Tuesday, September 29, 2015

NYS Visual Art Standards for Elementary

The url for the standards is: www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/arts/artstand/visual1.html

The Arts Standards

Standard 1

Creating, Performing, and Participating in The Arts

Standard 2

Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources

Standard 3

Responding To and Analyzing Works of Art

Standard 4

Understanding The Cultural Dimensions and Contributions of The Arts

Alternate Assessment Standards for Students with Severe Disabilities

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

130 & 131 Lesson Plan Format

The following are areas you will want to address in making an art lesson plan:

Age or Grade of Students
Class Periods or Time Frame of Lessons
Aims/Goals/Outcomes (these are sometimes separate, sometimes not)
Materials and Tools
Standards/Common Core
Rubrics/Assessment Chart
Questions or Narrative in Your Introduction of the Lesson
Special Needs: Learning Disabled/Gifted
Reflection/Questions that circle back to your aims and goals
Follow-Up (Optional)

Collagraph Plate and Prints

131-Collagraph Lesson Plan—Ages Pre-K (with help) and Up

This is a printmaking process in which you make a plate and then rub it or use a brayer to make multiples. While sophisticated artists use this process, it is also adaptable to young children.

Aims: To explore the process of collagraphy
To make multiples of an artwork

Materials & Tools:
Cardboard (chipboard; not corrugated)
Oak tag or Bristol board
Elmer’s Glue
Inking Tray
Water-based Printmaking Ink-one color plus white
Paper to print on—especially neon or bright and black
Papers such as fadeless and bond paper work well. Construction paper is okay but due to its “tooth” won’t be as solid an image.
Optional: twine, string, fabric.

First, choose your theme. It could be fantasy animals, abstract shapes, the zoo, the circus, the rainforest, etc. Remind students that this process needs simple shapes without too many small details.
Make the plate:
This is a backwards process. Cut shapes (I prefer it when students don’t draw their shapes first) and glue on using glue brushes. Remember, you only need to glue around the edges.
Any blob of glue will print, so beware. (You can actually make glue drawings on cardboard, let them dry and print them.)
Teach your students to overlap—so to make an eyeball you’d cut an almond shape, an iris and then a pupil and glue one on top of another.
Let dry completely before printing.

There are two basic ways to print collagraphs without a press.
Single Drop Printing is printing once. Spread ink on a tray and roll back and forth. Listen for a “kissing” sound. It should not be too thick (like icing on a cake). You will learn what is the right amount. Cover your printing area with newspapers to protect table. Ink the collagraphic plate being sure to cover all four corners.Don’t try to push ink down into areas that seem “bald”—that’s how the image will show up.
Move plate to a clean area to print. Lay your paper on top of the plate and rub with the flat of your hand. Pull up your print from one corner and put on drying rack or clothesline to dry. Don’t change ink colors until the plate is perfectly dry. Use different colored paper to make it more interesting.
Double Drop Printing: You need two brayers and two inking trays. One will have color (like turquoise) and the other will have white. This works best on black or dark colored paper. Make a print in any color except yellow or white. Set aside. Ink the plate right away in white. Lay the plate almost on top of (but not quite) the wet print. Flip over carefully and rub. Remove print. You will have a 3-dimensional looking print.

As always, be sure to share your work.

You can make a group quilt or use this process to make a mural. The collagraphic plates could be shaped (not rectangular) if you wish and you could print on mural paper;

130--Accordion Books Lesson Plan

Accordion Books [K (with some help)- adult]
This is a book arts technique from Japan, that works well for all ages of elementary students. It could be a stand-alone art project or be have a cross-curricular aspect to it.

•To create an original book
•To learn about cultural connections (Japan)
•To integrate academic curriculum into your art lessons (optional)

Materials & Tools:
Scratch paper for planning
2 pieces of chipboard or heavy cardboard a bit bigger than the folded page size of your book
white paper cut, folded (and glued by overlapping if necessary) to make even numbered folded stack with correct number of pages (see below). Rice paper is another, more expensive possibility.
Paper for covering cardboard covers--4” larger on top and bottom (for an 8 x 10 cover, you’d want 12 x 14” cover paper)
pencil, eraser, scissors, tape, white glue
Sharpie markers, watercolors, watercolor brush, water can
Colored pencils
Ribbon or string for tying

