Junior High

Humane League Animals

8th Grade students created portraits of animals to accompany their community project to support the Humane League. After learning about using art for advocacy, they used the math and grid method to measure and get accurate proportions in their work. They chose materials like watercolor, oil pastel, colored pencil, or acrylic paint to make their portraits. They also created posters on their computers to accompany their chosen pets, some of which were actual animals available for adoption!dogs

 

 

Dreams realized- my new classroom…

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After 2.5 years of hard work and sacrifices, a summer filled with applications and interviews, my dream of becoming a full-time ART teacher has been realized!!! I know how blessed I am and am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity. I will be teaching 5, 6, 7 & 8th grade art at a school in a nearby town (Middle school- my FIRST choice!!) After many hours of cleaning and reorganizing- my class is finally ready and almost perfect. I say almost because it is missing the wonderful energy and artwork of my students. I can’t wait to get started!!

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Middle School Art Show

After weeks of hanging artwork and preparation, this past week was the middle school art show. This night of art is usually paired with the vocal ensemble and bands; however, this year that was not to be so. In its place rose the idea of a poetry slam. It was a great night where the students were able to express themselves through their original poetry and visual art. This night was just another example of how important the arts are in our school.

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Naturally Plastic Sculptures

ImageThe idea behind naturally plastic sculptures wass to merge a “plastic” material, with a “nature” inspired theme. I began the lesson with a powerpoint showing how nature has inspired artists all the way back to Paleolithic times. It included painters, architects and contemporary artists like Katy Stone and Priscilla Fowler

The main problem the students needed to figure out was how will they create an organic looking sculpture using a type of Dura-lar (non-traditional “man made” material). After experimenting with it, I found that you can paint on it and also create fabulous stiff shapes by shaping the material and heating it in boiling water. The Dick Blick site had a Chihuly lesson which is cute for the younger set- but I wanted to give a lesson with more depth, and give more choice in materials to the students. They will also be using foam core, paint, acrylic gloss medium, modeling paste, copper and silver wire, and fishing line. It could be a tabletop, wall relief or hanging chandelier sculpture.

The compositions they created needed to look and feel organic. Rather than just have them sketch from printouts, I thought it would be so much more interesting to use real objects. I was able to borrow specimens from the science room, from home, and from my yard for the students to work off of. A project wall visually displayed anything they needed to know about the project- along with the printed slides from my presentation. Below are photos from the classroom.

This is where the class could reference anything they needed to know about the project.

This is where the class could reference anything they needed to know about the project.

During the process, the students had many opportunities to assess their own work, to decide if it is complete, to decide on the direction of their piece and to choose work for display.

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All materials were accessible to the students to encourage independent work.

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The Big Art Show

ImageThere is nothing more exciting for the students than seeing their work on display. Today we had the pleasure of participating in the end of semester reception featuring all the student’s wonderful work. It was such a delight for me to meet their parents and listen as the students proudly explained their work. I was pleased that they felt like real artists and owned their work. No two were the same and there were smiles all around.

With this class being over, I will certainly miss our students and hope that they will continue to appreciate and push forward with their own work. It is always an honor to be a part of their creative journey. I am already looking forward to and planning for my next adventure in the art classroom. I am going to go from teaching junior high students back to K through 4th graders. Stay tuned!

Inner Animal Drawing

Students were required to pick an animal they felt best represented them. We talked about the symbolism of animals in art throughout history, their own character traits and how they would apply them in a hybrid drawing of themselves as the animal. Emphasis is placed upon their animal character.  We had noticed how some of them are very interested in manga drawings so we allowed them to use that style if they wanted. We also had my daughter (who is in high school) visit and do a demonstration on Manga drawing. They seemed to really enjoy this project. Some students had never worked on black paper or the pastels so this really pushed them out of their comfort level. After a brief demonstration with the materials they were inspired to get to it.

Materials: Heavy black drawing paper, oil pastels, prismacolors

 

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