5th Grade Lighthouses

The fifth grade students studied Edward Hopper’s lighthouse paintings, noticing his incredible use of value. The students did a superb job of imagining a light source and adding value to their own lighthouses using colored pencil as their medium. Beautiful!

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4th Grade Cardinals

In 4th grade students study Indiana history. In art class we started the year by drawing the state bird of Indiana, the cardinal. Students chose the media they would like to use; oil pastel, crayon, colored pencil, marker, or watercolor. We learned that making our colors lighter or darker gives value to to our artwork, giving it a more realistic feel. We also learned about John James Audobon, the master of drawing birds!!

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3rd Grade Bug Jars

In the 3rd grade classroom we started the year drawing bugs for our Art to Remember fundraiser. We noticed the parts of the bug; like the abdomen, head, and thorax. We used colored pencils to color our bug jars and learned that value (how light or dark a color is) will make our artwork have dimension. Imaginations came alive with this lesson!

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2nd Grade Watercolor Cats and Dogs

Our Art to Remember magnet fundraiser project in 2nd grade is to first draw a cat or dog that fills up the space of the page. We notice how the cats and dogs are made up of simple shapes. We learn to add a horizon line and we outline everything in black crayon. The crayon looks sharp AND keeps the watercolor from running into other colors. Then the fun part! We learn to use the watercolor sets! We learn to control the flow of the paint. Oh, there is such a creative calm during watercolor time. Such pleased looks on everyone’s faces.

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Kindergarten Ladybugs and First Grade Oceans

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Kindergarten students have been busy making ladybugs in the art studio.  They learn how to make thin and thick lines by holding their crayons in different ways.  Holding it like a pencil gives a thin line, while unwrapping the crayon and dragging it across the paper gives a thick line.  They use this new skill to cover their paper in blue or green crayon, depending on whether their ladybugs are in the sky or on the grass.  Now they are ready to make a sponge print with red paint and use their fingers to add black dots, a head, and antennae.

First graders are creating ocean scenes for their Art to Remember project. Students use crayons to create an underwater scene.  They are excited to learn how easy it is to make the seaweed look as if it is behind their fish.  Pressing hard with their crayons they give their fish interesting designs and patterns.  Next, they learn to add a water color wash.  Using the well of their paint set they first create a lighter color by diluting the blue paint with water.  At first, they are afraid to paint over their scenes, but they learn that the waxy crayon resists the paint.

Everyone is so proud!  Soon students will bring home their original pictures and a magnet with their artwork printed on it.  Families may purchase the magnet and order other items as well!  This beginning of the year fundraiser enables us to purchase supplies like clay that we otherwise could not budget.


13 Days

13 days in art class means that I have now seen each class twice.  Art is only 45 minutes long, so I have seen each student for an hour and a half.  (I believe that art should meet daily.  Children do not get enough art!!)

What has happened in these two meetings?  I welcomed back the old timers and greeted several new students.  We started our Art to Remember projects:  kindergarten are making ladybugs, first grade – underwater scenes, second grade – cats and dogs, third grade – bug jars, fourth grade – cardinals, fifth grade – lighthouses.  I will post pictures of student artwork next week and let you know what we were learning as we played with art.

At a recent staff meeting our principal asked if we would want to be a student in our own classes.  I could answer quickly and wholeheartedly, YES!  The older I get (I turned 50 this summer), the more time I spend watching, listening, and reflecting.   In the past 13 days I have been watching and listening to your children, and reflecting on what I do for a living.  I watched as kids created with watercolors, crayons, and colored pencils. I listened as they shared stories with each other.  I watched their feet tap in time with the music playing in the background.  I listened to them sing along with songs they know so well.  YES!!  I would want to be a child in this safe, caring and healing place.  I am so very blessed to get to do what I do.  I hope that never again will someone try to take this place away from your children.

Next week I will share what the children have created and I will let you know what we have been learning, but this week I just wanted to let you know that great things are happening in the art room.

Thank you!!


My favorite thing about teaching elementary art is when a student holds up his or her work beaming with joy and pride. This is exactly what happened when second grader, Sam, shared his creative cat drawing. Next, we will watercolor!

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