Cardboard Sculpture

There are almost always budgeting problems in an art room and cardboard is always an easy and mostly free way to create projects.  These projects can me done with multiple age groups as well as take a chance to teach abstract art, shape, and it has the potential to teach art history.  Cardboard sculpture has the potential for group projects on a larger scale for installed art in the school without spending lots of money.  These are a few ideas I’ve found online that I think have a lot of potential with both teaching techniques and styles as well as helping out with the school budget.

Shadow Puppets-Teacher Workshop

The Radford Art Education department hosted a guest speaker for a workshop recently and we had a decent turnout.  The project was shadow puppets, and is great for all ages.

We had some that were just paper cutouts that we put on the projector screen.  After creating the shadow puppets, we were instructed to create a story line with the puppets.  This is a great project for younger students because we can incorporate English and language into the lesson with the story.

For the youngest kids, we made larger ones on wooden dowel rods so we could use them as actual shadow puppets on the wall.  They are also on a larger scale, therefore they are easier for younger children who are still working on their fine motor skills.

There were a few where we made separate pieces of the same puppet and measured the base for our fingers.  The finger puppets were a little more interactive and took more planning before the working started.

There are many different ways to change this project for different age groups and is an inexpensive project for the outcome.  The puppets are small and require very little paper for them.  The wooden dowel rods can be replaced with skewers as long as the tips are taken off ahead of time.  Because we didn’t have enough cutting mats for everyone at the workshop, we used small scraps of matteboard so the tables weren’t damaged.  The only expensive materials that are required for this project is the projector and exacto-knives or scissors.

Go forth and create your own classroom story with shadow puppets!

Washington DC

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to visit DC for the art.  I went to the National Gallery, the Sackler Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum, and multiple sculpture gardens.  While I am fascinated obviously by the overall pieces displayed in the galleries as well as details and texture within the paintings and sculpture and the way they interact with the other pieces in the gallery.  I believe that for Art Education it is important to be able to view art in different ways.

These are a few of the photos I took of the galleries and sculpture gardens.

Selu Farmhouse Field Trip

As part of my Human Development class for my degree in Art Education, I got to participate in a field trip to a 1930s farmhouse that is owned by Radford University.  We led tours around the farmhouse for about 2 hours and talked to the middle school students (6-8th graders) about what life was like in the 1930s compared to today.  I had the ability to take photographs of the scenery before and after the field trip.  Unfortunately I cannot post any photos from the field trip of the students because I didn’t have them or their parents sign security waivers.

I was glad to get a chance to use my new digital camera and play around with the settings.  I hope you enjoy the photography.

Powerpoint Media

While using photography that I took as well as images of my artwork, I placed them in a powerpoint and used transitions and music to turned it into a video.  The inspiration behind this was line, color and texture, which is a good lesson to use in any classroom.  I have attached a link to the video for viewing or instructional purposes.


Digital Art-Photoshop

As I am currently taking classes at Radford, I am learning a lot of new techniques and medium that I can end up using in the classroom.  One of my classes currently is working with the computer and fine arts and I’ve learned to do some scanning and photoshop.  Here are a few of the images I’ve been working on and I will continue updating with some of my final projects as this school year comes to a close.


Michangelo Lesson for Elementary Schoolers

Another way to integrate Art History into your lesson plans.  This project looks specifically at the paintings of the Sistine Chapel.  There is no need to get a close up picture for the students because of the nudity that is included in the painting.  Discuss what painting on a ceiling must be like.

sistine chapel

Show images from far away, giving the entire room and perspective.  Then, for the project, tell them that they will be painting like Michangelo.  Already have a sheet of paper taped under the tables for each student in the class.  Give the students markers or crayons rather than paint.  Have the students lay on their backs on the floor to create their own masterpiece.


Wayne Thiebaud Lesson for Elementary Schoolers

As part of the integration into art history and pop art, have your students look at some original Wayne Thiebaud art.  Ask questions like ‘what are these paintings of?’ and ‘are these everyday items?’

thiebaud1 thiebaud2 thiebaud3 thiebaud4

Here I have two examples of Wayne Thiebaud projects along with their original websites that I found the ideas on.  The first one is a value study with soft pastels on black paper.  The second is a large cupcake with the base painted and then the top created out of ripped paper.  Both use different motor skills and can be used and modified to accommodate different grade levels.  However, the art history tie-in remains the same.


The third example that I have here is a tie in with geometry where students use geometrical shapes to create the visuals for the sweets that they are creating.