Painted Piggies – 1st Grade

Supplies
black Sharpie markers
cardboard circle templates (cut from cereal boxes, etc)
12×18 white sulphite construction paper
pink, white and black tempura paint
glitter tempura paint (Lakeshore Learning brand not recommended)
small round brushes
fat round brushes

25 1st graders and paint is an ambitious combo for a one-class Art Parent lesson.  But they hardly ever get to paint!  So I forged ahead.

Drawing pigs is easy.
Tracing a template for the head ensures big pigs and a good start for everyone.  Then, they moved their circles down a bit to draw an oval body around the template.  “Arms,” legs, ears, eyes and a snout were easy for them.  I reminded them – no details – because they’d be painting over everything with a fat brush.

Mistake #1 – The kids wrote their names on the back of the paper with their Sharpies.  I should have had them sign the front.  Later, when they added paint, some of the signatures showed through.

Painting and mixing tints successful, too.
Palettes on the tables had only pink and white, at first.  Pure pink for all but the snout, hands and feet.  Then, mix in white for the snout.  Not everyone ended up with two distinct pinks, but the mixing experience is good!  Then, everyone got a bit of black to make grey for the hands and feet.

Oops – no tails!

Mistake #2
I had told the children not to draw a tail with marker.  I thought a curly tail with a swoosh of the paintbrush would be easiest – they could outline it later.  But I forgot to remind them when they were painting their pigs!  So out came more pink paint and just-washed brushes.

Outlining with black paint okay (for most).
Ideally, the pigs would’ve been left to dry at this point.  But an Art Parent lesson is done in just one class, so I handed out skinny brushes and black paint for outlining, and hoped for the best.  It’s a great exercise for developing fine motor skills, but challenging for this age group.

Backgrounds
Glitter paint is awesome, and I wanted the kids to be able to choose a fun color for their backgrounds.  We squirted the paint directly on to their papers, encouraging them to leave a bubble around their pigs, so as not to smear the still-wet black paint.

Mistake #3
I used Lakeshore Learning glitter paint that I already had, but knew was crummy (weird, “gross” consistency).  Try ArtMinds at Michaels, instead.

Still, these are mighty cute pigs.
Why pigs?  It was 60 degrees, so I scrapped the snowman project I had planned.  And my son wanted to teach his friends our “Shake Your Piggy Bank” dance, one of his favorites from my kids’ Zumba® playlist.

Finally, we read one of Mo Willems’ Piggie and Elephant books, Elephants Cannot Dance!

All ages can Roll-A-Turkey!

Here’s an easy, fun activity for Thanksgiving get-togethers.  And there’s no prep for the hostess!
Roll-A-Turkey

Today I played it with 25 first graders during their “Turkey Day” centers.  They used black Sharpies with feathers taped on the ends to draw with.
Thanksgiving party activity

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.

Check Target’s Dollar Spot or Dollar Tree for dice.

“I Wanna Wash My Haaaands!”

These kindergartener-made polar bears are adorable.  But applying paint with marshmallow “stamps?”  Not quite the hit I expected it to be!

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.

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Watercolor Birds in 35 Minutes

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.  Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #11 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #10 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #9 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #9 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #8 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #8 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #7 James Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #6 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #5 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #4 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #3 James Rizzi lesson 2nd grade Rizzi bird 2nd grader

 

Native American Portraits (by 5 and 6-Year-Olds!)

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.

Lines & Shapes ArtLines & Shapes IndianI 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).

I encouraged them to keep their marks big and loose, reminding them that the colors would smear in the next step.
Step 1 - black Sharpie drawingStep 2 - Color in Hair with SharpieStep 3 - Color with washable markersStep 4 - Add water with brush

 

 

 

 

 

 

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).

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Faces Art LessonAn 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!Native American Watercolor #6Native American Watercolor #5Native American Watercolor #2Native American #1Native American Watercolor #3Native American Watercolor #2Native American Watercolor #8Native American Watercolor #18Native American Watercolor #18Native American Watercolor #11Native American Watercolor #10Native American Watercolor #4Native American Watercolor #7Native American Watercolor #13Native American Watercolor #14Native American Watercolor #17

Native American Watercolor #16