Category: Art Lessons

As a fourth year high school art teacher, and daughter to a 30+ year elementary art teacher, I have compiled a number of art lessons. Here I will share my lessons, experiences, how tos, and examples of student work. I have found countless lessons on other people’s websites and I hope this will be a way for me to give back. If you have an amazing lesson you would like to share please e-mail me at [email protected] or fill out my guest post form on the guest post page. Thanks for visiting, I hope you found some useful information, or at least some good stories from a new, still-trying-to-figure-things-out, teacher.

Combining Drawing and Technology into GIFs

Over the summer, one of my goals for my Teachers Pay Teachers store was to add an animated element to the quote section at the top of my site. It was years before I realized other, much fancier, TPT sellers had this element, and mine was a simple gray box with a quote. When you go into the TPT edit mode, the only option is to add a quote, there are no color, font, or image change options. Despite this, somehow someone found a work around. When I finally realized I could do this, and a tutorial existed to teach me how, I tried to make it a top priority.

With the craziness that is life, it still took me months to finally get around to it. The task was a bit daunting, I had never made a GIF before, and I didn’t know where to start. When I finally got around to reading through the tutorial (check out two great resources here and here) I realized how simple it was. I began brainstorming ideas, and quickly settled on emphasizing the little bee that has become a part of my brand.

I drew out the bee, scanned it in, and uploaded it to Photoshop. Using Photoshop, I added each sequence, and saved it as a PNG file. Once I had all the PNG files ready, I uploaded them to a GIF maker and downloaded my compiled GIF. While it took me awhile to figure out the best way to save my files, and it took three times to edit, re-upload, find an error, and edit again, the process was actually fairly easy.

It was extremely satisfying to add it to my TPT store, hit that refresh button, and see my page come to life. I was so impressed with the process, I decided to make GIF headers for my class pages as well.

First, I created one for my painting class. I wanted it to reflect the main purpose of the course, so I used a pencil, paintbrush, palette, and paint to illustrate the header. Again, I used Photoshop to compile my drawings then move the individual pieces. Between each movement, a new file was saved. This GIF had over 40 files that had to be compiled to create the final GIF.

Once I completed my painting header, I created my Advanced 2D Design header. This one took the most drawing prep and the most files, 60 PNG files were compiled for this one, and it honestly could’ve used more to create smoother transitions. Because we cover so many different types of art in this class, I wanted to make sure it was properly represented in the header, and I couldn’t bring myself to save anymore PNG files. So the quick drawing pencil and painting brush are here to stay for awhile.

The process of creating a GIF was so satisfying that it inspired a project. I plan to incorporate this assignment into my drawing class. After focusing on drawing techniques and basics, this assignment gives students a week of breathing space. They get to create whatever they want and transform it into a GIF. It’s a perfect way to bring technology and art together to create something that many students are very familiar with.

This lesson plan is available on my Teachers Pay Teachers site here. It includes a PowerPoint to introduce the assignment, a detailed lesson plan with step by step teacher instructions, a supply list, big ideas, a rubric, and national standards. It also has a PowerPoint with detailed instructions on how to compile images into a GIF, with a handout for students to reference once they start. At the end of all my lessons I try to make time for a class critique of the project. This lesson plan pack also includes my critique worksheet and a fun addition to the critique process with emoji signs.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my fancy new GIFs and my GIF drawing lesson plan. Help me spread the word about art education and art in general by sharing this post with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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TPT: Semester Long Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics Curriculum

I am continuing on my journey of compiling my almost 9 years of teaching resources to create my complete high school art curriculum. So far, I have my Introduction to Art, Painting, Advanced 2D or AP Art Breadth, and now my Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics curriculums complete. This leaves drawing (which I am currently compiling), 3D Design II, Advanced 3D Design, and a yearlong AP Art curriculum. Once I have all the courses covered, I will create one mass bundle pack for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I am excited to have my sculpture and ceramics curriculum finally up. I taught the class for 5 years, between two schools and two very different looking art budgets. At my current, fancy private school job I had a large budget for my class. It was an appropriate amount in order to properly teach my students both sculpture and ceramics, which both require a range of expensive materials and equipment. I never felt like I was able to do the course justice it my last school, but I felt I could develop a well rounded curriculum here.

