Tag Archives: shapes


17 Jun


School is finally out, so that means I will have more time to share some spectacular art projects here. I plan on updating at least weekly so keep checking back for more!

My Kindergarteners worked on these fantastic leopards during our African Art unit. Every year, we have a schoolwide Black History program to celebrate the contributions and heritage of African Americans in our world and community. In art class, I choose a relevant theme for each grade level to study and draw inspiration from for an art project. This year, I focused on the rich traditional art forms found in Africa as well as some of the most well-known animals native to the continent. My students absolutely loved learning about the animals.

For Kindergarten, we continued our exploration of simple shapes to create a triangle leopard. We read Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema to start off the lesson. We viewed photos of real leopards and learned some interesting facts. Students then were given a step-by-step drawing sheet to help guide them along. They added all the details with crayons then painted blue watercolor over to create a resist effect. Lastly, green leaves were added to help their leopards appear to be hiding in the trees. They all turned out so great!

Inspired by these tigers found on We Heart Art.




31 Mar


My youngest students always find our color mixing unit so magical. My favorite book to introduce the concept is Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. They love guessing what colors the mice will mix up next and I find many of my students I had previously in PreK will actually remember the formula for creating new colors! They are amazed that you can create so many new colors out of the three primaries.

After talking about the primary colors, I showed them a Powerpoint of Mondrian paintings, where we noticed that he used lots of rectangles and squares as well as the primary colors. They made a collage with black paper strips, creating different sized rectangles and squares.

The next class we went over the color mixing formulas. I worked with the students in small groups, making sure to only keep two primary colors at each table. So, I had an orange table, a green table, and a purple table. This really helped to give them the full color mixing experience rather than ending up with brown paint all over their papers. They mixed the colors inside each square or rectangle. They all had such a blast and were thrilled to discover they really could make a new color just by mixing two primary colors. Success!

Inspired by this project found on Artsonia.


6 Mar


My PreK students were learning about the different types of shapes. To introduce circles, we read The Dot by Peter Reynolds.

Students then 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.



1 Mar



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.



1 Mar


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!


27 Feb


Continuing our school celebration of Black History Month last year, my 1st grade students created Faith Ringgold story quilts. We started off the lesson by watching a Reading Rainbow video of Tar Beach which also showed and explained a real “tar beach” in New York City to help my students better understand. We searched for shapes in the buildings and determined they were mostly made up of rectangles and squares. We noticed how the pages in the book were outlined with quilt squares as well, which we learned are created from fabric that have stories of their own to tell. Our school librarian was getting rid of boxes of colorful book jacket covers, so I cut those into squares for our story quilt border. After creating the border, students made a cityscape collage. Lastly, they imagined themselves flying and soaring on an adventure, then drew themselves to add to their collage. All individual collages were added together to create one large quilt for each class. I love the cape and bumblebee below.

One of my favorite quotes about Tar Beach by a student (after looking curiously at the board games pictured on a table on the roof in the story): “What are those for??”

Me: “Those are games to play for fun when the families hang out up there.”

Student: “What?! How do they get their tv up there?!”

Inspired by this Artsonia project.



18 Feb


My favorite days at school are when I get to teach the 3 and 4 year olds. They are always filled with so much joy + enthusiasm toward art. My focus on these young students is to design lessons that help them to gain experience and skills in art. Cutting, tearing, gluing. On top, underneath, next to. Simplicity is key for the little ones. They learn so much as the year goes on.

For this project, I had my four preK classes create two murals for the winter school concert. Each mural is about 3×5 feet. The first day, we read Snow by Cinthia Rylant. 3 year olds helped me rip white paper and glue it to the mural. 4 year olds practiced their cutting skills on white paper strips. The second class, 3 year olds studied beautiful images of real snowflake crystals and read The Snow Tree by Caroline Repchuk, a gorgeous book with embossed illustrations of a winter forest and the animals that live there. Then they stamped snowflakes onto the sky of the mural using tints of blue. 4 year olds read Little Tree by e.e. cummings, noticing how the tree in the story was a triangle shape. Each student then had a chance to create their own triangle trees for our mural. I love how much character each tree has–especially the topsy turvy ones!