Friday, December 18, 2015

Navajo-Inspired Rugs with 2nd Grade

     (photo found in Google images)

(an example of a Navajo rug)

Navajo rugs are textiles created by the Navajo people of North America.  The rugs have been a  highly sought after item of trade for over 150 years.  When I worked in textile restoration (before teaching), I enjoyed restoring Navajo rugs and woven pieces from private collectors.  Before the 19th century, Navajo weaving coloration was mostly natural brown, white, and indigo. Over time, the colors expanded to include red, black, green, yellow, and gray.  

I came across a project from a book created by Denise Logan called "Amazing Art Projects for Children."  In the book, Denise shows step by step instructions on designing the rug patterns on paper.  I adapted by own methods for creating the rugs with my schedules and materials, which I list below:

-9 x 12 70 lb. or greater white paper
-Black permanent marker
-Colored washable markers
-Hole punch
-Various colors of yarn
-Examples of Navajo patterns

The 2nd grade students learned about Navajo culture within their classrooms.  For the project, students are introduced to the tradition of Navajo weaving and attempt to create their own design.  With the yarn, students learn how to loop and fringe their finished paper "rugs."

This projects takes about 3-4 40-minute class periods to complete.

Day 1:  I started with a discussion about the myths and traditions of weaving with the Navajo people.  I found this description that I share with my students:

         It is said that Spider Woman taught Navajos of long ago the art of weaving. She told them, "My husband, Spider Man, constructed the weaving loom making the cross poles of Sky and Earth cords to support the structure; the warp sticks of sun rays, lengthwise to cross the wool; the heddles of rock crystal and sheet lightning, to maintain original condition of fibers. For the batten, he chose a sun halo to seal joints, and for the comb he chose a white shell to clean strands in a combing manner." – Spirit of the Weaving Comb

I created a pattern example sheet from scrounging around my Pinterest boards:

Hand out the 9 x 12 white paper and have students create their own designs using the Navajo patterns as examples.  Once students are done drawing, have them trace in black permanent marker.  Use washable markers to color in the spaces.

Day 2:  Review the steps to create the patterns.  Finish tracing and try to have students finish coloring the entire page.  On your own, crumble the paper, dip in water, and un-crumble to create a tie-dye effect.  If you have a spray bottle, that will work too!  I lay out the wet paper on larger sheets of paper on the drying rack for support.  Once dry fold the paper in half and poke a total of 7 holes on the edge, so there are 14 holes total.

Day 3:  With most of the projects ready and hole-punched, Demonstrate to the students what length of yarn to cut, how many, and how to tie the fringe.  You may have students still finishing their coloring this day, as well as taking their time to fringe.

Day 4:  All projects should be tie-dyed (pre-dipped and hole-punched) and ready for fringe.  Have students complete the fringe and hand in their work.  I have students write their artists statements on a separate sheet of paper with their rubric.

Here are some finished examples!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Monochromatic Trees with 5th Grade

Have you seen this project floating around in the Pinterest pages, or have you been to a paint party/wine and canvas?  I've pinned the project for awhile and started trying it out with my 5th grade students last school year.

At the 5th grade level, I feel that students are "responsible" enough to work with acrylic paint.  I explain to students that the paint does not wash out of clothes (even though it does to an extent, I want students to understand the responsibility with the paint).  My classroom is also tight with no sink, so I use fewer colors for a smoother pass-out/clean-up.

With paint parties being all the rage, I want students to have the experience of working with canvas! Since I have over 100+ 5th graders, I work with canvas boards.

This can be a winter project, so you have a range of time to work with!

9" x 12" canvas boards
Acrylic paint (blue, white, and black)
paint cups (with a table of 4 students, I pass out 2 cups of each color to share)
water containers
flat edge and fine point paint brushes

The students will be introduced to monochromatic colors.  They will practice mixing the blue and white paint to create tints and shades of blue for the nighttime sky.

This project takes approximately 3 40-minute class periods.

Day 1: Explain the element of value and how colors can be created with white/black to make tints/shades.  I recommend finding your way of introducing the class.  Maybe to want to warm them up with a value activity sheet?  The canvas is passed out and students are asked to draw 5 circles total, which expand to the edge of the canvas.  Students are only given blue and white paint to fill in the inner moon and outer edge.  If you have time, explain how to mix the blue and white in each space to paint.

