Friday, June 15, 2012

A Cautionary Art Tale

Oh Pinterest. Oh Art Blogs. You give us such high hopes. Such lofty dreams. Sometimes the ideas I find online are gold! They work great, my kids love them, everything goes as planned. This is not one of those times.

I found this fabulous art blog called "Art Is What I Teach". I really do love this blog. She comes up with some really creative projects to teach basic art skills. Really outside the box.

I came across this awesome looking "Jellyfish Art" project a few months ago and thought my kiddos would love it. I Pinned it and moved on. I went onto my boards to find a nice art project for our last one of the year and was reminded how awesome this one looked. My kids have been one of the best classes I have had for using paint and not making big messes (just the regular residual mess, but no fooling around mess). So I decided to give it a try.

I decided that we would do this outside on the cement sidewalk behind my classroom door to lessen the mess. We have slanted desk tops and not much in the way of group tables in our room. We have done art outside before and it worked perfectly.

My art volunteer and my summer student got the tables set up and covered in newspaper. I mixed the paint (watery) and cut the bristol board. I brought the supplies outside and called my kiddos out, six at a time to keep thing orderly. The other stayed busy inside the classroom with their end of the year puzzle books.

Not even five minutes in, I hear yelling and turn to find two cups of paint had tipped onto two different art projects and were running all over the table, onto the cement, but thankfully, not onto my kiddos, who jumped out of the way. I grabbed the sudsy bucket, wiped down what I could and we covered the top with more paper.

I then came up with this little gem of an idea. I put the paint cups into any old plastic tubs I could find in my classroom (most are empty right now as I am cleaning the room out).

It worked perfectly. My summer student sarcastically asked why I couldn't have thought of that earlier.

For this project, the kids paint sloppy, wet paint circles and then hold their paper up to let it drip and make tentacles for their jellyfish. A few kids got a little too enthusiastic with their papers and were shaking/flapping them in the wind, getting paint on their clothes, arms, faces, shoes. Ug. We used my sudsy bucket and got most of it off, but it was a logistical nightmare, even with only a fraction of my class outside at a time! I didn't even attempt to do the final "splatter paint" at the end. I figured the fish were enough!

In the end, it made for a memorable last art project and they turned out really cool. The moral of the story is, beware of projects that may seem simple, because they probably aren't!

A few more days to go. On Monday, we are going to the Waterfun park for the day. Tuesday is pack up and sort day combined with Water Fun Afternoon with the Student Activities team. The we have a half day on Wednesday, Grade Eight graduation in the the evening. That's it! Of course, we have meetings on Thursday and other duties to complete, but my career at this school is coming to a close much too quickly for my liking.

See you soon!

UPDATE: When we made our end of the year memory books, I couldn't believe how many kids listed this as their favourite art project of the year! Go figure!


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