Decide the theme for your lesson. It could be a book without words, a book about one’s family, a creative story, etc. Have your students work out their stories on scratch paper (4-6 folds is a good number). You need to have a long, folded sheet have 2 more sections than your story, so for a 4-panel story you need six sections and for a 6-panel story you need eight. Keep the numbers even so the book glues together well.
Fold the panels to make equal sections, gluing on extra paper if necessary by overlapping slightly (The seam will disappear once the panel is colored, so don’t worry about it). It might be easier if you give your class the same specifications--say 6 panels for everybody, because then the construction will be the same for everyone.
Draw, sharpie and color the insides as desired.
Next, make your covers. The cardboard should be a little bit bigger than our folded pages for the best possible look. Cover the cardboard by cutting your paper 4” each way (2” per side). Draw “envelope” flaps on all four sides, directly from the corners. You are making angled lines going inward on each side--not outward!!!! Cut out the odd-looking corner shapes which will resemble a triangle with a drooping bottom. Fold over each flap and tape down. This side will be the inside of your front and back covers. Tape ribbon on the left side for the cover and the right side for the back. Glue the end “extra” pages over the inside covers, tie your book closed and you have an accordion book.

Share your books as always.

Use other materials such as collage. Books can open up and down, too.

131-Haiku Scrolls Lesson Plan--Grades 4 and Up

Haiku Scrolls—Grades 4 and up
  • To learn how to use gradated shades of ink on rice paper to create a “Japanese-style” scroll
  • To integrate literacy and social studies into the curriculum
  • To combine poetry and image in a work of art
  • To learn about syllables and the haiku form
India ink/water
Styrofoam egg carton or watercolor palette
Bamboo ink pen
Soft brush
Rice paper (11”x 36” or so)
Practice paper

If you have students who need a place to start, have them write on a piece of paper the following:
2 places
A weather word
Another weather word
6 verbs
2 names
6 nouns
6 descriptive words (Adverbs/adjectives)
2 animals
4 feelings
A few random words (and, the, into, out, etc.)
(You can make up your own list, but you need enough to give your students good options.) Have students cut out the words, magnetic poetry style and write how many syllables are in each word at the top of each small piece. This will help when constructing your haiku.
Students then are give the challenge of constructing a simple haiku using the 5-7-5 syllable format. An example might be 

Fleeting gold sunshine
Falls into winter darkness
Until the morning.
Usually there is some sort of reference to the season in a haiku, which is something your students might be able to try. After they get their haiku composed they should plan their scroll on practice paper, putting the words in the body of the scroll. Decide whether you want horizontal or vertical scrolls. (I prefer vertical.) Next, you can have your students play with their bamboo pens and brushes to see how to make marks and get effects on the rice paper. Put newspaper under the work to protect the table as rice paper is very porous.
When students have practiced, they can go onto the scroll. (I prefer not drawing in pencil first but this may be difficult, depending on your students. Working directly on the rice paper will give you more luscious results.)
When completed, you may glue dowels to the ends, adding a string hanger for vertical scrolls.
Note: These scrolls look beautiful in windows, as they are translucent.

Monday, September 21, 2015

130--Shape Books

Shape Books (K- adult)
This is a very easy way to take a simple writing assignment to another level.

Aims: •To create a hand-written and drawn book
•To integrate other curriculum into your art lesson such as science, math, writing, poetry, social studies, etc.

Materials & Tools:
construction paper/white drawing paper (9 x 12 works well)
pencil, eraser, sharpie marker
colored pencils, watercolors, construction paper crayons
watercolor brushes, water can
Note: markers don’t look good on colored paper and craypas will smear, so I don’t suggest those materials

Have students work out their stories on scratch paper. You could do an assignment about their families, heritage, a science topic such as metamorphosis or the weather or it could just be a creative work.
They then need to come up with a shape that makes sense for their topic. The shape must be drawn simple enough to be cut out and large enough to contain the words and illustrations. One trick I use to get kids to draw large enough without a tracer is to have them make their shapes touch all four edges of the paper, thereby assuring a good-sized shape. Make sure the book has a way to staple together. It may open from the bottom, rather than the right side.
Students then cut out as many pages at one time as they need for their books. If they are making long books, they can trace their own shapes, which is valid tracing. Using tracers is a no-no in my book.
If you are using watercolor and sharpie marker, have students outline in sharpie first and the watercolor. Sharpies are oil-based and will get ruined if they get wet. When using watercolor, have students wake up their watercolors by making a puddle in each color. Make sure they know how to wast a brush off between color changes and how not to drum the side of the can. (Tickling the brush is better, since it doesn’t create spray.) When drawn and colored, staple books together.