Day 2: Depending on how far you have made it with the blue and white painting, explain the color mixing technique again.  If students finish the sky, have them use black paint to draw in the tree branches.

Day 3: All students should be done with the sky at this point.  Re-explain the tree branches, as well as the moon craters and snow drops.  I have students use a fine small brush to dot the snow instead of splattering...especially in my small art space!  Students also write in their artist statements, which include their thoughts on the project and what they had learned.

Here's a few finished projects!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Assessment in Art: November's Stepping Stones

For November's Stepping Stones in Arts & Activities Magazine, I focused on creating assessments in art.  Back in May, I participated in The Art of Ed's online class Assessment in Art, which was very informative and has helped shape my assessments for students in future lessons.
Assessments are important for art teachers because without them, we would not have the tools available to help us reflect and refine our own teaching strategies and assist our students in growing into their own creative abilities.  Assessments are even more important for art teachers now for the following reasons:
 1.   According to Jessica Balsley (founder of The Art of Ed), “Kids deserve teachers who help them to learn and grow.  Showing that growth is one way we are doing justice to our students and their learning.”  In gathering information on our students, we are learning how they work, what accommodations they may need to succeed, and what they need from us to help them grow.
 2.   Evaluations are becoming more prevalent in our education career.  With the implementation of the Danielson model and other evaluation techniques in districts across the country, part of our personal evaluation is how we assess our students’ progress over time.
 3.   We need to provide evidence to show why we are important and why it would be wrong if the art programs were cut in schools across the country.  Having the data and proof on hand will back up your claim and build a stronger case against your program’s removal.
 4.   As art teachers, we need to take the lead in the assessment of our own subject. In other words, it would be best if we create our own ways of assessment and prove our accountability rather than allow a politician or test maker decide how your students should be assessed. 
There are quite a few ways to use assessments in art that do not require written tests.  Your grading design depends on what works best for you and your students.
Portfolios are great evidence to measure growth in art.  Portfolios not only help students, parents, and administration view the artwork’s growth over time, but students can really reflect on their own progression in their body of work. You can achieve this through collecting the physical students artwork over the course of the class, or taking digital photos for an online program, like Artsonia or Google Docs.  I personally use Artsonia to upload images of student work, and I’ve already utilized the program to demonstrate students’ growth over time with parents, teachers, and administrators.  There are pros and cons in using portfolios as an assessments tool, such as storage issues when dealing with the collection of artworks.  Teachers who work from a cart or travel from school to school may not have the space to store the artworks for a portfolio.  Also, portfolios are time consuming, which can be a challenge for many teachers who travel and lack proper plan time in their schedules.  Even if you feel you lack the time in creating a portfolio, finding a way to budget that time will help your art program in the long run.
Self Reflections are one way to gather information from students in written form.  Using self-reflections helps students to look back on their own works and what they can do to improve their own abilities. Since using self-reflections with my students over time, I have noticed an increase in student accountability.  Students see what they need to improve upon, practice their skills, and in each project, demonstrate growth in their skills.
Artist Statements are another way of gathering information from students in written form.  An artist statement tells the viewer information about the artwork created.  When a student writes an artist statement, they can reveal vocabulary learned through the process, the steps they use in creating their projects, as well as personal thoughts about their artworks (revealed through self-reflections as well).
Formative Assessments are conducted informally during the middle of the learning to inform your instruction. We may not even realize how often we check our students for understanding while they are in process with their projects.  In order to see how our students are performing with each project, we must constantly check our students’ progress through conversations, notes, and critiques. 
Tests in Art do not always have to be written.  A great method in measuring growth over time is using pre and post tests in your classes.  For examples, as a pre-test, have your students create an artwork demonstrating their artistic abilities, like a self-portrait.  Within a given amount of time, administer the “post” test that is almost exactly like the first.  You will then have a demonstration of growth that can be used as a test or as a portfolio entry!
If you are interested in more ways to create effective assessments in your class, I highly recommend taking the Assessment in Art class offered by the Art of Education.  This online class introduces different methods you can use to assess your students’ artwork and helps you to create your own assessment plan that works for you.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Aligning With the Standards: October's Stepping Stones

