Category: Art Education

I have been immersed in the art education field for a number of years, and as a high school art teacher and daughter to a 30+ year elementary art teacher, I have compiled a number of my favorite art lessons. Here I will share my lessons, experiences, how tos, and examples of student work.

As an art educator, I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas, materials, and techniques. 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 whitneywpanetta@gmail.com. You can also check out my teaching products at my Teachers Pay Teachers shop here.

Back to School Sale 8/4 through 8/5/20

25% TPT Sale 8/4 and 8/5

This is the strangest back to school I have ever experienced, but through it all you can always rely on the Teachers Pay Teachers back to school sale.

STOP! Before you read through this book of a post, help me prioritize your resource needs by sharing your opinion on what I should work on next in this survey and subscribe here to stay updated on your requests.

On Tuesday, August 4th and Wednesday, August 5th (2020) my entire shop will be marked down by 20% with an additional 5% off at checkout using the code, BTS20. As usual, I have spent my summer rearing children and TPTing. Read below for all the updates I have in my shop plus projects specifically designed for distance learning.

My blog shop will also be marked 25% off using the code BTS20 at check out. Shop here!

Principle of design handouts

This year marks the beginning of a career shift for me. I am moving from teaching three classes a semester and acting as the fine arts administrative assistant for our K-12 school to teaching 5 classes a semester. After an eight year break I am returning to teaching full time.

The change that pushed me to that point was the addition of a new class, Introduction to Design. My fine arts department chair approached me with the idea and I loved it. Our program is very traditional art focused and lacked digital or design based classes. This also provided me with the opportunity to design the curriculum from the ground up, which based on my TPT products, you know I love.

I had hoped to complete my curriculum this summer, but life sometimes gets in the way, but I have the first 1/3 of the semester complete. The rest will come together in the coming months, mostly because it has to! I will have to create the resources for me to teach the class.

The first pieces I created for this class are my elements of design and principles of design worksheets. They introduce students to the building blocks of design and they have digital fill in options through Adobe Acrobat Pro, Indesign, and Google Slides.

Shoe design project using Illustrator.

The first official project my students will work on is a design their own shoe assignment. They learn the basics of using Adobe Illustrator and are introduced to using color, shape, form, line, and pattern in design.

Next, students are introduced to the program Adobe Photoshop by redesigning a book or album cover. With this assignment they have to think more about designing for a client and how to best reflect their client through their product design.

After the first two intro projects they shift into a focus specifically on graphic design and what that looks like as a profession. Branding and marketing is discussed and students are tasked with developing a brand for themselves. Through this project they learn the basics of working in Adobe InDesign. Check this project out here.

Up next, I am working on a graphic design project that focuses on rebranding a corporation of the student’s choice. This will bring together their understanding of Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign into one project. All my Intro to Design assignments will be posted here as they are finished.

DISTANCE LEARNING PROJECTS

Cell phone photography semester curriculum.

With the ongoing pandemic and so many districts shifting to distance learning for the first semester of school, I decided to put together a semester long photography curriculum that can be completed using a cell phone camera.

This is compiled from both my Introduction to Photography and Photography II curriculums. Rather than learning a DSLR camera and how to set up successful photographs, students learn about composition, subject matter, and lighting to create a successful photo.

K-5 distance learning project pack

My mom and I have been working incredibly hard to put together two kindergarten through 5th grade project packs that work great in a traditional classroom or from home. In addition to all the typical things you find in my project packs (lesson plan, handouts, presentations, rubrics) I also include parent distance learning instructions, teacher distance learning instructions, and demo videos students can watch at home or at school.

Check out distance learning art products below:

DISTANCE LEARNING TEACHER RESOURCES

Printable Supply labels.

With so many teachers having to shift to individually bundled supplies or sending supplies home with students, I knew check out labels and editable supply labels where going to be key to keeping teachers’ sanity. (Also check out my brush tube labels for even more organization).

