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This week is Young Authors’ Week at Greystone. In preparation for one of the author/illustrator’s visit, all K-5 students looked at several books created by Debra Frasier. In each of her books, she illustrates by using construction ppaper, scissors, and glue. Pictured below are student samples from 4th grade:

TURN, SLIDE, FLIP – the math words used when working with geometric shapes. Turn & rotate are essentially the same thing, so we decided to use our first initials with any choice of shape behind it to create these cool works of art. Students drew their initial image in the first square, traced it, and turned the initial in each of the remaining squares.

So this is my 3rd year at this elementary school and I’ve finally gotten to the point where my kids know what I expect from them & they know their art vocabulary. This lesson’s vocab included words like blending, horizon line,  and background… it’s great to NOT have to explain what I mean to these kids on those particular words & that leaves more time for them to work on their projects! Sweet! Anyhoo, we discussed blending on the pumpkin – I demonstrated – and then they were on their own. It was up to them where their pumpkins would be placed – pumpkin patch, kitchen counter, sidewalk, yard, etc. This was a one day project… I loved the results – they were all so different – which is why I teach art and not math! 🙂

As mentioned in a previous posts, we used insects as our theme for these super cool works of art. We started by sketching works on manila paper, then tracing them, then using the tracing paper on the backs of the heavyweight foil. Once completed with the foil, we used a wash of india ink on the top of each insect work. The kids did a fantastic job!

The 4th & 5th graders have started a project known as tooling, a style and method of pressing designs into metal. At the elementary age, the heavyweight foil is our choice of metal, and the outcomes will be awesome! Students will first sketch their topic/theme, that will be copied onto tracing paper, the tracing paper will be used as a template to draw on the foil, the foil products will have an india ink wash on them and if some students finish early, they will add colored pencil to either the first sketch or tracing paper works! whew!

4th: (see pix below for 4th graders at work) Our topic will be insects (a favorite topic for this art teacher).

5th: Some classes will be working with outer space topics while others will have bluegrass instruments as a focus. Outer space is something the kids will be doing in their classrooms later this year and the bluegrass is something our music teacher will be doing – always a good thing to integrate!

Inspiration: van Gogh’s Sunflowers

We looked at van Gogh’s works, focusing on his Sunflowers & techniques, watch a van Gogh video, and listened to Don McLean sing “Starry Starry Night”. The sunflowers were simply inspiration for our own versions, van Gogh had his own technique and style of painting, but we learned and used various chalk techniques including blending – and then filled in our backgrounds with either a controlled scribble or crosshatch. Their works are simply amazing.

4th Grade sunflowers with chalk pastels

4th Grade sunflowers with chalk pastels


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