For October's Stepping Stones in Arts & Activities Magazine, I focused on how to work in the new core arts standards within our curriculum.  In June 2014, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards released the new and updated National Arts Standards for visual arts, music, dance, drama, and media arts. Prior to the standard’s release, art educators worked with different benchmarks available, such as state developed, previous designed national standards, and the recently common core ELA/Math standards required of most districts across the country.
Before the release of the core arts standards, our district worked with the state standards and adapted them into each lesson within our curriculum. With the release of the new core arts standards, our district is now working to implement the visual arts standards and artistic processes, while integrating the Common Core (ELA/Math), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Technology, and Social Emotional Learning standards (SEL). I know what you’re thinking … that’s a lot of standards to include within each lesson!
The core arts standards begin with four artistic processes: creating, performing/presenting/producing, responding, and connecting. Each artistic process breaks down into grade level appropriate performance standards for each grade level for pre-K through 12th grade.
Creating: The first artistic process is creating, which implies that we generate, conceptualize, organize, and develop artistic ideas and work. These standards also include refinement and completion of artistic work.
Presenting: The second artistic process combines performing/presenting/ and producing into one. This is where you analyze, interpret, and select artistic works for presentation, develop and refine artistic works for presentation, and convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Responding: The third artistic process is responding, which is how you perceive and analyze artistic work, interpret intent and meaning in artistic work, and apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Connecting: The fourth artistic process is connecting, which is how students synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art, as well as relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.
There are two types of standards within the grade levels.   Anchor standards describe general knowledge and skills that teachers expect students to demonstrate throughout their education in the arts. Performance standards are discipline-specific (dance, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts), grade-by-grade articulations of student achievement in the arts PK–8 and at three proficiency levels in high school (proficient, accomplished and advanced). As such, the performance standards translate the anchor standards into specific, measurable learning goals.
Now that we know a bit more about the national core arts standards, we need to figure out how to include them within our own curriculum. There are a few ways to begin aligning with the national visual arts standards.
First, before you get confused, the standards can be found at When visiting the site, you can customize your own “handbook” with the standards you need for the grade level you teach. Once you have your own standards organized, you can print them, save them, download them, or copy/paste them to where you feel you can view them when plugging in your lessons.
Second, the most convenient way to begin alignment is just picking and choosing which standard matches the lessons you already teach. For example, you may have a first-grade project where you’re teaching students how to create a collage. Is your main objective to understand the process? Choose your grade-level standard in the “creating” artistic process category. Are you connecting your project to a culture or current event? Find a standard in the “connecting” artistic process category.
Third, you can use the standards to help assess your students’ progress. Within the assessments you design, whether written or visual, you can plug in the standard as an attainable goal for your students.
Lastly, when setting up your displays, place the standards on the walls to help your school and colleagues become familiarized with them. You can also share the standards with your curriculum director or administrator to help in gaining more support for the visual-art curriculum.
Thanks to the writers and reviewers of the national coalition for core arts standards and the hundreds of teachers who participated in their public reviews, we now have a set of achievable standards for all grade levels. For more information, visit

Monday, August 17, 2015

Developing Your Art Class Procedures: September's Stepping Stones

It’s the beginning of the school year, and you’re off to a brand new start!  Many educators have been setting-up for years while others are starting in their first year of teaching.  The start of the school year means a clean slate to begin fresh in designing your procedures, which is how you want your art class to run smoothly for the entire school year.

Before you begin, know that not every procedure you develop is going to work.  As much as you think it will be smooth sailing, you need to treat your rules and procedures like a pilot program.  Sometimes, you’re going to need to tweak a rule or two here and there for success.

Here’s a checklist of procedures you should develop in the beginning of the year.  Organizing your routines for students will help make classes run smoother.

1.    Pass Out Procedures
After introducing a project (or even continuing a project), figure out how the materials and projects will be passed out!  If you just say, “Come and get it!” you’ll have a flock of students clamoring to you to see who gets their project first, and there may be hair-pulling!  Consider having your materials ready, calling a table at a time (or desk group), or choosing specific students to pass out each week.

2.    Clean-Up Procedures
Just like passing out, cleaning up can be just as hairy.  I give about 5 minutes at the end of my classes, explain where things go, and count from one to ten to give the students a measured time to clean.  We use the “quick, quiet, clean” routine because I want students to be responsible for their own messes and to not rely on anyone else.  Sometimes, with messy paint or clay projects, I even have specific students help collect larger materials (such as clay clothes or paint trays) to make cleanup easier.

