25 December 2015

More Christmas Art Projects

Here are some more art projects that we did in our first grade classroom this year!

I will pop back soon with my program notes and plans. 

Measuring strips of paper helped us make these Brenex paper Christmas trees. 

'Surprised Reindeers' are always a hit!

My students loved creating their own paper Christmas tree using step-by-step directions

Thanks so much for stopping by!

22 December 2015

Polar Bear Artworks

We did some polar bear artworks in our final weeks of school. Supplies were very low, but we had some coloured art paper and lots of white oil pastel left!

We talked about polar bears and where they live. We viewed lots of polar bear artworks online and talked about how artists could represent a white subject visually. 

We looked at this art project and I directed the students in drawing a sleepy polar bear. 










We loved how they turned out! 

18 August 2015


We got messy last week! 

It was  a very busy day and we did not have much time to squeeze in our art lesson. A 'torn paper' artwork was perfect! 

If you attempt one of these, be prepared for the potential for tears. I have found that students of this generation do not have great paper skills - especially tearing. You will need to demonstrate very clearly how to tear paper. 

They will most likely grab the two corners of a piece of paper, fingers as far away as possible from each  other, and try to tear a shape. They need to bring their fingers closer together to tear with control. Show them, and reinforce that we tear slowly and keep stopping to check the progress of the overall shape before tearing another small section. 

It takes practise. Lots of it. 

This was my students first attempt, some students told me they had never been allowed to tear paper ever before.  My students really struggled with confidence. I had to give them quite a bit of verbal encouragement, praise, scaffolding and support to get through this lesson. At the end, they were thrilled and excited and really appreciated what they had made.

To tie into my class' work on 'informative writing' we made a penguin. We had read and investigated a penguin themed big book for our morning literacy work. 

After we got started, I could sense my students were struggling - the "I can't do this" started and a few looked on the brink of tears. They really wanted me to give them a shape to cut out!

I held up a few shapes that had been torn and showed the class how wonderful they were. Some were squares and rectangles, when they were supposed to be ovals, but it did not matter. I told them they were great and that I thought they were perfect for our artworks. 

Gradually the students got more and more confidence until we were in the midst of quite the paper-tearing party!

I had not planned on doing snowflakes for the background, but several students added this on their own. They turned out so well! 

You can find my program lesson notes HERE if you would like to try this lesson! 

Here are some penguin writing pieces we did earlier in the day, after our informative collaborative reading session. I just quickly drew this up at recess for my students. 

This is one that I made for you when I got home, if you would like to use this idea. 

Find it as a pdf in Google Drive HERE

Thanks so much for visiting my blog - have a great week!

- Mel 

09 August 2015

Australian Dry Environment Art

These gorgeous artworks are from a Year Two class I work with once a week. The teacher that implemented this lesson integrated it with a 'Wet and Dry Environments' unit of work and with a particular study of Australian deserts. 

It was completed in stages and as you can see, had a lovely 3D effect on the display wall. 

To start, students scribbled with desert colours on art paper. They then did a thin orange paint wash over the paper. When it was dry they scrunched it up, to achieve a dry arid land effect. 

To make the snake, they covered a piece of paper with lovely bright rich coloured crayons. A thin coat of black paint was then applied, and before it dried students scratched scribble marks with the end of their brush to reveal some colourful lines (crayon under the paint). 

Once dry, the snake was cut out and glued onto the background. The students did not glue it flat, instead, lifting sections and applying glue in random places to achieve the 3D effect. 

Maps and posers showing Australian deserts environments were displayed with the artworks.

This artwork would make an excellent accompaniment to the Aboriginal Dreamtime story 'The Rainbow Snake". 

01 August 2015

Frog Life Cycle Hats

This week my students made a Frog Life Cycle hat. We had the role of presenting at our weekly assembly. These hats provide a fantastic way of combining a 'performance' style presentation with a showcase of our learning. I found the templates HERE

I demonstrated the entire activity before I handed out materials. I also showed some simple frog life cycle animations from YouTube to revise our learning on frogs. 

1. We coloured all the life cycle stages (this links in with our work on animals, information reports and explanations). 

We cut all the template pieces. I still have students learning to cut effectively, so this was a great fine motor activity as well. 

2. We glued the template pieces to make the frog face. 

3. We glued the life cycle pictures, and wrote about each stage on the hat band. 

4. I reminded students to glue the stage pictures close to the frog face, because the ends get trimmed off. 

5. Here are our hats ready for our assembly performance. 

My students LOVED making these hats. They were engaged, excited about their learning and it built anticipation for the upcoming assembly. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I love that I can share some ideas from my classroom and connect with other teachers around the world!

- Mel