I have four different styles of editable “property of” labels. This way every supply can be labeled with your name and classroom number so wandering supplies can find their way home. In addition, there are multiple versions of supply check out sheets. These can be used to track what is handed to individual students, classes, or for checking out individual supplies.

Everything in this pack is printable and editable to align with your needs.

ART CURRICULUMS

If you are worried about your school year, don’t stress yourself out! Hit the easy button and grab one of my curriculum during the sale. These are easy to transition to distance learning because you already have instructions typed out, handouts made, presentations put together that you can send to students to look through and fill out. Check them out below:

This year will be unprecedented in so many ways. I am sending all our essential workers out there, especially teachers at this time, the warm fuzzies, happy thoughts, and hopes that you all stay safe. Thanks for checking out my blog post and my new products! Want info about my new products delivered to your inbox? Subscribe here. Thanks for stopping by.

Elements of Design Worksheet Set

Eight elements of design handouts and activities.

Check out my latest TPT product, an elements of design worksheet bundle, pictured above.

As I approach the end to this very bizarre school year I have started to look ahead to next year. Many changes are coming my way and I am distracting myself from distance learning with planning for the future.

Next year I will be moving from my beloved classroom of 5 years to bunk up with the art teacher across the hall. In terms of scheduling, this makes sense, my room will go to a middle school art teacher who needs the space more than I. It also means a new challenge for me, overhauling another art room! This will be my third room at this school. At least it keeps me busy.

My artist inspiration chalkboard wall at school.

I will greatly miss my artist inspiration wall, but I will find a way to set up something similar the new space. My coworker has given me permission to take over and decorate… she has no idea what she has agreed to…

I am also moving from teaching 3 classes a semester and being the fine arts administrative assistant, to teaching 5 classes a semester and becoming a full time teacher at my school. I will miss many aspects of the administrative assistant position, but I am so excited to be able to focus just on teaching again.

The transition to full time teaching was made possible because of the addition of a new course: Introduction to Design. I will be teaching four sections of this class in our amazing Mac lab. Students will learn about the building blocks of design, design thinking, graphic design, web design, user experience, and they get to select a focus between urban design, fashion design, game design, or interior design.

Between moving classrooms and designing a brand new curriculum from scratch, I will stay busy. But, I am so excited to embark on this new project. As I develop my design curriculum I will share my lessons here and on my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. I just completed the first piece, handouts that go through the eight elements of design: color, form, line, value, shape, texture, typography, and space. Check them out here.

Don't miss 25% off my entire Teachers Pay Teachers store. Use THANKYOU20 at checkout.

If you are interested in the elements of design worksheet bundle, distance learning resources, or any other art education products, now is the time to shop! My entire store will be 25% off today (5/5/20) and tomorrow (5/6/20), use the code THANKYOU20 at checkout. Check out past blog posts about my products to read about other resources to make your teaching life easier.

To all you teachers out there, I hope you are surviving! Good luck wrapping up your year in distance learning. Summer is on the horizon.

A letter to all the worn out teachers dealing with distance learning.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and my TPT. Thanks for stopping by!

Distance Learning – Visual Journals

A visual journal page of a sign that says "don't stop art."

I recently got word from my school that we wouldn’t be back before April 13th. I have doubts that we will even return the 14th, but only time will tell. This means no students, no hands on learning, no art show, so many other cancellations of events and what we all consider the norm, gone.

Just two weeks ago I walked the line between is this really serious? and will we actually have school cancellations due to an illness? It only took until the end of that week to realize the severity of the situation we are in. I immediately began planning how I could continue to push art into the lives of my students during this, because at a time like this an outlet for our feelings is as important as hand washing (although wash your hands FIRST then start the creative outlet for your mental health).

What is most important to me is that we don’t stop art. That my students continue to flex their creative muscles in this time of isolation. So what do I do? What do educators do? How do we continue to provide for our students without having a face to face with them? These questions are what pushed me into the next phase of dealing with COVID-19, I was long out of denial, it was time to take action.

