For several years now I have been using a scrap book as a Visual Arts Journal for my students from grade 1-6. I know some art teachers prefer a fancier, more expensive, drawing book to use as an art journal but I have found a scrapbook that has almost cartridge quality paper in it for a scrapbook price, so that’s what I use.
I don’t send these Visual Arts journals home at the end of the year unless they are full. I only have my students now for one semester each year and they don’t get enough opportunity to use them and it is just a waste to send them home with only a few pages worked on. The students also like to look over old drafts and artworks and reflect, and giggle, about how much they have improved over time.
So at the start of each school year they work on a journal cover concept that is just for that year level and this makes the 800+ journals I store in the art room easily identifiable so they can be put away in the correct place if they get lost. The journal covers when complete are covered in clear contact (sticky backed plastic) to protect the student’s hard work. As they use the art journals for more than one year they just glue the new year cover on top of the old one.
This is the design brief for my grade 6 journal cover.
- choose an A5 photocopied artwork (this year I had 20 different artworks to choose from)
- choose an A4 piece of coloured cover paper for the background of your cover
- each grade 6 journal cover must include your name and grade. This MUST be easy to read as although you are creating an artistic cover it still has to function as a cover!
- each grade 6 journal cover must include an easy to read title, eg: Art/Art Journal/Art Book
- the A5 colour photocopied art work must be altered in some way as part of your overall cover design, eg: cut it, tear it, draw on it, collage with it, etc
Why were there 20 artworks to choose from this year? Every year the choice grows as I add the current artist that we are looking at, this year it was MC Escher, and if any student asks for a particular artwork, I also add that to the list of those available. These were the choices for 2019.
- Ghost Gums, Central Australia Albert Namatjira
- Slumbering Sea, Mentone 1887 Tom Roberts
- Shearing the rams 1890 Tom Roberts
- Angel 1988 Deborah Halpern
- Ship of fools 2011 Deborah Halpern
- Wings of life 2014 Dave Behrens
- Self Portrait 2013 Dave Behrens
- Broadway Boogie Woogie 1942-43 Piet Mondrian
- The parakeet and the mermaid 1952 Matisse
- Mona Lisa Leonardo da Vinci
- The arrival of Spring in Woldgate 2011 David Hockney
- Child with a dove 1901 Pablo Picasso
- Weeping Woman 1937 Pablo Picasso
- The Scream 1893 Edvard Munch
- Sinbad the Sailor 1928 Paul Klee
- Castle and sun 1928 Paul Klee
- Sky and water 1 1938 MC Escher
- Miradauro 1958 MC Escher
- The Starry Night 1889 Vincent Van Gogh
- The Church at Auvers 1890 Vincent Van Gogh
I am always blown away by the ideas the students come up with.
What do you think of these?
The students finish off with a self assessment rubric. They also assess the cover of a peer using the same rubric. If you would like a copy of this rubric please email me and I will send it to you.
Thanks for looking and a comment would be appreciated.
My students had an opportunity to draw up a poster for the Cambridge Primary School Art Show which will be on the 23rd ad 24th October – yes, just a few weeks away!!!!!
Here are the finalists!
I love the dotty lettering style on this one.
This one was huge and made by a beautiful pair of sisters showing off all their art skills. This photo just doesn’t do it justice.
More lovely lettering.
I love how this one has used the school logo.
And who doesn’t love glitter??? I certainly do! Well, I suppose Lucy, our wonderful cleaner, doesn’t like it much. And, as you can see, lot’s of it did end up on the hallway floor under where the posters were hanging on display.
And another with lovely lettering.
And how gorgeous is this parrot???
And the winner is, as decided by myself in conjunction with Ms Nadia Bettio, our Principal – Crystal!
Congratulations Crystal and Ms Bettio and I both thought your art show poster was amazing. And the fact that you drew ME so beautifully at the bottom of your poster was just the icing on the cake. It is a stunning drawing – well done!
I am looking forward to seeing your poster up around school and on the front of the art show program. And, apparently, your poster is going to be put on a giant sized board at the front of our school – whoo hoo1
I’ll take some extra photos and upload them when I get the chance! Well done everybody!
As mentioned in previous posts, the Grade 2 children were inspired by the work of Queensland artist Dave Behrens. We looked at his website on the projection screen and even watched a video of him in his workshop.
The children were itching to get started after looking at the amazing squiggles, lines and symbols that go together to make Dave Behrens amazing paintings.
