September 27

GRADE 3 SUNFLOWER PAINTINGS

These stunning sunflower paintings were created by the Grade 3 students after they looked at the sunflower paintings and drawings created by Vincent Van Gogh.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 57 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 57 2015

I found some images online from Vincent Van Gogh’s sketchbooks and I always show these to the students to reinforce how important their art journals are in the process of creating their artworks.

secretmuseum_vangogh2

secretmuseum_vangogh2

The students also looked at photos of sunflowers which grew outside our grade 5 classrooms earlier this year

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 15

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 15

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sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 11

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 8

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 8

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sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 3

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 4

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 4

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 6

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 6

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 10

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 10

and at photos inside a magnificent book by David Douglas Duncan titled ‘Sunflowers for Van Gogh’.

David Douglas Duncan war photographer

David Douglas Duncan war photographer

I was lucky to stumble across this lovely book for $3 at the Salvation

cover sunflowers for van gogh

cover sunflowers for van gogh

Army Opportunity Shop in Werribee. What a find! The author and photographer, David Douglas Duncan, fell in love with Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings and travelled to France to create a book devoted to the fields of sunflowers in France. I often find fantastic art books on the bookshelves of Op Shops and they are always really cheap! Op Shopping is one of my favourite pastimes as you just never know what you might stumble upon! The students loved looking through this book and it was out, on their work tables, throughout the creation of these wonderful artworks. They were fascinated by the variety of the sunflowers and that they were so different to the sunflowers that grew in our school garden beds.

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 14

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 14

As you can see the grade 3 students spent many, many weeks on these art works and they are, rightfully, very pleased with them.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 60 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 60 2015

The students started by doing a 10 minute pencil draft in their journals of 4 different sunflowers – front view, side view, dying with petals dropping, not yet open.

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 72

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 72

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 70

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 70

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 68

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 68

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 67

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 67

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 75

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 75

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 83

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 83

All the students found these 4 views challenging but were willing to give it a go in their journal. They then bought their journal to me for a quick one on one chat about their drawings, full of praise, of course, and directed specifically at their ability level – differentiation!

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 94

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 94

They then drew a vase of sunflowers 10 minute pencil draft. And again bought this to me for a brief chat. Most children drew their sunflowers in the vase facing in different directions (hooray!) as the brief practice of the four views freed them up to do this. I did not make any direct references to how they were to draw their vase in their journal, or that they were to include the four views from their previous drawing. It was all learning by doing – and isn’t that the best kind of learning!

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 90

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 90

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 89

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 89

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 88

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 88

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 85

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 85

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 81

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 81

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 76

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 76

So that is 2 steps before they could even commence painting!

The students commenced by drawing a faint pencil line at about a third of the way up from the bottom of the paper. This gave them a line between the tabletop and the wall. This was suggested by a student who pointed out that Vincent had given his flower vase somewhere to sit by creating a table top rather than the vase just finishing at the bottom of the painting – hooray, hooray for improved observational skills! There was a huge variety in the colours used and some children created fancy tablecloths while others decorated the background wall. Most students painted their background with dry block paints giving it a wishy washy watercolour appearance.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 59 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 59 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 47 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 47 2015

I usually write up a basic framework to create the art work during discussion with my first class at that grade level. I then revise and add to the framework through discussion with the other grades. All students are well aware that it is only a guideline and they are free to pursue their own ideas throughout the process. This allows the students to work independently, with a reference up the front if they need it, as they work their way back and forth, stopping and starting, between parts of the complex work. I scribble in alternatives at each step, sometimes as they appear, and make sure the materials are available on the resource table, to aid the students independence.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 48 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 48 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 19 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 19 2015

The next step was the sunflower stems. Most students chose to print the stems onto the background using cardboard scraps. Again, this created a huge variety of different looking stems.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 3 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 3 2015

They then painted the sunflowers carefully, most students leaving one stem without a head. Most students chose to paint their sunflowers using basic school acrylic paint. This accentuated the difference between the wishy washy background walls and the stark, bright, solid colours of the sunflowers.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 2 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 2 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

