Monday, April 9, 2018

Ideas for Early Finishers

Please check out my previous article, "Ideas for Early Finishers" from Arts & Activities Magazine

Your students are in the middle of a project, but some of them are starting to approach you with finished artworks.  There are quite a few options you have for your early finishers that would work for you and your students.

Encourage students to enhance their pieces.  If your students followed all the objectives and finished far ahead, encourage your student to add more. Sometimes those extra finishing touches can make your student’s piece stand out! This is a good opportunity to do a formative assessment with your students to help them see their work from different perspectives.

Use this time for students to write artist statements or self reflections.  Since our school uses Artsonia, I have students include an artist statement along with their artworks.  If you use Artsonia, consider using the student mode for students to add their statements directly to their artworks.  You can also use Google Classroom with the intermediate grade levels, which makes it easy to copy and paste artist statements into Artsonia.

Create worksheets related to the project.  This also works as a good wrap up to a unit!  For many of my projects, I utilize worksheets to help build upon the objectives of the lesson.  

Create a resource center.  A resource center provides additional materials for students to use independently until all the students have completed their work.  Your resource center can be as small as a bin on your cart, or as large as a shelving unit in your room.   In my room, I have an art library shelving unit filled with many options for students to use once they have finished with everything listed above.   Your resource center can hold many of the items listed:

Coloring pages are not just for the kindergarteners! Even though I encourage the kindergarteners to practice coloring in the lines, all grade levels enjoy time to just color without worry.  

Blank paper is always good to have on hand.  There will always be a handful of students to want to use the time to practice their own drawing skills, and what better way to help inspire them to use “How to Draw” books.  

Scrap paper is another resource to have on hand since many kids enjoy making their own collages.  After trimming down paper for project sizes, I always have a pile of multicolor scraps that students love to use.  And if you teach them paper sculpture?  Your scrap bin will empty out faster than you know!

Art games can be fun and educational, without disturbing other students to are completing their artworks.  I have a bin in the art library containing games that students can play with two or more people, such as Art Lingo (a visual bingo that helps students with their art vocabulary), Hue Knew! (to help students match colors), Tangoes shape puzzles, and art puzzles.  The games are labeled in baggies for easy clean up with the art class is finished.

Art-inspired books are also a good resource to have in your stash.  Students love to borrow books from the art library, and many times, I catch them creating their own artworks inspired by the books they read!

What do you do for your early finishers?

Art Teacher Blogs

This post is a part of The Art Ed Blogger's Network: Monthly Tips and Inspiration from Art Teacher Blogs. On the first Tuesday each month, each of these art teacher blogs will post their best ideas on the same topic.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs:

Friday, April 6, 2018

Celebrating Earth Day in the Art Room: April's Stepping Stones

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd, which marks the anniversary of the start of the environmental movement in 1970. On that day, we find ways to take care of and replenish our planet. Earth Day is now the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year. There are many ways to recognize Earth Day within your classroom, as well as ways to conserve your materials and give your part in helping the earth. No matter how to try to help the planet, you can be an advocate for Earth Day!

Include recycled projects in your lessons and classroom. There are plenty of project ideas you can find in blogs, Pinterest, and online forums that incorporate recycled materials. Think about what materials are easy to collect yourself, or use materials that have been donated to you. Bottle caps make great murals, and they also make great bug sculptures for Spring projects. If you plan far enough ahead, you can have letters send home to parents asking for materials, such as paper towel tubes, newspaper, unused paper plates, washed out containers, 2-liter bottles, or more! You can also collect recycled materials to use in the art room for water cups, plates, containers, and storage bins. As beautiful as the room could be with color-coded, purchased storage bins, recycled containers will achieve the same purpose.

Design gifts that continue to grow in the classroom or at home. There are many projects that can be designed in the art room that can continue to bloom at home! Ceramic projects (pots, cups, or vessels) can hold plants and can grow seeds (chia seeds, grass, etc.). If you do not have access to clay, you can always use milk carton containers to design, or any other vessel that can hold seeds and plants. You can also have students document the growth of a plant from seeds by having them sketch the stages of growth from seedling to full flower, which ties in science.

