Sunday, January 31, 2016

Clay, Coil Snails

Are you all ready for this?

Here's a cute  project you can do with your 1st graders. And the best part is... they're actually learning  a clay method!

Clay, coil snails! Paint! Pipe cleaners! And glitter! (We like glitter here. What can I say!) Your 1st graders can totally do this and will love it!

The kids  start out by making two clay coils. One short, one long. 

Teacher alert here! Keep reminding the kids to avoid making the coils with their fingers. Your fingers are bumpy, therefore, your coils will come out bumpy.  Encourage the kids to make the coils with the flat, palm of your hand.

One coil is then made into a spiral for the shell. The other is attached to to the bottom of the shell as the snail's body. They can make it into any curvy shape they like. Using a pencil tip, put a hole into one end of the body coil. This is where they will insert the pipe cleaners for the antennae later on.

After the clay dries you can start painting. I gave every kid a brush. Six tempera colors were chosen and set up at six different stations around the room. Out of those six colors, the kids could chose three  to work with. The kids would travel from station to station with their brush and snail.

Actually, no snails were broken as they traveled from station to station. Really!!!

Having the paint organized into stations  worked really well. It's makes everything much easier to handle. Believe me. You won't be sorry if you set your paint up that way. Especially, when you're a traveling art teacher.

After the paint has dried, pipe cleaners were thread through the hole that was made with the pencil tip earlier on. We then add glitter. I find that glue glitter works best, as it's easy to work with. The glitter was placed just on the shell.

Well... what do you think?  Would this clay project work in your art room? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Artist Trading Cards- A Global Connection

Do you ever think about connecting your students with another art class from around the country?  Or maybe... you could connect your art class with students from around the globe?

Well... there's one way you can. How about participating in an Artist Trading Card swap?

I'd never heard of Artist Trading Cards or an Artist Trading Card swap, until I participated in the AOE Summer Online Conference and heard art teacher Nic Hahn, from Minnesota (of the blog Mini Matisse) talking about her idea for a global Artist Trading Card swap. I was intrigued! It sounded great!  Right then and there I knew I wanted my students to join in. My 3rd graders were signed up shortly after.

Since I had no idea who would receive our ATC's, I needed to think of some kind of universal image to use for the lesson. I've always loved owls, and thought an owl would be easily recognized around the globe. So I decided to use that as our theme.

I had some left over scrap booking paper that the PTA had bought for me. So I decided to use that paper as the background.

Below you can see the cards, with the backgrounds glued on.

When it came time for drawing the owls we kept with simple shapes- ovals, circles, triangle, rectangles, etc. The only requirements were- there had to be a branch for the owl to sit on and the colors used on the owl had to be in the same color family as the background.

You can see some of the owls below.


We outline the owls in ultra fine Sharpies. And used colored pencil to color them in. Below are some of the finished owls. They're looking good!

They're ready to be mailed to Minnesota where art teacher Nic Hahn  compiled them and sent them off to be traded. My students knew they have to wait until January to hear back. And they are super excited  to receive ATCs from back from somewhere around the globe.

As January arrives, we hear back. Wow! Artist Trading Cards arrive from Minnesota; Nashville, Tennessee, Illinois and Sydney, Australia! You can see them below!

You can find out what happens next- how the Artist Trading Card lesson was extended, in an upcoming post.

What do you think about the Artist Trading Card swap? Is this something you would do in your art class? You can let us know below.