Art, Curriculum, Elementary

Make Your Own Dinosaur!

I like to try my hardest to combine Art with what we’re learning about in other subjects. It can sometimes be challenging, and other times not so much. Either way, the kids love making art, so integrating it with other subjects can really help them to remember certain important points.

This time around was one of those “not so much” times. We’re in the midst of our fossil unit and my students are loving all things dinosaur related. So, I decided I would combine Art and Social Studies and have the kids create their own dinosaurs!

First, I had them do a fill-in-the-blank write-up which described their dinosaur.

Then, the kids sketched their creations and painted them. The end results were all really great! Especially considering how difficult it can be for kids to paint.

Now we have a brand new bulletin board! I love getting to look at a brand new, super cute bulletin board!

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Art, Elementary

Let’s Pretend It’s Spring

I am not a winter person. Every winter I forget just how cold and dark it is and how much I wait for (and countdown to) Spring. So today I’m going to post about a Spring craft I did last year with my kids to try to brighten my own mood, and maybe someone else’s too!

Right before Parent Teacher interviews last year, I realized my current bulletin board was looking rough and I needed something new to put in its place, so I needed a quick and easy craft for the students to make. I settled on a simple painted branch with tissue paper flowers craft.

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I gave all the kids blue paper so that their branch would looks as though it were against the sky and, to keep the classroom clean and orderly, I had them all sketch their ideas out and then take turns (two at a time) to paint their branches.

After their branches were painted, they got to choose their coloured paper, cut out their pieces, then return to their desks to glue on their tissue using the back of their pencils (they wrapped the tissue around the pencil, dipped it lightly into glue, then stuck it to their painting).

The branches turned out really cute and very colourful! They immediately brightened my classroom (and posting them today is indeed brightening my day!).

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Plus, my new bulletin board was up by the end of the day and looked hella cute for PT interviews the following night! Plus, isn’t the caption adorable, I love making the text for my bulletin boards even more than I love making the crafts!

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Art, Elementary

Tissue Paper Leaves

It’s September, so here in Calgary it’s already Fall and we’ve got about eight days until it’s Winter. Time to work on the Autumn themed crafts before they seem horribly misplaced with three feet of snow right outside. Hey, it’s also the beginning of the school year for the majority of teachers and students, so happy first day or two back!

One of my favourite crafts to make with my students are tissue paper leaves! They’re an easy concept, but need to be modelled thoroughly because the tissue and glue can get messy if kids aren’t following instructions. Further, I’m obviously a fan of how well this project aids in the development of fine motor skills.

Depending on the class’ skill level, I’ll either give them a large cut out of a leaf on brown, yellow, orange, or red paper, or I’ll have them draw a large leaf in a shape they like and cut it out themselves. This time around, I had the kids draw and cut their own leaves (some ended up looking like random splatters, but most resemble leaves).

This is, of course, the easiest part for the kids. Again, depending on their skill and focus level, I will either cut out pieces of tissue paper in various colours or I’ll have them cut out their own. This time, I cut out a huge amount of pieces, then students cut more if they needed more or if they wanted different colours or shapes.

We covered tables with plastic and poured white glue into egg cups so the kids could wrap tissue around the ends of their pencils, dip it lightly into the glue, and then attach them to their leaves.

I will admit that this art project took much longer than I thought it would; we had some glue issues, and some of the kids got restless (again, I’ll remind you how high the cases of ADHD are in my room). Thus, I now know for the future to really be careful and judge the make-up of the classroom before assigning something that could be daunting for some kids. I would perhaps make the leaves themselves smaller or give the students smaller pieces of paper to cut them out from.

Alas, at least our finished bulletin board looked awesome (bulletin boards are becoming my favourite part of school)!

We're falling in love with reading!
We’re falling in love with reading!
Art, Classroom, Elementary

Grade 4 Art Class: Mittens!

The Winter makes me want to curl up in a blanket and eat stew and weep all day long. I am not a fan. However, I am a grown woman with a job and responsibilities, so instead of being a useless ball of sadness, I have my grade 4s make winter-themed crafts and it cheers me up!

Adorable mittens!
Adorable mittens!

This week we made mittens to decorate our very sparse Winter bulletin board! The kids really enjoyed it and their mittens turned out great! I had the kids decorate the body of the mitten with a pattern of their choice and then decorate the cuffs with yarn. It was very, very simple to set up and had them hone their fine motor skills in working with the yarn.

I searched “mitten outline” in Google and right away go this image:

I love Google!

Which I simply enlarged in Microsoft Word and printed out for each student. The kids’ task was to:

1. Draw a line to show where the cuff begins.

2. Draw a design onto the body of the mitten in pencil.

3. Colour the design in once it’s been checked by a teacher.

4. Cut out the mitten.

5. Glue on their yarn.

It was insanely simple, the kids had a ton of fun, and they turned out super cute! Plus, not our sparse (sad) Winter bulletin board has some more colour!

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I can’t wait until Spring is here and I can put up our new bulletin board! Until then, this one should be cute and colourful enough to get me through the Winter months!