Handy Hint:
Store watercolors open and they will dry in between use and last so much longer.

Always share your students’ work. These look great hung up on a bulletin board, too.

Make a sequel, using the same shape.

Butterfly Shape Book

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Our next class will be on Monday, September 21!!!!! See you then. Please check your syllabus (below) for homework due and come prepared to work.

Art Elements Mobiles (Lesson Plan)--131

Using any materials or processes you like, students will make 2-sided shapes that will become a hanging mobile.

Grades: 3 (with wire-cutting help) and Up

Aims: To learn the art elements
           To explore various processes and media
           To venture into the world of kinetic sculpture by making a mobile
           To learn about balance

Materials and Tools:
           You may choose what materials and processes you want your students to use. It could be anything from oil pastels, construction paper crayons, ink, watercolor, paint, collage or mixed media.
Choose the paper you want to use, being mindful that it needs to be able to be laminated (no bulky cardboard pieces!)

           You will also need scissors, glue (if doing collage), fishing line, armature or other soft, bendable wire, wire cutters, pliers, a laminator and laminating film.

           Begin with a discussion of the art elements. (Include the principles of design as well, if you like).
See how many elements you can elicit from your students, rather than telling them. (Line, shape, color, contrast or [light and dark], texture, pattern, volume.)
           Explain that you would like your students to depict each and every art element without words. They need to be two-sided, so as they hang they look good, so there may be some drying time involved.
           When finished, laminate the pieces. Have the students cut around the shapes, leaving at least of an eighth of an inch so nothing unpeels. Punch holes in the top of each shape and tie fishing line on, using a square knot. Make it at least 20" long, as you can always cut it. Cut wire into several lengths (you'll need a longish one for the top piece), and show students how to bend the ends to curl the wire around and make enclosed ends. (Some people might prefer using wooden dowels, instead of wire, which is fine. In that case you need a small saw to cut the lengths of wood to size.)
          Create mobiles by arranging the pieces to balance on the various ends of the wires. You will cut some of the fishing line short to make it work. Each mobile will be different, depending on the size and weight of the shapes. Shapes can be tied to one another to balance the other side. Play with moving the shapes to get the balance you want.

           Make sure you try to hang these up if you can. They really energize a ceiling! If you want to create a simple 1-4 rubric, your students will be able to understand what you are looking for (7 different shapes, two-sided, nicely colored, appropriate to the art element, etc.)

           You can use the idea of a mobile for science, social students, women's history month, holidays, etc.

Note: To take home, lay down mobile on a large sheet of paper and tape down the fishing line, placing another sheet of paper on top to make an envelope of sorts. Otherwise mobiles will get impossibly tangled!


Friday, September 11, 2015

131--Drawing With Inked Glue Lesson Plan

This technique is inspired by an idea in a book called Glorious Glue!. The concept is simple, yet very sophisticated-looking. Children grades 4 and up will have no problem working with this process. Younger students may need some guidance.

Aim: To explore the use of line in a mixed media piece
To use a mixture of glue and india ink to create stained-glass type, raised lines
and then color them in

Materials: heavy white paper, elmer's white glue bottle (not school glue), india ink,
pencil, eraser, pastels or watercolors. The india ink is mixed into the glue
50-50. Make sure the nozzles aren't clogged.

Motivation: Depending on whether you are introducing a theme (the city, buildings of
the future, the rainforest, magical flowers, etc.) you may want to begin only
talking about line. What kind of lines are there? (skinny, fat, scalloped,
wiggly,zig-zag, dotted, swirly, etc). If you have a theme or are integrating
another subject you may have photos or posters to stimulate interest and
discussion. Just remember that if you show completed projects or art work, your
students will have trouble being creative.

Vocabulary: india ink, mixed media, texture

Procedure: After your opening discussion, show your students how to draw lines with a
pencil and then use the bottle to trace over the lines. Start in the center
and work out. Don't encourage small shapes as they will blob. Let the finished
work dry completely.

