A paper copy has been floating around my family for years, so I googled it and found a free, printable PDF at littlegiraffes.com. Kudos to whomever thought this up! If you send me a message, I would love to credit you.
The original lesson comes from Kids Artists (tagged for slightly older children) and I adapted it to suit our 30-minute time frame.
My son and 18 of his classmates traced a paper plate with pencil on blue 12-x18 paper for the bear’s face. Then added half-circle ears. They used a big marshmallow to add white tempura paint for fur, and a mini-marshmallow to add snow. Eyes and a mouth were made with a small brush (they were so relieved!) and black tempura paint.
With no time for the white paint to dry, I thought they’d be disappointed in how a big, black painted nose would turn out. So they stuck on pre-cut noses made from sparkly adhesive-backed foam (love that stuff!).
A few children were interested in making grey, which I showed them individually so they could add depth to the insides of the ears and under the bear’s chin. But most were desperate to wash their hands!
The biggest hit of this project? Eating marshmallows once everyone’s hands were clean and reading aloud The Marshmallow Incident.
Yet another successful Art Parent lesson inspired by Deep Space Sparkle!
In 35 minutes, the 22 kids in my daughter’s second grade class learned about James Rizzi, an American pop artist who died last month, and “painted” these funny little birds that pop up in much of Rizzi’s work. Nuggets about Rizzi that the kids enjoyed – a public elementary school in Germany bears his name and he painted on cars, a jet plane, fancy dishes and a house.
The kids drew on 11×15 watercolor paper with black Sharpie markers. Click here for Patty’s simple drawing instructions.
Liquid watercolors would’ve done a better job at mimicking Rizzi’s bright colors, but because of our time constraints, the children colored their birds with washable markers and then added water with a brush for a quick watercolor effect (my own children’s old Pip-squeaks work great for this).
They even had time to make their own frames. I pointed out the graphic doodles that Rizzi added to frame some of his work, and the kids went to town with my favorite metallic Sharpie markers on black paper. This last step satisfied the children who had been itching to add detail to their birds.
19 kindergarteners were so proud today when they made these Native American Indian Portraits, based on a drawing in Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Faces.
Ed Emberley’s books are a wonderful way to approach drawing with young children. He breaks down all of the things that kids like to make – faces, animals, fire trucks – into basic lines and shapes, making drawing fun and giving kids lots of confidence.
I showed the kids these shapes and lines and asked them what they saw. Thought I was being cute when I wondered out loud if anyone could see a Native American face. When several of them said, “Yes!” it kind of messed up my big reveal :) – this guy I’d made on a Word document just using the shapes toolbar:
Anyway, the kids started with an 11×15 piece of watercolor paper, a black Sharpie and a rectangle cardboard template for the face, just to give them a starting point for size. They followed a directed drawing lesson (step-by-step instructions with me drawing at the same time), and then colored in the hair with their Sharpies. Next step, they had fun with washable colored markers. (Any washable marker will do, but my own children insist that Crayola Pip-Squeaks work best).
Then, with a brush and water, they turned their drawings into beautiful watercolor art. Each child had a brush and folded paper towel. Their work was dry enough at the end of our 45 minutes to mount on black paper (12×18 trimmed for a frame).
An explanation of the lesson was attached to the back of the frame and the kids added their names in silver metallic Sharpies.
A great art-themed companion book to this lesson would be When a Line Bends…A Shape Begins.
I am so pleased with these results, as were the young artists. Thank you, Ed Emberley!