I love painting with acrylics-- but painting with 36+ kids can be extremely stressful. After lots of trial and error, I have come upon a few hacks I would like to share with ya'll today!
Hack #1: Use condiment bottles to hold acrylic paints! You can label the bottles with the name of the color to make refilling a breeze. The mouth of the condiment bottle is large enough to pour from a half gallon and the little cap fits neat and clean on the end to prevent clogging. Kids are less likely to take too much paint because it doesn't pour as fast too! I bought my condiment bottles on Amazon here. You can also find them at the Dollar Tree!
Hack #2: Use foam plates and gallon zip loc bags to store paint in. If your students are like my students, they like to save paint colors. The foam plates won't absorb the water from the paint like a paper plate would and the zip loc keeps it all from drying out! I have kids keep these in their drawers with their assigned paintbrushes.
Hack #3: Speaking of paintbrushes....I have kids pick 2-3 general use paintbrushes to keep in their drawer for the entire painting unit. I repeatedly tell them that if they don't take care of their brushes, they are stuck with a gross, dried up brush for painting. Or they have they buy their own. They don't get replacement brushes! I can't tell you how much this has saved me from having to pick up brushes from the bottom of the sink! Make them take ownership of the supplies!
Hack #4: And for those brushes that do meet an ugly fate....THIS STUFF is great! The Winsor Newton Brush restorer can save a lot of brushes. Not all, but a lot! Simply use a small amount in a glass jar and leave brushes hair side down soaking in it overnight. In the morning, rinse! You may have some paint to peel off, but this has restored a lot of brushes for me. I NEVER TELL KIDS ABOUT THIS STUFF, simply for the fact that I don't want them relying on it and thinking they don't need to wash brushes. This stuff works on acrylic and oil painted brushes! The only downside of this stuff is the cost. $14.99 for a 16 oz bottle. Less expensive than new paintbrushes though!
Hack#5: This may seem obvious to some art teachers, but labeling your jugs of paint with the season & year will take the headache out of figuring out which bottle to use first! We tend to have leftover paint from the previous year. This helps kids know which jug to open next...I tell them to look for the oldest bottle and use that first! Saves money and paint.
I will be adding more painting hacks in the future! I hope you found some of this tips and tricks useful or that you will try them in your own classes! Let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below!
My teachers pay teachers store has a mini back-to-school sale on right now from 8/14/18 to 8/16/18! Get 10% off ALL products-- no limit! This is a great way to gear up for back-to-school and stock up on some great lessons! Several of my listings are great for sub lesson plans and can be modified and adapted to suit your needs. Click the image below or follow this link to go shopping for art education and graphic design lessons!
ALSO-- if you haven't seen my Elements of Art and Principles of Design block poster sets, I highly recommend you check them out here! See examples below. The entire set of 14 posters is only $16.20! Give me a positive rating and receive 16 TPT credits to use for future purchases.
I have just added a new lesson with a template made by yours truly! Introducing the mandala color wheel lesson! I have seen this done on a larger scale with students measuring, but I wanted to take some of the headache out of the lesson to make it run a little smoother for my Art 1 students. Hence, the printable template! The template is intended for acrylic paint, but you could also use watercolor, colored pencils, chalk pastel, etc. This is an excellent project to introduce students to the concept of color & the kiddos love making an intricate and original design!
Included in the Teachers Pay Teachers product listing is also a 19-minute demo video showing me create a mandala from start to finish using the template below.
You can purchase the mandala color wheel template, video & powerpoint at my Teachers Pay Teachers store!
Our high school art show is held at the end of every May to showcase all student artwork that has been created throughout the school year. My other teacher friend teaches Ceramics and she includes her students sculptures & vessels. Students of all abilities and styles are represented in our show. I think it is extra important that students with special needs and students who are learning English feel included in the show.
We only do our art show during the school day hours 1-8 and it feels like every student visits the show at some point!