The 3D sunflower head was made using Model Magic

model magic

model magic

which is an air dry clay which is very light and can be painted when it is dry. You can get it from Cavalier Art Supplies in Geelong. You can also use Paper Magic Clay

paper magiclay

paper magiclay

which is created by Zart Art in Box Hill, Victoria, Australia as an alternative to Model Magic. My students have used both successfully. We found, as the weeks marched on, and some students had not created their Model Magic flowers, that it worked just as well when we started cutting corners to get finished. It was just as successful if you glued the flower on as soon as you made it, rather than wait for it to air dry, and you could paint it before it air dried as well.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 64 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 64 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 13 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 13 2015

To finish their amazing work of art the students cut and decorated a vase and made sure it was big enough to cover the stems! This was an hilarious learning adventure all on it’s own. I showed the students how to fold a kinder square in half, draw half a vase on one side, cut it out and get a whole vase. The shocked faces when their vase was way too thin or better still, in two separate pieces, as they had drawn their vase along the wrong side of the folded paper, were priceless! I am always pointing out to the students that mistakes are part of their learning so it was fantastic to watch them fiddling with the two sad, separate pieces of their vase, to figure out where they went wrong, so they wouldn’t do it again.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 45 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 45 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 46 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 46 2015

It was a very long, involved process from start to finish for this work, with many stops and starts in between, as work had to dry completely between many of the steps.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 44 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 44 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 43 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 43 2015

All the grade 3 students worked brilliantly and moved independently onto different parts of the work while waiting for other bits to dry.

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grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 15 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

I am very proud of how committed the grade 3 students are to their art and how well they used their art time!!!

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

And I’m sure you will agree that these are stunning artworks, some of which took 8 sessions to complete. All students, regardless of the level of their ability, were proud of their achievements.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 17 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 16 2015

And they made a gorgeous display. I can’t wait to put them all up at the art show!  The Cambridge Primary School Art Show is  on the 23rd and 24th October!!! Just 4 weeks away – aaaggghhhhh!

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 42 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 42 2015

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grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 41 2015

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment.

Shell

 

July 19

Grade 4 Foot Zentangles

Grade 4 footangle 55 2015

As mentioned in my last post, I went a bit crazy with Zentangles at the start of this 2015 school year.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 25 2015

Grade 4 Foot zentangle 25 2015

These are the foot zentagles – and we shortened the name to footangles – that my grade 4 students did.

Grade 4 footangle 26 2015

Grade 4 footangle 26 2015

I had done this activity 20 years ago in the art room, way before Zentangles had even been invented, and it always went well.

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

The students started with taking off a sock and a shoe and getting a partner to trace around their foot and yes, in between their tickly toes, with a grey lead pencil, on A3 cartridge paper.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 13 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 13 2015

They then had to lift their foot and reposition it with their foot overlapping somewhere.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 8 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangleangle 8 2015

The tracing was repeated until their arrangement of traced feet looked balanced and enough. Their decision, not mine.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 11 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 11 2015

The partners then reversed positions and did it again so they were both ready to start drawing.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 5 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 5 2015

I suggested they do this with a partner so they would get a decent traced shape of their foot with their full weight on it, rather than leaning back and tracing their own. Plus, it was the start of a new school year so what better way to get to know a classmate better than getting up close and personal with their feet!!!

So after a giggly 20 minutes or so everyone was ready to start in on those patterns.

grade 4 foot zentangle drawing 2015

grade 4 foot zentangle drawing 2015

They had looked at patterns and amazing zentangles the week before and filled in at least 5 spaces on their own pattern ideas sheet of 20 squares that had been glued into their art journal, so they were all set to go.

Grade 4 footangle 47 2015

Grade 4 footangle 47 2015

These students were also the only year level I had done Zentangles with in 2014 when they produced a name tangle.

