November 19


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!

October 3



The Grade 2 children made snakes to celebrate it being the Chinese Year of the Snake!




I was surprised at how much the children whinged and moaned about how rolling the clay hurt their hands! And there were more children than I expected that really struggled to roll a sausage at all. We had a chat and it was interesting that most of them couldn’t remember the last time they had played with playdoh. Most insisted that they had never done this at school and didn’t have it at home because it was TOO MESSY! And these days the amount of children that help to roll  out pastry in the kitchen at home would fit in a thimble. So how are these little people supposed to exercise these fine motor muscles? In the Art room I suppose!



I was thrilled with how much effort the children put into painting their snakes once they were all finally fired. I’m sure this is directly related to the detailed work of Queensland artist Dave Behren’s that we were looking at and working on at the time!


September 29


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!!!

September 29


I found a pile of old calendars in the Art Room store room and cut then up to get all the fantastic images out of them.

I mounted them on cover paper and then laminated them.

It has taken ages to laminate them all as I did them in batches.

I ended up with quite a pile of a wide variety of beautiful, interesting and useful images.

This is only about a third of what I finally ended up with. I love recycling!!!


S o if you have any old calendars that you don’t know what to do with please send them along to my Art Room at Cambridge Primary School as I can always cut them up and use them with the children!


August 4


I got some of these fabulous signs for my Art room from

This website is full of fantastic stuff!

Once I had printed the signs I wanted and enlarged them to A3 size I wanted to add something to them to make them look a little different from the originals -BLING!

Everyone loves a bit of bling and my Grade 4A helpers had a great time sticking it on with only a little bit of assistance from me.

Thank you Technology Rocks Seriously!

Thank you Grade 4A helpers who gave up some of their lunchtime to help me out!



August 4


In my endeavours to give Visual Art a higher profile at Cambridge Primary School this year I have tried to put an article in every school newsletter. This has been quite successful as the amount of donations to the Art room has greatly increased and the children often come into the room talking about what their Mum or Nanna thought about something I had mentioned in the newslettter.

So I’m going to post my newsletter items on the blog from now on just to give you an idea of the things I write about to the parents and the community as I think it is so important to share what we do in Visual Art.

Art Room News

Lunchtime boss

Thank you to Giaan 3D and Sa’ad 2C who have been the Main Art room LUNCHTIME BOSSES during our lunchtime art sessions on Thursdays over the last two weeks.

The Art session on Thursday lunchtimes is designed to provide some inside time for the children who feel like drawing or cutting and pasting at lunchtime. It is a very popular session, and often crowded, so I decided I needed a bit of a wrangler to help me sort people out!

Giaan and Sa’ad were in charge of the whole lunch time session, directing students to what was available and helping out as well as making sure that the lunchtime participants cleaned up after themselves before they left the room. Thank you for the excellent fulfilment of your duties Giaan and Sa’ad and if you would like a turn being the Main Art Room LUNCHTIME BOSS on Thursday lunchtimes just come and talk to Mrs Menhennet!




Grade 4a special helpers

Thank you to Anika W, Luke, Lachlan, Saransh and Jasmine from 4A for helping to add some “bling” to some new signs I printed for the Art room.  These 5 children came into the main art room at lunchtime and worked on beautifying these signs for everyone’s enjoyment. They look fantastic! Thank you so much.

Monet exhibition at the national gallery of  Victoria

Melbourne Winter Masterpieces
Monet’s Garden

The Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

Did you know that the Monet exhibition is open on Friday night’s from 5.30-9.30pm with all sorts of special treats happening at the same time including a variety of Music acts and food?!?!?!

Here are some links to the NGV website, information about the exhibition and Claude Monet.

The children will be viewing these links in the Art room over the next few weeks.

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”

This fabulous exhibition is on at the NGV until 8th September. It is wonderful when Melbourne is visited by such exquisite pieces of work that you would normally only get to see in Paris! I took two of my children  over the school holidays and we had a lovely time. I look forward to talking with the children about the exhibition this t term.

Art room helpers  – A special thank you to Mrs Ramya Deepak Kumar (Rahul from 2J’s Mum) who helped me in the Main art room on Thursday mornings last term. It was wonderful to have another pair of hands in the Art room to assist with the million and one things that occur in each session. She will be back to help out again in a few weeks time and I can’t wait to get her busy again. Ramya told me that it was great to see the children developing new skills in front of her eyes as well as creating beautiful art works. If you would like to help out in the Art room just come and see me and we will book a time that suits you. You don’t have to book in for the time that your child is in the Art room and you don’t need any special skills, just a willingness to help out, and some time to do it. It will give you the opportunity to experience one of our specialist programs up close!

Don’t forget the  BLOG – The back art room blog  has had lots of updates over the last week or so. Has your work been featured on the back art room blog???

DONATIONS – Thank you for all the donations that keep arriving at the main art room.  We love to reuse and recycle! I cut up a pile of old calendars during the first week of term and had the children help me to mount these beautiful art pictures onto cover paper and laminate them so they can be used within the art program. There were three calendars full of prints of Claude Monet’s paintings! I also had some old floral calendars, animal calendars, birthday cards and some zoo magazines which the Grade 5 and 6 children cut and glued onto cover paper to be used as source pictures when the children need some visuals to help with their drawing. They are all absolutely lovely and just think, they could so easily just have been tossed out!!!

