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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

6th Grade Radial Symmetry with Foam "Plates"

I love printmaking--especially with easy supplies that are on hand--and this project was perfect for my 6th grade students! We used foam trays from the supermarket as our "plates." The students carved them with dull pencils. 

The project is easy to do and the results are pretty fantastic (lots and "ooh's" and "ahh's" from the students!). Every student was required to create one composition on watercolor paper that had four prints on it. Students who finished quickly and/or who were motivated, could continue on to make a 16-print composition. Either way, they came out beautiful!

The same 3 1/2" printing plate was rotated and repeatedly printed four times
onto the same paper to create a radial print (drawing guide lines lightly in pencil helps to keep things straight).

Objective: Students will create a relief printing plate from foam and use printmaking ink to create a print that has a verity of lines and demonstrates radial symmetry.

Standards of Achievement: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Carving

Subject Integration: Math

Vocab: radial, linear, symmetry, line, quadrants, print, printmaking, plate, relief, pressure, ink, brayer, construction lines, repetition, relief, styrofoam, transfer

Duration: 4 class (45 minutes each)

Additional references:
This lesson is based on a lesson from Art With Mrs. Nguyen (formally Ms. Graham). She did this project with 4th grade students, but I felt it was just right for my 6th graders as well. I also showed the students the video on Buddhist sand art Mrs. Nguyen suggests on her site, as well as some images of Spanish tiles and Islamic art.

Definitely a keeper! Enjoy!

The completed bulletin board display.  We had our final debrief in from of this display
and added the vocabulary words you see as part of the debrief.

This student created their design a little differently, but it works.

Neatly done!

Look at that detail--from a foam printing plate--AMAZING!

Lovely!

This design is a little off, but created a nice spiral effect.
The success rate on this project was very high for all students.

Here you can see how the 16 mini prints can be combined into
a larger composition. This student wanted to use four different inks
in their work (I hadn't thought of that!). The students are so creative!

This design is great too. Doing the 16 print compositions definitely require
more fortitude from the students, but are truly stunning when done.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas to me! a.k.a. WHEW! It's done!

Well, hello again!

This little house is one of the many that my children
and I created this holiday season from leftover Christmas cards.
The directions can be found here:
http://christmasnotebook.com/2009/11/11/christmas-card-putz-houses/
It's been a while since I have posted, but I've been trying not to stress over it (too much), since I've had a VERY busy few months. It went kind of like this:

  • (March-June) I had a long-tern substitute art teacher position at the Middle School in my town (which I absolutely loved!). I have a bunch of stuff to show you about that, and I promise, I will in the next few posts.
  • (June-August) I had four kiddos at home, went on three camping trips (one by myself with the kids for WHOLE WEEK--yes, we had a blast, it just sounds scary). Also, I took two graduate classes--that really was scary :-) Naw, it wasn't that bad, but I definitely used up a good portion of my summer working hard.
  • (August-December) I student taught. I taught first-fourth grade at Riddle Brook Elementary in Bedford, NH and then hopped over to Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH for another 7 weeks with ninth-twelfth grade students. 
I just finished student teaching about a week and a half ago and apparently there was this Christmas thing that people were talking about!?! YIPES!

So here I am, a day or two after Christmas and realizing that I am done graduate school (like, really done) and am now able to realize my dream since I was nine years old: becoming an art teacher. I am speechless--and if you knew me you'd realize that I am rarely speechless. Finishing graduate school was a great deal of work, but thanks to my husband, mother, sister, and children, I made it! I couldn't have done it without their love and support (and cheerleading efforts!). I am so lucky and thankful.

Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season full of love and friendship.

Grade 6 Tasty Thiebaud Cakes

I have already explained that the school I was subbing for last year was celebrating its 40th birthday. If you haven't checked them out already, look at these great 3D cakes sculptures my fifth graders completed for the festivities.



I also wanted a little something for the background of the birthday display so I had this nice little Wayne Thiebaud-inspired drawing project for my sixth graders to work on as they completed their other work (I had actually left this as a sub plan one day when I was out, but that's another post for another day).

These were a fun break for them and they had a great time decorating the cakes. As you can see below, I put them in the background of the birthday display and they really looked cute. This is a nice project to talk about unity and repetition as well as color theory (and of course Modern and POP art).


I have done this project before with elementary school students and they have fun with it too. The directions for this project are here. The sixth graders used oil pastels to decorate their cakes, but construction paper crayons are a less-messy alternative.

Have fun creating your yummy cakes! ENJOY!

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