At the beginning of every year students create self portraits in the art studio.  This year they created collage self portraits.  Younger grades were given oil pastels to add facial features.  Older grades were encouraged to add 3 dimensional elements.  They did an amazing job.  These are all on display the whole year above their classroom door. 

Clay relief letters. Clay is such an engaging material to work with.  I want to make sure every grade gets an experience with clay even our kindergarteners.  However clay can be hard to manipulate for such tiny hands and many people opt to use alternative modeling clays like model magic. I use to do this to, but I began to feel that my kindergarteners were missing out.  So I created this lesson full of small manageable steps (INCLUDING SCORING AND SLIPPING CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!). 

Day1: Experimenting

We learn how to mold and manipulate clay through guided instruction. We learn to roll spheres and cylinders.  We learn to pinch, poke, pull apart and flatten our clay. Then students have the rest of the time to experiment independently.

Day 2: Making an ABC Plaque

Every single step is a separate demonstration, so the kindergarteners are doing a lot of back and forth to the demo table. First students flatten the clay with their hands and rolling pins.  Then I trace a square or rectangle onto their clay.  They next use a pizza cutter to follow the line and cut out their shape.  Next the kids write their letter into the clay gently but big.  After they roll out a long snake. Then we score and slip the snake and the letter we wrote in the clay (they do this pretty well, but I do go around and make sure they are scratching perpendicular to the letter and not just dig into the letter). Last they take their snakes and make attach them atop their scored letters.  

Alma Thomas’s work inspired these paintings by our kindergarteners.  They learned about warm and cool colors.  Cool colors were used in their backgrounds and warm colors were used for their Alma Thomas spots.

Kindergarteners have been exploring shapes and the variety of ways they are used in art making. These are collographs: prints made from a collage.  First the students cut out different shapes from thick paper.  After gluing them down they coated their collages with mod podge.  The next art class students got a chance to use printmaking materials. They rolled their own ink onto their collages using the brayers and printed them on another paper. I was so impressed with how well they handled the printmaking equipment!