Friday, January 13, 2012

Willow Pattern Plates in progress

I can't wait any longer! I have to share how our Willow Pattern Plates are coming out.

In the beginning  of DECEMBER, grade six  read The Willow Pattern Story by Allan Drummond. We discussed illustration, pattern, value and monochromatic. Students made a rough draft of a design illustrating a part of the story, the entire story or their own story. We are now finishing up painting our design on sturdy paper plates, adding some details with blue sharpie and finally coating the plates with a nice, shiny varnish.

On the right side of this picture, a student has her story map handy. After we read, we filled it out in order to remember the story the next few classes, but also to remember certain elements which could add to our design AND its good practice for upcoming standardized test.
Each set of tables has a tray with two kinds of blue acrylic and white. Students scoop with a pop stick a small amount of paint into the palate as needed. Each student is in charge of cleaning up her own supplies and I call table colors up to the sink a couple at a time.

not yet finished, but paying close attention to detail and craftsmanship
I love how he created a square in the circle. Not yet finished.
first one done out of over 100 students. very painterly.

this student decided to tell his own story. something about Sumo wrestling.

Many of the boys in this class enjoyed the part of the story where the star crossed lovers are placed in a maze. I love the color of this maze!

an underwater story!

the girls loved the part where the star crossed lovers become immortal doves. simple and beautiful.


  1. The kids are doing a nice job working in monochromatic colors! Great details :).

    Btw, I really like your description of yourself in your "about me" :). I used to wear chucks everyday when I was in art school last year, but now I am a teacher, and my wardrobe has unfortunately had to change quite a bit.

    ~Jessica (

  2. Your plates are looking good.

    @ Jessica - your wardrobe shouldn't have to change! I wear random sneakers almost all the time, since I'm on my feet constantly. I used to have a fabulous pair of Converse with dinosaurs all over them. But unfortunately I now have fat feet. Where do you find a size 5 double-wide shoe with room for an orthotic?

  3. I love this lesson idea! I am always looking for interesting 6th grade lessons. thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks Mrs. Paul!
      I can't take complete credit though, and have been meaning to edit this post. Almost three years ago I went to an MAEA conference and was presented with this idea by the two lovely art teachers at Friend's Academy in Dartmouth, MA. And then Phyl (above comment) completed this lesson with her kiddos as well and posted about it here:
      Sorry Phyl for not adding that earlier.
      And Mrs. Paul, thanks for following! I had a Mr. Paul as a middle school art teacher growing up in MA!