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Friday, December 23, 2011

An Awesome Art Year

I am very excited to show the art of the Carpenter Students. First, I want to thank all of the parents who have kindly come in and volunteered in the Art Room. I really appreciate it. Second, I am constantly impressed by the engagement and enthusiasm my students bring to the Art Room. It inspires me. And thirdly, I want to thank everyone who views the work of the Carpenter students and acknowledges their work. This makes my job so enjoyable. Have a Happy New Year and enjoy the work of Carpenter students.


In Kindergarden the students learned to make pinch pots out of clay. Students received a ball of clay and then they pushed the center in gently and create a round dish. The clay pinch pots were glazed and I placed different colored marble inside the pinch pots. Each of the 4 Kindergarden classes had a different color glaze and marble so I would know which class was who's. The pinch pots were gifts for the Kindergardeners to give to whom ever they wanted. They are to be used to hold rings, coins or any other trinkets.

Kindergardeners spend a lot of time on the concept of construction. The Big Orange Splot is the book I used to inspire students to create and decorate their own houses. We talked about doors, windows and roofs. Each student was given a rectangle and a triangle to construct a house. They created the details and environment.


Mr. Szczygiel, AAPS Naturalist/ Environmental Educator,  stopped in and visited all 4 Kindergarden Classes to talk about animals and the weather. Students in the Art Room made bears and created a stone cave on a brown paper bag. Students placed their bears in the bags to hibernate over the winter along with the following poem:

Mr. Bear says all he wants to do is sleep

Now that winter's here and snow is very deep

He has curled up in his den

And we probably won't see him

Till the spring when all he'll want to do is eat!

Students were instructed to take the bears home in their caves and find a place like a closet or under the bed for the bears to hibernate. We watched Bear Snores On and scheduled Bear Wants More for the Spring when students return their bears. 

Students constructed snowmen by using a round sponge. Students had to have 3 different sizes of snowballs, starting with the smallest on top. Student had to create a ground for their snowmen as well.

I read the books Ish and Dot to inspire the students. These two books were great for illustrating that each person can have their own style and that when you practice art you can become a great artist.

Frederick, The Whale and the Raven and a Turkey Handprint projects were also done in the Fall in Kindergarden. These projects were taken home as the students finished them. Unfortunately I did not take pictures but I will post the samples when school resumes.

First Grade

 The First Grade Teachers have picked different authors that they will be focussing on: Kevin Henkes and Ezra Jack Keats. Since students will be going to Kensington Park in my hometown of Milford, Michigan after the first of the year, we started with Kevin Henkes' book Birds. Student made a bird color wheel based off the birds in the book. The birds include Blue Jays, Cardinals and Yellow Finches.

Students created Picasso inspired "Love" birds that with clay. Each student made a card to go with their bird in the style of Charlie Harper.

The First Graders made Turkey pictures to take home. I do not have images of these, but I heard they were great.

Second Grade

Second Graders have a Sound Unit they do in conjunction with Music. I have included this concept in Art. Students created a Turtle Rattle as part of a Humanities Art Lesson. The concept behind the Turtle Rattle was inspired by the book Thirteen Moons on the Back of Turtle which I used earlier in the year. Below is an example of a real turtle rattle and of the students' work. And, they do rattle!

I read The Lorax by Dr. Suess to the Second Graders to help them understand the concept of being mindful and not wasteful when it comes to resources we use, specifically trees. Second Graders made Lollipop Trees inspired by Hundertwasser. Enjoy!

 The last project we work on before break was inspired by Circles by Sonia Delaney. Each circle the students made had to represent either a thought or have some other personal meaning. Many students chose to have the circle represent their family members. Students learned that even Modern or Contemporary Art has meaning and reflects the ideas of the artist.

Students also made Dream Catchers. I will add photos later.

Third Grade

Each year Third Grade students are introduced to the planets. Here are the images the students made with the correct order of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. Each planet's size, color and placement help distinguish them from one another. Some students chose to add Pluto.

Third Graders study the relationship between the Sun, Earth and Moon. In this project the phases of the Moon are shown around the wolf. This project was inspired by an image I found that was done by an unnamed artist. Their image is below. I will post student images soon.

Every year Carpenter has been involved in a can food drive. Students in Third Grade create posters for the drive inspired by Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Can.

Third Graders made tiles based on the design of Frank Llyod Wright. Each tile represented a student's family and every circle represented someone important to them. Students worked with warm or cool glazes.

Third Graders did Picasso inspired Self Portraits. If you visit the office you will see these greeting each person who enters. I will post these images when we are back at school.

Third Graders study prism and the effect of light passing through an object. We discussed refraction and how all the colors are present. Below are examples of work inspired by another unknown artist.

Free Draw is something that students enjoy doing, particularly projects where half the image is provided. It is great for teaching symmetry. Also, they look great.

Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade students were introduced to Frank Stella, a Native Detroit Artist. Students used a protractor to create their designs. No erasers were allowed in the creation of these images. Students had to plan their designs. They traced their protractors so they would overlap but stopped where they would cut into another protractor. They did a great job.

Ted Harrison, a Canadian artist, inspired students to think about the water cycle and how water moves within a landscape. The images below are awesome.

Fourth Grade Students were introduced to Medieval and Renaissance Art through the Unicorn Tapestries. Students learned that the Unicorn was a symbol for creativity. With this information students were given part of a tapestry to glue to drawing paper. They were allowed to choose an image like a dragon, castle, unicorn or horse. The only rule was that their drawing had to reflect the design and patterns in the tapestry along with the color scheme.


Fourth Grade student watched a PPT about Whimsical Houses. Students were instructed to be inspired by the works they saw. With a template, a slab roller and pattern rollers students were able to construct their houses in clay in 1 hour. Students glazed with a texture glaze that added personality and whimsy. 

The next project will be weaving. Some students have already begun.

Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade students made Oaxacan Clay Animals. Student had to paint using the traditional method of the Alberijes Artist they saw on a PPT. Below are samples of their work.

This project was one that allowed the Fifth Graders to pick and draw 20 images on circles that either told a story or was part of a theme. They took their time and did a great job. After they were done with their drawing they cut out the 20 circles and constructed a Icosahedron.

Here are the Icosahedrons.

Our next project is tesselations inspired by MC Esher.