Luckily, I have a project that fits well into distance learning, visual journals. Before my students left I had them take their visual journals home. If you have not started this project, all your students need is a used hardback book that they (and their family members) no longer want. If paperback is all they have, use it! If a sketchbook or notebook is all they have, give it a go! If they have no bound book option, use a piece of paper. That most important part is getting started and making something.

MY DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN

For the next two weeks I have a solid distance learning plan that focuses on visual journals. Luckily, if we continue to teach and learn from home, this project can be extended. You can find all my resources, including a presentation, handouts, and more, on my TPT here for free. I also have many how to worksheets on visual journaling you can check out here. You can also continue reading below for the general outline of my plan.

TOPIC: VISUAL JOURNALS & COVID-19

For the first week of distance learning my students are focusing on what this current crisis looks like, by reading information on reputable websites such as the CDC. They then reflect on how this crisis is impacting them, their friends and family. Next, they begin planning out a spread (two facing pages) in their visual journal that sums up their coronavirus experience in one image.

My school is using technology already put in place to support us through distance learning. All assignments are posted to our class Blackbaud page. Completed assignments can be uploaded through the same system. This organizes who submitted which assignment when, without me doing the heavy lifting. In addition, we are using Microsoft Teams as a discussion board and file holder to organize all our documents into one place and as a secondary option for students to access what they need for their assignment.

If you don’t have technology in place to support you, it will take extra work, but it can be done. Google classroom is free and an amazing way to connect with your students in one place. E-mail is another option to at least get assignment sheets and information into your student’s hands (or inbox). They can e-mail you pictures of their visual journal pages that you post to a Flickr or similar page where students can check out each other’s work and comment on them. If you haven’t started a class Instagram yet, now is the time! This could be your online gallery of work and community space. Worse case scenario, you could mail packets out, although not ideal, it is an option if it’s feasible for you (heaven knows we need to be taken care of too. Make sure you take care of you!)

At the end of the first week my students only have to submit their reflection sheet and start brainstorming designs for their visual journal spread. I want us all to take baby steps at the beginning so we don’t burn out by the end. I am taking the less is more approach, while still giving my students the opportunity to express themselves.

At the end of the second week they will submit a photograph of their completed visual journal page to me. My students will be graded on all submitted work, not every school is, but grades are great motivation to work, so I am thankful for that.

VISUAL JOURNAL SUPPLIES & HOW TO

To complete this project students can use materials typically found at home to create beautiful works of art. Included in my free packet is a list of supplies they can creatively use they may not think of as art supplies. Below is a basic list to get you started:

  • Used hardback book
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sharpies
  • Tape
  • Paperclips
  • A computer to find images and a printer to print images
  • Foil
  • Paper bags
  • Wrapping paper

Because my students are already a couple of months into our visual journal project, we work on them every Friday at school, they have already been introduced to collaging, mixed media, and examples of visual journals and techniques. If you are starting from scratch, send them here to read through how tos or have them Google visual journal or altered books for ideas. Send the visual journal presentation in my free pack. Have the students take the reigns in their art making and find inspiration on their own. The internet provides almost limitless access to tutorials, information, and tips, encourage them to use it.

As your students work on their spreads don’t be afraid to create your own. Video your process, share what your reaction to coronavirus is. Be vulnerable with your students because we are all vulnerable right now. Although my school has prohibited video conferencing of any kind with students, due to the inability to oversee actions and to be free of liability of any inappropriate or poor conduct, I can share videos of me working. Although we aren’t in the classroom together, I believe hearing my voice my instill a sense of regularity into this process.

As we navigate through this unprecedented time, if we continue to be out of school I plan to post a list of visual journal prompts students can select from and create visual journal pages about. I will check in with their progress at least once a week, and have new spreads due every two weeks.

Your distance learning may look completely different from mine, but I hope this at least provides ideas to get you started. It’s overwhelming to change everything we have been trained to do, but we can do it and we can do it together.

OTHER DISTANCE LEARNING IDEAS

If you teach elementary school, middle school, or photography classes I have been working overtime to get distance learning packs put together for you! Read below for more information.