We still need –

  • Old calendars
  • Paint sample cards
  • Wallpaper offcuts and samples
  • Old birthday/Christmas cards

We currently have plenty of small boxes so don’t need any more of them at the moment.

Thank you,

Shelley Menhennet

July 24


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.

Viewing the website in the main art room 2013

Looking at the Dave Behrens website on the wall in the back art room.


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.”

Viewing Dave Behrens video interview main art room 2013 

viewing Dave Behrens video in back art room 2013

I have lots more photos to put up of this stunning work so keep looking for future posts.


July 23


I have just added my blog to the ART TEACHERS BLOG DIRECTORY and the list is huge! If you are looking for information on Art Teaching this is probably the place to look!

Have Fun,



Art Teacher Blog Directory

Art Teacher Blog Directory

Are you looking for new art projects for kids?

I started this art teaching blog directory a few years ago as a way to meet new art education bloggers.  This is a great place to start if you are looking for new ideas for your teaching.

Do you want to join an art teacher blog directory?  Add your link and then copy and paste the whole thing to your blog.  Pretty soon you will be linked up with art teachers from all over the world.

1. Marcia Beckett

2. Greg Percy

3. Mini Matisse

4. Barb’s Students

5. The Teaching Palette

6. Artspiration

7. eleni

8. Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room

9. Trish ackerman

10. Use Your Coloured Pencils

11. Art Makes Kids Smart

12. Draw, Paint, and Cut

13. LeAnne

14. Katie Morris

15. Art on the Move

16. The ART of Education

17. Rachel Motta

18. Tami Smith

19. Waitsfield Elementary Art

20. Fayston Elementary Art

21. Barb’s Thought of the Day

22. Tana

23. Art Teachers Hate Glitter

24. Stuck In The Mud Pottery

25. phyl

26. Lines, Dots and Doodles

27. Mary

28. Kthomas

29. B Art Z- elementary art

30. Artful Artsy Amy

31. Art with Mrs. Smith

32. ARTolazzi

33. Studio-Kids

34. Lori

35. Laura

36. we heart art

37. NancieKay


39. Gallery2404

40. Her Dabbles

41. mary ellen

42. Fine Lines

43. Jen Matott

44. Janie B

45. Jodi

46. Kati Walsh

47. Karen

48. Megan Swartz

49. Patty Palmer

50. TishaLou

51. BeccaRuth

52. Maggie Bandstra

53. School at St. George Place Creation Station

54. Jacquelien Bredenoord

55. Karen Bosch

56. Lisa Winkler

57. Lori K

58. Jeanne Bjork

59. Digital Sojourns

60. GT Art Room

61. artteachergirl

62. Jacqueline Cassidy

63. Roderick Vesper

64. High School Art

65. Ms. I’s Artroom

66. Mme Reddick

67. Natalie

68. DATA Di

69. Nicole D.

70. nicole sisco heller

71. destiny Breault

72. shine brite zamorano

73. Anna Pietrolungo

74. The Dot

75. A Faithful Attempt

76. Artmuse67

77. This Little Blog of Mine

78. stacy spangler

79. jennalee

80. Hannah

81. Aileen Wilson

82. in art class

83. Beth

84. Wilkinson’s Wonderful World of Art

85. My Adventures in Positive Space

86. Beth Hurley

87. claudiaj

88. Visual Thinker/Digital Learner

89. Mr. R.

90. Kat

91. Stacy Lord

92. Janis Rink

93. Tricia’s Teach & Art

94. that artist woman

95. tami

96. Hallie

97. Jennifer Auvermann

98. dolunay

99. Amanda barber

100. Deanna Agresti

101. Artburbia

102. Bethany Forgione

103. Fine Arts Studio

104. The Creative Sanctuary

105. Hayley Ferber

106. SnippetyGibbet

107. Bulletin Boards to Remember

108. Art Alert

109. ARTastic!

110. Molly Stewart

111. Ms. Papanikolaou

112. The Ramblings of a Middle School Art Teacher

113. Primary Colors

114. FACA Art Room

115. Suffield Elementary Art Blog!

116. Keri Pye

117. ronet noe

118. Rebecca Ogden

119. Kids & Glitter

120. Linda (Susie) Rodriguez

121. hegARTy

122. Room For Art

123. Miss Packham’s Palette

124. Outside the Lines

125. Jessica JOhnston

126. Kunstmappe

127. Helen Lindhorst

128. An Art Teacher’s Fairy Teal

129. The Eclectic Illustrator

130. Mrs Craig’s Art Room

131. Chan Bliss

132. Adorably Awesome Artists

133. It’s Elementary Art, Mrs. Holmes!!

134. Mrs. McDonnell

135. Thomas Elementary Art

136. The Art Teacher’s Closet

137. Art for Kiwi Kids

138. Dali’s Moustache

139. I Now Pronounce You Paintings

140. In The Paint

