Friday, April 20, 2012


Herrera students (along with the rest of our district) got such an absolutely AMAZING opportunity to show artwork at THE PHOENIX ART MUSEUM!!! This year was Arizona's 100th birthday and we celebrated the centennial by creating a large-scale group project. Each school picked one county from Arizona. Next, each school received a wooden cut-out of that county. Each school decorated their county any way they chose (with a copper border to create some uniformity). When all schools counties are complete, it will create a large "puzzle" of ARIZONA!!! We decided to make a copper border because it is one of our most important natural resources from AZ. Also, we designed our counties based on the county we chose. My student's county was LA PAZ (pictured above, written in black on county). La Paz county has a large wildlife conservation, so I chose to showcase that by making a fish, flowers, owl, and a cactus. Also, Paz means PEACE in Spanish, so we divided it up using a peace sign. I chose to use twilled paper to create texture, dimension and just something different. Selected Junior High students worked on this piece.
The finished product was chosen to display at THE PHOENIX ART MUSEUM!!! We had a small little reception with cookies and juice. It was an amazing opportunity for our district and students!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Russian Stacking Dolls

2nd and third graders are learning about ART FROM AROUND THE WORLD!!! This is the project from Russia. We discussed Russian Stacking Dolls (AKA Russian nesting dolls). First, we looked at pictures of traditional stacking dolls and discussed characteristics (what they are made out of, shape, colors, why are the women wearing scarves? etc.). Next, we looked at modern stacking dolls and discussed the differences.

For the art project, I made a template of the three different size dolls. I made sure to remind them that all the lines have to go from one side of the stacking doll to the other (one example is the line on the top of the pants). I also reminded them that nothing can be sticking off of the stacking doll because then they wouldn't fit together.

I let the students choose if they want to make a traditional stacking doll or a modern stacking doll (most chose modern). There were so many great ideas for this project, but here a few...

Also, a few weeks later, a student (above) was soooooo excited to show me that her cousin let her borrow her stacking doll to bring in to show the class!! Another example of those "teacher moment" reasons I LOVE MY JOB!!!

Rainbow Fish 2011-2012

This project is one of those wonderful lessons that have such great results that I have students create a rainbow fish every year. I have a post on my blog from last year's rainbow fish, but we made many more amazing fish this year. Here are just some of them...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter Bunnies

This year for Easter Kinders and 1st graders discussed the differences between a circle and an oval. We completed this discussion by drawing an Easter bunny. We used a series of circles and ovals to draw the bunny with a black crayon then colored the background any color (most chose blue) and colored the bunny's ears and nose pink. We also discussed how the sky is not only at the top of the paper, but all the way down to the ground line. Lastly we counted how many ovals and how many circles we used to make the bunny. Hoppy Easter!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

CoLoR ScHeMeS!!!

Junior High studied different color schemes and created this project based on those color schemes. First, we divided up the paper into 8 5x7 equal rectangles. Next, we used a 5x7 index card and created an abstract design and traced it in sharpie. Then, we traced the index card 8 times on the white paper (flipped around). Next, we learned the 8 different color schemes that they were required to use...

1. Primary

2. Secondary

3. Neutral

4. Warm

5. Cool

6. Monochromatic (primary color)

7. Monochromatic (secondary color)

8. Student choice(any color)

Lastly, we used sharpie to outline the lines a second time to clean it up a bit.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"G" is for Giraffe!!!

We learned that "G" is for Giraffe while reading the book Giraffes Can't Dance. (I posted a copy of the book in earlier in the blog, enjoy!!) This project took three classes to complete. The first day we read the book and created the background using a blue piece of paper, 1/3 of a green piece of paper, and a glue stick. During the next class, each student received three crayons (white, black and brown) and a yellow piece of paper. First we drew stars and night sky on the background. Next, we used ovals and curves to draw a dancing giraffe with black crayon and used a brown crayon to fill in the spots. The last day of the project, we cut out our giraffes and glued them to the night sky!!


Last month, a professional silhouette artist, Varin, (who also happens to be my beautiful mother) came to Herrera School to teach us about the art of silhouettes. She came all the way from San Diego to teach Kinder-8th graders about the history of silhouettes and how to cut them. She started each lesson by talking about the history of silhouettes and how they are made. Earlier that morning, I asked teachers from our fine arts team and junior high to come to my room to have their silhouette done. During class, I layed out the teacher's portraits and called students up to the table as a challange to see if they could identfy each teacher portrait (and they guessed correctly!!!) Next, Varin chose the student with the closest upcoming birthday and cut a silhouette of that student. She gave them pointers, for example, always have the model sit so the front of thier face is on your right hand side (if you are right handed) so that it is easier to cut the tiny details on the face. Also, to turn the paper when you are cutting, not you hands. Next the students paired up and cut silhouettes of their friends!!! Students were surprised at how difficult it was, but had a lot of fun!!!

You can view Varin's work at

"Hand Trees"

Kinder students are still continuing to work on our art alphabet. This week we are on the letter "H" and we are learning how to trace our hands to make a hand tree. This lesson teaches students how to trace their hand, how to draw more realistic trees, and how to make the color of the sky go all the way to the ground line. It also teaches students to think creatively about what is or could be in a tree. This project took 2 art classes to complete; one to trace and draw objects in tree with a black crayon and the other day was to add color and color sky all the way to the ground line.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

March 2nd was Dr. Seuss's Birthday!!! We celebrated this important day by learning how to draw one of his most famous characters... Cat in the Hat!! This project was completed with Kinder- second graders! First, we discussed the character and the I showed the Herrera's little artists how to draw it step-by-step using a black crayon. Next, they chose a color for the background and colored the hat and bow with red crayon. Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!