Grade 3 – Fall Units Update


Third graders have been so amazing while creating their landscape drawings inspired by Grandmas Moses. If you don’t know much about her, Anna Mary Robertson Moses, or as most people know her, Grandma Moses is considered a primitive artist. This is because she never had any formal art schooling, and actually picked up painting when she was 78 years old. To learn more about her we read the book Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Grandma Moses by Mike Venezia.


Labeling the foreground, middle ground, background, and horizon line

First students learned and identified the foreground, middle ground, background, and horizon line in some of Grandma Moses paintings. Then they spent time thinking about a place from memory that they would like to draw for their landscape drawing.  Some students decided on places they’ve visited on vacation, or places they’ve lived.  These sketches were then used as the basis for a final drawing. Many days were spent drawing all the important details, and coloring in with colored pencils.



Coloring the landscapes in with colored pencils took lots of hard work

Be sure to check out our online gallery on Artsonia to see all of the finished pieces, and to read the students artist statements.

In extra art, third graders in room 10 worked on creating a weaving that utilized a pattern.  These weavings are what I like to call ‘mug rugs’, which means the functional use is that they are similar to a coaster.


In second grade students create a weaving in connection to their Kenya studies in the classroom, so this unit builds on the skills learned in second grade. Students developed a pattern and planned it out prior to weaving. They also learned how to remove their weaving from the loom (what holds the weaving together while it’s being worked on), by tying the weft thread.


Again, check out some of the weavings below, and visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see all the work.  It should be noted that these galleries of student work is managed by the students, using our class set of iPads.



Extra Art Update: Grades 4-6


This year, students in grades 1-6 are rotating through an extra class of all 3 specials.  So that means each class gets to see me for extra art for 1/3 of the year.

I’ve been doing separate extra art units, instead of one class getting far ahead of the others.

Check out below to see what’s happened so far this year in extra art, grades 4-6!

Grade 4: Pouch Weavings

Students in fourth grade have been learning about and working on their pouch weavings.  When room 19 was here at the beginning of the year, they did traditional cardboard loom pouch weavings, where they decided on a color scheme, and decided if they wanted to do a pattern or a design.

During the fall I took a class through the EDCO collaborative that had a focus on using Contemporary Artists in the elementary art classroom.  I also presented at and attended the Massachusetts Art Education Association conference in November, and was inspired the keynote speaker Nathalie Miebach.

It was because of those two experiences I decided to rework the pouch weaving unit.  Nathalie uses weather data to create these amazing basket weavings.  Check out her Ted Talk here for more information!  It’s super cool. So, when room 18 came to extra art, I shared Nathalie’s work with the class, and each student came up with a focus for their weavings.  Some students needed to access weather data daily, so I created bookmarks for them to access on our class set of iPads.  Other students decided to gather their data on their own, so they took notes of what they observed outside our classroom window.

I’ve loved this re-imagined unit, and I just found out from the classroom assistant that is in that classroom that Nathalie’s work will be on display at the Fitchburg Art Museum.  The exhibit is called naturetech, and includes two other artists who use data to influence their work.  Click through for more info, and if you can, I’d highly suggest the artist talk on March 22 at 1:30pm.

Also, be sure to check out the Artsonia Gallery to see everyone’s completed weavings!

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Grade 5: Sol LeWit Collaborative Work & Artists Interviews

This is another new unit for this year, that was inspired by some professional development I participated in over the summer.  I was lucky enough to be able to go to the MTA Summer Conference in Williamstown, MA.  While there I took some time to visit Mass MOCA, where I finally got to see the amazing exhibit of Sol LeWitt’s work, who was a Conceptual artist who who write or create diagrams for ‘wall drawings’ that others would follow to create his work.  The actually artwork that was sold was the direction or diagram.  If you haven’t been out to Mass MOCA to see his work, I highly recommend it.

To explore his work, grade 5 students have been exposed to a number of his ‘wall drawings’, through a class lecture and more importantly via recreating the wall drawings using the directions Sol LeWitt created. They created group drawings and a whole class drawing.  At the end of the unit, they also divided into groups to interview each other.

Check out the work in our Artsonia Gallery, and check out the ConantArt youtube page to check out room 14’s videos.  I will post room 16’s interviews as soon as they finish them in the next couple of weeks.

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Grade 6: Fantastical Pen Design & Animation Tutorials

Six graders have worked through two units during extra art. They explored functional art, and envisioned, designed, and created sculpey pens.  I have done this unit in previous years, but it hasn’t always made the cut due to time.  I’m so happy I’ve been able to fit it back in.  The second unit that six graders worked on was a series of workshops that helped them learn how to create stop motion animations.  This unit was developed thanks to the amazing work the Animation Chefs have done.  Their youtube page is a great source of inspiration and tutorials.  Here I’ve linked to the handful that I used with six grade.

Be sure to check out our Artsonia Gallery to see the amazing pens the six graders have made.  Also, check back later in the year to see the original animations that they will be creating.

Pouch Weaving – Grade 4

Fourth grades in Mrs. Cole’s class have already finished their pouches, but Mrs. Mosher and Mrs. Bellomy’s classes aren’t far behind.  These photos are from students working in Mrs. Mosher’s class.    Before starting our pouches, 4th grade artists planned out a design or pattern on their pattern worksheet.  We watched this really sweet video I found on Youtube to get inspiration.  Check the bottom of this post for that video.  
After the pattern or design was created, each student learned how to measure and cut their loom, as well as how to warp the loom.  Warp is the yarn or thread that is held in place by the loom.  It’s what you weave into.  The weft is the yarn that you use to make the pattern or design.  It’s the colored yarn in this case.
 This took some time, but is worth it, because now they can create weavings outside of art class.
  These pouches have taken a lot of time, and Room 18 and Room 20 students are doing their best to get them done before the end of the school year.  

Weaving – Gr 3 (Room 10)


After spending a couple of classes prepping their looms for weaving 3rd graders in Room 10 are finally weaving with confidence!  

It definitely took some time, but it was well worth it.

So they will be eventually able to weave on their own, they had to first learn to warp their looms.  They also designed their weaving, so they had a plan of what they were going to do when they started weaving .

Check out the video at the bottom of the post to see the neat video that inspired everyone prior to starting our weaving.  

You’re going to see some really cool weavings when they are done! Stay tuned.