Tuesday, May 24, 2011

North Shore Art Teacher Association Mosaics Workshop: May 19, 2011

As promised here is the first of many upcoming posts. In this post I am providing all the lessons from the workshop that I presented on mosaics. There are lessons for all elementary grades and a grade seven lesson that can be modified for grade six and up.

I am also including some pictures taken at the workshop so you can almost feel like you were there.

Suggested reading from the workshop.

Ready for the workshop to begin.

Beginning with the heaviest of projects... large tile mosaics.

Getting into 3D options for ceramic tile mosaics -- these examples are on terra cotta clay pots.

Sharing the grade 3 lesson.

Talking about the materials for the various lessons.

Below each project photo, you can click on the link of the lesson title and get a full .pdf document complete with materials, resources, instructions, and visual examples. Enjoy!



Grade 1 Mosaics Cities Lesson (uses foam shapes)






Grade 3 Subway Style Mosaics Lesson (with recycled materials option)

Grade 4 Ancient Mosaics Lesson (uses dried beans)

Grade 5 Islamic Inspired Mosaics Lesson (uses aquarium gravel)



Grade 7 Marvelous Mosaics Lesson (uses industrial grade materials and ceramic tiles)




Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grade 5 Portrait Lesson

So today was a day spent as a substitute art teacher. For one class, the regular teacher asked me to come up with a lesson related to portraits. Here is what I pulled out of thin air with little planning. However, with a little more development I think this lesson could be a keeper so I am passing it on to anyone who wants to run with it.

For this lesson, students begin by drawing ovals for their heads. Then a hat is added. For the example I made a floppy hat, but the students could make any hat they chose. Next the hat is divided into parts (at least 5 to 7 works best). In each part the students wrote a "title" that they have. This could be something ranging from a family relationship (like sister or daughter) to a hobby (like gamer or drummer). Once the various text were added (different shapes of lettering makes it look even nicer), the facial features (one eye may be hidden by the brim), hair, and clothing details were added. Then, everything was outlined in black unless a few of the words were left in pencil to be outlined in the next step. After outlining, students chose a favorite color (just one) and used that to color parts of the hat, lettering, clothing and facial features leaving the hair and skin white.


When the portrait part was complete, students broke the background into segments and each segment had a different pattern drawn using the limited color palette of black and the one chosen color.

Variations of this theme:
Graduate Portraits: Students draw themselves wearing graduation caps and the text depicts their future ambitions.
Mother's or Father's Day Portraits: Students draw their parents and write words of gratitude on the hats.
Friend Portraits: Students draw a classmate and the text on the hat is all complimentary adjectives that describe the classmate. Or the text on the hat is favorite things that classmate likes as determined by an interview prior to drawing.

Enjoy these ideas and if you use them I'd love to hear about it, so feel free to comment.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pre-emptive Apology

The next several weeks (most of May) are expected to be a hectic time, so I may have to refrain from frequent posting. Many things are in the works and all within the same week, so I have a lot of planning to do...

In the works:
  • The Third Annual Sacred Art Show, which will be on May 22nd, requires lots of time tying up loose ends, preparing press releases, writing programs, making wall labels, mounting and labeling student work, and of course hanging the show.
  • A block of art classes for kindergarten students (previously mentioned) takes place on May 20th (day before installation of the art show) and will require some supply shopping and back-up planning (in case the students work faster than anticipated).
  • An art teacher workshop on mosaics in and out of the classroom, which I am presenting to my fellow members of the North Shore Art Teachers Association, takes place on May 19th (see the crunch time pattern, yet?). This will involve a lot of preparation as well. I will be making sample pieces, acquiring materials for make & takes, drafting detailed lesson plans, printing plenty of those out, and putting together a slide presentation of student work.
So, as you can easily guess, I will be very busy with all of these things culminating in the same hectic week. In addition, I have a few art shows to attend, my day job to maintain, my night job to maintain, my permanent long-term job to continue applying for, my summer camp job to plan for, and much more. Please, be patient and understanding if you see a lack of posts. I can promise that after that crazy, busy week there will be more than enough posts coming your way.


In the meantime, here is a paper mache turtle project to pique your interest. It was a sample used in my summer camp art class last July. The form for the body(shell) is a 1/4 of a coffee caddy (the four cup-holder device from most coffee places). The head, tail (which I think I made too long), and legs are all formed from newspaper. Then everything is covered in overlapping layers of newspaper dipped into Elmer's art paste. Once dry it can be painted over. I used acrylic paints (some with sand added for texture). Colored sand was also sprinkled over Elmer's School Glue on the shell for more pattern and texture. Glue or paint on eyes. Then, enjoy!