During the semester students are introduced to clay, mixed media, leather, glass fusing, installation art, and tissue paper sculpture through 8 projects. They learn a variety of build techniques with clay, including pinch pots, slab building, coils, and using the pottery wheel. In addition to building with clay, they are also introduced to high, low and raku firing techniques. On the sculpture side of things they learn about installation art, by creating a packaging tape person, mask making, using leather, mold making, using clay and plaster, light sculpture, using tissue paper and reed, and glass fusing.

With all of my projects I like to start with a PowerPoint. I include a piece of art history, artist exemplars, project examples, step by step instructions, and a breakdown of my project expectations and grading. This curriculum pack has a PowerPoint with every project for a total of 13 PowerPoints. I include my PowerPoints on my class blog, that way if students miss a project introduction they can look through the slides themselves.

In addition to having a PowerPoint with every project, I also have a lesson plan, which includes big ideas, objectives, vocabulary, supply list, and step by step instructions. In this curriculum I have a rubric for every major project, checklists for smaller assignments, as well as critique sheets, research worksheets, and how to handouts. I have resources to help guide my students through every assignment.

With this curriculum you will not have to plan a single activity for the semester, it’s already done. I also include my visual journal project pack, which I have my students work on every Friday, which is listed on TPT for $25.00 on it’s own. I also have bonus items: a pottery wheel how to video, semester long timeline, and semester long supply list. All in all this pack includes the following items:
-Semester long timeline
-Supply list
-Syllabus
-Get to Know you handout
-6 student handouts
-4 teacher aid handouts
-11 lesson plans
-13 PowerPoints
-11 rubrics
-8 critique sheets
-1 How To Video

I hope this can help someone get started with a new year of teaching, new class, or just a set of fresh ideas.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word by sharing with others. Visit my TPT store here.

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Teachers Pay Teachers: Principles of Design Worksheet Pack

So far this summer I have enjoyed a break from my normal teaching schedule, a trip to South Africa, Hilton Head Island, Smith Lake, and I’ve been getting extra snuggles from my little man Cooper. In addition to traveling and snuggling, I have also been working hard to get new items posted on Teachers Pay Teachers. Last year my August and September earnings from the website funded a trip to Europe for my husband and I. This year, and for the foreseeable future, I hope to save my earnings for a home renovation. It’s a big goal I have set for myself, but I am confident with a lot of hard work I can get there.

My last post, over two months ago {whoops} focused on one of my newest Teacher Pay Teacher products, a revamp of my hand drawn elements of art worksheets. Today, I finally got my final worksheet of my principles of design pack added to the website. Check it out here.

This pack includes eight worksheets. Each worksheet focuses on a different principle of design. I created worksheets for balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, repetition and pattern, rhythm, unity, and variety. On the front of each handout there is information on different ways you can incorporate that principle into your artwork.The back of each worksheet has an activity for the students to complete to test their understanding of the information on the front. I use these in my Introduction to Art classes, which are added to their art notebooks and checked for daily grades at the end of the semester. Now that I have two versions of the elements and principles worksheets, I plan to use one set in my Intro class and one set used as a reminder for an upper level course.

These sheets were created for grades 4th-12th grade. Some have more complex ideas, and may not be suitable for younger than 4th. I would encourage use of these in levels as high as AP art, when the elements and principles are one of the bases for grading the portfolios.

I loved making each of these. Each were inspired by a piece of my life or a simple occurrence at the time I was designing them. My emphasis worksheet is an obvious reflection of my love for chickens. My repetition and pattern worksheet was created on a very rainy day while I was vacationing at Smith Lake in Alabama, which inspired the cloud and water design.

If you haven’t checked out products on Teachers Pay Teachers yet, I strongly encourage it. There are some amazing, creative teachers out there and you are helping to support another person directly involved in education. It has also helped me become a better teacher because I find myself cleaning up my lesson plans and PowerPoints to make them better sellers, and better teaching tools in my classroom.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! I recently did a major design overhaul, I hope you enjoy the cleaner look. Help me spread the word about my Teachers Pay Teachers products, and in turn help me expand my house to fit my expanding family, by sharing this post with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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Elements of Art Worksheet Pack + TPT Sale

For the last three years, my best seller on my Teachers Pay Teachers website has been my hand drawn elements of art worksheet pack. I spent the summer of 2014 drawing out my elements of art, principles of design, and visual journal how to worksheets. I carefully drew them in pencil, spell checked, had my husband spell check, and finally traced over everything in sharpie. Next, everything was scanned in, edited, and uploaded to my store. Hours went into that product, but it has certainly paid off.

