Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day of the Dead Masks

This idea as well as many others, was inspired by (a fantastic website for elementary art lesson plans).  We began by learning about the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead or Dios De Los Muertos.  I explained how it was a holiday that celebrated loved ones who have passed away in a joyous manner.  We created Day of the Dead masks by first drawing the other half of a skull (I gave all students a piece of card stock with half a skull photocopied onto it).  We discussed symmetry and after the skull was drawn drew symmetrical designs on it.  We reviewed cutting skills and how to cut the eyes out by bending the paper and cutting a small slit to put a scissor blade through.  The finishing touch was a taped on popsicle stick so that they could be used as a mask.

Halloween Silhouettes

My new school was very into celebrating Halloween this year so third graders created these Halloween silhouettes.  This is a lesson I have seen on several different blogs.  We looked at images of silhouettes and discussed how they are created- objects that are lit up from behind.  Next we brainstormed different Halloween images and I did a demonstration.  We used a black crayon and 6x18 piece of orange paper.  Students began by drawing a horizon line towards the bottom of the paper and then added silhouetted details making sure to color everything in black.  I stressed the idea of just showing the shape or contour of the objects.

Pattern Pumpkins

This idea came from one of my former colleagues.  After reviewing different types of lines, second graders drew pumpkins with black crayon on orange paper and filled in the pumpkin sections with a variety of lines.  This was completed in one class.

Ezra Jack Keats at the Jewish Museum

I saw a fantastic exhibit at The Jewish Museum with a good friend of mine who is also an elementary art teacher.  There is an Ezra Jack Keats exhibit showcasing the original art work from his illustrated children's books.  This includes every page of his classic  The Snowy Day.  His paintings and collages are truly inspired.  If you are in the area check it out before January 29!

I am back!

I know it has been a while since I posted but I am back!  Things have been kind of busy over the past few months, a lot of major life changes all at once.  I am no longer living in RI and working in MA.  I have moved back to NY, Brooklyn to be exact and am now working at a charter school in Harlem.  I have been working there for about a month and a half now and feel like I am beginning to get the hang of things.  There is a very specific culture in the school that I have had to learn but I am ready to start focusing on my lessons again.  To help get my blog noticed more I have become a blog catalog member and am including a link to verify here.
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Please check in for more fantastic elementary art lessons coming soon!