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3rd grade learned about the Italian painter, Modigliani and his inspiration from the Impressionists. Using exaggerated proportions and bright oil pastels, students reproduced their own Modigliani portrait. A remarkable job for the first art piece of the year!

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:


In order to move from the art/math shapes to art/math FORMS or SOLIDS, i needed to find an artist that the kids would respond to – one that used solid shapes in his/her works and was FUN! Wayne was the man! Each grade level will be working on drawing and/or forming SOLID shapes based on the works of this artist. See some of his works here:

View some of our 2nd graders works (other grade levels to come):


Still working on collaboration and integration with the classroom teachers…

3rd & 4th grade shots of working with tangrams & perceptual puzzles

For the entire month of December, all K-5 classes have been working with tangrams (try out your skills at and other perceptual puzzles. This was a change in direction of my plans for all of my classes… The decision came after collaborating with the 1st grade teachers. They are working on quilts, with math as the content area, and thought it would be great to do a special project with each of their classes tying it the math concepts to art concepts. I thought it was a great idea and began working with model magic with one of the first grade classes. Each student was to create a quilt pattern – one they had each colored on many worksheets in their classroom. I quickly realized that they were incapable of reproducing the basics of each square and/or the shapes and patterns that could be created within each square. This led me to try out simply drawing/reproducing various quilt patterns with EVERY grade level… the results rather alarmed me. Basically it’s easy for them to color in a pattern on a copied sheet of paper, but to create their own – whether in 2D or 3D form – most students struggled. After speaking with many of my colleagues & gathering their wisdom & materials, I decided to introduce tangrams & other perceptual puzzles to the kids. The kids absolutely love them and I’m glad I took this route… I learned something in the process too – about what helps kids think & perceive – and that even I, the art teacher, struggled to make the square with the 7 tangram pieces!


This year, our schedule has afforded us the opportunity to have time to work with the K-5 classroom teachers in a much more meaningful way – for our students, and for us – by collaborating. The concept of integration is old, but valuable… students grasp concepts with more mental strength and longevity when the gaps are bridged from the classroom to art & music rooms. The fact that we’re confined to 4 cinder block walls to gain an even more meaningful experience is a different topic for a different day… ANYHOO, I’ve got many projects of collaborative teaching on the block with one completed. I worked with a 5th grade teacher and her students on a Civil Rights project. We met, talked, and discussed at length an idea that would provide the students an opportunity to create something provocative – something others would take notice of…  Last year, I’d done a project with some 5th grade students using digital photography and PowerPoint – based on Barbara Kruger’s works. That lesson went so well and provided such feedback that I thought this would be a great way to have the students deliver THEIR message of civil rights… I went into their classroom with a PowerPoint of appropriate Kruger images and we discussed the meaning behind the words, the use of black & white to create a stark, simple message, etc. The kids and their teacher had different interpretations (I love art!) for each of the images – and it was making them THINK! After the lesson, we talked about how they could use Kruger’s art as inspiration for their own messages and art works. After I left, the classroom teacher did the whole art lesson with her students – Mrs. Fox is an artist herself and excellent with technology, so it was no problem for her to carry the rest of the lesson out as prime facilitator. Click here to see all of the results of this collaborative effort:

Salvadori Dali works donated to the Salvation Army!

All grade levels will be working with two of the basic foundations, called elements, of art during the first month or so of school. The 2 elements are LINE & SHAPE.

K: Sailboat on the horizon line. Crayons day 1, watercolor day 2.

1st: Pattern cities; large simple shapes with patterned lines on top. Crayons day 1, oil pastels days 2 -.

2nd: Circus cities; buildings using shapes with patterned lines. Crayons day 1, oil pastels days 2 -.

3rd: “Stained glass” using construction paper& tissue paper. Pencil day 1, glue & tissue papers days 2-.

4th: Englarged initial(s), fill in with various lines, shapes, & patterns. Sharpie markers days 1-.

5th: Circle works with small initials or name in center and fanning out to edges using line, shape, & pattern. Sharpie markers days 1-.

Student photo samples will be posted regularly both pre & post completion.

blue dog based on rodrigue's work


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