3.    Material Management
If you’re in a classroom or a cart, it’s always best to have your materials as organized as you can.  In my classroom, I have 6 boxes total each of crayons, markers, and colored pencils for projects.  This saves on arguments in the room!  Check the boxes periodically to make sure materials are even and organized (or you can have a “teacher’s team” helpers do this for you!).  On a cart, consider smaller supply boxes that can be passed out to student groups.  The supply boxes are easy to open and close and saves on spilled materials during clean up. 

4.    The “In Case of Emergency” Kits
Have you ever had those moments when you run out of pencils, erasers, or even water?  I know I have, and it’s a pain to refill when you’re in the middle of managing a class!  In my drawers, I have back-ups of sharpened pencils, erasers, dry-erase markers, and water bottles for those emergencies that pop up randomly.

5.    Volume  Control
In their classrooms, students know what is expected of them with talking and working.  In your class, you make the call.  Some teachers like quiet classes with no talking, but I like collaboration.  Managing noise levels can be very tricky and needs to be manageable for you.  Consider giving a prompt when students start getting too noisy.  My co-worker does the “Mona Lisa” prompt.  When students hear her say “Mona,” they call back “Lisa,” then quiet down so they know the teacher has something to say.  In my class, I assign a “noise manager” table to raise hands when their class gets too loud. 

6.    Where to Find the Water
If you have a sink in your room, you’re golden.  For many others, we must find the water source.  I’m in a classroom without a sink, so to help with water management, I found the closest water closet in the school, plus I have back-up water jugs for those emergencies that pop up.  Plan in time for water fill ups during your schedule so refilling does not interfere with your class procedures.  I highly recommend getting 5 gallon water jugs if you have no close sink resource. 

7.    Art Jobs
Having art jobs in the room or classroom can make your routines run so much smoother!  For example, my class has 6 tables.  Each table has a job that changes each week.  I have pass-out projects, collect projects, noise managers, material counters (check pencils and erasers at the end of each class), floor checkers (for loose materials on the floor), and teacher’s team (for the random extra helpers needed in for some projects).  Each week, the students check to see what their job is and they perform it well!

If you’re in a classrooms or teaching from a cart, find what procedures work best for you, and have fun this school year!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

10 Reasons Why Artsonia Benefits Parents!

Two years ago, I posted 10 reasons why improved my classroom, which you can view here.  I started using Artsonia a few years back to help improve my classroom, curriculum, and parent communication.  I was so amazed with the results and feedback received, I don't know how I would run my program with out it!

Last year, my daughter entered 1st grade and received her own Artsonia account.  Fro a parent perspective, I loved everything about the website.  I looked forward to receiving emails with new artwork posted, plus I could share my daughter's work with family and friends!

I wanted to share 10 reasons why Artsonia benefits parents as well.  If your school does not have Artsonia's online art gallery set up, I highly recommend sharing this with your school's administration and arts program.  You will love what Artsonia can do for you as a parent!

1. You see your child's art before it comes home.  Many students (especially older children) to not bring their artwork home.   I like to think that Artsonia helps hold them accountable for their progress since parents can now see their work instantly.  Many times I have also heard that parents never see their child's artwork because the art teachers never give it back.  From the teacher perspective, many times we have to display work and show our student's accomplishments within the school with displays and shows, so it may take some time to send artwork home.  With Artsonia, the moment the teacher uploads the artwork, parents receive an email with a digital image of the art!

2. Some projects get tossed over the years, but you keep a digital image for life.  As your child grows, the artwork you keep may fade or ruin over time.  Artsonia keeps all the digital images archived for you, plus you can copy and save in your own documents.  This way in case an artwork gets torn or tossed, you still have a digital copy for yourself saved!  EXTRA BONUS!  Did you know you can upload artwork into Artsonia from the parent's account?  If your child makes art at home, snap a photo and upload it for family to see!

3. You keep your account for-ev-er! If your child starts with an account at an early age (ex. kindergarten), that account will last through high school and still be accessible for you even after.  Even if you transfer schools, as long as the next school has Artsonia set up, all you need to do is send an email to Artsonia and they will move the account to your child's next school.  If you're in a district with K-8 with multiple schools, you can easily have all the elementary moved to intermediate, then to jr. high!  This way, you don't need to restart a new account and lose all the archived images of your child's artwork.