My retired art teacher mom and I created a distance learning pack for K-5 with projects designed specifically with the abilities and needs of each individual grade level in mind. Each lesson pack includes presentations, assignment sheets to help the parents and students, and step by step instructions through demonstration videos and handouts.

I have adapted my traditional artist trading card project into a distance learning focused one that includes a mail trading session between students. I know students miss each other and writing letters, creating art, and keeping in touch with something they can physically touch can make a huge difference. Check this lesson out here.

My coworker and I have put together four photography focused distance learning packs for you. One is a free pack that includes prompts for students to explore while at home. Two lesson packs focus on setting up and taking pictures at home through constructed landscapes indoors and a social commentary on the COVID-19 crisis. The fourth lesson takes an art historical approach looking at photographs that have changed the world. These packs could cover your class for the rest of the semester if needed.

In addition, I have two art history lessons up on prehistoric art. One is designed for upper elementary and young middle schoolers, while the other is designed for late middle and high schoolers. Art history is just as important to art making and could be a good solution to art distance learning for you.

Check my distance learning category on TPT and follow me to stay up to date with new products I get posted!

Ya’ll I miss my classroom, my students, my routine. Before this all I wanted was one snow day, now I would give anything to be back in my room looking at my kiddo’s facing and talking about art, or whatever topic was important in the teenage world that day.

Good luck to you as you go through this journey. Please reach out with questions, comments, or concerns. Click my social media buttons in the right menu bar to keep in touch.

A week ago I was at the beach (practicing social distancing but in a much more beautiful place) and now am I here. I am here and I am going to do this and soon this will be behind us. Thanks for stopping by!

Check out my most recent visual journal post that explains how to create a tape transfer in a visual journal using packaging tape and printing pictures.

New Teaching Resources + TPT Winter Sale

I can’t believe it is already the second month of 2020… But here we are with the first TPT sale of the new year, starting February 4th and running through February 5th. My entire store will be 25 % off; this is the lowest my products are ever marked down.

My product development always slows down as school starts to ramp up. But, I have still managed to get a number of new lessons put together between the last sale day and now. Continue reading to learn about all my new items or stop here and start shopping. Don’t forget to use the code FEBSALE at checkout for the full 25% off!

PHOTOGRAPHY RESEARCH PROJECT

After months of work I finally wrapped up the last of my photography projects to complete my second photo bundle. This assignment is second to last in the curriculum and challenges students to find and research modern photographers who inspire them. They are then tasked with capturing a photograph in the style of the photographer and pushed to test their Photoshop abilities by editing one of the photographer’s original images. Check it out here.

IMAGE TRANSFER HOW TO

The final project of the semester for photography is creating an image transfer of a photograph captured by the students. The base material can vary from wood to canvas, and it can have a huge impact on the overall feel of the final product. This project walks teachers and students through the process of successfully transferring a printed photograph to a different surface. Complete with handouts, PowerPoint, critique, and more. Check it out here.

PHOTO CURRICULUM – EVERYTHING YOU NEED

It felt amazing to wrap up my second photography curriculum. This includes everything you need to teach for an entire semester. Every handout, critique sheet, rubric, lesson plan, PowerPoint is included so you don’t have to plan a single day, other than pushing print on your computer. This includes 12 photography based projects, 11 critiques, 11 artist research assignments, a photographer research assignment, semester timeline, how to set up a Google Classroom and using Adobe Spark for assignment submission, and more. Check it out here.

TWO CURRICULUMS IN ONE

With the completion of my Photo II curriculum came the bundling of my Intro to Photography and Photo II curriculums. Now you can get both semester long curriculums for a discounted price. This includes everything you need to teach for an entire year of DSLR photography. There are 30 photography projects included in this curriculum pack. Check it out here.

