Friday, 20 April 2012

Christmas Snowmen

My sample snowman

Lesson Background
Recently I stumbled across these old photos of some past students' Christmas snowmen and I couldn't resist putting them up on the blog- they were just so cute! I used this lesson a few years ago when I was teaching a Year 1 class.  It was based on a range of similar activities I had seen on the Internet, with some modifications of my own.   This lesson needs a bit of preparation- I had sent a note home a couple of weeks beforehand asking parents to send in old socks, scarves and buttons that they no longer needed. 

Lesson Materials
1 styrofoam cup per child
1 large styrofoam ball per child
Coloured toothpicks
Black textas
Strips of cut-up old woollen scarves
String or ribbon (I used a thick gold string)
Assorted buttons (2-3 per child)
1 coloured sock per child

Lesson Steps
1.  Turn the cup upside down.  Place the styrofoam ball on top and hold them together while you pierce a toothpick up through the bottom of the cup into the styrofoam ball head.  This should secure the head in place.  Use extra toothpicks or some PVA glue for extra support if needed.
2.  Take the sock and put it over the top of the styrofoam head to make a beanie/woolly hat.  Use the string to tie it tightly above the head.
3.  Leaving a little bit of excess sock above the tightened string, cut the remainder of the sock off using some sharp scissors (teacher help will be needed for young children- I would have the socks already cut up before the lesson).
4.  Using black textas, draw eyes and a mouth on the snowman.
5.  Stick an orange toothpick into the styrofoam ball as its nose.
6.  Tie a strip of old scarf around the snowman's neck.
7.  Using PVA glue, stick 2-3 buttons down the front of the styrofoam cup.

Year 1 Snowmen

Christmas Tree Cards

Year 1 student Christmas cards (2008)
 Lesson Background:
I have used this Christmas activity with nearly every class and year level I have taught.  It is easy to do, requires minimal resources and the kids love it!

Lesson Materials:
1 paddlepop stick per child
Coloured paper scraps
1 piece glossy green brenex paper per child
1 piece metallic gold, red, silver or blue paper per child
1 metallic star sticker per child
1 sheet A4 coloured card per child (or cut to whatever size is desired)
PVA glue

Lesson Steps:
1.  Ask the students to fold their piece of cardboard in half to make the Christmas card.  I usually use a piece of card just a tad bigger than half an A4 sheet.
2.  Students cut out a square of metallic paper and stick it on the front of the card so that it is centred with a border of card all around the outside.
3.  They then stick the paddlepop stick onto the card with a little PVA glue.  It should be towards the bottom of the card but not hanging off the bottom.
4.  Show the students how to draw a basic Christmas tree shape (I let the kids each decide between pointier, sharper tree shapes and curvier, more cartoony shapes).
5.  Ask the students to cut out a square of glossy green brenex paper, the size of the space left on the card (with it overlapping the paddlepop stick).
6.  Ask the children to draw their desired tree shape onto the paper, cut out their tree and paste it over the top of the paddlepop stick with a little PVA glue.
7.  Students then decorate their trees by cutting out little circles and shapes from the coloured paper scraps and sticking them on with a little PVA glue.  Finally, they can stick their star stickers on the top.

NOTE:  As you might have noticed from the photos, I have discovered 2 little tricky parts to this activity... gluey fingerprints left all over their paper backgrounds and gold stars not standing out on gold paper backgrounds!  Next time I use this activity, I will ensure that children who use gold backgrounds get a different coloured sticker star and that all children are more careful where they leave their gluey fingerprints!

Christmas Cards from Year 3 students (2010):

A sample card I created

Alex and Oliver display their lovely red Christmas cards

Chelsea, Larona and Jasmine show off their cards

Ralph creates his card

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Coloured Paper Birds

3B & 1JC bird artworks
Lesson Background

This lesson is a bit of a flashback to the past- I did this lesson in 2009 when my Year 3 class were studying a unit on birds.  These pictures were created by my Year 3 students with their Year 1 buddies from our buddy class 1JC. 

Lesson Materials

Templates of branches, foliage and birds (optional)
Coloured Brenex paper
1 black Brenex paper square per child

Lesson Steps

1.  Draw or use templates to create the shape of a branch and stick it onto the black Brenex paper, making sure the bottom of the branch starts right at the bottom of the page (no branches floating in mid air!)
2.  Draw or use templates to create cloud-shaped light green foliage and slightly larger cloud-shaped darker green foliage.  Paste these onto the background.
3.  Draw or use templates to draw a simple mother and baby bird.
4.  Draw or use templates to create different wings for the birds,
5.  Use textas to draw on wing and tail patterns.
6.  Cut out 2 small triangles of orange paper and stick them on beaks.
7.  Using black textas, draw eyes on the birds.

Artworks by Year 1 & 3

By Riley (Yr3) and Emma (Yr1)
By Courtney (Yr3), Jerry (Yr 3) and Nico (Yr1)
Faith (Yr3) & _______
Sophie (Yr3) & Jia (Yr1)
By _____________
By Onela (Yr3), Sharlin (Yr3) & ______________ (Yr1)
My artwork sample

Friday, 13 April 2012

Babushka Doll Family Artworks

By Ashley (Year 2)

Lesson Background:

My delightful Year 1/2 students have been studying what life was like in "the past".  As a part of this history unit we have been talking about the types of toys and games children played with 100-ish years ago.  We discussed why many toys used to be wooden or tin and the differences between toys of rich and poor children.  My class were quite intrigued!  This lead me to come up with this art lesson on designing their own babushka dolls to represent each of their family members.  I got extra inspiration from this fabulous art lesson on Deep Space Sparkle:

Lesson Materials:
Babushka doll templates on A4 white card
Various sizes and shapes of coloured Brenex paper pieces
Various sizes and shapes of patterned wrapping paper pieces
Lead pencils (for original drawing)
Watercolour pencils
Skinny paintbrushes
Water containers
Images of babushka dolls

Lesson Steps:

1.  We discussed what Babushka dolls were, looked at lots of photos and discussed how they are made.
2.  We examined the types of colours and patterns often found on Babushka dolls.
3.  I demonstrated how to draw a face that looked like a girl (rosy cheeks, bigger lips and eye lashes) and boy (more simple facial features, no rosy cheeks or eyelashes).  I also demonstrated how to draw some possible patterns and ideas for clothing on the whiteboard.
4.  The children were given a template (see below-- I had 'white-outed' the facial features and patterns so the children could design and draw their own).
5.  They were asked to draw in faces and clothing to represent each member of their family or the people they currently live with.
6.  The students coloured each member of their family with watercolour pencils and then "painted" over their colouring with water using a skinny paintbrush.
7.  When dry, the students outlined all the features of each doll with a black Sharpie marker and cut them out.
8.  Students chose a long strip of coloured card as the background and arranged different strips and squares of coloured and patterned papers onto the background.
9.  Finally, the students glued their babushka families onto their background cards.
Template I used with students:
Artwork Samples:

By Nive (Year 1)
By Dhiren (Year 2)
By Sebaga (Year 2)

By Paige (Year 1)

By Charlie (Year 2)
By Eve (Year 1)

By Jasmine (Year 1)

By Marlo (Year 2)