Grade 4 footangle 44 2015

Grade 4 footangle 44 2015

And when they were in Grade 2 we had looked at the brilliant pattern work of Queenland contemporary artist Dave Behrens.

Dave Behrens self portrait

Dave Behrens self portrait

 

Dave Behrens painting the spoken word

Dave Behrens painting the spoken word

Dave Behrens painting Crossroads

Dave Behrens painting Crossroads

So I was confident that the pattern work they did would be good, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 35 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 35 2015

So now it was time to forget they were feet at all but just look at their paper as being covered in random, organic shapes, all of which needed to be retraced with a thick black texta and then filled with a different pattern with a black fineliner.They weren’t allowed to repeat a pattern once it had been used.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 32 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 32 2015

When they were finished they then had to fill the background with stripes using warm or cool colours.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 37 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 37 2015

POSITIVES:

  • Students we re so proud of their finished work!
  • stunning pattern work
  • students were so encouraging and enthusiastic when we did our “studio walk” around the classroom to look at everybody else’s work

NEGATIVES:

  • Again I was way too ambitious with what I thought the students would be able to achieve over a few sessions However if they had used A4 paper the completed work wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive as there wouldn’t have been room for as many traced feet so less spaces to fill with pattern?!?!?
  • less children were certain about warm/cool colours than I thought
  • some students struggled to persevere to completion
  • I would definitely get the students to paint the backgrounds next time as coloured pencil or crayon backgrounds just dragged the work out even more. I cannot think why I didn’t get them to do this anyway?!?!?

Thanks for looking and I’m sure the Grade 4 students would love it if you left a comment,

Shell

July 10

GRADE 5 COLOUR ZENTANGLE LANDSCAPES

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 24
Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 24

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 24

I saw a post, ages ago, on one of my favourite art teacher blogs, ARTE A SCUOLA.COM, full of patterned landscapes which I thought were gorgeous. As I have done with a lot of this blog’s brilliant ideas, I tucked the idea away on MY PINTEREST BOARDS, saving it up for just the right time, which happened to be at the start of our school year 2015.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 10

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 10

I sort of went a bit Zentangle mad at the start of this year and ended up with the grade 3s doing Zentangle hands,

Grade 3 zentangle hand drawing 6

Grade 3 zentangle hand drawing 6

the grade 4s doing Zentangle feet

Grade 4 footangle 37 2015

Grade 4 footangle 37 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 201

and these coloured Zentangle landscapes being done by the grade 5 students.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 9

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 9

All three grade levels started off looking at and discussing examples of patterns and zentangles from MY PATTERNS AND ZENTANGLES PINTEREST BOARD on the projection screen. It was then time to get into a detailed pattern drawing frame of mind so I printed off about 15 pattern sample idea sheets, also on my patterns and zentangles pinterest board, for each table and then each student was given a grid sheet of 20 squares to glue into their art journal. The students had to use scrap paper and a pencil to come up with a pattern that they liked and then use a black fine liner to fill one of the grid squares on their sheet, thus creating their own pattern resource in their art journal. The aim was to finish off 5 grid squares at the end of the first session.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 31

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing

The grade 5 students, at their next session, discussed landscapes and looked at a couple of the samples from ARTE A SCUOLA.COM The students suggested writing up a list of elements for the landscape on the whiteboard which they could follow while they were drawing their landscape outlines in pencil. I reinforced with the students that the list was to be seen as a guideline rather than a recipe and they could add or take away elements as they saw fit. The landscape was drawn on A3 cartridge paper.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 46

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 46

All students brought their pencil landscape shapes to me for a brief one on one discussion directed at their specific ability level – DIFFERENTIATION! Is the work balanced? What can you do to your tree so it doesn’t look so top heavy? Which elements have you put in your middleground?

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

Interestingly every grade 5 ‘discovered’ that if their landscape included a body of water it “just didn’t look right” or it “made me feel weird” unless the edge of the land behind the water was straight/horizontal – hooray, no more slanted lakes or rivers!!!