4. Your child's identity is protected.  In Artsonia, no last names are ever used publicly, so your child's identity is always protected.  You, as the parent, also have control over your child's account.  The art teacher uploads the artwork, then you can share it with whoever you wish.  Also, if anyone comments on your child's artwork, you approve the comments before they're shown publicly.

5. You can share your child's work with family and friends.  As I mentioned above, you have control over your child's account, which means you can also share the artwork with family and friends!  Every family member you add on is called a "fan club" member.  When you add them to the account, they also receive an email with your child's art.  If family lives out of state, this is a way to say, "Hey, look what my kid made!" and grandma, auntie, or cousins can share their pride as well.  When I shared Artsonia with our district board members, attendees shared positive comments about this feature and were thankful to have a way to share their child's progress with family.

6. Easier communication with the art teacher.  In many cases, the art teacher is so busy taking care of multiple grade levels, activities, shows, etc., they are unable to contact parents regarding their child's progress.  Through Artsonia, the art teacher can send their own newsletters, and emails your way to update on any progress.  On your end, you can also comment on your child's artwork, which helps with communication flow, and you can boast about your child's amazing art skills!   Also, the art teacher also adds the project description to the exhibits, which helps explain projects and standards to the viewers!

7. Emails are not annoying spam in your folder.  Yes, you will be receiving emails, but it's not as bad as  many other stores or companies that send daily spammy emails.  When you receive an email, it's either because a) your child's artwork has just been posted, b) a family member just made a comment for your approval, or c) there's a holiday sale in their shop.  The art teacher's newsletter also comes through as an email, so it's less paperwork your child's bringing home.

8. Your child's artwork receives comments!  As a teacher, I like to share comments and galleries with my students.  They love to see not only their artwork posted, but the comments that family and friends make about their work.  The smiles on students' faces are precious and gives them a boost of confidence in their artistic abilities!  As a parent, I also share comments made by family members with our daughter.  She loves to see what's written by her nanas and fan club members.  Kids love feedback from all ends!

9. Instant holiday gifts! As a teacher and a parent, I understand the need for fundraisers. They are hard work, and can be challenging to organize.  Artsonia is an instant fundraiser that's extremely easy to use.  Did you like to recent painting your child made in class?  You can instantly buy a magnet or a t-shirt of it through Artsonia.  You can do this any time of year (even during the summer), and artwork is always available for you to choose (remember, archived forever!).  20% of your money spent goes directly back to the school, which is always a bonus!  Many art teachers who use Artsonia use funds for materials in the classroom and updating resources for the students, so your contributions always help!

10. You're supporting the art program at your child's school.  The arts are a valuable part of your child's development.  Art helps bridge the gaps between all core subject matters, plus helps your child build imagination, craftsmanship, and creative thinking skills, which are all needed in your child's development!  Artsonia is also a huge benefit for the art teacher.  The online art gallery is a great way for the teacher to assess and provide evidence of student progress.  Other reasons are posted in my previous post, 10 reasons Artsonia Improved my Classroom.

If your school does not have Artsonia, consider contacting your school's art teacher and discussing the possibility in starting an account for your school.  This website is a HUGE benefit for you, your school, and your art teacher all around!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer Workshop Series: Wayne Thiebaud-Inspired Cupcake Collages

This week I entered new territory in my teaching career.  For the first time since student teaching, I worked with high school age students, and it was a wonderful experience!  

The project we created was a "cupcake collage."  To take a quick step back, when the studio owner and I sat to plan our summer projects, she had the idea to create cupcakes with magazine paper.  I immediately thought of Wayne Thiebaud's dessert creations and thought it was a good tie-in with artist-inspiration!

Wayne Thiebaud is currently 95 years old!  Here's a few pictures of him and his artworks:

-16" x 16" illustration board
-A ton of magazine pages (it's best to separate the pages, and if you have time, the colors)
-Mod podge
-To water down the mod podge, add a hint of water to about a 1/4 cup of mod podge.  It helps the glue spread and soak into the magazine paper.

This project was designed for ages 14-16.  Students will create their own cupcake collage using magazine paper.  They will demonstrate value by showing highlights and shadows within their artwork.

The project was completed in a 2 day summer workshop (2 hours each class) through Pastiche Studio.

