Tessellations are pretty cool! They are congruent shapes that fill a space in a pattern, with no gaps or overlapping. In other words, they fit together like a puzzle. I’ve been doing these simple slide tessellations for a couple of years now. After we create the shapes using cardstock paper, students try to turn their abstract shape into a recognizable form. Some kids are great at this step while others need some help from their peers. Once the shape is tessellated on the paper, students use Sharpie markers to outline and either watercolor pencils or colored pencils for color.
Zentangles seem to be all the rage lately. I keep seeing them pop up all over Pinterest and other art education sites. Here is just one example of Zentangle artist trading cards that I found on a Pinterest board. I've even heard them to be "yoga for your brain", which I thought was really cool!
As my 6th grade students started up art a few months ago, I wanted to remind them about the elements of art. I thought Zentangles would be a great way to talk about the use of line. Rather than doing a straight up Zentangle, we first sketched living things...animals or plants for the most part...that happened to have natural patterns in them. We then put our line and shape patterns inside the natural patterns of the living things using black Sharpie markers. As a final touch students used colored Sharpies in either the animal or the background to give it some contrast. They worked hard on these and are very proud of their finished work!
Yesterday I mailed in our school's entries for Doodle 4 Google. This year’s theme was, "If I could travel in time, I'd visit..." There were lots of creative and innovative ideas! Many students thought it would be great to go back in time to witness a specific historic event, while others thought it would be neat to visit a different era in time all together. Check out some of the Coolidge entries below and good luck to all of the participants!
Recently I was searching around the internet for some new lesson ideas and I came across the Blick art supply site. They have TONS of lesson ideas to try out with various grade levels. One in particular that grabbed my eye was one called Architectural Letters.
I already had most of the supplies, so I decided to try this lesson with my eighth grade 3D elective class with a few modifications. We started using the paper tape that was suggested in the lesson, but then switched over to paper-mache. The paper mache actually worked much better as it was quicker to apply, covered more surface area and went on smoother. It also required a LOT of cups. I must have gone through about 300 cups with my forty students.
My students had a lot of fun with this project. The best part was seeing the variety of ways they decorated the surface of their letters. Once a few kids started using glitter and splattering paint it became contagious!