Explore the world of earth art. One of the most popular “Earth Art” lesson ideas is inspired by the artist Andy Goldsworthy, who is known for his artworks created from natural elements. Earth art is also known as “Land Art” or Earthworks,” where artists use the natural landscape to create sculptures. Earth art comes directly from the source, such as stones, water, dirt, and tree elements (branches and leaves). Other Earth artists to study would be Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt, and Richard Long. April would be the perfect time to take classes outside to create individual or collaborative earthworks within your school grounds. If you receive permission from administration, you can use any collected leaves, branches, rocks, soil or water. Creating a collaborative Earthwork would be a fun project and a beautiful addition to any school or community!

Create a collaborative outdoor rock garden. A very popular collaborative school-wide project that’s been successful in many schools is the rock garden, inspired by “Kindness Rocks” or the book “Only One You” by Linda Kranz. Rock gardens make a beautiful addition to any school and leaves a lasting memory. The project can include all faculty and students within the school. Although rocks are a natural element of the earth, rock gardens are created with painted images on each rock, along with an acrylic spray coating to keep the colors lasting. If you’re ever interested in creating a rock garden of your own, first bring the idea to your administration, then contact local landscaping companies for possible donations. Many would be more than happy to donate pebbles needed for your garden! Please remember to not collect rocks from state and national parks.


Teach your students to watch their waste. Do you have students who want to throw the paper away after one little mistake? One of the main rules I share in the beginning of the year is to watch the waste with paper, paint, and other materials used. Students are shown how to turn their papers over if a mistake is made, as well as how to save space with colored construction paper when creating collage projects. The best way to have students watch their own waste is to follow by example. Make sure to remind students to watch what they use, especially when it comes to paint and construction paper


Recycle! If your school has a recycle program, make use of it! Create a recycle bin and guide students to watch where they place their waste at the end of class. It will help them to remember to recycle throughout the day!

Even with all the consumable materials we use for lessons, we can still teach our students how to be aware of their waste and help take care of our planet. One step at a time!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Research and Collaboration: Creating a STEAM Makerspace

(Image provided by

For my Spring break, I'm investigating on how to build a stronger foundation for the "A" in "STEAM"  for my school district.  For the past few years, I've researched how art teachers have already integrated core subjects within our curriculum.  With the rise of STEM learning and the explosion of makerspaces, I want to jump on that bandwagon and assist in supporting the STEAM approach.  After presenting for Education Closet's STEAM conference back in 2014, writing for Arts & Activities and multiple blog posts, I'm more than ready to join my school and assist in designing our own makerspace!

But first, let's visit the main question...

In the article written in Education Week, the author explains that, "children who study STEM develop a variety of skills that are essential for success: critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, collaboration, and entrepreneurship, to name a few."

But in recent years, the idea of adding arts to STEM has been drawing attention.  The argument between both sides of the story is this (shared from the article):

From STEM proponents: STEM lessons naturally involve art (for example, product design), language arts (communication), and social studies and history (setting the context for engineering challenges). STEM projects do not deliberately exclude the arts or any other subject; rather, these subjects are included incidentally as needed for engineering challenges.  The focus of STEM is developing rigorous math and science skills through engineering. How can you focus on other subjects (such as art) without losing the mission of STEM or watering down its primary purpose?

From arts proponents: Engineering and technology can certainly serve the artist and help create art. But if we're talking about how one can use art in engineering… as an artist, it seems we're missing the point and devaluing, or not realizing, art’s purpose and importance. We have it backwards.

The article further explains how we can include STEAM elements within our lessons such as design, performing arts, and creative planning.

When I began learning about the STEAM approach a few years back, I met Susan Riley from Education Closet, plus followed a few conferences offered through the site, which are offered in Winter and Summer each year.

As a strong advocate for the STEAM approach, Education Closet explains that, "STEAM is a way to take the benefits of STEM and complete the package by integrating these principles in and through the arts. STEAM takes STEM to the next level: it allows students to connect their learning in these critical areas together with arts practices, elements, design principles, and standards to provide the whole pallet of learning at their disposal. STEAM removes limitations and replaces them with wonder, critique, inquiry, and innovation."

Education Closet further explains that in order to STEAM with integrity, schools must consider a variety of factors, including:

1. Collaborative planning, including a cross-section of teachers on each team

2. Adjusting scheduling to accommodate a new way of teaching and learning

3. Professional development for all staff in STEAM practices and principles

4. STEAM-mapping for the curriculum design process

5. Alignment and unpacking of standards and assessments

6. Seamless lesson implementation processes and strategies


Time to Research!

With that said, I then began to investigate how to emphasize STEAM projects within my art curriculum.  I've included below many of the podcasts and websites I used in research for this purpose.  I love many of the sites and resources I've provided, and I hope they help you in your research as well.


