Saturday, November 20, 2010

Beaded Star Ornament- Part 1 of the "Jolly Walk" Series

My students have been asked to decorate a 10' tree for the "Jolly Walk" being held at our school on December 4. Because this is a community event, I of course said yes! But, then the enthusiasm turned to panic when I realized the logistics of what I was to take on: Make over 550 large ornaments that will be visually stunning with little or no budget. No problem!! After scanning the internet and brainstorming, I finally came up with some decent ornaments- and none required the use of uncooked macaroni glued to something. Bonus! Over the next few days, I will be featuring the ornaments that we have created to adorn this tree.


MATERIALS: lots and lots of beads, pipe cleaners or chenille stems (5 per student, plus some smaller scraps to connect segments), thin ribbon for hanging, nametags

STEP 1: Have students thread the beads on to their pipe cleaners, leaving about an inch unbeaded on each end.

Students need to put beads on five pipe cleaners.

STEP 2: To connect the pipe cleaners, twist the ends together as shown in the following photos:

Step Three: Once all of the pipe cleaners are twisted together on the ends, they must be joined where they criss-cross. I happened to have a bunch of pipe cleaner segments that I was able to use for this.

Push the pipe cleaners together where they criss-cross (between the beads) so that you can get a tighter connection.

Twist a pipe cleaner around the intersection and twist it into place to secure.

Continue to connect the sides where they cross.

Add a ribbon for hanging and, if needed, a nametag. Hang on the tree and enjoy!

A group of stars completed.

I will post a photo of the entire tree as soon as it is decorated- probably on December 4th.
Edited: Here is a (bad) photo of the tree. The tree won the People's Choice award. Great job, kiddos!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fingerprint Beads

This is a quick lesson I did with my pre-K students. I found the general idea on the Dick Blick website. Because I had some leftover Sculpey polymer clay and some Pearl-Ex powder pigments, I decided this was the perfect lesson to try with them.

MATERIALS: Sculpey polymer clay, Pearl-Ex powder pigments (you can get this at any craft store- although I have the large set, it is also sold in individual containers), 14 guage sculpture wire (I happened to have this lying around. Honestly, anything that you can use to make a hole in the center of the bead will work), something to string the beads on (we used stretchy cord), extra decorative beads

Have the kiddos play with the clay to soften it up and then roll each chunk into a ball.
STEP TWO: "Spear" each ball on to the wire. I pre-cut 6" lengths of wire and had the kids push their clay balls on to the wire like a shishkabob.
STEP THREE: Using Pearl-Ex powder pigments, the students dip their finger in and press down on each clay ball to make their beads.

Their fingerprints show up all shimmery. They love it! Caution: make sure they don't press too hard or the wires will come right through the top of the bead.

STEP FOUR: Bake the beads for 20 minutes at 250 degrees in a kitchen oven. I put their name tags right in with them.
Here are all of the kids' beads on the wires, ready to be baked.

HUGE CAUTION: Take the beads off the wires before you bake them!!! I learned this the hard way. If you bake them on the wires, they will break when you try to take them off. UGH!!

STEP FIVE: String the beads, using extra beads as fillers. My students only made five fingerprint beads, so they used some glass and other decorative beads that I had. I knew I would find a use for those someday!

Note: I knotted a small bead onto the end of their cord so that the beads would not fall off while they were stringing.

The kids loved these necklaces so much and were very proud to wear them home that day. This was a great fine motor lesson for my littlest artists.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Where have I been? I have actually been working on my own artwork. I recently took orders for custom artwork (a new venture for me) and was overwhelmed by the response! Below are some of the paintings I have done so far. I will be posting more student work very soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Under The Harvest Moon

This project was done with my first graders over a period of 4 classes. It is a great way to introduce VERTICAL, HORIZONTAL, & DIAGONAL lines.