On day 1, we began by looking at images of Wayne Thiebaud's paintings and identifying how the artist created highlights and shadows within his dessert designs.  We especially looked at the cupcake designs to see how Wayne had emphasized his colors to create the values.  I also shared my finished example with the students and explained how the magazine photos can help in creating the highlights and shadows needed for their artworks.

Each students was given an illustration board as their canvas.  We went over how to draw the cupcake wrapper and icing step by step and sized our drawings within the board.  I especially loved how each students chose a decoration for the tops of their cupcakes!  When they were ready to start gluing down the pieces, I explained how we needs to start with the background first and add the layers on top.  I explained to first brush the glue onto the illustration board, place the paper on top of the glue, then spread another layer of mod podge on the paper to flatten down.  Sometimes the magazine paper curls up and needs to be flattened!

Since this was my first time teaching this age group in a few years, I under-estimated the amount of time it would take to complete the background.  I was observing the students and how they paced their time gluing around the cupcake and finding the exact colors needed for the table and the back color.  During the second hour on the first day, I was tearing out pages with colors the students needed to save them time on searching for colors.  So, if you decide to create this project with your students, a huge time saver is having the magazine pages ready in advance!  Sometimes we learn the hard way!

This was the stage we were at after the first day of class.  Table completed, background not as much, but we pushed harder on day 2!

On day 2, the students completed the background within 20 minutes (after I pulled out the colors needed from the magazines).  We then started on the cupcake!

I demonstrated to the girls how to find a magazine image they liked for their wrapper.  They placed the magazine paper on top of their cupcake wrappers and sketched an estimate of size around the space they needed.  I mentioned to the students to trim out the shape larger than they needed in case they traced too small.  Next they glued the entire shape down, as seen below:

For the next step, they found another image that would represent the highlight or shadow of the cupcake.  The students were asked to cut the image into strips with points, then glued down spaced apart.

Now time for the icing!  The students were asked to find a highlight, medium, and shadow of the same color hue.  In most cases, white worked as the highlight.  We trimmed out and glued down the shadow first along the bottom of each icing layer.  Next, the students used the "estimation" trick I shared with the wrapper to cut out the icing medium color for the entire layer.  Once the oval shapes were cup out, they were able to trim down to fit their space.  Lastly, they drew and cut out a skim my teardrop shaw for the highlights of the icing.

For the last step, students filled in their cupcake topping decorations and viola!  Finished cupcake collages!  And they all finished right on time!  I was SO proud of them!!!!

I can't wait to do it again!  If you collect Art News magazines, they have tons of artworks and painting that can be used as textures in your collages!

I went through Pinterest and found that this process has been done before, and I'd love to share what pins I have found.  I would love to try a similar project with the younger grade levels I teach.  I also found a contemporary artist from Texas named Nancy Standlee, who creates cupcake collages too!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Workshop Series: Winslow Homer-Inspired Pirate Ships

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) was an American painter known for his seascape paintings.  When looking through his artworks, we see cloudy, windy skies, waves in motion, and dulled colors.  When we browsed through project examples, I came across a project from Deep Space Sparkle that inspired the summer workshop project for this lesson.

-14" x 16" 70# white paper
-10" x 16" white poster board
-Blue, black, and white tempura paint
-Water containers
-Your fingers
-Colored construction paper
-Images of ships for reference

The students will create their own mixed media sea scape using paint and assemblage of paper.  They will create foreground, middle ground, and background in their seascapes.  This project was created for students ages 6-9.

This project was completed during one studio class in a 2 hour length of time.  We started with creating a paint wash sky on the 14" x 16" paper.  We used blue for the sky, then painted in white and black strokes to blend in for cloudiness.  Once the paper was finished, we put it aside to dry.

Next, the students created wavy texture on the poster board using their brushes, then their fingers! These two steps took about a 1/2 hour to complete.

Once the poster board was painted, we put it aside to dry.

We then created our pirate ships/sailboats using colored construction paper.  Here are a few examples I found on Google and shared with my students for ideas in creating their ships:

Construction of the ship took around 45-50 minutes to complete.  Once the main body of the ship was completed, the students took their "mostly dry" sheet of poster board and cut four strip apart.  Each strip was sit to resemble waves in the water.  We then glue down each layer, placing the boat in between the wavy layers.

Once the layers were glued down, students created the mast, sails, and glued down the roped using string or yarn!

Here was the example I made to share with the students:

And here are my students' amazing creations!