Thursday, August 16, 2012


When fall really starts to settle in, I realize how much I miss teaching elementary school. I don't think I ever even imagined myself teaching the little ones, let alone enjoying it! But there is something about experiencing their pure joy and uncensored imagination in the art room that is so rewarding. I hope to inspire my middle school kids to continue to enjoy art and use their imaginations. It can be a really turbulent time as a teenager, but art can be a great outlet.

Anyhow this fall lesson, again unearthed from my file transfer, is inspired by Not so scarey Scarecrows from Deep Space Sparkle. I did this my third year teaching, but had found Patty's website about a year before.

I am so thankful for the art teacher community created in the blogosphere! I did my student teaching at the high school level and there were five teachers in the building! It was also in a school that had been built within the last five years, had an amazing department head and equally awesome budget. Going from that to the only art teacher at a parochial school with not budget (that I knew of) two years later, was an adjustment to say the least! Finding people like Patty, Phyl and Mr. E. made me feel like I wasn't alone and encouraged me to provide the best art education I could. (And with the encouragement of Ms. Wilkinson (my college roommate), now at The Tale of a Traveling Teacher, I started my own blog during my third year)

This Scarecrow lesson was the first time I felt like I had taken an idea that I found online and really made it my own. And even more rewarding was how much fun these fourth graders had, class after class completing their assignment.

But now, two years later, I can't remember. What did we start with!?
I think we did a guided drawing the first week.
Yup, that's what we did.
We drew the face of the scarecrow, the arms/ shirt and legs however they would fit on the page. I drew different ideas on the board and had handouts at each table. I kept it simple, building on the letter 'U' and using horizontal and vertical lines. Students used black crayon.
Next we started with a plate of primary colors. We painted yellow things, then red then whatever was orange by mixing yellow and red. We followed the same idea with blue, green and brown. See More.

The next class, we used a bunch of the construction paper that had been sitting in the coat closet for years! It was faded and yellowed in spots but perfect for designing our "crops."

We again started with the primary colors and reviewed different types of line... zig- zag, curvy, diagonal etc etc. Students painted 3 (?) sheets. The next class, we tore the paper and "donated" half to the scrape bin, keeping the other half for the background.
Finally, we cut out our original scarecrows, glued them to the crop background and added some rafia for texture. I'm sure this lesson isn't original, even with the collage aspect I added. But it sure felt awesome for all of us to make something so fun! 

I think I took these photos pre rafia. Super cute none the less!

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