Wood and the photograph taken by Gordon Parks also titled American Gothic.  Both artists were making a commentary on whom they felt symbolized America.  The students created these artworks of their American Gothic, inspirational Americans.
Day 1) Intro to American Gothic Power point, distribute flag paper
Day 2) Create flag designs
Day 3) Proportions of the face, guided drawing
Day 4) Finish drawing and paint skin area
Day 5) Color with markers and/or colored pencil
Day 6) Finish coloring if needed, cut out figure and glue to the flag

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kindergarten Self Portrait, Line, Cutting, Gluing

Ok, so I ran into some problems transferring my lesson plan from word to here.  It doesn't look perfect but I wasn't about to retype the whole thing.  It looks ok, but not perfect.

 Well, feel free to use this lesson.  Just let people know where you got the idea.  Another variation on this lesson is to use multicultural construction paper vs. the die cut people (I use to make it more doable for kindy) to cut out body parts.  I have done just that with first grade and it goes pretty well.  It may add a day to your lesson.

I hope to add example photos soon and keep your eyes peeled for more lessons to come as I gear up for the new school year.

     a. This is a three day (40min. class), lower elementary (Kindy) lesson

     a. To introduce multiple basic skills to new art learners
     b. To gain excitement and a sense of accomplishment in creating art

     a. During the activity the students will gain basic manipulation skills in drawing, gluing, and cutting
     b. During the introduction and continued class discussions students will learn vocabulary including principal of design line (straight, fat, thin, zig-zag, wavy, broken)
     c. During the activity the students will learn to use good craftsmanship in their work

IV.Standards and PCS Essential Learnings
     a. VA.D.1.1.1 / E.L. 2 Use art words in a classroom discussion.
     b. VA.A.1.1.1 / E.L. 3F Create artworks using mixed media.
     c. VA.A.1.1.4 / E.L. 4 Identify and develop quality craftsmanship.

V.Motivational Materials
     a. Ella Sarah Gets Dressed book by, Margaret Chodos-Irvine

VI.Materials and Supplies
     a. 12”x18” construction paper (assorted colors)
     b. Construction paper crayons
     c. Multicultural die cut person
     d. 3”x4.5” construction paper (assorted colors)
     e. Precut yarn (assorted hair colors)
     f. Precut “tiles” (about 1” paper squares in asst. colors)
     g. Scissors
     h. Glue

VII. Day 1
     a. Teacher reads Ella Sarah Gets Dressed
     b. Teacher discusses and demonstrates drawing various lines with the crayons vertically down the 12”x18” paper, show a finished example of paper completely filled with lines
     c. Students are allowed to choose a color of construction paper
     d. Teacher distributes containers of crayons and checks that students have their paper vertical
     e. Teacher allows students to draw while rotating around the room encouraging students to use a variety of colors and lines
          i.Depending on time of year and age group teacher may want to write the students name on the assignment for them

VIII. Day 2
     a. Teacher setup trays of 1” squares and glue (red tap glue tops recommended) before students enter
     b. Teacher explains that students will be creating the “tile floor” for the person to stand on with the small 1” square papers.
     c. Teacher demonstrates how to use glue on the square first and then attaching the square to the lined 12” x18” construction
          i.Suggestion: use phrase “dot, dot, dot, just a little not a lot
     d. Teacher explains good craftsmanship: how to use the tiles in rows without overlapping (a good way to explain it is like real tile with grout in between and if they overlap you would fire the tile guy)
     e. Teacher distributes old assignment and supervises activity while

IX. Day 3
     a. Students to choose their multicultural die cut person to match their own skin color and two    3”x4.5” construction papers
     b. Teacher demonstrate how to cut skirt or shorts, Students mirror and students to glue them onto the body
     c. Teacher demonstrate how to cut tank top, Students mirror and glue to the body
     d. Teacher demonstrates how to glue body onto the floor, not in the air, how to glue hair, and decorate the clothing
     e. Teacher distributes hair while students work

 Not the best examples but they will do.  If you want better results wait until the end of the year or do this project with first grade.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Study, Teaching Literacy Through Art

This is the book I have been reading in preparation for the new school year and I L-O-V-E this book.  It is fantastic.  I highly recommend this to art educators that are interested in art advocacy and interdisciplinary art education.  Author Beth Olshansky is a literacy teacher who loves the arts.  This book would be great for a book study group.  Invite administration and gen. ed. teachers to join you in a book study which is an excellent way to advocate for the arts in your school and will help them understand the importance of what we do as visual arts teachers.  The book is a pleasant read so they won't be angry with you for torturing them and it is extremely relevant to all. curricular

Olshansky presents researched based evidence to advocate for using visual and kinesthetic teaching/learning styles to educate students in literacy.  She used Dr. Sue Teele research which showed that in the average lower el. classroom 25 out of 26 students are visual and kinesthetic learners while only a little more than half the class has strengths in verbal learning. "Teele's research revealed that students retain their visual and kinesthetic strengths all through elementary and middle school.  Her study documented that after third grade, students' strengths as verbal learners actually diminish.  Today, this phenomenon, is often reffered to as 'fourth-grade slump'" (Olshansky, 12).  She further iterates the connection between graduation rates/school success and a students ability to read on level in third grade.

