Students last year created these Jim Dine inspired heart prints exploring texture and printmaking techniques. We viewed examples of Dine’s well-known heart paintings, studying the many colors and paint techniques he used. We colored a background for our prints using construction paper crayons, though if I taught this lesson again a solid color would help the prints to stand out more. We read A Zeal of Zebras by Woop Studios to get some ideas for the texture to add to our foam hearts. Students then printed their designed hearts onto their backgrounds. For a finishing touch, students used a recycled toilet paper tube bent into a heart shape to print a frame for their heart designs. Printmaking is such a magical process for young students!
This was the first version of The Grouchy Ladybug lesson I did with my Kinders, way back when I first started teaching! After reading the story, students use different shades of green tissue paper for the background. They viewed examples of ladybug’s anatomy, then used construction paper crayons to color the shapes and designs. They made sure to count all six legs. After creating the body, students cut out two red wings and attached them to their ladybugs. The last step was using foam stamps to print their black spots (this was some type of round, foam weatherstripping gap filler my husband helped me find at Menards).
I love how each ladybug seems to be in a different stage of flight or rest.
This was one of my favorite projects created by my Kindergarten students last Spring. To start out the lesson, we watched this short Sesame Street counting video featuring Andy Warhol’s flower prints. Students also viewed more of his flower prints, noticing how the prints were very similar except for the colors. This led us into a discussion on printmaking, a process that allows the artist to create many pictures out of just one, using a stamp, screen, or printing plate.
Students first stamped the grass using recycled cardboard. Next, they drew and cut out a flower shape from craft foam, gluing it onto a cardboard backing. The next class, after the stamps were dry, students printed their flowers onto pink and yellow construction paper. They really loved discovering how many flowers they could make from their one stamp! Each artwork turned out bold and vibrant, just like Warhol’s originals.
My PreK students were learning about the different types of shapes. To introduce circles, we read The Dot by Peter Reynolds and students used their cutting skills to trim multi-colored squares into small, medium, and large circle shapes. After pasting the circles down, recycled paper tubes and corks were used to print large and small circles or dots all around their papers. I like how some of the kids figured out they could print a small dot inside a large one.
This simple project gave my preschoolers a chance to continue to hone their fine motor skills while also creating a bright, bold work of art!
Inspired by this art project on Art is Basic.
Last year my 3rd graders created winter landscapes inspired by Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon. This quiet, simple story filled with descriptive language and metaphors, as well as the muted watercolor illustrations, alludes to the stillness of a winter’s night and the magical feeling a child gets when going on a special adventure for the first time. The story always gives me goosebumps. We watched the video version of the book as an introduction for the lesson.
Afterwards, students created a watercolor wash for the background, using the cool winter colors found in the story. After painting, salt was sprinkled over the paper to create additional texture. The next class, students viewed photos of winter tree silhouettes and used recycled cardboard to print a winter tree and snow. Q-tips were used to create falling snow and the owls sitting on the branches. We used white tempera paint but I would recommend acrylic if available as it would be more opaque. Each student’s winter landscape looked as quiet and peaceful as the story.
Inspired by this project found on Kids Artists.
This Kindergarten project from last year went along the same lines as my PreK’s winter mural. Again we read the book Little Tree by e.e. cummings, which has lovely watercolor illustrations. Students used soft, cool colors to paint a winter sky using a watercolor wash technique. Everyone was so quiet and focused as they painted their papers. Their favorite part was sprinkling on a little salt to give it a sparkly, unique texture. The next class students learned how to cut two triangles from one square shape. After they had a pile of triangles going, they glued on rectangle trunks to their watercolor paintings and built their trees on top. They ripped some white tissue paper pieces for a snowy texture. The last class, we read Snow by Cinthia Rylant, a book with descriptive, poetic verses of all the different types of snow. Students printed snow flakes using a q-tip onto their turquoise papers, the perfect frame for their peaceful winter landscapes. Notice the tiny, cozy cabin one of my kiddos added to hers.
Last winter my preK students worked on these fabulous snowy day tree collages to use their cutting, gluing, printing, and listening skills. We read three great winter books throughout this project to inspire our artworks: It’s Winter by Linda Glaser, Winter Trees by Carole Gerber, and Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams & Jean Stoick.
Students first used pine branches to stamp snowflakes onto their blue papers using white paint. The next class, we studied pictures of evergreen trees in the books and noticed how they had sharp, pointy edges similar to a zig zag. They used green and white crayons to give texture to their two green paper squares, then were amazed to find you can create two triangle shapes just by cutting a square on the diagonal! This part was a little tricky for some of the kids, but their assistant and I helped them to draw a line for a cutting guide if they needed. Lastly they glued down a brown rectangle for the trunk and arranged their snowy green triangles on top of each other to create their evergreen trees. Beautiful!