Artful Practice for Young Makers

One of the biggest take-aways from listening to this podcast was how to create a self-serve area that is age appropriate for kids.  In having centers for Kindergarten through 6th grade, we need to know what materials are appropriate for each grade level and allow those students to explore those materials.  Rachel created what's called an "invitation table" for young students to explore materials available without a teacher guiding a curriculum driven-lesson.

Now, my biggest struggle as an over-organized, type A art teacher is allowing the mess to flow.  Yes, students should be responsible for cleaning up their own messes, but it is recommended to allow the student to explore their own creativity with materials available.  According to Rachelle Doorley, messes come with the territory, but if you don't provide the resources, you're limiting the students from the creative process.  As a teacher, we need to guide the students in learning responsibility with cleaning up the messes.  We already do it in our classrooms with projects, but continue to encourage responsibility for the makerspace.

Also, another big struggle is allowing students to give up and restart when they do not "feel" the project anymore.  Since my projects follow a curriculum with a time frame, it's a challenge with students who wish to restart within that time frame.  Basically, I do not feel I can allow a student to restart right before a due-date, however, if they change their minds in the beginning stages, the student can easily catch up to meet the time frame.

There's also a few good resources listed in the above link!  One of my favorites in the "Ten Tinkerlab Habits of Mind,"  (download available in above link)


Extending the Art Room: Starting a Makerspace

While reading this article, there was a paragraph that caught my attention that made perfect sense, especially since we're always caught up on having the new-and-improved technology:

"As the “maker movement” gains momentum, makerspaces seem to incorporate more and more technology-based tools and materials. 3D printers, Spheros, and Snap Circuits are currently popular but can be spendy choices when servicing a large number of students. The beauty of the “maker movement” is that it doesn’t have to be an expensive mission for your school or department to take on. Tactile activities are just as important as the tech options, and diversity in your makerspace materials leads to more authentic tinkering and exploration." -Tracy Hare

The article provided a good beginner list in collecting materials for a successful makerspace.  Luckily, my school had already begun designing a room to store materials that were already in the list, and we add more to it every day!  

Sometimes, we need a reminder that kids do not need everything right away to have the perfect makerspace.  We can start small, and make our way to bigger things. 


Incorporating STEAM Projects in the Art Room

For this podcast, Ana Dzingle explains not only how to incorporate more STEAM in the art room, but how to we can still be artistic while using non-traditional materials.

Ana tells us that everybody is creative, we just need to find the medium that works best with each of us.  I find this to ring true because of what I see in my own art room.  Not every students enjoys drawing or painting, but they thrive with other areas, such as printmaking, coding, or sculpture.

STEAM projects are great problem-solving projects.  They integrate multiple subjects, which helps students to make connections.  Projects for younger students should also be explorative.  Students are learning materials and processes, which helps them to learn what materials can do.

Ana also discussed how students pick up on how adults model artistic behaviors.  When the teachers and parents get involved, the students are more engaged.

Ana's blog consists of lessons and projects for young students (Pre-K & up).  You can view her blog here for ideas that you can use in your art classes!

Ana also co-authored the book STEAM Kids


How to Incorporate STEAM Projects in the Art Room

In this podcast, Patty interviews Amy Zschaber, author of the blog "Artful Artsy Amy."

Amy explains the difference from an art project and a STEAM project is when we emphasize how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is included within the process of the lesson.  We may be doing STEAM projects without realizing it because we emphasize more of the artistic elements instead of the integrated ideas.  For example, when designing artworks of cities, buildings, or perspective, mathematics and engineering are involved in the design.

Amy also discusses collaborating with colleagues to assist with designing STEAM projects in and out of the art room.  It's about building a bridge between subjects.  


I've been in love with the videos created by OK GO for a few years now, and my absolute most favorite video is for the song, "This Too Shall Pass," which is a gigantic Rube Goldberg experiment.  There is SO much involved with creating their videos, and to assist teachers with inspiring students, OK GO has provided this website to help break down the planning of their videos and how STEAM concepts were involved.  I've been sharing their "Primary Colors" video with my young students, which is a stop-motion video sharing how primary colors are made.  

Many of the resources provided in this site go over choreography, technology, testing, paper mapping,  and shooting the videos.  They also go over collaboration and refining their works, which teaches students how to fine-tune any project, song, performance, or written document they create.