We started off small with each child decorating a rectangle to add to a whole grade piece of work.
They then chose a template to trace from a heart, a circle or a person. Some children found looking at the whole empty shape daunting so they used rulers to break the space up into sections to fill.
They were so proud of their work when it was finished and they looked terrific displayed together at the Art Show.
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!
This is what happened when I gave the Grade 1 children a tub of wooden clay tools for the first time. Up until this stage they had only been using their hands and fingers as tools. I explained that this was a time to try out and experiment with the tools and see what they could do with them.
It was interesting how some of the children madly textured their work while others incorporated the tools into their finished items. Hey, I didn’t tell them that they couldn’t do that!
Quite a few of the children created a clutch of a few small items rather than make one large piece, and they all knew that none of this work was going to be kept but I would try to photograph their experiments before their session finished.
We certainly had a terrific discussion after everyone had walked aroud and looked at each other’s work.
“How did you do that?”
I wish I had thought of that!”
“I’m going to try to do mine like that next time!”
How did you make that shape?”
“Can we use the clay tools like that?”
“I made my clay flat like a picture but next time I want to make a fat shape that sits up on the table.”
And just in case you were like me who mistakenly assumed this was a nice tree – this is the Tower of Isengard from the Lord of the Rings!!!
A friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook during first term telling me that she had found an amazing website that belonged to an Australian Artist and I was going to love it. My friend Sue knows me really well and she was right. It’s a great website and DAVE BEHRENS is an amazing artist. He lives in Queensland.
I sent him an email and told him I was going to do some work with my Grade 2’s and 3’s in the Dave Behren’s style. And in the end we sort of spent the whole term working in Dave Behren’s style and the work the children have produced has been absolutely stunning.
Dave Behren’s paintings are incredibly detailed and the” WOW!!!” factor was certainly there as the children all “oohed”, and “aahed”, while looking through the website together and watching a video interview, which was available on his website, on the projection screen in the classroom.
We started off small. The grade 2 children had to decorate a rectangle of coloured paper. The grade 3’s had to do a star shape. I glued them onto a large sheet of black cover paper so they would look similar to the way Dave Behren’s arranges some of his paintings. There was a lot of discussion about what could be drawn, repeating patterns, shapes within shapes, symbols, etc. I drew up some idea sheets BODIES/SHAPES/LINES and asked everyone to contribute one idea to at least one sheet. Once they were working though they all took inspiration from each other – “Ooh I like what you did just there. I’m going to try that one.”
I have lots more photos to put up of this stunning work so keep looking for future posts.
I created this display with the hands made by the Grade 1’s to get the year started off with a lovely activity and a lovely display!
The children traced their hands and arms, or asked a classmate to do it for them and then decorated them with patterns using the zoom crayons.
The following week they painted their hand using watercolour cakes(or blocks, whatever you like to call them). The grade 1’s had not used these before so needed to be taught to wash their brush when they were changing colours so the cake of watercolour did not become muddy.
I also insist that they look after the water pots themselves and if the water is too dirty they just go and empty it and refill the water pots themselves without asking me. This always results in a few water spills at the beginning (big deal, it is just water!) so we then discuss why the spill has occurred (rushing, too much water in the container) and what we do when they occur (put newspaper down immediately to help soak up the water and make the spillage more visible for others in the room and then clean it up as quickly as possible) and the spillages soon stop. It is all worth it in the end as I strive to make the children clean up after themselves. I am always stupefied by the number of children at Grade 1 level that have NO IDEA how to turn on a tap! This is all part of the learning process of being responsible artists!
I did not tell them that the crayon would resist the watercolour but waited until someone noticed it before we discussed it. “What’s happening here? Why isn’t the paint covering that crayon pattern?”
When they were dry cutting them out was the next challenge so I demonstrate how you can turn the paper while you are cutting slowly, a revelation for most grade 1’s, so you don’t just chop off all the fingers!
I ummed and aahed about how to display them and then settled on a circle. I layered them on the display board and tried NOT to staple the hands and fingers so they would move in any breeze that wafted past. I was going to put the sign in the top left corner in the middle but then found the bit of gold corrugated cardboard in the scrap box, added some cupcake wrappers for eyes (we used to call them patty pans when I was a kid) and it turned into a beaming sun, so appropriate as the start of the year was so very hot!
Thank you for the inspiration from this picture on Pinterest. I absolutely adore Pinterest!
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.
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!
Thank you for looking. Don’t forget to leave a comment!