Next, have students color in with pastels or watercolors. If you use pastels,
instruct your students not to blow away the dust (take it to a deep garbage can
and shake it, instead). If you want to fix the work, you can use hairspray when
students are not around. Fixative can be used outdoors, but never around young

Reflections: These will be beautiful and should be talked about and displayed.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

130--Drawing Upside Down Lesson

This lesson works wonders for helping students to begin to draw realistically. The idea is to forget what you are drawing and just think in terms of shapes textures and tonal qualities. Older students (Grade 5 and up) should be able to do this. It is also wonderful practice for would-be teachers who have never learned drawing skills.

Aims: To render a realistic drawing from a photograph
To look closely at details and relationships in a photograph and begin "seeing"

Materials: picture library pictures (I give out animals), pencil, eraser, white drawing paper or sketchbook/journal

Motivation: Get your students on board by telling them that they won't believe what good drawers they are, but they have to forget about what they are drawing to do it.

Procedure: Hand out photographs to each student. I give easier ones to my beginners and more complicated ones to my more advanced students. The picture library I've made has all my images (thousands of them) mounted on 9 x 12" oak tag. Place the photo upside down, tell the person to forget what it might be and just draw the triangles, blobs, lights and darks as they go along. Show them how they can take their pencil and lay it down to find angles or what's longer. Give them enough time and if you see them going wrong, stop them and discuss what needs changing. When they finally turn their drawings right-side up they can't believe they drew them.

Reflection: Share and display, if possible.

Follow-up: Tell your students to do more.

130--Contour Drawing of Shoe

This is a well-known lesson that has been done forever to help students learn to see. 4th Graders and up can probably do it.

Aim: To learn to see by studying the parts of a sneaker and drawing it simply with a contour drawing.

Materials: sneaker, pencil (or pen), eraser, white paper or sketchbook/journal. Use BABY SHOES if you can gather enough of them. Your students will respond favorably!

Motivation: Putting their shoes on the table to draw will create excitement and moans of "his is stinky" even when it isn't.

Vocabulary: contour, linear

Procedure: Explain that something like a shoe has small dips and bends that we usually don't see. When we do a contour drawing we look deeply at the object and try to draw these subtleties. The key is to try to look at the show more than your paper. You almost pretend you are touching the edges and contours of the shoe with your pencil. Look back at your paper only to place the beginning of the next section of shoe. The drawings will be very linear (no shading allowed).Go slowly and make sure you see the inside of the shoe if it is visible. Doing several of these will really begin to help our students to see clearly.

Follow-up: Have your students draw a chair that has rungs (negative shapes). Put it up high and follow the same procedure of close looking.

130--The Drawing Game Lesson Plan

This is a game I invented many years ago to get my students exited about seeing. It works well with all ages (4th Grade and up) and prizes add to the frenzy. Watch out for cheating, though. Even amongst adults!

Aims: To practice deep looking
To listen to words and put them into visual form
To be about to recall and describe in words what you saw

Motivation: The game itself is all the motivation you will need, although silly prizes
add to the fun.

Vocabulary: parallel, perpendicular, cylinder, sphere, etc.

Procedure: Collect all sorts of odd objects: I use broken kitchen utensils, old parts of hardware, packaging, weirdly-shaped things I find in my travels, perfume bottle caps, old kiln parts, etc.

Divide the class up into teams of four or so. I try to mix students up so there's one star artist per team, but what's interesting is that the star artist may not be good at this game initially. Sometimes the quieter kids are better observers.

Each team sends a member out into the hall. Have them go far enough away so they can't see into the room at all. Bring out an object and have the rest of the students look at it carefully. Make sure no one draws a little sketch of it on the sly. I've had adults use an eraser to draw the outline on the desk!!!

Put the object away, bring the drawers back into the room and give them a set amount of time (5 minutes or so) to work. The drawer will listen to the describers and draw the best he/she can. Describers must use appropriate art words--"not draw a fork," but "draw two parallel lines close to each other, connect the bottom, draw another line at the top, extend it on both sides a bit, now draw four lines perpendicular to the extended line, now make them thicker." Be sure your students don't use had gestures or point on the paper. Some students just have to sit on their hands to resist. Keep the tone light--don't be too mean, but don't allow cheating just the same.