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 28

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 28

So all students then went over their pencil landscape outlines with thick black texta and commenced the pattern work using thick coloured pencils or coloured textas. There was only one rule for the pattern work, once you have used a pattern you cannot use it again!

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

These were wonderful sessions for stopping half way for a “studio walk” around the art room where the children move from table to table quietly and look at each others unfinished work. The “oohs” and “aahs” and discussions about the work were fantastic! And, no, it is not just copying, if you see a pattern that you like on someone else’s work, and get an idea for your own work from that. Hadn’t we already been doing just that with the idea sheets on the tables??? And could you possibly reproduce such an intricate pattern EXACTLY the same????

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

I was astounded with the amount of effort some of the students put into these pieces! In hindsight A3 was probably too big to cover with such intricate patterns. These artworks took much longer to finish that I anticipated and the level of concentration required to get a fair bit done in one session was just too much for some students. However, I’m sure the students would say it was worth it when you can see the quality of work which was produced.  Whatever their ability level, every student felt a great sense of achievement when the work was finally finished!

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

You can also find more Zentangle landscapes on ART AT BECKER MIDDLE SCHOOL and BRICKS AND WOOD and ART IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 2

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 2

Thanks for looking and I’m sure my grade 5 students would appreciate it if you left them a comment.

Shell

avatar Shelley Menhennet

 

 

 

July 5

Grade 6 Optical Illusion drawing

I was looking for a drawing activity for my grade 6 at the start of the year and found this on my pinterest board op art that I had pinned ages ago.

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Thank you to We Heart Art who had a brilliant step by step procedure on their blog. It was a fantastic activity as it required few materials and soon had the students totally absorbed in their work.

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I must admit to being horrified at the grade 6 students poor ruler skills so was glad to provide them with this much needed practice!

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After looking at this set of samples all agreed that they would like to put themselves in the illusion, so when they were tired of ruling and colouring neatly they used their ipads to take photos of each other falling into 3e6ab44ae72303d30cf33c62c09b25e3what we all thought looked like a mysterious portal to somewhere else.

The photos were then to be emailed to me so I could have them printed off for their next art session. It was supposed to be so simple but the amount of students that did not have their email set up and running on their ipad was ridiculous. I also pointed out to the students that as they have their ipads all the time they could take their photo and send it to me any time rather than waste their art session doing this bit. A few students did this and emailed me their photos from home but most forgot about it until their next Visual Arts session.

I am certainly not the type of Visual Arts teacher that spoon feeds her students so they were responsible for getting their photo to me for printing. It became plainly obvious fairly quickly that there were lots of students who had forgotten all about getting their email settings sorted out and/or taking their photos in their own time. I absolutely refuse to fuss over students who don’t fulfill a simple requirement in a timely manner. Learning to use your one hour of art time well is part of being a responsible student but not having had this  particular cohort of students for a long time ( I have taught Prep – 3 the last few years) it was clear I was going to have to spend a lot of time pushing them to become more responsible for their own learning.

They did get there in the end and all were proud of their finished pieces which made an amusing display in the main hallway!

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Grade 6 optical illusion drawing

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 20

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 18

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 18

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 8

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 8

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 10

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 10

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 16

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 16

Grade 6 optical illusion 2015 L

Grade 6 optical illusion 2015 Look out Georgia

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 17

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 17

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 19

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 19

Positives:

  • Fantastic activity for the start of the year
  • needs little in the way of materials
  • many interesting discussions about colour, shading, line etc
  • students very supportive and encouraging of each others ideas
  • hilarious acting in the photos
  • practicing ruling lines
  • practicing cutting tricky shapes
  • practicing terrible colouring skills!

Negatives:

  • Some students were incredibly sssllllooooowwwwww to get this finished!
  • internet, email, etc never work when you want them to
  • many beautifully drawn backgrounds without photos to finish them off due to students not taking responsibility to get this bit done

Thanks for looking and I’m sure the grade 6 students would love it if you left them a comment!