Searching for Local Treasures

I was so excited to find a local company that helps in creating makerspaces!  Spacelab is a non-profit makerspace with a focus on community engagement and maker-centered learning. They host an annual Maker Faire, community workshops, classes, and other events. 

If a company like this is available in our local area, I wonder how many more amazing companies are available for you around the world!


Applying Team Challenges

In creating a makerspace with centers, it's a prime opportunity to incorporate team challenges.  In this article, Amanda Koonlaba shares her insight on how she began using the idea of creative team challenges for teams to solve problems and collaborate.  

Amanda researched why students normally struggle with working together and came to the conclusion that students didn't know how to make decision with other people and share materials.  She continues to say that these types of social skills don't come naturally, and it is up to the teachers to help assist students in developing those skills.

Amanda then explains how coaching and time management helped students in developing skills in team-building and how students enjoyment sky-rocketed.  After reading the article, I realized how much I needed to push for more collaboration in my art classes.  It takes more than just sharing the materials available.  It's planning and building together.


So What's Next?

Now that I've found plenty of sources, it's time to start planning!  I already started contacting SpaceLab1, signed up for classes, and shared information with our administration!  We have our supply storage STEAM room filled, and we'll be planning our makerspace soon!

Discussions have been started on co-teaching, which will help students learn how to design the makerspace themselves, teaching how to design floor plans!

As for my classroom, I want to work more on building team collaboration in my classroom.  Taking time to research helps each of us understand what we can do to help our students for the future in the arts, and to have our students be successful future designers and creative thinkers.


Here's a resource to assist you in advocating for STEAM learning. You can sign up to be a part of the site and others where STEAM is happening and how it's making a difference!


I would like to give thanks to the people who supplied my research for my Passion Project PD and assistance in designing our school's future Makerspace:

The Art of Ed (Tracy Hare)
Deep Space Sparkle (Patty Palmer, Amy Zschaber, Ana Dzingle, Rachel Doorley)
Education Closet (Susan Riley, Amanda Koonlaba)


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

STEAM & Art Integration

A few years back, I wrote an article about STEAM for Arts and Activities magazine. I would like to revisit a few points from the article and share some awesome things our school has done that reflects the STEAM approach. I'm also very excited that our school is in the process of creating a maker's space connected to our new STEAM supply room, which we've been using quite a bit!
Many educators have been pushing for changing STEM to STEAM (including the A for arts) to truly meet the standards of 21st century skills. According to Susan Riley from Education Closet*, “STEM alone misses several key components that many employers, educators, and parents have voiced as critical for our children to thrive in the present and rapidly approaching future.”

To implement the STEAM approach, be sure to include standards from different disciplines, which create interdisciplinary connections.
S We teach science in art. When introducing lessons about landscapes, living forms, or the human body, we identify and describe elements in artworks reflecting these subjects. My students can tell you what fins are for on a fish when creating an ocean-themed project, or what animals can camouflage to hide from predators in a pattern project. Every Spring, we hatch eggs in my art room so students can document the process in drawing, with a final quick sketch of baby chicks chirping in the room!  
We are also tapping into science standards when working with materials. Through the use of artistic materials, we are performing experiments and manipulating the ingredients to create something new. Clay is a prime example. When you first work with ceramic clay, it is soft and damp, but once dried after your project is created, the clay is hardened and ready for firing or painting.

T We teach technology in art. Even if your school has little to no resources for hands-on technology in the classroom, you still have some form of modern day conveniences within your room. Currently chrome books and iPads are the next wave in digital arts. Our school now has 1+1 chrome books for the students.  At the end of every project, students bring their chrome books for writing artist statements in Artsonia and learning new art games I gathered together using Symbaloo.  February also featured a Digital Learning Day, which students used technology throughout the day.

E We teach engineering in art. We know of engineering as a branch of science and technology that focuses on the design, construction, and use of machines and structures, but it is also the action of working artfully to bring something about. It does sound like the arts can fit into this category, but when STEM is talked about in a curriculum, many times the “creating” part of engineering focuses on the mechanical aspect. In art, we design, construct and many times use our artworks from our imagination or from subjects that inspire us. We can be architects designing drawings of buildings, fabricators constructing mechanical artworks, or mini scientists designing robots.  I admit, I haven't gone as far as designing robots or Rube Goldburg performances as of yet, but I have some pretty awesome little architects in my classroom!

A We advocate for the arts in education. We are the glue that holds the bridge between subjects together. When advocating for the arts in your schools, share how you tap into core subjects in your lessons, reinforcing what students learn. This can be done while you show how you keep the integrity of the art standards. Display your students’ work around the school, share it in the community, and show your administration the importance of the arts in STEAM.