Each turn you decide the winner(s) and then a new person goes out in the hal. Everyone gets a turn. Mention that the objects get harder, so the less-successful kids get to go first.

Follow-up: Your students will beg you to play this game again. They never tire of it and they really do learn a lot about seeing, memory and observation by playing it.
Have the objects get harder as you go. Increase points to keep all teams in the running.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite Corpse Group Project Lesson Plan--Grades 3 & up

This project is a fantastic way to begin a school year and create a sense of pride in students who have not yet become a “group.” The results are easily hung high up, along the top of school walls (depending on fire regulations).

To create individual oil pastels pieces which will fit together
To learn about the surrealist party game of the same name
To create a group dynamic, where each student is a part of a larger, greater, whole

Materials & Tools: Pre-marked construction paper*, oil pastels or some other medium like pastels or construction crayons, scissors

*To make the marks you need to know how many students will be involved. There are ways to add more pieces but it is hard to take them away without messing the finished product up.

Lay out the pieces in a row--you can do a few at a time--from left to right. Draw short lines across the two papers, enough to be seen. I vary where I put them to make the end result more interesting-looking. Write the number and draw an arrow on the back side under the topmost line (see illustration). This is super-important so you know the proper placement. If your students follow the directions, when they cut out their pieces, the numbers on the back will stay intact for easy taping together.

Motivation: If you want to show examples of actual exquisite corpses, be mindful that a few of them are rather explicit, so you’ll have to look at what you choose ahead of time. The idea is that you draw something and that it will connect perfectly with the drawing in front of yours and the one behind. It forms a cohesive whole only after the pieces are assembled.

You may also want to have picture library pictures of animal patterns and other images that will stimulate interesting results.

Vocabulary: exquisite, corpse, blending, pattern, continuous

Procedure: After showing and/or talking about what an exquisite corpse was (and defining the nonsense title), explain that each student is going to make a separate piece that will fit together to make a larger project. Explain that one person will do the head, another will do the tail and everybody else will do an inside piece. You can ask for volunteers for the end pieces or randomly hand them out with the other pieces, depending on ow you want to approach it. The students doing the end pieces will only have two (not four) lines on their papers.

The rules are simple: the top two lines on the left and right side of the paper must eventually connect to each other and the bottom ones must also connect. What the line does in between them is what makes the shapes fun and unique. They can wobble, go up and down, have scales, wings, extra heads and feet, etc., as long as they eventually connect. The sides between the up and down lines must stay straight (and uncut) so they fit tightly to the next piece. The arrow on the back will help students work right side up.

Demonstrate good oil pastel use--layering and blending are encouraged. If the construction paper is blue, I tell them cover all the blue. You want to have rich patterns and details. Have them press down and use one color over another. I show them how to peel their oil pastels and that even “dirty” ones have rich, bright colors underneath. “Use them until they disappear,” I tell them.

When colored, they can cut them out. You may want to work with a few students at a time on this step to get it done right. If they miscut, you just tape it together on the back--no worries. Variation: leave the pieces intact and just tape the rectangles together.

If someone needs to start over, you need to make an exact replica of the original paper or it will not fit. If a new student comes in, find the middle of the project (say sheets 13 & 14), ask those students to lend you their papers and make a 13B sheet that fits between them, putting the number and arrow on the back as described above. Begin the project with exactly the number of students you will have that day. I often did almost enough sheets ahead of time and then made the last few as needed, based on attendance.

Tape together from the back and laminate, if feasible. I put pieces of tape horizontally at the top and bottom of the seams in between pieces for extra strength.

Reflection: Share the work, of course! The display of this project will cause create great excitement. I once did this with the entire sixth grade at a large school and wound up with a piece that practically covered the entire school foyer and hallways.

Follow-up: You can make vertical, very tall exquisite corpses based on rainforest trees (with flora and fauna) or just do art elements and keep them abstract. Animals as presented here are only one possibility of many. You can also vary the materials and work in watercolor, oil pastel resist, markers, etc.

Homework Due next THURSDAY (Conversion Day)!

There is no class on Monday, Labor Day. We meet on Thursday, instead.

Arts 130--Write about an early art memory or memories--good or bad! What are your attitudes about art? Are you fearful? Why do you think that is?

Arts 131--Write about why art is important to teach in school. Make it like an editorial/opinion piece for the New York Times.