BOOKBINDING PROJECT

I tested out a new bookbinding process, perfect bound sketchbook, to create an easy and beautiful sketchbook. The materials are cheap and the end product looks like a book you could purchase from a store. The project can be found here and this has also been added to my bookbinding bundle, if you want a variety of techniques to teach in your classes. The bookbinding bundle includes 7 different sketchbook projects.

BRANDING YOURSELF AND SHARING YOUR WORK

I am thrilled to finally share my Free Art Friday project with the art teaching community. I have been obsessed with the Free Art Friday movement for years; and I began incorporating free art based projects in my classroom last year. It has been a huge hit with my students and is a great way to put a spotlight on all the things we do in the art room. This is perfect for advanced level high school students or it can be adapted for middle school students. Read more about it here.

ARTIST INSPIRED PRINTABLE POSTERS

I am finally wrapping up my most recent project, an artist inspired alphabet. Each letter includes a different artist, who shares the letter in their first or last name. The posters come in two different styles and three different sizes, 26 different artists are included. You can easily print these out and display them for littles in an elementary setting or use them to spell out words in your secondary art room. Check out my first pack here.

ARTIST ALPHABET PACK #2

I just posted my second alphabet artist pack, with 26 more artists included. It was too difficult to select just 26, so it inspired me to create three different versions of my alphabet posters. The third version will be posted tonight and the three packs will be bundled soon at a discounted price. Be sure to follow my TPT store to receive updates when new products hit my shop.

Make sure you visit a Teachers Pay Teachers store between February 4th and 5th to get amazing products at a discounted price and help support other educators. Use the code FEBSALE at checkout!

Don’t forget to also check out my blog shop here. I will also be running a 25% off sale this week, use the code FEBSALE, it expires on Friday. If you want a product that you don’t see on my blog shop but is on my TPT, please reach out and I will set you up whitneywpanetta@gmail.com. Happy shopping!

Until next time I will be dreaming of my recent trip to the Bahamas to celebrate dear friends who will be tying the knot in April. Follow me on TPT, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for updates on all my art and art teacherin’. Thanks for stopping by!

TPT Cyber Monday Sale-25% off

It’s Cyber Monday on TPT and my shop blog which means it’s my absolute favorite time of year. The dropping temperatures, cozy fires, holiday shopping, smell of Christmas trees, and way too much eggnog gives me all the feels.

This time of year is also notoriously busy as I try to wrap up my semester long classes and finish up end of the semester projects in my yearlong classes. I am hopeful my students can cut up and display the me-sized laminated section of supply labels in the picture above before the year comes to a close (read more about these below). As a yearbook adviser our second deadline is on the horizon, which means I will soon be cross eyed with editing once again. As a wife and mom I have a lot of prepping to do as Christmas very quickly approaches.

Although life is busy as usual I had to take a minute to throw up a quick blog post to let you know about the cyber Monday sale that starts tomorrow, 12/2 and runs through the end of the day Tuesday, 12/3.

Although the school year has gone into full swing and my life outside of the classroom is always a hustle, I have been working hard on my TPT products. I have a bunch of new projects, bundles, and printable displays to share with you guys. Don’t forget to spoil yourself with a few TPT items this holiday season!

PINHOLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Pinhole photography has been a big theme in a number of my recent projects. I collaborated with my retired art teacher mom, Anne Ward, on a basic pinhole photography pack and an elementary through high school pack with everything you need to set up and teach pinhole.

My mom never ceased to amaze me growing up with her ideas and fearlessness for trying new things in her classroom. I remember when she began exploring pinhole photography in her classes, converting a storage closet into a temporary darkroom every spring. She ended up bringing her pinhole knowledge home over the summers by teaching classes to neighborhood kids and converting a bathroom and my Dad’s workshop into a darkroom.

I remember helping her out during summers in college. Teaching these classes helped us raise money to go on a trip to Italy and France, time that was so precious to spend one on one with my mom. Although she has retired from the classroom my mom continues to teach pinhole to neighborhood kids every summer. I was so excited to work on these packs with her so I could share her years of knowledge with you.