Shell

November 19

ART SHOW 2013 GRADE 1 THE COAT DRAWINGS

These photos are of the hall display I did earlier and the drawings mounted and on display at the Cambridge Primary School Art Show.

I read THE COAT by Julie Hunt to the Grade 1 children as part of celebrating the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week in the Art Room. They were mesmerised by the story and the illustrations, by Ron Brooks, are divine. Ron Brooks illustrated The BUNYIP OF BERKLEY”S CREEK as well as lots of other Australian children’s titles. Thhis book went on to deservedlywin Australian Picture Book of the Year 2013!

 

After immersing themselves in the story and having a great discussion about the fabulous illustrations we talked a bit about how fantastic it would be to fly through the sky in a magical coat. The children then drew their own head and neck onto a coat shape I provided them with. They could decorate the coat in any way they liked and they were so excited to add some sequins to it as well! Such a simple thing but they just thought it was so special! I love the picture below with the flying ponytail!

The next step was to cut their coat drawing out very carefully, ensuring they didn’t hack off the head or the feet, and put it aside to start the background. Drawing from a bird’s eye (or a person flying in a magical coat) point of view is tricky when you are in Grade 1.

 We looked at photos and maps and drawings I found on pinterest and google for inspiration, we talked about what they would see if they flew over their house, or the school, or the MCG (the Melbourne Cricket Ground, an iconic Melbourne institution, where footy and cricket are played, and other events held, in our sports mad Capital city, so it was familiar to most of the children) and most of the children seemed to be able to articulate what they would see and what it would look like when they drew it. I love that you look at the back of his headas he is flying in the drawing below!

 I have to admit, when it came to the execution it was really tricky. Some of them started out with a bird’s eye view but then as they found something tricky to draw they would revert to a straight on aspect. Some of them just drew a picture from a straight on, normal view from the start, even if it was very detailed.

But boy, when they GOT IT, wow, they well and truly GOT IT!!!

 

I am so proud of all their attempts as nearly all the children said they thought they were the best drawings they had ever done!

July 21

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A CIRCLE?

I always like to start off the year with a drawing activity and this is what I came up with for the Grade 3’s this year.

They had to choose a coloured circle from the pile, any colour they liked. They could then paste it anywhere on their A4 piece of cartridge paper and then turn it into’ something?!?!?!?! using their imagination and their drawing skills. I told them that I wanted to be impressed by what they came up with as they were now in Grade 3 and I would not accept a drawing that didn’t have the background filled in. This then lead to a discussion about horizon lines, where the sky meets the ground or the buildings or whatever is in the way, and I threw in my old favourite question – “WHEN YOU LOOK OUT THE WINDOW CAN YOU SEE ANY WHITE PAPER????” No, because everything is filled in and there aren’t any gaps – well something along those lines anyway. There always seem to be a few nodding heads and “Eureka” looks on faces whenever that old question is aired so I keep asking it whenever this sort of discussion comes up.

And in the end I was quite impressed with their drawings and utterly stunned that I only got one Angry Bird – and he is quite cute. I thought that would be the first thing they would think of!

They used textas or zoom crayons to complete these drawings.

A few children asked if the could do something to the circle and the answer, of course, was yes. A few folded them and a few cut them.

I think this one might have been torn so the Ninja could see!

A fancy teddy bear handbag out in the sunshine!

I love the cat’s shadow cast by the sun – just brilliant for grade 3!

Such a wonderful train – Jester your drawings are always fantastic!

This gorgeous turtle has laid some eggs.

There were fewer sunsets than I though there would be. I like how the sun looks a bit sleepy!I was so surprised to see several Pacman drawings. I wouldn’t have thought these children would know that game at all!

When you lift up the green bird’s wing she has other little baby birds hiding under there – too cute!

This magnifying glass is enlarging the tiny ants walking across the grass from the left.

Thank you for looking. Don’t forget to leave a comment!

Shelley