With the new challenges that educators face in today's society and educational system there is a great deal of pressure to teach to the test.  This kind of drilling is based in verbal learning so essentially we have created a system that does a disservice to the majority of our students.  So, as art educators where does that leave us?  We can support the learning taking place in the gen. ed. classroom through this art based literacy approach.  I know all to well the worries that visual art teachers have in the back of their minds about losing the quality of their art programs to the other disciplines.  Continually we are asked to be more, know more and do more.  We are painters, ceramicists, photographers, graphic designers, therapist, nurse, and now math, science and English teachers.

Yes, it is sometimes overwhelming, but know that you are not alone.  Art teachers across the country face the same challenges.  In the end, our job description is changing and our methods must change with it.  We do need to be more, know more, and do more as we struggle to justify why the arts should continue to exist in public schools.  I know this battle becomes tiresome because we all already know why.  We, art educators, see it and live it everyday.  Art based literacy, and perhaps the ambitious undertaking of a staff book study group, is a great way to advocate for your program without endangering its content. 

At the very least take a chance and read The Power of Pictures, Creating Pathways to Literacy Through Art.  It is a tool that will make you a more understanding educator of your students' needs.  It even includes a DVD which I can't wait to watch.  I will let you know more as I complete the book and design lesson plans.

Artfully Yours, E

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Primary Colors Art Teacher Rap, an iMovie I made

So, I get to tell my students I did this over my summer vacation. I went to a two day training at the end of June on using video/iMovie and GarageBand in the art class room. As a parting gift for giving up two full days of our summer vacation the participants received a flip cam, mic headset, an a high end tripod. Thank you school district!

I didn't want to waist any time and know how we all get too busy to do much extra during the school year I started thinking about how I could use my new toys...I mean tools. I decided to create a video as part of the introduction to a lesson. I've been wanting to think of better ways to teach my at risk/high poverty students information for the purpose of retention. I do so much for the affect side of art that I really have gotten away from emphasizing some terminology. I may focus on foreground, middle ground, back ground in an artwork but totally glaze over the vocab in the color mixing.

Well, I decided to focus on a vocab lesson. To present it in a fun way I created a rap. First I thought up the words, then created the music in GarageBand, and finally edited a video in iMovie. Th whole process took a couple of days and I even had time for a leisurely swim in the pool. I also get some quality TV watching done while I edited.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Art Advocacy Video and School Websites


Ok so I was an idealist and thought that I would be all over this blog when I started it back in January. Well, that didn't happen right away but I have renewed vigor, especially during summer break, and wanted to give it a go. There are far too few resources for art teachers in this world so I hope to do my part to assist my peers in furthering art education.

In today’s blog I’m keeping it light by adding a fun video. I have this video linked to my googlesite which is currently my school webpage. It is a fun way to do a little art advocacy on your art room webpage. You may want to consider looking art up on youtube or perhaps creating an art advocacy video of your own through iMovie for mac users or Movie Maker if you are a PC person.

If you don’t have a website for your school you may want to consider using a free web host like googlesite. It is extremely user friendly and visually dynamic. The only problem I have found is the file capacity for uploaded pictures. I have run into a problem with having reached my space limit. I would like to delete files and add new ones but can’t seem to get the system to let me. Please, don’t let that scare you away. It is awesome to use if you are new to web making and like I said it is FREE! This is the link to my site if you would like to see an example.

Mrs. Johnson's Art Class Site

A word of caution: find out your district’s policy on website use and student permission. Protect yourself, your school, your students, and the district from any messy disputes. My school district is moving toward using moodle sites. It is a “black board” style web host that is lacking in visual appeal but that is the way we need to go so they have more control over content and legal issues.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Starting a Mini Business Website

So, it seems I have an addiction to dabbling in new art forms. I see ideas on the web, in books, or the cover of magazines and want to create them myself. Have you ever had that moment where you see something and you say, "...well I can do that". Well, I often do and then I give it a go, but purchasing the needed materials is always an expenditure I'm not thinking of at the time. After creating several "this and that" items I was wondering to myself what to do with these items and how to afford making them. I've decided to create a website in hopes of selling off my handmade creations. Not so much for the profit of it but to pay off the supply purchase and to fund the next creative endeavor. Please check out my site, pass it onto friends, create a link to it from your own site. It is a real challenge to get internet traffic to your internet site and every bit helps.

I'm wondering how many normal folks like me would like to get into this kind of adventure. In fact I'm beginning to have my doubts that it is even possible to have a small hobby business. I am tired of paying fees for selling sites, even when some are very reasonable, with no guarantee of sales. Perhaps I don't take good photos of my items or perhaps I ask to much, but more often than not I find I don't charge very much in hopes of creating interest from a buyer only to regret it as I send it out in the mail. This is why I have decided to create my own site on my own terms. No auction deadlines, no re-listing fees, and no continually posting items just to get traffic. Don't get me wrong I do want to keep creating new items but I simply can't compete with the mass producing home business people. Where do they find the money to do this?

Well, wish me luck as I do you in your artistic endeavors weather they are for hobby or for sale. If you have any tips, ideas, or suggestions, please let me know. Also don't forget...check my site out...please, the more traffic the better, or so I hear.