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!
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.
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.
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!