While I was gone to the NAEA Conference in New York City, I had to leave sub plans.  Well I found this activity for first grade on a cool place called Fantastic Fun and Learning (click here).  Thanks, Shaunna!
I had students use a very large sheet of paper. (Look below at the photo with a marker board marker)
They drew lines with sharpie.
The used watercolor to paint on top of the sharpie markers.
Here’s Johnny Cash with I Walk the Line.
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.
Well, we had a chance of snow in Georgia, but it did not snow.  😢  With a sad class, I decided that we would make our own snow and snowmen in Art!  The first graders were pretty darn excited.
The kids painted snow on light blue construction paper.
The kids painted a snowman shape on the paper.
The following week, the kids used oil pastels to put hats and other decorations on their snowmen.
The way I look at it, the first graders got 2 days of snow.  Sure, it was in art, but they still had lots of fun making their snowmen.

If you lived in Georgia, you would understand the excitement when the weatherman says it is going to snow.  The word “snow” almost closes down schools.  The kids are excited.  The parents are excited and run to the grocery store.  I am not lying, folks.  Do not make fun of us.  We do not get snow but maybe every 5 years.  When we do get snow, it is only about 2 inches, if we are lucky.  It is okay, though.  I like my state.  I can be in the mountains in 3 hours or at the beach in 3 hours.  It’s a cool place to live. (Not cool enough for snow, apparently.😂)
I am ending with The Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.
I am glad these kites are now flying in Vincent Van Gogh’s sky, because it was one of those projects that almost did not happen.
Ever have a creative block?  Well, I was having one when this project went down.  Seriously, the first graders were on their way to art and I had no idea what they would be doing.  I know, that is terrible.  I know, that is not being a good planner.  Occasionally, I pull this kind of mess…and Occasionally, I PULL IT OFF! 
When the kids arrived, I had them paint swirls.  They loved it!  I had some good premixed tempera colors.  I provided them the plates.  I poured a little white.  They mixed.  They painted with swirls!  
For their next visit, I was a bit more prepared.  I got out some painted paper that was left over from a seasoned ladies paint night.  (Click here for that post)  Oh yeah, Laura Lohmann from Painted Paper Art Blog, you going to love this painted paper project!
The kids drew their kite shapes on back of the painted paper.  I really just let them run wild on this part of the project.
Then, the kids cut out their kites.
They grabbed some painted paper scraps.
They used the painted paper scraps to decorate their kites.
I had bucks of fabric cut.  Oh yeah, I CAN and DO get prepared, sometimes.
Once they got their tails made, I hot glued the tail to the kite.
Oh, boy!  The kites are now ready to fly on the walls in our hall!
The kite below is a boat kite.
The kite pictured below looks like a Picasso kite.
How about a clown kite?
I said, “Caleb, what kind of kite did you make?” He said, “An underwear kite.”😂
The kites are gonna fly like Eagles!  
Here’s The Steve Miller Band singing “Fly Like an Eagle.”
I have been taking guitar lessons for a year and a half. The guitar playing is pretty dang amazing to this little amateur.
Third Graders sprung into Spring using tissue paper and black paint!
I did a little prep work by cutting tissue paper into squares.
Then, the kids used Modge Podge to attach the tissue paper to 13 x 13 paper square.
The following week, the kids used black tempera and painted butterflies on their tissue paper works of art.
Let your eyes fly over these pretty butterflies!
Isabelle?  Hey, she has the art thing going on.  You art teachers know what I am talking about.
Check out June and Johnny singing “I’ll Fly Away”
Watercolor grids are awesome, but very hard for my 6th grade class.  I ran across this activity from A Faithful Attempt Click HERE to see post.  The post was super with great directions!  Thank you, A Faithful Attempt for an awesome project!
Okay, so here was my main problem.  I gave the kids a choice of what to draw.  I explained to the students that they needed to pick a fairly simple design.  I showed them my example.  I highly discouraged several very complicated drawings.  I had explained the many problems with a complicated drawing.  Some refused to take the easier route on this project.  They were heck, bent, and determined to make it work.  As you may surmise, most of the kids that chose the more complicated and detailed designs had more trouble completing the task.  I tell you, sometimes you just got to let them figure stuff out.  
The four below have good art sense.  They know their limitations and they are planners.  Wow, look how their art smarts worked in their favor.  LOVE!
Day 1-Make a 1 inch by 1 inch grid on your sheet of paper; Measure the lines with a ruler in one direction.  Then measure out the lines with the ruler in the other direction.  You should have a nice straight grid.

Day 2-Draw a design on top- I encourage fairly simple shapes (or a shape) that filled the paper nicely.

