5th grade

Clay Loom Weavings, 5th grade

Check out these stunning clay loom weavings! I was out on Friday but left one of my 5th grade classes to finish their weavings. I just loved coming back to these colorful creations.     It’s been fun watching each stage of this lesson from start to finish. The inspiration for this lesson came from my colleague, Kathleen Belton, Art Teacher at SB. I saw these beautiful clay looms in her art room and knew I needed to share this lesson with my 5th graders. I’m so glad that I did! Thanks again, Kathleen!

I love this lesson because it intertwines clay and weaving. Two mediums I love teaching for their tactile qualities. We began this lesson by creating our clay looms. Students rolled a slab, no larger than 7″ x 9″. Next, students created imprints in the clay, with texture tools. Using our needle tool, students cut their clay looms shape. It was neat seeing such a variety of loom shapes both organic and geometric. Lastly, we used a 4″ x 5″ template to trace and cut a center hole. With our center slab removed, we used our stylus to create a few holes in the clay near the top (for our hanger) and near the edge of our clay. With two visits to the kiln, once to fire our greenware clay, two for glazing, our decorative looms were ready to string (warp) and weave on . We were introduced to the weaving process, through the use of an AWESOME youtube video. Here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbtKnvc_9No. Students always want to know, “where  the hands are!” It’s true our hands are our best tool when creating a weaving and interlacing our materials. I was really impressed with how quickly our 5th graders prepared their looms for weaving. Our 5th graders had a lot of fun with this lesson. It was neat seeing students interlace weaving techniques, create patterns, play with yarn textures and color, and even try to create landscapes out of their weaving.

Take a look at 5D and 5L wonderful weavings! I could seriously look at these all day! Hangers are the only thing left to add!

We used three weaving techniques, Over Under, Rya, and the Closed Slot Weave.  Ask your 5th grader what they learned and enjoyed about this lesson! They know many new weaving terms!

Sketchbooks in the Art Room!

Sketchbooks… to develop creativity!

Sketchbooks or journals are tools that artists use to experiment, try something new, practice, make mistakes, challenge yourself, or develop ideas.


Our handmade sketchbooks are finally together and ready for use! 3rd, 4th and 5th grade artists, created these colorful sketchbook covers on our second day of art. We are currently in the process of adding duct tape details to make our sketchbooks a truly special place for our ideas to take flight. Our 4th graders have already been busy planning their next art project in them.

We began by painting manila folders using warm or cool colors. We made our covers bright, sparkly, and rich with texture. Creating a unique place to explore our ideas, reflect, record our observations, and plan future art projects. I can’t wait to incorporate more sketchbook activities throughout the year. Inspiration for this project came from art teacher extraordinaire, Cassie Stephens.

“You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch

everything and keep your curiosity fresh.”

-John Singer Sargent

         I’ve actively been keeping a sketchbook ever since my high school art years. To this day, I carry a sketchbook around with me at all times. 9 in total, they are my most prized possession. More special then any painting I’ve ever created. These bound pages represent to me a time and a place. This weekend i will be filling the pages of my sketchbook with inspiration, when I attend the AENJ “Full STEAM Ahead” art conference.

I’m excited to see how our artists use their sketchbooks throughout the year. You just never know when inspiration will strike. I invite students to keep a sketchbook at home too. They are a wonderful place to express one selves or record our experiences and stories.

Character Counts!

Our final three collaborative murals are now complete!  Take a look at the work of our Kindergarten, First, and Fourth Grade Artists. They used the elements of art to illustrate their grade levels character values.

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Grade Four, Citizenship                                            Kindergarten, Caring 


Grade One, Fairness

It was so nice meeting my Monday classes yesterday, and finally getting to piece together our mystery murals. Students enjoyed working together to create one unified piece of art! I love the rainbow of color now filling the hallway outside the art room. Check out all six pillars of character! 


5th Grade, Elephant Festival of Jaipur

In celebration of India’s Holi “The Festival of Color” back in March, our 5th grade students created these colorful elephants. They are currently up on display outside the art room to signalize the arrival of spring. Our 5th graders enjoyed looking at photos and learning about how this colorful festival is traditionally celebrated. One of which is the carnival of colors, where participants play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water. We focused our attention on the decorated elephants of the Festival of Jaipur. We looked at how the elephants were groomed, decorated with traditional Indian motifs, embellished with head-plates, and wore embroidered velvet rugs. After choosing a photograph of an elephant, students got to work drawing their contour lines and creating value.
We created value “lights and darks” on gray paper by blending white and black color pencils. Once we had captured the elephants shape and visual texture, we focused on decorating the elephants with Indian motifs. Sometimes the images told stories while other times simple geometric and organic shapes blanketed our elephants. We used construction paper pencils to create vivid bold colors! The motifs happened organically as students began adding color to their designs.

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Square 1 Art Fundraiser

Square 1, Fun! Here is a sneak peak at our Square 1 Art projects!

