2nd grade used tempera paints and oil pastels to create snowy scenes.

2nd grade used tempera paints and oil pastels to create snowy scenes.

Second graders created snowmen using tempera paint and oil pastel.  First they scoured the room for circles to trace!  I put out a few good candidates — rolls of tape, yogurt containers, and condiment cups — but students were welcome to find anything round in the room that fit on the paper.  We discussed why snowmen would have different-sized circles (the base needs to be large and stable enough to support the rest of the snow!).  After students found and traced their circles, they used white tempera paint to add the snow.  After the paint dried, students used oil pastels and other tempera colors to add details to their snowmen and their backgrounds.


Collage Self Portraits

1st grade portraits, collaged from painted paper.

1st grade portraits, collaged from painted paper.

1st graders painted paper for use in their self portrait collages.  Each student painted a large sheet, which was then cut into quarters and shared with other classes.  We used the backs of our paintbrushes to draw into the paint and create texture for our hair.  When collaging, we thought about the shapes that make up our body parts.  Our features and smaller details are a mixture of collage and drawing.  I was impressed by the personality I can see shining through in each self portrait!


1st grade painted collage self portraits.

1st grade painted collage self portraits.

Bees and Flowers

Third graders collaged bees and flowers with some help from their science units!

Third graders collaged bees and flowers with some help from their science units!

Third graders used information from their science units to create these collages!  Mrs. Bruett’s and Ms. Homan’s classes created bees, while Ms. Iberger’s and Mrs. Sheridan’s classes created flowers.  For the bees, we included the mandibles, antennae, eyes, legs, and stingers.  We will use tracing paper to add wings next week!  For the flowers, we included the stem, true leaf, seed leaves, petals, pistils, and stamen.  Students used tempera to paint their own papers for the petals, bee abdomen, and thorax.  In addition to being thrilled at the students’ outstanding collages, I was also excited because I learned something new: that bees have three simple eyes at the top of their heads, in addition to the two compound eyes — how did I go this long without knowing that?!

Undersea Paintings

Caitlyn's Undersea Painting

Caitlyn’s Undersea Painting

Gerry first graders used oil pastels and tempera paint to create underwater scenes.  We thought of all the creatures that can be found in the ocean, such as shrimp, lobsters, jellyfish, and sharks.  Then students used their oil pastels to draw their creatures and background details, such as sand, kelp, and bubbles.  Some students had to blend their oil pastels to get the perfect color.  Finally, students mixed water into their tempera and painted a wash of blue across the scene to give it that underwater look!

In Like a Lion

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

Mrs. McCarthy’s 2nd graders used their Integrated Arts time to create posters for the upcoming community meeting.  They decided to base their artwork on the proverb, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.”  They worked as a group to sketch the outlines in pencil, and then decided on a combination of oil pastels to blend.  The lion’s mane in particular was the source of much discussion!  They then used black tempera paint to outline their artwork.

Snow Day

Caroline's Snow Day Painting

Caroline’s Snow Day Painting

Coffin and Gerry students were thrilled that it was snowing this morning!  To celebrate the first snow of the school year, kindergarteners put their paper animal sculptures on hold for the day and instead made snowy paintings.  First, students thought of a scene they might see in the snow: a snowman, a snow-covered tree, a snowy house, even a snowy kindergartener!  They drew their scenes with crayons and thought of details to make each one special.  Then, they used white tempera paint to add snow and transform the scene!  We thought together about all the places snow builds up when it sticks, such as on the ground, on our shoulders, on top of patio furniture, and on each branch and window sill.  Unfortunately, today’s snow didn’t stick around for the afternoon, but we’ll have our paintings to remind us!

Busy Spiders

Lily's spider collage

Lily’s spider collage

Kindergarten students in Mrs. Gay’s class read The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle.  Afterward, we painted spiderwebs for our spiders to use.  Students used white colored pencil to sketch their web.  They noticed that even though webs look very complicated, there are some familiar things in there — an X, a plus sign, and a lot of circles!  After sketching the web, students used white tempera to carefully paint over their lines.  One painting skill kindergarteners worked on was using controlled brush strokes so the web didn’t turn into a blob.

Once the paint was dry, students started to collage their spiders.  We looked at the shapes used to create a spider — mostly different sized circles and rectangles.  Students worked on cutting and counting out the correct number of legs.  Cutting a circle can be a challenging skill for kindergarteners, but I think they rose to the occasion!


EJ's spider collage

EJ’s spider collage

Kindergarteners with a little extra time made details such as eyes, feet, fangs, spider family members, and juicy flies for their spiders to eat.