Regular Art Update: Grades K- 2 – So Many New Units!


With the addition of the trimesters of extra special, I’ve had about 12 extra classes with each grade level. Instead of coming up with something new right at the beginning of the year, I decided to teach units I’ve already done. Now that we’re are just 14 days away from the end, I’ve got lots of new units and lessons to share.

It’s been pretty hectic, so I don’t have pictures of everything, but check out below for some info about what we’ve been working on in art.

Grade K: Kinders have been working on exploring texture recently. They learned the difference between visual and actual texture, how to create rubbings of texture, and how to create texture in clay to create some amazing texture medallions. Some of the kinder’s texture collages were displayed at the high school in room 115N for all to see during May. The texture medallions were strung on elastic cord, and students were able to create beaded necklaces or bracelets, just in time for mother’s day. Check out a few of the pictures below to see the awesome work they did.

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Grade 1: In connection with their Japanese studies first grade made origami paper, which we’ve done previously. They created pecking birds, jumping frogs, and tumblers with the paper.  Check out this short video to see the pecking birds in action, and click through to check out the Artsonia gallery to see the tumblers.

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Besides the origami, we also learned about Children’s Day, which is a Japanese holiday that celebrates children.  During Children’s day, koinobori are flown outside of homes. Students created their own koinobori, or carpe flags in preparation of Children’s day in May. Check out some of the koinobori below, or click through to check out the Artsonia gallery.

Grade 2: A lot of what we’ve done this year has been connected to grade two’s study of Kenya.  It’s just so rich with things to explore.  I developed a new mask making unit, in connection to the African artwork we had on loan from the Gallery of African Art in Clinton.   Second graders were taught how to create a faux wood grain on oak tag, as well as how to connect paper pieces using tabs.  With that basic knowledge, they were challenged to create a mask using their problem solving skills.  Students helped each other out, as well as came to me for support.  I just love all the work they put into these! Check out their finished masks by clicking through to visit our Artsonia gallery.

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Grade two also created thumb pianos for the second year in a row.  Students learned how to sand and prepare the wood for adding color.  When ready they decorated their thumb piano base with patterns inspired by Africa.  With the help of myself, or a parent volunteer, the keys to their thumb pianos were attached, and ready to be played.  Click through to check out the gallery on Artsonia.  You will be amazed with the details in their patterns.

A selection of thumb pianos from room 5

A selection of thumb pianos from room 5

Check back tomorrow for an update as to what has been happening in grades 3 through 6!


Catching Up – Grades K, 1, & 2 – Regular Art


It always seems that each year I get behind on sharing what is happening in the art room.  This year it hit right around the holiday’s, which I think everyone can understand…..But good news is, I’m finally catching up!

Scroll down to check out what we’ve been up to at Conant in grades k-2 recently!

Grade K has been up to a lot since I last posted.  Each section has been working on a unit about sculpture, where they’ve been exploring a variety of sculpture materials.  Provided we don’t have any more delays or snow days,  both sections should start on their final sculpture this week!

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Grade 1 has been learning about shape and color via inspiration from Wassily Kandinsky’s painting Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles. Students explored brushstrokes and color mixing, reviewed the primary and secondary colors, and reviewed how to paint.  I love how varied these paintings are!  Be sure to check out all the work in our Artsonia Gallery.

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Grade 2 has been using African animals as our inspiration for our sculpture & painting unit.  We finished up our sculpture unit in mid January, and have started our African animals painting.  For our painting we were inspired by the work of Nick Brandt, who is a photographer working and living in Kenya.  His work in Kenya is now part of the Big Life Foundation, which he founded to help protect and animals and wild lands of East Africa. Our paintings have been created to look like portraits of the animals, the same way you would see portraits of people. Check out the photos below to see the sculptures and paintings, and be sure to check out our Artsonia gallery to look at all the sculptures!

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Grade K – Painted Paper & Moving Vehicle Collage


Kindergarteners have been exploring the elements of art, and we’ve moved onto shape and color.  Students learned how to use paint tools properly, and how to mix the primary colors into the secondary colors.  We’ll focus more on color a bit later in the year.

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We then learned that lines make shapes, and shapes are what make all the objects in our artwork.  We learned about geometric shapes and organic shapes, and focused on using geometric shapes to make moving vehicles.  The moving vehicles were made using the art technique collage, and the background is a drawing done with crayons.

Be sure to check out our Artsonia gallery to see the finished work!
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Grade K – Exploring Line & Materials


Students in kindergarten have been spending the first part of the year exploring some of the Elements of Art.  We’ve learned a lot about line, through the use of a Notebook file on the Smartboard.  Students spent time doing a photo sort, to reinforce what images had lines in them, and what did not.

Finally they spent time drawing a variety of lines that criss-crossed their page. It was with that activity that students discovered that lines make the shapes, and shapes can be used to make the details in our artwork.  Check out the photos below to see some students finding shapes in their drawings.  They were asked to use their imagination to turn the shape into something.  I found a ghost and building in my shapes.  I heard kindergarteners finding dinosaurs, skateboards, and all sorts of cool things in their own work.

To wrap up this unit, students shared what they learned about the variety of drawing materials we used, which included crayons, colored pencils, markers, and oil pastels.


Exploring 3D Materials – Grade K


Kindergarteners at Conant have started exploring 3D materials in art.  They’ve learned that 3D is short for 3-dimensional, and how you can transform a 2D piece of paper into a 3D piece of paper (by crumpling it up).  

As part of their exploration, they created some temporary sculptures with building blocks.  During this lesson, they also worked on their observation skills, drawing their sculptures as they worked.  We’ll be spending a few more classes exploring materials, before we make a permanent sculpture.
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Wire Sculptures – Grade K


A few more wire sculptures are about to go home very soon.  I’ve cycled through the last group of wire sculptures, chosen by the students themselves, in Room 1. They will be coming out of the display case to be taken home soon.

Here you will find a collection of sculptures by the AMK and PMK students of Room 1. 

Grade k students loved exploring 3-dimensional art, making their wire sculptures.  Their titles got really inventive as well.  It was great to learn more about what they were thinking when making their art.

Learning About Line – Grade K – AMK


In all 3 kindergarten sections we have started talking about some Big Ideas. Today in the AMK class our focus was understanding that: 

Line and shape are the foundation of drawing.


Artists use and maintain a variety of drawing tools.
We spent some time talking about what exactly a line is. It was hard to define at first, but we realized that a line is a mark that can make up the letters we write, or the pictures we draw.
We use lines to make shapes which make up the details of our drawings or paintings.
After our conversation about what line is, we set to work exploring some materials, learning some new lines, and practicing drawing many types of line.
I think the most exciting part of the lesson for the AMK students was when I drew my lines on the Smartboard along with them.
If they haven’t shown you the lines the learned to draw yet, make sure to ask them!
  1. Massachusetts Art Curriculum Frameworks

    1.1  Use a variety of materials and media, and understand how to use them to produce different visual effects.

  2. 1.2  Create artwork in a variety of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) media.
  3. 1.3  Learn and use appropriate vocabulary related to methods, materials, and techniques.
  4. 1.4  Learn to take care of materials and tools and to use them safely.
    2.2  For line, explore the use of line in 2D and 3D works.  Identify a wide variety of types of lines in the environment and in artwork.
    4.3 As a class, develop and use criteria for informal classroom discussions about art.
    5.1  In the course of making and viewing art, learn ways of discussing it, such as by making a list of all of the images seen in an artwork (visual inventory); and identifying kinds of color, line, texture, shapes, and forms in the work.