"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Friday, August 4, 2017

Hamsa Hands

The Hamsa is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa and commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many times throughout history, the hamsa is believed by some, predominantly Jews and Muslims, to provide defense against the evil eye.
I teach this lesson to my junior high students as part of my unit on "The Art of Islam". I show them actual hamsa hands that I own (jewellery, a clay wall hanging and a hammered brass mirror. I also ask students to bring in any examples they have. Students then do some research on their laptops, looking up different types of hamsas. Then they draw out a template from photocopy paper and use this as a pattern to trace onto a piece of cardboard. I've then tackled this two ways: students papier mache over the cardboard in order to cover the raw edges of the cardboard. This technique takes much longer as more drying time is involved. Another class I simply had them prime their hamsas white one class, then the next class they designed their hamsa. They use their paper template to draw their ideas onto. They need to include some type of eye. I provide glass blobs and plastic gems to use for decoration and for the eye. Then they can use paint or markers to create their designs.
Some Grade 7,8,9 results:

Friday, July 28, 2017

Funky Flamingos

This is one of my all-time favourite projects to do with my Grade 4's. The results are always colourful and fun and the flamingos are so charming to look at.
We start the project by doing the background seascape first. On heavy white paper, they use either tempera cakes or watercolours to paint a simple three level seascape: sand, ocean and sky. 
This takes one class.
Next class, I start off my showing a Youtube video about fun flamingo facts. 
Then, using photo reference material. students each do one practice drawing of a flamingo. 
Then, on heavy white paper, they draw their good copy, outline in Sharpie and paint it using tempera. I give them red and white to mix their own shade of pink as flamingos 
come in varying colours of pink/coral.

Once dry, some students need to touch up their flamingos with Sharpie again. They choose a pink tail feather and have the option of using a sticker googly eye. I have virtually given up on using regular googly eyes as I have never found a glue to keep them on!! Any tips from art teachers out there? 
Finally, they cut out their flamingo, glue stick it to their background paper and bring it to me so I can hot glue on their tail feather. 

Some Grade 4 results:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Name Mandalas

This is a wonderful end-of-year type project to keep the kids focused and working even when they're antsy for the summer. Simple materials as well: photocopy paper (cut into squares) and markers.
I found this lesson HERE on the blog Apples Loves Oranges. She gives excellent detailed instructions which my students followed. 

Here are some Grade 5 results:

Friday, June 30, 2017

Inukshuk Watercolour Landscapes

This is a project my mixed Grade 4- 6 class did for the run-up to Canada Day (July 1st) celebrations. They created these lovely Arctic watercolour landscapes incorporating an inuksuk. This lesson was inspired by the illustrations in the beautiful book "The Inuksuk Book" by Canadian author/illustrator Mary Wallace. The book is a fantastic source on the history of inuksuks. Many of my students are familiar with them as many hike in the nearby mountains and alot of travelers make mini inuksuks along the pathways for fun.

An inuksuk is a stone structure that can communicate knowledge essential for survival to an Arctic traveler. Inuksuit are found throughout the Arctic areas of Alaska, Arctic Canada, and Greenland.
Students started by drawing a landscape- I encouraged them to include a foreground, middle and background. They created a freehand border and included a small space at the bottom where they would later write their name in Inuktitut. The book offers a useful 'alphabet' of sort st the back of the book so the kids could write their own name. Once drawn, they outlined these in either black coloured pencil or Sharpie. They they painted them using watercolours: I gave them the choice of using the Prang watercolours in a pan, liquid ones or watercolour pencils. Some students also sprinkled salt onto the wet paintings to add some textural effects. 

Grade 4 - 6 results

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