9" X 12" construction paper in variety of colors (for "crops"), tempera paint in various colors, large (stubby) brushes, 12" X 18" paper in a variety of "sky" colors, fun paper for moons, glue, scissors, wallpaper, yarn, burlap, glitter, popsicle sticks, fine line permanent marker, orange & pink markers, glue gun (for teacher use only)


Introduce directional lines- vertical, horizontal, and diagonal. I have the students use their arms in the air to show me the direction of each of these.

Offer a variety of 9" X 12" paper for the students to create their "crops" from. Each student will need three pieces (I have them choose 3 different colors.)

Offer a variety of colors for the students to use in painting their lines. I chose to use up these autumnal colors from a previous project. I place two colors of paint on each table.

With their papers in a horizontal position, they begin to paint, vertical lines on one paper, horizontal on another, and diagonal on the third, alternating the two colors of paint as they go. We also discuss farmers (we are in a very rural community) and how they plant and plow in straight lines, so they try to keep their lines very straight also.

Tip for painting the horizontal lines: have them connect the corners first and then work outward from the center. It is much easier for them to comprehend this way!

Once their "crops" have finished drying, have the students rip each paper in half vertically. I have my students hold their papers as shown below. I tell them to pretend they are Little Bunny Foo Foo holding thier basket. It works!

Then, they make about a three inch tear from the top by bringing one hand toward them and one hand away. I use lots of modeling to demonstrate this. They will have a hard time tearing their paper if you don't take them through it step by step. To finish, they grab their paper by the sides and tear the rest of the way down. They keep oen half of their "crop" and the other half goes in our scrap box to be used for another project.
To glue the "crops", have the students make a glue line along one of their papers, following the straight edge.

This paper gets glued along the bottom edge of their "sky" paper. Because they have only glued the bottom edge, it has made a pocket, as shown below.

The students choose another "crop" and again glue the straight edge. This paper then tucks in behind the previous "crop" paper. Be sure to point out that no sky should be showing between the crops!

Finish by gluing the final "crop" paper behind the second. Students then add some glue behind all of the rows to secure them.

You will need a variety of "crafty" materials to make the scarecrow. This is a great time to use up those bits of yarn, scraps of wallpaper, and millions of popsicle sticks that have been dumped on you!

Approximate sizes for each paper (but I never measure them!):
Overalls: 3" X 6"
Shirts: 2.5" X 5"
Heads: 3" X 3"

I model, step by step on the board, how to draw the shirt on the back of their wallpaper scrap.

Have the students glue their sticks on the paper. I have found that it is best to place it in the bottom row of crops and not too close to the edge. After cutting out their shirt shapes, these are glued about 2 fingers' height above the stick. This is important or the stick will not show out the bottom of their scarecrows.

I then take them step by step through drawing the overalls of the scarecrow. I have a large scarecrow in the corner for them to observe also.

These are glued on top of the shirts and straps are made from scraps.

The head shapes are cut from tan colored wallpaper scrap. We discuss how farmers might make the heads from bags that are gathered at the neck. Also discuss the various shapes that make up the face: triangle for the nose, ovals for the eyes with a circle inside uncolored, circles for the cheeks. They use a ultra fine Sharpie to draw the faces on and use other markers to color them. The mouth is simply a smile with Xs on it to make the stitches.

Students use scrap orange paper to make pumpkins and glue these on. I remind them not to glue them above the scarecrows shoulder height or they will look like they are floating. We added lines with the skinny Sharpies and yarn bits made great stems.

I made the hats ahead of time using burlap and a hot glue gun. They are folded as shown below:

Moons can be made from any scrap paper that shimmers. Have students add shining stars in the sky by adding dots of glue and sprinkling glitter on top.
If you can find them, little leaves may be added around the pumpkins. Yarn bits work great for the "stuffing" of the scarecrow. Simply have students glue some on the end of each arm & leg and on the head for hair.

Finally, I have the students line up to get their hats hot glued on.

Aren't they stinkin' cute?

You can view our entire gallery of ScareDudes on Artsonia.