Day 3 and Day 4-Do you want to use warm colors for the background or cool colors for the background?
Do you want to use warm colors for the drawing or cool colors for the drawing?
*Hints:  Make sure you add lots of water when using watercolors.
Move around on the paper.  Do not work on squares side-by-side as you run the risk of colors bleeding into each other and making brown (yuck)

I heard this band, Kaleo, singing “Way Down We Go” while the kids were doing this project.  I kinda feel like the song sums up the feeling of some kids feelings while trying to push through and finish the project.  As I have said before, the devil is in the details.  Hey, watch out for the details!
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 recently went to the NAEA conference in New York City.  One morning we jetted to the MOMA and saw a little art.  One fun piece was this Claes Oldenburg “Floor Cone”.  Have a look at the cone and it’s description.
Did you notice the resemblance of the clay cone and Oldenburg’s cone?  Fun, huh?  The cherry is an added touch by one of my third graders.
I talked about Claes Oldenburg.
For previous posts on Claes Oldenburg, Click HERE.
The kids made a tiny pinch pot.
The kids rolled up a cone.
The kids attached the pinch pot and the cone.
The kids added details.
I fired.
They painted their clay projects.
Tutti Frutti would be a good ice cream name.  Here’s Little Richard singing “Long Tall Sally” and “Tutti Frutti”,
Each year at The Westfield School in Perry, Georgia, our 4 year old-5th grade put on production known as Grandparents’ Day.  Grandparents’ Day is a huge undertaking for our small school.  We have 2 classes per grade level in grades Pre-K thru 5th Grade.  Approximately 25 teachers are responsible for producing this amazing program. 
What is Grandparents’ Day (GPD)?
GPD is a musical that the students perform on the first Friday in March for their grandparents.  We send out a program and grandparents come from down the road to across the country.  The theme varies from year to year, but the underlying theme for all the programs promotes the message of LOVE for grandparents.  Each class performs a dance on stage.  Also, select 5th graders are chosen to be speakers to lead the program.  The senior class has a role as helpers and many times join in on the last song with the elementary students.  The hearts of many are warmed on this special day.
Why is GPD important?
GPD is important to our kids and teachers.  As a student, you progress through the grade levels and each year your song and dance becomes more and more advanced.  By the 5th grade, you are an expert with 7 years of experience performing on stage in front of a very large group of people.  The classroom teachers collaborate with the music and chorus teachers.  In their music enrichment class, the students practice singing the GPD songs.  Although the process of practicing for an entire month before the performance is difficult, the teachers know the end result will forever endure in the hearts and minds of these young people.  Surviving GPD is part of the initiation process at The Westfield School for new teachers.  Click Here for GPD practice video.  
How does GPD involve art?
The art department is responsible for decorating the stage for the GPD program.  The art department is Laura Harrison (high school art teacher) and myself.  Laura does have a class that attempts to produce some of the set, but for the most part, Laura cranks out the big pieces for the set.  As an elementary art teacher, I try to provide the teachers with works of art that goes along with the theme of their song.    
The Project for 3rd Grade?
3rd Grade students were dancing to “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy” by Manfred Mann.  I decided to have the kids riding in the 57 Chevy convertible.  
I found this 57 Chevy online on Google. Click Here 
The kids painted with tempera cakes.  There were no guidelines on painting the car.  We took pictures of the kids.  I cut the upper part of the kids’ bodies out.  Then, we glued the kids in the car.
Maddox made his car fly in the air.  I guess he must have forgot to hit the breaks at the railroad track.  I have a feeling that this type of driving may be in Maddox’s future.  At a young age, he rammed a golf cart into a mailbox. 
Oh Foster’s art cracked me up.  He was one of the last kids painting the project.  I went over to check on Foster.  Usually, he finishes first.  Well, usually he does not have a broken arm.  The boy came in my classroom with a broken arm and painted without one complaint.  I did not even notice he had a broken arm.  I am so lacking in my ability to observe my surroundings.  I was so impressed with this little guy.  We cracked up when he waved with the cast.  
I end this long post with Manfred Mann singing “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy”.
It’s Blue Dog the Angel! 
We have posted on Blue Dog several times in the past.  Click here for previous Blue Dog posts. 
Oh boy.  This was one of those projects that did not evolve so easily.  I wanted to do a Blue Dog project with 6th grade, but I wanted a break from painting on paper.  I thought about it, but the creative block had my ideas contained.  As I usually do, I went to my art teacher friend, Laura Harrison, and discussed my dilemma.  We tossed ideas back and forth and this is how Blue Dog Angel came to be!  Thank, Laura!
Great project for middle school.  The kids really enjoyed the challenge. 
I showed the George Rodrigue video found HERE!
I gave the kids a handout with the pictures you see below with a step by step process for painting Blue Dog.
On the handout, I stated the following:
-Each dog must be at least 16 inches tall.
-Each face must be 8 inches wide.
-Each dog must have at least 2 accessories.
-Each dog must stand independently.
The kids got to work.
They drew.
They painted.
They cut.
They glued accessories with a hot glue gun.
They glued supports on the back of the dog.
Here is a detailed look at the process.
Kristen’s cracked me up.  Bahahahahahahaha.
I have really been loving listening to The Lumineers.  Great easy songs with some good, meaningful lyrics.  Like they say, “Let the Sun Shine in Your Hair” and don’t have a BLUE DAY!