Our 1st grade artists have been busy, “Finding Spring” through their Square 1 art creation. Through experimentation, we learned that when you combine any 2 primary colors together you get a secondary color. We used the milk changing experiment to explore this idea and test our hypothesis.    We then explored mixing colors with paint, and using tools like forks and tooth picks to create visual texture. On our second meeting day, we read another amazing book by Carin Berger, called “Finding Spring” We used our texture papers to create our birds and flowers shapes and collaging them together to create our Spring inspired artwork.  A couple weeks back I shared with our first graders, that the author of, “A Perfect Day” and “Finding Spring,” Carin Berger, saw our snow angels, on our art blog, and commented on how, “ absolutely charming” they are and loved the work they are doing in art! I hope she sees this blog post and knows, just how much she has inspired us through her writing and illustrations. Take a look at our spring inspired work!

Our 2nd grade artists created these beautiful symmetrical butterflies using contraction paper crayons on black paper. We created colorful abstract backgrounds using liquid watercolor! You may even notice the use of salt to create texture in our painting.

Take a look at the colorful creations of our 3rd grade artists! They created these whimsical peacocks using crayons and liquid watercolor. We learned so many cool facts about peacocks and put them to great use in our creations.

Our 4th grade artists created these tree silhouettes, using warm and cool colors! Students used color to create feeling of calmness, relaxation, or excitement.

Our 5th Grade Artists turned the letters of their first, middle, or last name into things about them.  They were so creative and imaginative in their illustrations. I just love these!

Our kindergarteners will be working on their Square 1 project this coming week! I’m looking forward to meeting and working with TG’s youngest artists. All artwork will be shipped to Square 1 on March 2nd. Families will receive their child’s personalized order packets (and sticker) around March 12th. Until then, enjoy a preview of work from our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade artists.

Winter’s Wonderful Work

Take a look at winter’s wonderful work, captured by our 5th grade artists.

We got started, by examining photographs of snowflakes, taken by scientist, Wilson Bentley, also known as, “The Snowflake Man.” When we studied snowflakes up close, we noticed how intricate and unique they are. We were amazed to find, how many different types of snowflakes there are, and how these tiny particles come to be. We learned that while their hexagonal shape and six sides stay the same, the details of their overall structure varied. Here is an incredible time-lapse video of how a snowflake is formed. What an art form! We created our 3 dimensional snowflakes by using Popsicle sticks for the arms and aluminum foil to create the wintery feel and sparkle. Our 6-sided snowflakes, demonstrate our understanding of radial or rotational symmetry.

Andrew M. Barron Billy Charlotte Chloe Faith Julia Sam D.

“Splendid snowflakes” 

Our 5th graders used color to create feelings of excitement and warmth or calm, and coolness. Using warm or cool colors, students got to work, creating snowflake designs as unique and special as the artists that created them. It was neat seeing our snowflakes transform through color, pattern, and unique shapes.

“Nature has been mastering itself for some time now, and it is an honor to be able to capture its beauty.” – Justin Beckett 

Bento Boxes, 5th Grade

Bento Display

Food Art 

Our 5th graders have been busy turning lunch into an art form, with these deliciously crafted Bento Boxes. We spent time admiring the art of Japanese cuisine through the preparation and arrangement of these lovable, yummy bento boxes.  An equal amount of time and care went into planning and  preparing our food items using materials like; construction paper, tissue paper, foam, felt, and yarn. Beauty is an essential ingredient in any traditional Japanese meal. Our 5th graders kept this in mind as they captured the color and textures of each individual food item.

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Students used their favorite foods and imagery to create a bento boxes that explored their individuality.

The Japanese believe that you eat with your eyes first!  Enjoy these works of art created by our 5th grade artists.

 Who wouldn’t enjoy receiving a lunch filled with so much color, texture, and of course love!

Hungry for more? Come back next week for additional photos.

Bento display 2

It was fun seeing what “award” each student got for their Bento Box creations! We used this token response, art critique game, to look at, and talk about each others work. Students won awards for such things as;

Art Symbol Game

5th Grade, Giving Trees

Our 5th grade artists find inspiration in nature and the trees.

The last of our autumn projects is here, just in time for the cool weather. This year, our 5th graders gained inspiration from 1 of 10 tree surrounding TG. It was fun seeing what tree each student chose and the personal connection they shared for it. Some trees were full of leaves while others stood bare.  It was neat seeing the transformation as it happened in nature and in our artwork.

(Observing nature in all its beauty)

When we were studying the textures and patterns in nature, we went outside and drew from life. We used a variety of lines and patterns to created the texture in our bark, leaves, grass and sky. These sketches aided in our final tree drawings.

Tree studies in progress

With our contour lines and texture added, we got to work adding color. This was the final stage in bringing our trees to life. We added color through the use of chalk pastels. This was done through the soft blending of colors, and the use of warm and cool colors. Our students did a great job of balancing the exciting vivid warm colors and calm and relaxing cool colors. I just love these trees and can’t wait to walk by them everyday on my way in and out of the art room.

Each tree is unique and full of personality just like the artists that created them.

Enjoy exploring!

Great art picks up where nature ends.”  Marc Chagall