April 23


This work is due by MON 11th MAY 2020!

Hello to all my Grade 6 students from Cambridge Primary School and whoever else might be reading this post.

avatar Shelley Menhennethello word in block letters with exaggerated 3D shadows

I can’t believe it is Week 3 of remote learning already!


We are going to be doing a bit of Visual Arts learning around the topic of FAMOUS ARTWORKS!

All grade 5 students at Cambridge Primary School learn about PARODIES of famous artworks. Below is a review of the learning you did last year on Famous Artwork parodies. After that is the work I want you to do for Visual Arts!

REVIEW of Visual Arts topic from 2019.

What is a PARODY?

The easiest way to understand a PARODY is to start with a musical PARODY.

When you take a piece of popular music and change it to make it funny you create a musical PARODY.

Sesame St is full of musical PARODIES.

Try this one.

And one of my favourites, Weird Al Yankovic, has made a career out of writing musical parodies and then creating the videos to go with them. He has been doing this for more than 30 years!

Hey! Wait a minute? What is all this music? Are we doing MUSIC in Visual Arts?

HEY word

Yes we are!

Now, back to Weird All Yankovic!

And for those who love Star Wars!

So now you understand what a musical parody is. It is easy to figure out what a famous art parody is. It is when you take a piece of Visual Art and recreate it making fun of it.

Here are some Mona Lisa Parodies.

In the past Cambridge Primary School students have created some very funny and interesting Mona Lisa parodies.

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 26grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 25grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 24grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 2grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 21

Meanwhile here in 2020! (Yes, that means the review part is over!)

In this time of remote learning we are going to do something a little bit different!

I want you to choose a famous artwork and recreate it.

A lot of  people locked down at home have been doing this all over the world.

So what I would like you to do this week is spend some time looking at and thinking about famous artworks and deciding on which famous artwork you want to recreate.

So, do I want you to paint or draw something?

Instead you can use yourself or members of your family and dress them up to recreate a famous artwork. a bit like this.

Or you can use a different sort of material to recreate a famous artwork. Like this








More ideas are here on my Pinterest board.


Now, to complete this task is going to take –

  • thinking

  • imagination

  • researching

  • viewing

  • organisation

So I am going to let you use this week for thinking and researching and figuring out what you are going to do.

It is okay to change your mind during this process.

All good artists change and adapt their ideas as they think about and work on them. This is part of the artistic process and is not a mistake or to be looked on negatively.

So after you have done your researching, thinking and planning it is time to actually do it.

I would like all famous artwork recreations/parodies to be photographed and emailed to me

by Mon 11th May 2020.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

If you have any questions you can email me


If you can’t think of an art work here are some art collections you can look at.








Have fun,

Mrs Menhennet

And here they are!

Jimmy 6D rec

Jimmy 6D Escher Orig

girl with a pearl earring in lego

Riley 6B girl with a pearl earring recreation in lego

April 2


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.

Australian Art

  • 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

International Art

  • 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.


Shell Menhennet

July 27

Grade 4 Picasso face paper collage

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 26

I am currently sitting at Aquapulse, the new aquatic centre in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, typing this blog post. My 12 year old daughter Georgie and her friend Natalie are screaming down the giant waterslide as I type! I am sitting high up in the tiered seating area looking ridiculous, all rugged up for winter, with my laptop on my knee, while everyone else is strutting around in their bathersI This is all rather weird but such are the weekend pursuits of a hard working Primary Art Teacher!!! Multi tasking is my middle name!!!

aquapulse waterslide hoppers crossing victoria Australia

aquapulse waterslide hoppers crossing victoria Australia

I don’t know what Pablo Picasso himself would think of these face collages below but I just love them.

pablo Pixcasso Picture

Pablo Picasso Picture

picasso altar boy

picasso altar boy

Picasso Mother

Picasso Mother


First of all I showed the grade 4 students a range of portraits created by Pablo Picasso which I had on my Pinterest board, on the projector. I also had several Picasso portrait prints hanging up in the art room. The students happily discussed how interesting they were and how his portrait style had changed over time. Why do you think Pablo Picasso displaced so many facial features in his portraits? How does this make you  feel? What about his use of colour? A portrait is usually a likeness of another person. What does this say about the displacement of the facial features on these portraits? Well done Grade 4s for your fabulous discussions!



Picasso Dora Maar

Picasso Dora Maar



We also briefly looked at Weeping Woman as she is very famous in Melbourne as the National Gallery of Victoria owns her and she was stolen from the gallery in 1986. You can read more about that here.

Weeping Woman Picasso National Gallery of Victoria

Weeping Woman Picasso National Gallery of Victoria


National Galery of Victoria water wall

National Galery of Victoria water wall

Anyway, after looking and discussing I explained to the students that they were going to be creating their own Picasso style collage. In the past I had done this activity with grade 4 and just got them to draw a Picasso-ish face and I had also done this activity using cut out facial features from magazines. Both times before the students had stated that drawing or putting the facial features into the wrong positions was extremely difficult to do.

Zart Art Face Pack Paper

Zart Art Face Pack Paper

This year I had discovered this paper on the Zart Art website and knew it would be perfect for this activity.

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 1

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 1

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 2

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 2

So the procedure was

  1. Collect A4 cartridge paper from the resource table.
  2. Draw a head and neck on the A4 paper nice and large. (What do we say – FILL THE SPACE!)
  3. Colour the face using oil pastels. Natural skin tones were optional and up to the individual artist.
  4. Select and cut out desired facial features carefully from Zart Art sheets (that had already been trimmed down into quarter of their A3 size – hey, I’m not silly! And don’t massacre twenty seven eyes just to get to the one you want in the middle of the sheet. Cut out carefully and place leftovers from sheet you are cutting back into the EYES plastic pocket so somebody else can use them! Yes, sometimes the instructions have to be this basic to protect the expensive materials!)
  5. How many facial features can you have? How many do you need? Why? “I want more than one mouth because my person talks a lot!” “I need to give my person 5 ears ’cause they always listen to gossip!”
  6. Glue your facial features into their displaced positions.
  7. Is your person bald? What are you going to do about hair?
  8. Cut out your person carefully and mount them on an A4 piece of coloured cover paper.
Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 3

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 3

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 6

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 6

Most of the grade 4 students are now working on their next collage which is again based on Picasso’s portraits but A3 size, incorporating different types of cardboard to create (hopefully) layered facial features! I will write up a blog post on these when they are done.

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 4

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 4

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 19

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 19

Well, as already stated, I just love these and hope you do too.

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 23

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 23

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 31

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 31