Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bird Masks

The weather outside has been delightful! Crocuses have been blooming and birds are singing their hearts out in disbelief! This unseasonably warm spring made it impossible for me to resist doing a bird lesson with my Kindergarten artists! The two day project started with a brief discussion of masks from other cultures such as African Yoruba masks, traditional Chinese theater masks, and South American Aztec warrior masks. We brainstormed different reasons why people may wear a mask. Most students related to the idea of masks as a means of disguise for Halloween festivities, but we also talked about se masks that are used for safety by doctors and sports players.

These masks we're made from half of a small paper dessert plate and a large wooden craft stick. The students decorated their masks form with tissue paper and feather. Here is one of my Kindergarten classes modeling their creations.



Monday, March 12, 2012

Hallway Display Idea for Delicious Pastel Desserts

Wayne Thiebaud dessert cakes have become a consistent and popular lesson in many art teacher repertoires. I have taught this lesson at the past three schools I have worked at and it always ends up becoming a slam dunk lesson that students both love and learn a lot from. This year, I chose to share this lesson with my 4th graders who are learning about 3-D geometric shapes in their math class. I detailed this lesson before on Coral vs. Salmon and you can read about my instructional process for the lesson here. In fact, my write-up of this lesson was my very first blog post back in 2009! I'm pretty sure the idea for this lesson came from a 2009 Arts & Activities of SchoolArts article, but I could not find it in my archives.

I put a fresh spin on this lesson in the way I displayed the student art work. I came up with the simple and fun idea of creating bakery awnings over each class's grouping of cakes. I asked the students to come up with a pretend alliterative name for their bakeries. They used their classroom teacher's name as a jumping off point. The store names the students came up with were "Mr. DeHaan's Delicious Desserts", "Mrs. Munn's Magnificient Munchables", "Mrs. Anderson's Appetizing Entrees", and "Mrs. Haggerty's Home-Made Honeycakes." I am really pleased with how the display turned out and it was super easy to put together. I cut a bunch of U-shaped pieces from scrap pieces of brightly colored paper. I glued them together and used half of a styrofoam egg carton taped to the wall to make the awnings pop out from the wall at an angle.