Grade 4 – Fall Units Update


Fourth graders have been very busy in regular art, learning how to create a realistic looking still life drawing.  They learned how to show space or depth in their work by overlapping objects and how to draw cylinders 3-dimensionally.  To understand these concepts, students utilized our class iPads and the app Explain Everything to photograph still lifes they set up, and draw on the photographs.  This helped them see how to draw what they were seeing. Finally students practiced observation drawings in pencil, and moved onto their final, which was colored with oil pastels.

Check out the in progress photographs below, and be sure to visit Conant to check out some of the work on display in the front lobby.  OR visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see all the work.

Still Life 2

Still Life 3

Still Life1

In extra art, which ended this past week, students in room 19 worked on a weaving unit that combined science and art.  The work was inspired by the artist Nathalie Miebach who creates sculptural basket weavings that are determined by a collection of scientific data, typically weather data. Students learned and studied her work, and then set out to use a data set of their choosing to create a pouch weaving.  The most popular data set was the temperature of a particular location for a month or so.  Students were able to use weather underground to research data as far back as 2005, in a number of locations all around the world.

Be sure to check out the in progress photos below, and visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see the finished pouches, and to read the artist statements explaining what data they used.

We also have big things coming with units that student teacher Miss LeBold has developed for these last few weeks before the winter break.  Be sure to check the ConantArt instagram feed for more frequent updates!


Regular Art Update: Grades 3 & 4


Grade 3: Third graders learned about the group of artist known as the Fauvists.  We looked at some of the paintings by Henri Matisse and compared them to Claude Monet, to learn about how the Fauvists were creating paintings very different from most painters at the time. Taking our cues from the Fauvists, third graders were limited in their color choices, and were pushed to try non-representational colors for their landscapes. Check out some in-process photos below, and make sure to click through to see the finished pieces on Artsonia!

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Grade 4: This new unit has to be one of my favorite new units this year.  Inspired by a high school art teacher from North Carolina, I decided to share with fourth grade my love of street art.  We looked at Shepard Fairey’s work, and talked about the art of street art.  They had lots of questions, mostly about it being legal or not! Their assignment was to collaborate with a partner to create a hitchhiker street art character.  Check out the many photos below, and click through to see everyone’s work on Artsonia!

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Catching Up – Grades 3, 4, 5, & 6 – 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 3 -6 recently!

Grade 3 has been working on their biography portraits, which are created in connection with the research they do in their classroom for their biography reports.  For more information about the unit, check out my EDCO collaborative EdTech post here.  Also, be sure to check out the finished drawings by visiting our Artsonia gallery.

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Grade 4 has been working on their nonrepresentational watercolor paintings.  They’ve learned a variety of techniques, created Explain Everything videos to share how to do those techniques, and have almost finished up their final paintings.  Be sure to check back to see the finished pieces.  They should be uploaded to Artsonia later this week!

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Grade 5 has been diligently working through a number of drawing workshops in their sketchbook to prepare for a colored pencil self portrait.  They’ve learned about contour drawing, line shading, value scales, color blending, and facial proportion.  We just started our self portraits, and should be done after February break. Be sure to check out our Artsonia gallery after the break to check out the finished drawings!

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Grade 6 has been exploring making figurative wire sculptures of people in action.  We started the unit by practicing our gesture drawing skills, which included some students posing for the classmates. Before starting our final sculptures, we did some idea sketches in our sketchbooks.  Students are really working on their problem solving skills with this unit. Check out the photos below to get a better idea of what they’ve been doing.

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Grade 4 – Still Life Drawings


Fourth graders have been working hard, learning how to show space or depth in their art work; practicing their observation skills; and learning a new blending technique with oil pastels and baby oil.  Learn more about the technique from my post last year.

This year we set up 2 still life’s, which allowed for more choice in terms of what they wanted to draw, AND it allowed for greater observation, since everyone was a bit closer to the still life they were drawing.  It worked out really well, and I’m happy room 19 made the suggestion!


Click through to see the finished pieces in our student curated online gallery on Artsonia!

Grade 4 – Prepping & Practicing: Still Life Drawing


Fourth graders have been preparing for their final still life drawing for a number of weeks now.  They’ve explored how to draw 3-D objects using iPads & the app Explain Everything, which allowed them to really understand how perspective distorts objects.

After that, a number of classes were spent practicing careful drawing from observation.  One word that was shared for this type of looking was ‘examine’.  It’s perfectly explains what they are doing.  In order to create the illusion of space, students learned how to draw the objects so they overlapped on another, as well as placing the objects closest closer to the bottom of the page.  That technique is known as ‘placement on the page’.

As students start to finish up they will color their work with oil pastels, learning how to blend with oil pastels.

Check out the students working below, and make sure to check out the Artsonia gallery soon.  As students finish up, they will upload their work using one of our class iPads.



Practicing observation drawing skills


Some practice drawings – Only in pencil


Final still life drawing with 2 still life’s set up in art.

Functional Art – Coil Pots – Grade 4


Fourth grade has been exploring the difference between functional art and non-functional art.  These two types of art are some times referred to as craft and fine arts.  Craft is often times seen as the lesser of the two arts, which is why we use the terms functional and non-functional.  After having a conversation about these two types of art, we started working on our coil pots.  All grade 4 classes have finished building their coil pots.  I am just waiting for the coil pots to dry out, then I will bring them to the junior high to be fired in the kiln. Check out the photos below to see room 18 in action.


Still Life Oil Pastel Drawings – Grade 4


Fourth grade students have blown me away with their observation drawing skills this year. I am so impressed. I have taught a still life lesson with fourth grade every year for the last ten years. This year, I was inspired to mix it up a bit, and did a google search for elementary art still life ideas (I think!). I ended up finding a number of blog posts about using baby oil and q-tips to blend oil pastels. This inspired me to shelve my mixed media still life lesson, and proceed with this new technique.  Boy, am I happy I did that, and I think the fourth graders are as well!  Besides learning this new technique, students in art also learned about how to show space or depth in their work.  They learned about overlapping, placement on page, and relative size. Students are sharing their work via our online gallery at Artsonia.  Be sure to check out the work below, and the work on Artsonia!