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.
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Here are some “free” birds placed in the winter scene.  Why do I say free?  They were free because they were just painted paper in a pile.  I do like the pretty winter pieces of art.  The fifth grade did a great job.

Directions: 
1-The kids painted the background with white and blue acrylic.
2-The kids drew trees with sharpies and used sides of credit cards to make shadows.
3-The kids cut out the trees and glued them on the winter scene.
4-The kids drew birds on the painted paper and cut them out.  Then, they cut and glued  more paper and placed on the birds to make wings and eyes.  Some preferred to keep it simple with sharpie.  Of course, I encourage the cut paper because of the pretty colors.
Ooo Lala!

Even heard people yell Freebird at a concert?  If you do not know, “Freebird” was a song sang by the band Lynyrd Skynyrd in the 1970s.

When I was a teenager, we would get out Bic Lighters and yell, “Freebird,” to get bands to do an encore.  Of course, I googled and found a few other interesting Freebird scenarios.
 
From the Student Union Blog by Jessica Stahl,  I read that the band Lynyrd Skynyrd would yell out and ask the audience what they wanted to hear and the fans would yell back, “Freebird.”  Also, the same article had this to say about yelling Freebird.

Kevin Matthews is a Chicago radio personality who has exhorted his fans — the KevHeads — to yell “Freebird” for years, and claims to have originated the tradition in the late 1980s, when he says he hit upon it as a way to torment Florence Henderson of “Brady Bunch” fame, who was giving a concert. He figured somebody should yell something at her “to break up the monotony.” The longtime Skynyrd fan settled on “Freebird,” saying the epic song “just popped into my head.”

Anyways, here is Free bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
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In the art lesson below, the night got dark really fast!  Oops, we added a little too much black!  Oh well, sometimes I let kids goof.  I have found that the kids seem to learn better when they see what their mistakes can cause.  Don’t we all?

Directions:

I gave the kids blue, white, and black paint.
I told them that I wanted white to gradually turn to light blue, medium blue, dark blue, and then eventually to black.
Once they got the layers of tints/shades of blue, they painted a winter scene.
Then, they splattered some white to represent the snow. 
Some of the paintings look like a snowstorm rather than a serene winter night.
Oh well.  Things sometimes turnout a little different than you plan.  Art teachers are very aware of the many surprises in store when doing art with kids.
Everybody lives and learns.

Perfect song for this post…The Bangles singing “Hazy Shades of Winter” with scenes from the movie, Less Than Zero with Robert Downey, Jr. and Andrew McCarthy (1987).

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While surfing the web, I ran across an artist named, Bart Vargas. The project below was adapted based on Bart Vargas work.
Who is Bart Vargas?  I found an amazing video with Bart giving a Tedx Talk.  Seriously, the video is an awesome way to introduce Bart Vargas to middle and high school students.
Have a look below at Bart Vargas Art and check out his website Bart Vargas.

Directions:

Students marked the 14″ x 14″ paper in one inch increments on all 4 sides of the paper.
Then, they drew each line to a center dot.
Students picked a stencil and centered the stencil in the middle of the paper.
Students traced the stencil onto the artwork using a light table.
Students made 10 shades of a color and painted sporadically on their art.
Students made 10 tints of a color and painted sporadically on their art.
For the remaining unpainted slots, the students could paint color(s) of their choice.
One of the last steps was painting the stencil in the middle of the art.
After all the paint was dry, the students used a sharpie to outline each painted slot.

Although the directions seemed complicated, they are really quite simple.  The students were able to review tints and shades.  Also, they were given lots of choices in developing their particular artwork.

Have a look at these cool results by my 7th Graders.

Bart, The Who asked the same question back on August 18, 1978.
“Who Are You”?”

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