I have gotten a lot of great feedback and constructive criticism on my product. The biggest issue that has come up over the years is the legibility of my sheets. For the most part, they are fairly clear, but there are a few spots where text is squeezed in. In addition, students these days are more used to reading text off a screen than handwriting on a sheet of paper.

While I enjoy the handmade aspect of these products, I decided it was time to bring them up to the modern era. Over Christmas break I began digitally redesigning all of my element of art worksheets. This task proved more difficult than I expected. I not only wanted to give it a more legible look, but I also wanted to maintain a modern feel, and provide new information. For example, if my customers wanted to review the elements of art in their painting class, they could get an entire new set of worksheets to use in their classroom. I thought this would be fairly easy, but there is only so many ways you can explain value.

Once again hours were spent creating these new products, and finally, last night I uploaded the compilation pack of the seven worksheets. I love the new look and I am proud of the fact that the information was presented in a new way. A lot of the same things are covered, but with different explanations, examples, and applications. 

Like my original set, this pack includes the elements of art: color, line, shape, form, texture, value, and space. Each worksheet includes a color and black and white version of the front, and a back that tests the students’ understanding of the information on the front. These are great activities to get the students thinking about the elements and putting information to practice before final projects.

In addition to finally finished my updated elements of art worksheets, I am participating in the Teachers Pay Teachers end of school year sale. My entire store will be 20% off tomorrow (5/9/17) through Wednesday (5/10/17). That puts this pack at just $8.00.

If you haven’t checked out Teachers Pay Teachers yet, give it a try. There is nothing better than finding great resources for your classroom and supporting your fellow educators at the same time. The majority of my profits from my store go straight to my pocket, TPT only takes a small percentage, making all my time and effort well worth it.

We are almost there, summer is just around the corner.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about art education, teachers pay teachers, visual journaling, and crafting in general by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by.

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Teachers Pay Teachers Site Wide Sale: 20% off

Teachers Pay Teachers has become a more amazing opportunity than I ever thought possible. In less than 6 weeks hub and I will be on our way to Europe. We are headed to Munich, Berlin, and Amsterdam for a nine day tour, paid for in full by my fall Teachers Pay Teachers earnings. Not only am I proud of myself for this accomplishment, but I am incredibly grateful to all of my fellow teachers who have purchased my products. It’s the easiest thing to start doing. I simply take the lesson plans, PowerPoints, and worksheets I already spend time making for my classes, and upload them to TPT. You literally set it and forget it. Jumping on this bandwagon three years ago has created some amazing opportunities for me.

Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting a site wide sale starting tomorrow, 2/7/17, running through Wednesday, 2/8/17. I will be running 20% off all my products, which is huge if you have recently checked out my most expensive product, a year long. everything you need for every single day, Intro to Art pack for $75.00, marked down to $60.00.

I have also been busy posting some new items the last few weeks. Check out my shop here and details below!

My most recent product is one of my favorites, a “Save the Brushes” poster reminding students how to properly clean brushes. The photograph in the background are actual brushes my students have killed in the last year. Check out the poster and more details here.

I finally compiled all of my visual journal teaching tools into one bundle pack. This makes it cheaper and easier to get everything you need to introduce and maintain this project through multiple classes and levels of art courses. Check it out here.

Right now my team of Literary Magazine students are working on compiling all of our art and writing submissions into our annual magazine. I decided after putting together my multiple how to handouts, that this could be a good resource for teachers new to the Literary Magazine world. Check it out here.

After the success of my hand drawn Elements of Art and Principles of Design worksheets, I decided to make digital versions of them. This gives another version for teachers who have already tried my product to use in their classes, and a cleaner version for those who like this look better. I have already uploaded color, shape, line, and form, and am working on the remaining elements. Once they are all done I will bundle them for $10.00 for all seven worksheets, the same price as my hand drawn set. The Principles of Design will be next, be on the lookout in the coming months.

I have been working hard at my second job, adding to my TPT store. Although lately I have been spending most evenings creating and uploading products, once they are uploaded they can be continuously downloaded by shoppers without you needing to do anything. I am highly motivated at this point, I need spending money for my European vacation!

Thanks for all the support and for checking out my blog! Help me spread the word about art projects, Teachers Pay Teachers, visual journals, and art in general by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by![subscribe2]