I needed a fairly quick project before spring break, and this was it!  The third graders really enjoyed making these animal prints.  
We have posted on printmaking before, click HERE for previous posts.
Kids drew with a pencil on a small sheet of drawing paper.
Once they got a drawing, they took the paper and put it on top of the styrofoam plate.
Then, they put pressure on the drawing and it went through on the styrofoam plate.
They rolled.
The inked.
They printed.
Simple, but I liked the end results!
The favorite animal was the elephant.  It was the most popular choice of animal printmaking.  I like elephants just fine.  Here is a song about elephants.  A band called Love Tractor played this song at parties in Athens, Ga, in the 1980s.

Each year the second grade does a program based on the book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins.  Last year, the kids made these penguins.  Click HERE to see.
This year, we went for the penguin on an iceberg.  These penguins are pretty funny.  If you knew the kids, they would be even funnier.  Check all of the penguins out below.
Penguin on a Broken Iceberg (yeah, it broke when being fired in the kiln)
Here’s the size of the penguins.
I think this penguin got in the sauce.
Obviously, this penguin has Betty Davis eyes.
How about a mohawk penguin?
Oh my, such a shy penguin.
The penguin below just realized her forgot his wife’s anniversary.
How about this penguin?  Swagging like a flat pancake.
Penguin and his snowman friend.
The snowman and the penguin are good friends.  They are just all snuggled up on the iceberg.  Nothing like a good friend, folks.  Check out this sweet, sweet video with a father-daughter singing, “You’ve Got A Friend in Me.”
Say what?
Okay, so you have to realize that we live in a rural area and people are very into hunting and fishing.  Seriously.  I mean very seriously into hunting and fishing.
So where did this project come from?
For some reason I was just sitting and thinking about what first grade could make with clay.  I decided on a fish.  I googled fish and Big Mouth Billy Bass popped up on my screen.  I thought, THAT IS IT! 
I gave the kids a small slab.
They cut a fish of their choice.
They used simple tools to make designs in the fish.
About an hour after they left, I attached the fish to a slab.  Then, I put paper towels under each side of the fish so the sides of the fish would prop up, like a real mounted fish.
Later, I carved their name and date on the fish.
I fired.
They painted.
I painted over where I had carved their name and date on the fish.
Here is a look at the process.
What else would I end with?  
I love lava lamps.  I probably have 25 or so.  I guess you could say that I collect them.  I remember my dad having a gold lava lamp back in the 70s.  My dad’s lava lamp had red lava.  
The kids know that I love lava lamps because I have them in my classroom.  I figure if they get bored, the lava lamps are always interesting to look at.
The project?
I rolled out slabs on a slab roller.
I reviewed slipping and scoring clay.
Kids designed their lava lamps with clay.
I fired.
The painted.
That’s it, y’all!
Have a look!
Imma ending this post with The B-52s “Hot Lava”.  It is a slow version and the YouTubers have some interesting comments for the B’s lovers…And I love the B’s.
5th Grade just loved this project and I just love 5th Grade.  They have so many talented kids in the class.  When I teach them new techniques, the really dig it!  I encouraged them to make tints on the ice cream scoops and they really enjoyed the color mixing process.
Kids painted their sundae containers with silver paint.  
Kids painted scoops.
Kids used pom poms and pipe cleaners to decorate with glue guns.  We kept the glue guns on the low temperature because they will burn the mess out of you!  I have some glue gun scars to boast.
Have a taste!
Art teachers, don’t you just connect with some classes? I do.  The 5th Grade class is just full of personality and fun.  During this week’s lesson, I had several students doing more dancing than art.  And, that is okay with me, sometimes.  Music is part of the arts.  It’s all good if it ends on a good note.
I played Kung Fu Fighting, the original by Carl Douglas.  The entire class was up singing and dancing to this song that was released in 1974, when I was in 3rd Grade.
Charley Harper (August 4, 1922-June 10, 2007) was a Cincinnati-based American Modernist artist. He was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations.
For lots of information about Charley Harper, click HERE.

I introduced Charley Harper to the third graders using the link above.
The kids drew cardinals and cut them out.
Then, they decided what their cardinal would be doing.
Once they decided on the placement of the cardinal, they glued the cardinal down.
Colored pencils were used to fill in the background.

I really like how the project turned out.
Oh yeah, we painted the background paper gray for display purposes.
Drum Roll, PLEASE.
Here is the blog’s namesake.
The red cardinal is sitting on the unicorn and taking a ride.
You saw it here first.
The cardinal on the unicorn is beyond awesome.
Here is “The Unicorn Song” by The Irish Rovers.
Oh boy!
So, I was going through my digital files and found these from 6 years ago. I did a James Rizzi Unit in Art Camp. This is such a fun artist to cover. Right now in my middle school art club we are covering him. I will post those photos soon in the blog.

  • 12×18 drawing paper
  • Sax Liquid Watercolor
  • Sharpie
  • Pencil
  • Paint Brushes
  • Water Bowls
  • Erasers
Direct Instruction–teacher directed
Guided Discovery–student discovery
Inquiry–series of divergent questions to generate learning
Group Process–cooperative groups, Think-Pair- Share, etc.
Project–research, presentation, performance, etc.
Evaluation—self, peer, or instructor
Media/Technology—Web-based instruction, Software, etc.
Here are some other blogs that have posted lessons on James Rizzi
We have blogged on James Rizzi before here in the links below:

James Rizzi (10/5/50- 12/26/11) was an American pop artist who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He had an animated art style, rich in detail and expression, and a massive following. The simple black lines with bold dashes of color make a perfect style to imitate.

Pop Art or “Popular” Art: a movement characterized by the imagery of consumerism and popular culture Characterized by bold, simple, everyday imagery, and vibrant block colours, it was interesting to look at and had a modern “hip” feel.

Enjoy and get your Rizzi on….1969
Our Lower School Art Teacher, Cathy Hicks did a fabulous job at teaching Mixed Media to her students. Check out these pieces of art.
She taught mixed media to her students and made them really see how their leaf painting could be brought to a different level instead of just a leaf on a book page. These pieces helped the students to see drawing, painting, and mixed media in one piece of art.
Fall colors were the subject matter. The kids LOVED the final effect instead of it just being a painting. The pieces were matted on warm colors and many used glitter as an added embellishment.
Way to go Cathy, thanks for sharing with me. It is so nice to be a part of a Visual Arts team that is always growing, learning and sharing with each other. 

In the first month of school, I was struggling with a project that I liked for first grade.  After discussing this problem with my teacher friend, Laura Harrison, she had a suggestion.  Laura said, “Why don’t you get kids to draw a self portrait with them saying something about first grade?  She said, You can have them holding a sign.”  I jumped on this idea.  There is nothing better than having a great co-worker to bounce ideas back and forth with in a crunch!


I cut a rather large sheet of paper.
I drew a rectangle on each paper.
When the kids arrived, I explained the project idea.
I had them draw themselves holding the sign.
The kids painted with tempera cakes.
Here is a funny.  One of the little girls had to go to the restroom.  I guess she could not remember my name.  She says, “Mrs. Artica, may I go the the restroom?”  I cracked up.  I told that sweet child, “That’s not my name.  I am Mrs. Ray.”  

Hey, at least she did have the word Art in my name.

You gotta love those fun first graders!

Here is a perfect song for this post by The Ting Tings.