Author Archives: J. Mitchell

Clay License Plates

Clay License Plates

The fourth graders created clay license plates this year. I thought these were so fun.  The kids had to choose a word or phrase for their license plate.  They also had to stamp into the clay creating textures or drawing into the clay.  They were also required to create at least three “add ons,” smaller items created out of clay and then attached to their flat piece of clay.  I love how these turned out.

Texture Collages

Texture Collages

Fifth grade did a really great job on their collages.  The students were given a square piece of mat board and then were able to look through a variety of textured items to create their collages. We then covered the mat board and items with tin foil, coloring the entire thing with black sharpie.  The students then used steel wool to rub some of the black off, aiming to get a variety of black values in their collage.

Graphic Flowers

Graphic Flowers

I loved how this 3rd grade lesson turned out. The students learned about value while creating these graphic flowers.  They were required to use at least three values of whatever color they chose for their flowers.  The students were able to choose their own bug to draw, I gave them some resources to help guide them in drawing their bugs.  

Chinese Cherry Blossom Trees

Chinese Cherry Blossom Trees

I’ve always loved Chinese artwork that is often black and white with a pop of color.  These pieces were inspired by Chinese cherry blossom artworks.  We  drew in a moon with oil pastel, mixing in a little yellow (or blue) to make it look a little more realistic. The students then learned how to use analogous colors to create a wet-on-wet background for their trees. Once the background was dry they painted their tree on top with watercolor.  The next step was to mix different shades of pink for the cherry blossoms.  We then added a dot of yellow to the middle.  We finished this project by learning how to do some Chinese characters. Some kids chose a symbol that represented a word, others did their names.  The kids said they are sure glad the letters they have to write every day are so much easier!  

Textile Art

Textile Art

Fourth grade did a weaving project using straws as their loom.  Although you can make a loom out of many things I’ve found the straws to be a cheap and effective way to show the students how to build a loom.  The students created pockets with their weaving, and we talked about how this type of art is very functional.  Some students added a closure to the top, while others left it open with only ties along the side.