We have a People's choice vote where students get to vote for their top 3 favorite artworks. They put their votes in a bucket and my teacher friend and I count up the votes to see who wins. Every year I put together prize baskets (1st, 2nd, 3rd) for the art show winners. 4th, 5th, and 6th places get honorable mention ribbons. Each basket has art supplies like a sketchbook, Micron pens, Faber Castell colored pencils, etc. The 1st prize winner gets a gift card to Hobby Lobby. The kids get so into this!
Even though this time of year is crazy busy, showing off my students hard work is so worth it! The kids exhibiting show such pride in their work and their friends are left in awe! I look forward to seeing what my future students make next year!
Keep scrolling to see examples from this year's art show . . .
Music box piece called "Dreamwalker". For medium, this artist listed "Magic". That's just the type of student she is! This piece is really a cardboard box decorated with Sculpey legs/feet and a music box mechanism inside. She punched her own music box papers to insert and the paper comes out the back. SUPER cool and just about every kid wanted to hear this work sing!
I started my graphic design 1 students on Adobe Photoshop CS6 standard version first. Eventually we started to move into Adobe Illustrator and this is a fun lesson to teach students the basics of Illustrator. Since Photoshop and Illustrator are very different programs, I informed my students ahead of time that this would be a another learning curve-- that some students might catch on quickly, while others might need more practice.
Last year, I won a $4000 grant to purchase tech for our graphic design program from the Centurylink Grant award program. I purchased 36 small Wacom drawing tablets for students to use and I instructed my graphic design 2 students to use them for this illustrator sefie project.
First, students took a selfie using their phone or one of my classroom cameras. I instructed students that their face had to be showing, but the artistic style, color, line quality, was up to them. I also told students they could change their selfie to an "alter-ego" which made for some very interesting changes to their actual look.
This tutorial below by RiceGum on Youtube is both entertaining and informative & we watched the video as a class and then I posted it to the graphic design 2 google classroom for students to reference.
When I first taught this lesson, I was worried that it would be too "tracey" and boring for my more advanced students, but it ended up being really okay! Since I allowed students much creative freedom, they were able to really have fun with it. I even had a girl turn herself into a werewolf! After everyone was finished, I created a simple google slides slideshow of each student's selfie to share with the class and I plan on sharing them with future graphic design classes. It was fun having the students guess who each person was! Check out additional examples of graphic design 2 students illustrator selfies below:
This product photography lesson includes everything you need for students to learn how to create their own product photography! This lesson works well for multiple discipline areas such as visual arts, graphic design, business, STEM (or STEAM!), or computer education. Students learn how to make a lightbox, set up lighting for their photography, edit their images in Photoshop or Pixlr, and analyze and reflect on their product photography and design choices. You don't need to know anything about product photography to teach this lesson. This photography lesson is most suitable for older grade levels including 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.
The lesson includes a 33-slide powerpoint, practice file, and 2 video files to help your students learn how to create their own product photography!
This lesson bundle includes everything you need to teach a successful animation project using Photoshop to your graphic design & visual art students. Students will learn the fundamentals of animation including history, key vocabulary, and frames per second. Students will then get to practice animating in Photoshop with a monster image (image included as monster_practice_file). Next, watch Part 1 Video to learn how to create an original animation using the move, brush, fill bucket, color palette, zoom, and shape tools in Photoshop. Students learn how to create their own frames & designs using these basic tools. Students also learn how to save their animations to turn them into animated. gifs! Finally, Part 2 Video expands on Part 1 by showing students some new tools such as magic eraser, eraser, and the text tool. Students will see how to add more movement to their frames. Students also learn how to use Free Transform and Transform to add interest and variety to their animations. The final product is an original animated .gif created by the student!
-20 slide Powerpoint presentation with links, examples, & video links (.pptx)
-3 video files (.mp4) total time 31 minutes and 36 seconds
-2 pages with lesson plans, prep, materials/resources required (.docx)
-1 rubric (.docx)
-2 .psd Photoshop files for reference
-2 animated .gif examples
-1 .png practice file for students to use
This guide is for sale for $6 in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!
My graphic design 1 students just finished a collaborative animation project. I connected with an Elementary art teacher about this project a couple months ahead of time. I asked her if she could have a group of 5th grade students draw characters, write what they want their character to do, and then send me the drawings. I ended up getting about 80 drawings and scanned each one to my e-mail.