141. What Will We Make Now?

142. Art Tech Education

143. Allison Krook

144. Tonia Gray

145. Tonia Gray

146. Crafty Moira

147. Stephanie

148. ARTechniques

149. Pam

150. Midnight Mona Lisa

151. sharpiewoman

152. My Creative Wish

153. Kieren Dutcher

154. Wanda Laing

155. Mrs. Meggles Art Room

156. Dishing Art

157. Mr. E

158. Yankeetown Art with Mrs. C

159. Clever Feather

160. The Crayon Lab

161. Teaching Art in Alabama

162. Kristin Anson

163. Creative Flamingo

164. Tales from the Travelling Art Teacher

165. Mary C. Nasser Art

166. cathyb

167. Pamela’s Art of Living

168. What’s Up, Jackson Pollock?!

169. Kathleen Arola

170. Art with Miss V

171. More Powerful Beyond Measure

172. Miss Judy’s Art Class

173. Create

174. Picasso’s Basement

175. Art Moments

176. Christy Humpal

177. marcie jan bronstein

178. Elementary Art Rocks

179. Rachel S.

180. Chanteal Alston

181. Darlene Pringle

182. room 9 art

183. Mary Jones

184. Art lessons from a K-8 school in Phoenix

185. PurnimaSampat

186. The Adelphi Project

187. Lee Darter

188. The Art Room


190. Erica

191. Morgan J. Norwood

192. stacy

193. The Art Fairy

194. Doodling In My Mind

195. Muddy Rose Pottery

196. JoYcE van der Lely – YoungatArtDownUnder

197. Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists

198. Adam Laughlin

199. Ms. Kristen-Crayon Can

200. Hazel Terry

201. Elwood Primary Art Adventures

202. Laura

203. Mr. MintART

204. Art at Becker Middle School

205. Amy Miller

206. Christy Branham

207. Bea Gilmore

208. Rae Ann Hoehn

209. Vull fer Plàstica

210. Northbridge International School

211. Cooperative Curriculum

212. The Bees Knees Cousin

213. Sarah DeWitt Brooks

214. artisan des arts

215. Chanda Weigel

216. Rainbow Skies And Dragonflies

217. Katie Lewandowski

218. Principles of Heart

219. Sarah

220. Tara

221. Learn to Teach. Teach to Learn.

222. Spot of Color

223. Mrs. Belzer

224. Jen

225. Clara Crosby

226. wendy pierce

227. Mrs. Paul’s Art Room

228. Gail Altschuler

229. Debbie

230. Erin Elizabeth

231. Miss Montoya!

232. Create Art With Me

233. Helen

234. Cathy K

235. Fru billedkunst

236. Taísa Soares

237. Jenni Ward

238. Maria Smith

239. ArtZKiddoZ

240. Fruit Flower Insect – Cynthia Padilla

241. Roze

242. Ms. Todorovich

243. GRich

244. newcityarts

245. Mrs. Macre’s Art Class

246. KNWaggoner

247. smArty

248. jen

249. Ms. Eaton’s Phileonia Artonian

250. Mona Lisa Lives Here

251. The Art of Mann (Horace Mann Elementary, WA)

252. Ilse

253. Griet

254. Elizabeth


256. Marilena

257. Kristin

258. Jen Impey

259. rhea Knott

260. Rainbows Within Reach

261. neomi

262. Dream Painters

263. ms art

264. Lori, Australia

265. Tracey Smith

266. Sarah

267. Grasping Great Gadgets by Kathryn Barton

268. Robyn Peterson

269. I Now Pronounce U Paintings

270. Zandrea

271. Art Intertwine

272. Que Seurat Seurat

273. Aimee Fresia

274. John Romang

275. VonnieMay

276. Paul Priestley

277. Paperclip Spaceship

278. Foster smART Room

279. michelle east fine art blog

280. Anderson Leitão

281. Tatjana Knudsen

282. Lori @ LorikArt

283. Chris

284. Joy Hellman

285. Jane Gravois

286. gretchen buwalda

287. Martha cecilia Valencia

288. Mrs. Joni Susa

289. Sarah Wegenast

290. The Traveling Art Teacher

291. Paula Guhin

292. elrincóndesenda

293. Colleen Rose

294. Jean Gray Mohs

295. Kim Bryant

296. FruBilledkunst

297. 4LittleArtists

298. Beth Carter


300. Kori Vincent

301. the Warm Tones

302. Mrs. Riedel

303. Art Class with LMJ

304. tonie kristoffersen

305. Native American Art School

306. Art Lesson Launchpad

307. Mark Schmidt

308. DoodlesNYC

309. Designing Fairy — teaching videos

310. Kathy Schmidt

311. PipeCleaners, PaperCuts and Picasso

312. Shelly Pruitt

313. Daun Yorke

314. Andrea Ream Ellwood

315. art is primary OCPS

316. Meri Walker

317. Tabitha

318. creativeind art

319. Crystal

320. Shelley Menhennet
July 22


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!

Hands up for art

Hands up for art 2

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 also saw this one on Pinterest too which has obviously been created by much older children.Thanks for looking and I would love it if you left a comment!


July 21


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!