"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wycinanki Evergreen Tree Paper Cuts-outs

This is a great lesson for the last couple of weeks before school lets out for Christmas vacation. It involves only paper, a hole punch, scissor and glue sticks. Very little prep but yet still results in gorgeous artwork- my kind of lesson for right before the holidays when we're all tired!

I showed my Grade 5 students some examples of Polish wycinanki. These folk paper cutouts were used in the 1800's by Polish peasants to decorate their houses. It was a cheap craft for them as it only involved scissors and any type of paper. The cutouts are symmetrical with nature designs and geometric shapes and are also used for occasions such as Christmas.  They are also sometimes layered (different coloured cutouts placed one on top of another) to make a more intricate design.

We did trees in the Kurpie tradition: these are from the Kurpie region of east-central Poland are single coloured, often black or red, and cut from a piece of paper that is folded once or several times, making the image symmetrical.

You can see our Lowicz style (colourful layers) Christmas trees project I 
did a couple of years ago HERE.

Grade 5 students folded a white sheet of 9 x 12" white paper in half and sketched out half an evergreen tree. I give students the option of making a decorated Christmas tree (adding a star, Christmas balls, etc) if they celebrate Christmas (not all of our students do). I show them on chart paper how an evergreen tree starts out narrow at the top and gets progressively wider towards the bottom. They also include a hill of some sort and can add birds or something else as well for a challenge. Then they cut it out- this is VERY good practice in intricate cutting skills! Then, using a single hole punch, they can add circle details. 
Once carefully unfolded, they glue stick it to 9 x 12" black paper. 
For final sparkly decoration, I used white glue and silver glitter to add a border.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Carolers Collage

I've started my 'winter holiday' type lessons this past week as there tends to be so many missed classes and interruptions due to the busy nature of our school in December. 
My Grade 4's created these carolers out of construction paper. I've been wanting to try out this lesson for ages and finally got around to it. I found it HERE on the wonderfully charming Catalonian art blog "Plastiquem".

I laid out my 'multicultural' construction paper (I use Pacon brand)  for the student's faces. 
I also laid out smaller pieces of hair colours (blonde, shades of brown and black).

I made a template for the face shape (simple circle), toque, sweater and two mitts. The kids designed patterns for their own sweater, toque and mitts using markers. They cut out the face template and traced it onto their chosen skin colour and cut that out. Once everything was coloured and carefully cut out, they glued it onto black construction paper (night sky). They added hair under their toque.

Then they drew on their faces (simple, cartoon-y style) using a black marker.
I had small photocopies made of "Jingle Bells" sheet music. They folded that in half and glued it under their mittens. One very perceptive student asked, "Why is the sheet music facing outwards? Shouldn't it be facing inwards so they can read it?" hahaha- good point!

They added a pom- pom on their toque if they wanted.

Once everything was glued down nicely, they added snow in the night sky using 
the end of a thin paintbrush dipped in white tempera paint. 

I think they all look adorable!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Oil Pastel Scratch Art Owls

This is a homemade 'scratch art' type of lesson using oil pastels layered in contrasting colours, 
then scratched with a wooden bamboo stick.
I found THIS photo pinned on Pinterest but couldn't find the original source. Please tell me in the comments section if you know the originator of this project.

Grade 3 students started off by drawing an owl onto smooth cardstock, 
then outlined it using a thick Sharpie.

On scrap paper, they practiced using the oil pastels and decided on 
some contrasting colours to use. 

Colour in one area really thickly with one colour, then add another thick layer of a contrasting colour right on top. Using a bamboo stick/skewer, students scratched out various types of patterns.
Afterwards, we cut these out.You could also paint the background.

Some Grade 3 results:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Remembrance Day Painted Poppy

Every year for our school's Remembrance Day Assembly, I try and have some of my students make poppies for decorations.  See last year's poppies HERE.

This year, I had some students in Grades 4-6 free-hand draw poppies 
on large pieces of poster board and then cut them out. 
I demonstrated how to draw a simple poppy using 5 hearts.

Then students painted them using red tempera paint. 

Once dry a bit, they outlined them in black and painted the center.

Once dry they were cut out and varnished (Modge Podge). The edges curled up nicely 
and gave them a slight 3D effect to the petals.

I used a loop of packing tape on the back of each one and stuck them to the gym wall (painted cinder block- the tape worked well) in a flowing like free-style manner.
A simple but effective decoration.

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