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Oil Pastel Sunflower Inspired by Vincent van Gogh

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Par­ents often tell me about the art­work their kids did with me that they have framed and hang­ing in their home. And this is the project that most often earns a per­ma­nent place on the wall! While there’s noth­ing like adding new lessons to keep your cur­ricu­lum fresh and excit­ing, we all have projects that […]

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Nativity Painting by Gerard Van Honthorst, 1622

Light Has Come!

Reli­gious paint­ings were a favorite sub­ject of the Old Mas­ters (trained Euro­pean painters who worked between the mid 1400’s to the early 1800’s). In paint­ings from this time period, Jesus was often depicted with a glow­ing light that would radi­ate out from him. This exam­ple of the Nativ­ity (or birth) of Christ by Dutch artist […]

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Burlap Needlepoint Mandala

It’s foot­ball sea­son and that means it’s the per­fect time to intro­duce needle­point art to your stu­dents! If you’re won­der­ing what foot­ball has to do with needle­point, look no fur­ther than for­mer NFL great, Rosey Grier. I used to have trou­ble get­ting my 5th grade boys to take any­thing seri­ously that involved a nee­dle and yarn.… […]

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Colorful Ofrenda Skeletons

Day of the Dead — Ofrenda Painting

The pop­u­lar Mex­i­can hol­i­day, Day of the Dead (or Dia de Los Muer­tos), gives us many oppor­tu­ni­ties for col­or­ful art lessons com­bined with learn­ing about another cul­ture! True con­fes­sion time.… when I moved from a small town in upstate New York to go to col­lege in Cal­i­for­nia, I had no idea what Day of the Dead was.… I […]

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Monoprint "Dot"

Monoprint Mandalas

Inter­na­tional Dot Day, and one of my all-time favorite books, “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds, were my inspi­ra­tion for this les­son! I wanted to come up with a new way to make a series of quick, col­or­ful, one-of-a-kind “dots” that could be com­pleted in one class ses­sion. With mono­prints, only one print can be made from each […]

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Quilled Butterfly

Quilled Paper Designs

  Quilling, also known as paper fil­i­gree, is an art form that involves rolling and glu­ing thin strips of paper into var­i­ous shapes and arrang­ing them to form designs. Quilled paper designs can be very sim­ple or as com­plex as you have the dex­ter­ity and patience for! The art of quilling dates back to the Renais­sance when French […]

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Student gluing sections of star together

Christmas in July! Folded Paper Stars with Symmetry

These hang­ing stars are a hit year after year with my 4th graders. You can make these in any size you want.… the size of the squares you start with will deter­mine the size of your fin­ished stars. (When I teach this les­son, I use 12″ squares in two dif­fer­ent col­ors to demon­strate the fold­ing and gluing […]

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