M We teach Math to the students. We use geometry, symmetry, perspective, measurements, and more, all while scaffolding these skills as the grade levels advance. Are you gridding to create larger scale projects? You’re including mathematic standards within your lessons!  While you are assessing student work that requires the use of shapes, symmetry, and measurements, we are also assessing on the math standards.  One of the first lessons I teach to kindergarten is identification of shapes and creating an image out of shapes, which is one of the kindergarten math standards!

In the beginning of the school year, our school designed a STEAM room for all the teachers to use with classroom lessons and projects. Even I shop the space for items to use for my lessons! Microscopes, magnifying glasses, spray bottles, styrofoam shapes, and so much more!

This month, The Art Ed Blogger's Network is writing about STEAM/Art Integration. Join us on the first Tuesday each month for new projects, ideas, and inspiration.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs:


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Preparing for Seattle's NAEA Convention: March's Stepping Stones

Get ready, because this year’s NAEA convention is taking place in Seattle, Washington from March 22nd-24th! I remember visiting Seattle for NAEA’s convention back in 2011. With living in the midwest, the two-hour time difference had me up and ready at 5am! I enjoyed walking around the city in the early morning, viewing the outdoor sculptures, and watching the set up at Pike’s Place Market. There’s so many hidden gems in Seattle to visit outside of the convention and so much to do while at the center! I’d like to offer some tips in preparing for the national convention and visiting the city of Seattle.

Be prepared for the weather! Seattle has been known for its rainy weather patterns, so keep a close eye on the forecast! Prepare to dress warm and bring a travel umbrella in case of rainfalls in March, but hope for the light cardigan weather. The average weather last March in Seattle was in the 50s, so hope for decent weather this year! The waterfront (which is walking distance to the hotel and convention center) is also the best place for morning strolls.

Don’t forget your walking shoes! Even if you’re not a morning runner, there’s a lot to do within the city! Straight down Pike Street is the Pike Place Market on the waterfront, the a short walk to the left will lead you to the Seattle Art Museum and SAM Gallery. There’s also a beautiful sculpture garden along the waterfront leading up to more galleries, coffee shops, and shopping! You can also make the hike to the Space Needle observation deck and Seattle Center, and if you get tired, you can take the monorail back toward the convention center.

Utilize the NAEA Seattle convention app! Since NAEA created their convention app a few years back, it became a valuable resource for planning sessions to attend (broken down by topics, presenters, and divisions), hands-on workshops to enjoy, connecting with friends, and learning more about super session and guest speakers. The app is available for free for your phones and tablets. You can also use the app to write and store notes while attending presentations, plus handouts can be uploaded for specific sessions.

Make room in your luggage for the vendors! It’s highly recommended not to over pack before you head to the conference! Save some room for those samples and goodies you want to take back to your classroom, generously given by vendors in attendance! The vendors consist of companies that supply your art materials, magazine subscriptions, art fundraisers, books and posters, and much more! You can also order supplies while at the convention to be shipped to your school.

Print labels with your address for raffles and giveaways! I describe the vendor area like an art teacher’s toy store: multiple vendor giveaways, mailing list sign-ups, and prizes. Labels make it much easier for you to place a sticker and go instead of spending time hand writing your entire address and phone number from booth to booth.

Plan some time to visit Seattle! There’s plenty to do off site from the convention. You will be close to plenty of attractions, such as the Seattle Art Museum, SAM Gallery, Seattle Center, Museum of Pop Culture, and other various galleries filled with contemporary artworks in various media. The Olympic Sculpture Park is an offshoot of the Seattle Art Museum that features various sculptures spread over a spacious park. There’s also Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, Gum Wall (near Pike’s Place Market), The Seattle Aquarium, and if you travel further west, the Seattle Japanese Garden, featuring a cherry orchard, water features, and a teahouse.

Make a stop at the information booth! The volunteer committee will be available to help direct you to where you need to go! From local restaurants, workshop locations, cultural attractions, and more, members are around to help you with any assistance you need!

Attend the social media “meet-ups.” If you’re on Twitter (#artsed #pln), Facebook (Art Teachers Group and sub groups), or any other social media outlet, there will be plenty of meet-ups, brunches, and events around the convention. Keep an eye out on your preferred social media network for extra gatherings to meet people face to face!