Then, I uploaded the drawings as .jpgs to my Google Drive and sent a drawing to each graphic design student. I instructed my students that they had to animate the drawing according to the directions provided by the 5th grader. My graphic design students animated these in Photoshop...some students touched up the drawings a little, while others left the drawings as they were. Some students added photos or other images.
When all students finished, I put together a (not so little) Google Slide presentation to send to the Elementary art teacher so she could show her students all of our hard work! This animated gif project was a great way to connect with the younger student and share our program. We even got featured on the Rochester Public Schools Facebook page for this project!
This was just so much fun and a great challenge for my graphic design students! I will definitely be doing it again in the future!
Art 2 students created reduction prints using a 6"x6" block of safety cut linoleum. Students had to create an original drawing and plan for 3 colors + the color of the paper (most often white). Feel free to use my basic instructions with examples below! Reduction prints always seem far more complicated in theory than when you actually make it. One of the best ways to help students understand this is to have them practice on a very small piece of linoleum. Something simple like a flower is a good subject matter. See the process below.
I had been looking for a fun and engaging lesson on packaging design for my graphic design 1 courses for some time. Most projects I found didnt really have a lesson plan or wasnt practical for our resources and facilities. I got the idea from my doodle cup project and from there it turned into one of my favorite graphic design projects of all time!
Each student was instructed to create a logo, background, mock up, and final print design. I had students do research on different drink and coffee logos. We discussed color schemes, rules of good design, etc. Students had to illustrate their logos in Photoshop with a transparent background. Students saved these as .png files.
Next, students created a background in Photoshop. It could be a solid colot, gradient, pattern, etc. but it had to be created by them...no photos!
After this, students put their logo and background into a mock up file...this was super fun and kids really enjoyed seeing their work on a professional light!
When students finished their mock up, they were instructed to put their background and logo into a cup template .psd file. Studentd used their previously learned clipping mask skills to insert the background into the template.
Then students printed the template in color, cut it out, and glued it to a blank 12 oz coffee cup (pack of 50 was about $12). I also had students paint their lid with acrylic paints if they desired.
Students presented their mock ups, final designs, and design process to the class at the end of the project. This project took about 3 weeks of class time from start to finish and I just loved the creativity!
Download the file templates below (first one is a .jpg & second one is a .zip file containing the .psd Photoshop template).
Mock ups of packaging designs:
Finished physical print designs:
Art 1 created cardboard sculptures. Students had full choice in their subject matter, but the sculpture had to be mainly made of cardboard, had to be decorated in some way, and had to be 8 inches tall or wide. Students had to decide if their sculpture would be free standing or be able to hang on the wall. We used lots of scrap cardboard and random craft items for this project....but overall it was my least expensive project of the semester!
This was voted their favorite project thus far!
My Art 2 students just finished their packing tape sculptures and put them together as an installation in front of our school library. For this project, I had students research different sculptors throughout history and then use that research as inspiration for their own sculpture. I allowed students to work in partners or solo. They could choose their subject matter, as long as it was school appropriate. Requirements included:
A few students got a little frustrated with the limitations of the materials but most students really seemed to enjoy this project. It was enjoyable to see their plans change and critical thinking skills at work. Those that worked with a partner seemed extra successful. I used 36 rolls of packing tape, 18 rolls of saran wrap, and plenty of scrap cardboard and paper. It was a nice way to use up some scrap materials! We plan on keeping our installation up until winter break. After that, we will display some of them inside of our library, some kids want to take theirs home, and the rest will be recycled for next semesters sculptures.
Check out that eiffel tower! This student worked on her own and many extra hours than the other kiddos. She went for more of a cardboard route, and it worked out wonderfully for her.
What do you get when you hand over some blank paper coffee cups to a bunch of high school art students?
Some amazing art!
This was my Art 1 classes first major assignment. The Doodle cup project. Students could use markers, crayons, colored pencils, sharpies, etc. The goal for my students was to create a unique design that used the white space of the cup. They also had to do something to the lid. These took students about a week to complete...5 50 minute classes. We had a vote on the top 5 designs from each class to be included in the art show which was extra incentive to do high quality work!