This basic pinhole pack gives you instructions on setting up a darkroom, building a camera, contact printer, and getting started taking and developing pictures.

This pinhole pack has everything mentioned above as well as lesson plans, worksheets, and additional projects for students to work on in elementary to high school. The lesson plan includes specifics on how to adapt everything to each grade level. You will have everything you need to get started with pinhole in your classroom.

In addition to working with my mom on pinhole I also picked the brain of my photography teacher coworker on how she implements pinhole photography in her class. I combined the resources created with my mom with Meagan’s project ideas to create a pack specific to upper middle school and high school age students.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Digital photography products have been a major theme in my TPT shop over the last year. I had the chance to work with my photographer teacher coworker, Meagan Brooker, to share her amazing lessons and resources with you. Every year her students are recognized in multiple contests for their outstanding photography. Now you have the chance to use her ideas and implement them in your classes.

If you are looking to incorporate traditional photography techniques into your class, but don’t have a darkroom set up, give cyanotypes a try. Use digitally captured and printed images to create fine art blueprints using this classic technique.

This light focused bundle pack includes two projects that cover seven different lighting techniques. From light box still lifes to light painting to using found lighting outside the classroom, this pushes students to think creatively about how they use lights to enhance their photographs.

DSLR photography selfies project

Selfies are an undeniable aspect of current photography trends. Take back the reigns of social media photography and teach students how to create artistic selfies. How can you create a selfie using a DSLR camera? Require the students to take a picture of themselves using self timers, conceptual selfies, and more. Students select three out of four topics to explore, all focused on reflecting themselves.

Start introducing Photoshop basics with this fun “magic” themed photo project, invisibility illusion. Students are tasked with combining multiple images together and cutting sections out to create the illusion of a section disappearing.

A DSLR photography lesson on making ugly subject beautiful.

My latest addition to my TPT store is my making the ugly beautiful DSLR project. Students have to take two photographs that reflect two different topics: ugly subject, beautiful composition and glorifying the everyday. Link coming for this assignment tonight, in the meantime check out my TPT store and be on the lookout for this new addition.

SUPPLY LABELS

Colorful clay themed printable supply labels.

I finally took the time to add to my art pack of supply labels and create a stand alone set for all things clay. Clay supplies are their own special category and they are hopefully included in every art classroom. These are rainbow themed, easy to print, and easy to read. Two different styles are included.

Chalkboard themed printable clay supply labels

In addition to my rainbow themed clay supply labels, I also included chalkboard themed ones. Every classroom style is different, hopefully one of these will compliment your style and help your students find supplies independently. These are also included in my bundle pack of chalkboard supply labels for visual art supplies.

ART CURRICULUMS

It was a huge check on my to do list to A: Update my current AP art curriculums to the new standards and to B: add a 3D Design section to my curriculum. You can purchase this as a stand alone curriculum if you only teach 3D Design or you can purchase it as part of my AP studio art bundle if you teach all three. This is fully updated to reflect the switch to sustained investigation and selected works. Although I have never taught AP 3D, I did take it as a student (back in the day) and I work closely with two teachers who teach it at my current school.

I also finally got around to bundling all of my painting curriculums into one mega bundle. This includes my Introduction to Painting, Painting I, Painting II, and Advanced Painting. The painting I and II curriculums can be found here and here. The Introduction to Painting curriculum is separated out from my yearlong Intro to Art curriculum and the Advanced Painting is separated out from my yearlong Advanced Art curriculum.

After a quick getaway to Hilton Head Island for Thanksgiving I am back in the swing of things preparing for the holidays and the end of the semester at school. Treat yourself to the gift of time by purchasing one of my products and saving yourself all the planning that goes into lesson prep.

Thanks for taking the time to check out this post! If you want to read more summaries of products check out past sales updates here, here, and here. Help me spread the word about amazing art resources by sharing this with others. Don’t forget to follow me on TPT to get updated on new products and instagram for an inside look at my day to day classroom activities. Also check out my blog shop for 30% off all products that are included. Thanks for stopping by!