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.
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”
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”.
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!
Kim and Karen both love Romero Britto.  To see previous posts, click HERE!   The project below was done by 3rd Graders.  Before the project began, I encouraged them to “not be so detailed.”  After they got their drawings done, I decided they did not listen to my pitch on less detail.  Oh well, the details really made the projects so much more fun!

We talked a little about Romero Britto.
The kids drew with pencil and then outlined with sharpie.
The kids painted the background.
The kids painted the trees.
The kids outlined.
Yes, the project took several weeks to complete.
I think the hard work was definitely worth it.
Check them out!

In my opinion, this project was a learning experience for the third graders.  They were told to consider not being so detailed, but many chose to ignore my recommendations.  It is all good though.  The kids did what they wanted to do.  I saw them going down Detail Road.  Eventually, they got to the red stop sign.  Then, they realized the devil was in the details.  I think it is much better for kids to realize some things on their own.  Until you experience some things first hand, you really do not get it.

I recently heard this song by James Brown and it really cracks me up.  It is a Christmas song full of soul and called “Soulful Christmas.”
Thanksgiving Time!  The artwork below came to be because of a lesson plan error.  You see, I got a little mixed up with my classes.  The third grade arrived and we realized that I had put out the wrong assignment.  So what did we do?  We improvised with some cool colors.  Oh Boy….Oh Boy…I sometimes goof, but my kids just roll with my mistakes.  


The kids painted with cool colors in the background.
The kids drew and painted a pumpkin.
Then, they painted the pumpkin with warm colors.
We got the hairdryer out to get the pumpkins dry.
Once we got the pumpkins dry, they cut them out and glued them to the background paper.

Have a look!
Kids are so awesome.  They have a clean slate.  The kids I teach have 6-14 years of life experience.  They say what they think.  They easily adapt.  They are not scared to take a risk.  I love kids because they are so true.

“True”  by Spandau Ballet in 1986
Just Be True

Need an art activity that relates to Fall?  How about the warm colored pumpkins on cool background squares that you see below?  The third graders did a great job on this 3 week project.

I had the kids divide their sheet by folding into 4 sections.
I gave them blue, purple, and green paint.  I told them to add white and make tints.
I told them to paint each square with the tints.
In the following art class, they drew and painted a pumpkin. 
When painting the pumpkin, I encouraged them to use several tints of orange.
Once our painting was complete, we outlined the pumpkins with sharpies and glued them on our cool color painting.
Have a look!
I like this pumpkin project.  It does not just jump out at you with “Happy Halloween”or “Happy Thanksgiving”.  This is a Pumpkin “Pop Art” Project that includes lots of art basics, but I chose to focus on tints. 

Is a pumpkin a vegetable or a fruit?  My googling results seem to point towards fruit.  What kind of fruit?  Sit down, folks.  A Pumpkin is a BERRY!
Speaking of Berries, here is Chuck Berry jamming with Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.  Pretty cool jam session…

Third Grade Scarecrows were a great fall project.  The students had been studying sunflowers, so we did a project and included a sunflower.  Also, I was able to talk just a wee, little bit about Van Gogh’s sunflowers.  Hey, I sneak the artists in wherever I can.

I talked a little about Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflowers.
Then, I got kids to draw a scarecrow and include sunflowers in the drawing.
The kids painted with tempera.
The kids outlined with sharpie.
Scarecrows are used to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from feeding on seed or growing crops.

Crows?  Did I mention Crows?
What about The Black Crowes?
The Black Crows were a band (1989-2015).  The band began in 1989, in Marietta, Georgia.  Where did the name of the band come from?  The first name of the band, “Mr. Crowe’s Garden,” was named after Leonard Leslie Brooke’s children’s book, Johnny Crow’s Garden, written in 1903.
Leonard Leslie Brooke was a children’s book illustrator of pen and ink line drawings and watercolors.  

As usual, just finding a way to connect art and music.  

Here is The Black Crowe’s singing “Remedy”.
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