Overall I will certainly be doing this project again. For those art teachers interested, I bought a set of 100 cups with lids from Solo on Amazon for around $20. You can find the cups I purchased by clicking the image below:
Make learning about art history more fun and engaging by having an art history of the week! Geared towards secondary level students such as high school and middle school, this download includes everything you need to teach a semester (or 18 weeks) worth of art history movements & styles. Each art history movement takes approximately 10-20 minutes to teach, depending on which video links you decide to use. Integrate art history mini lessons quickly and effectively without boring your students!
Use the Burrito book template so each student can make their own art history "sketchbook" and all you need are scissors! Not sure how to make a burrito book? The template comes with pre-marked dashed lines for cutting and instructions with images in the powerpoint slideshow. Each page of the burrito book is dedicated to a different art movement. Students must write down the time period, art movement name, a definition in their own words, how the elements/principles are used in the example artwork, 3 characteristics of that art movement, and 2 things they learned from the video. The image examples are glued to create interactive flaps that make studying the art movements even more fun. This entire product took over 30 hours of work to complete, so save yourself some time & use this one!
These cubes were made by my high school Art 1 students. Students signed up for a visual artist to research & create their own famous artist cube. I had students trace a cube template I made onto poster board and then encouraged them to "think outside the box" (Pun definitely intended). The results were pretty amazing! Each student then presented their creation to the class and we talked about our researched artists.
Just uploaded to my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Make learning about art history fun and engaging with your students! This coloring book includes 15 coloring pages that starts with Ancient Egyptian art and ends with Pop Art. Each coloring page has been recreated from the original master work of art. At the bottom of each coloring page, the title, artist, and date are included for reference. This 16 full page coloring book would also be an excellent enrichment or early-finisher activity. Print out the whole book or single pages depending on the unit and age level. These pages could also work as reference images for older students!
Click here to view the coloring book in my store
Which artists or cultures are included in this coloring book?
-“Anubis embalming Sennedjem” Wall Painting 1292 BC, Ancient Egypt
- “Achilles and Ajax engaged in a game” Amphora by Exekias, 540 BC, Ancient Greece
- “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1503 AD, Italy
- “The Musicians” by Caravaggio, 1595 AD, Italy
-Detail of “The Grand Robe” by Great Plains Native Americans 1800-1830 AD
-“The Great Wave of Kanagawa” by Hokusai, 1830-1833 AD, Japan
-“Sunflowers” By Vincent Van Gogh, 1889 AD
-“The Basket of Apples” by Paul Cézanne, 1889 AD
-Advertisement for “Job” By Alphonse Mucha, 1898 AD
-“Red Poppy, No. VI” by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1928 AD
-“Persistence of Memory” By Salvador Dali, 1931 AD
-“Guernica” By Pablo Picasso, 1937 AD
-“Day and Night” By M.C. Escher, 1938 AD
-“Nighthawks” By Edward Hopper, 1942 AD
-“Campbell’s Tomato Soup” By Andy Warhol, 1962 AD
This 16 full page coloring book comes prepared with a title cover in .PDF format. All coloring pages are free of nudity.
I just had to share and brag a little bit :) One of my high school students won best of show in the drawing category at the massive Big 9 competition for visual arts in Minnesota. Her work titled "Russian Blue" was created using white charcoal on black paper. The assignment was to create a drawing using the chiaroscuro technique. She scored a 20/20 and has the opportunity to display her beautiful work at the Perpich Center in the Twin Cities. I am so so proud of her work and excited to see what she creates next.
Just had to share a photo of the crazy coil clay projects that are drying. These were made by 6th graders! I will post more details about the lesson when they are finished, but I just couldn't wait that long!
I am a 6th year high school art teacher in Rochester, MN. I have taught middle school for 2 years and high school for 4 years. I truly enjoy working with students on a daily basis. I also enjoy teaching real-world skills such as problem solving, using technology, and the power of teamwork and collaboration. My joy is sharing my passion for art with others!
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