Follow the #NAEA18 Tagboard.  NAEA's tagboard is the quickest way to gather all the #NAEA18 tags from different sites. Just go to to view all the posts and follow what's happening!

If this is your first convention, I hope you have a wonderful experience! There’s so much to do and see on and off site, you will leave will a head full of ideas and inspiration for your classroom, curriculum, and art department. The convention is one of the best professional development opportunities available for art teachers! Have fun and be inspired!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Elementary Projects for Valentine's Day

Looking for projects inspired by Valentine's Day?  Check out the lessons I created with K-3!  Some projects were inspired by other lessons I have found over the years, so I tried to share the blog posts from other teachers who inspired my lessons.

Romero Britto Heart Paintings with Kindergarten

Materials: Pencil, Paper, Black Marker, Tempura Cake Paints

Duration: 1-40 minute class period

Directions: Start by sharing pictures of Britto's art with your kindergarteners!  Share how he created designs in each space of his art, such as dots, lines, colors,'s the fun part!  Have your binders practice drawing hearts!  Some may struggle at first, but once they get the loop and points, they'll go crazy with their hearts!  Using pencils, have students create one or more hearts to fill their paper, then draw in lines and shapes.  Once done, use a black marker to trace, then tempura cakes to paint in the spaces!

Contour Hearts with 1st Grade

Materials: Heart Templates, Pencils, Paper, Oil Pastels, Tempura Cake Paints

Duration: 2-40 minute class periods

Directions: For Day 1, start by talking about how the hearts can overlap (one in front of the other).  Have the students use heart stencils to trace out about 10 hearts (overlapping to fit them in the paper).  Once traced, have students use oil pastels to trace, color in, or add patterns to each heart.  On day 2, have students finish filling in the hearts with oil pastels and fill in the rest of teh paper with tempura cake paint!

Symmetry Hearts with 2nd Grade

Materials: 9 x 12 colored paper, 12 x 18 colored paper, pencils, scissors, glue

Duration: 1-40 unite class period

Directions: As a one class project, the object is to have students achieve the illusion of symmetry with the heart design.  Using the 9 x 12 paper, draw half of a heart, cut the shape out, then glue the outer piece to the edge of the 12 x 18 paper.  Draw another heart inside of the already-cut heart, cut it out, and glue on the opposite side.  Draw, cut out, and glue down about 3 more heart shapes and you have a finished piece!

Positive/Negative Space Hearts with 3rd Grade

Materials: 9 x 12 colored paper, 12 x 18 colored paper, small baggies, pencils, scissors, glue

Duration: 2-40 minute class periods

Directions: On day 1, talk about positive/negative space in art.  Using the 9 x 12 colored paper, draw and cut out a heart shape.  On each side of the heart, draw and cut out shaped that will be reflected in the finished artwork.  Please Note:  Use the baggies to store the pieces once they are cut out.  This prevents any lost pieces, plus it's 100% easier with clean up.  Once all pieces are cut out, glue down the big heart.  On day 2, show the students how to glue the pieces down to reflect the empty space.  Not all students will finish right away, you will see that it may take the entire time for many students.

This project was also achieved by many other schools and can be found here for 5th grade and here for 6th grade.

Love Paintings (Inspired by Robert Indiana) with 3rd Grade
Image result for robert indiana love

Materials: LOVE Stencils, 10.5 x 10.5 white paper, Pencils, Black Markers, Tempura Paint

Duration: 2-40 minute class periods

Directions: On day 1, we discussed the artwork of Robert Indiana, then folded the white paper to make 4 squares.  We then began tracing stencils to spell out L-O-V-E in each square.  Students then began painting colors in the letters and in the backgrounds.  On Day 2, students finished up on painting.  If they finished on the first day, each letter was traced with marker to cover any loose paint lines.

Heart-Shaped Coil Pottery with 3rd Grade

Materials: Ceramic Clay (or air dry clay), Water, Canvas, Desired Paint (Glaze or Acrylic)

Duration: 2 40-minute class periods

Directions: On Day 1, discuss how to create a coil pot using ceramic clay.  Start with rolling a small amount of clay into a ball, flattening it down then rolling coils to wrap around the flat base.  Use the water for the slip process to make the coils stay together once dry.  Once the pot is completed, pinch the top and bottom of the top of the pot to form the heart shape.  On your own, fire the pottery for your next step.  On Day 2, (depending on your resources) paint the pots using either glaze (if kiln is easily accessible) or acrylic paint (if you can't fire again).