Category Archives: 5th

1st-5th grade: Jackson Pollock

1st-5th graders took a break from their current projects today to have a fun day with paint! We discussed the art of Jackson Pollock, who was an American painter and played a large part in the abstract expressionist movement. They looked at Pollock’s art and had the opportunity to create their own Pollock “splatter art”. As you can tell, we had a ton of fun getting messy with the paint!


5th Grade: Thomas Cole Landscapes

Inspired by Thomas Cole’s painting The Oxbow, 5th grade has been painting landscapes. We went outside and sketched some greenery, then came back in to combine it into a single image. I asked the class to also paint themselves into the image, just as Cole had done in his painting. I was super impressed with the final products! They really paid attention to details and took an interest in the different ways you can use color in a landscape. I couldn’t be more proud of my students. 


5th Grade: Finished Prints

The most challenging project of the 5th grade year came to a close last week. 5th Grade has been working diligently on their printmaking projects for quite a while now, and the final creations really show how much time they put into it. I was really pleased with their desire to get their prints as perfect as they could be. Most of the students even asked if they could touch up the final piece or add a few extra details to make it a stronger final product… I mean, how can I say no to that? I’m super proud of them and all of their hard work!


5th Grade: Woodblock Prints

We’re several weeks in to the 5th grade printmaking project. I introduced the art of woodblock printing with a video and a discussion about the process, which was met with a mix of confusion and amazement. As with most things, it’s best just to try it, so the class jumped right in! We are using craft foam and cardboard, since they are easier to work with than actual wood slabs. The first step is to divide the image into colors and make a single block for each color. There was a lot of laughter around the room as everyone held up blocks with just a pair of eyes, or a set of ears on it. Next we print the pieces in a series onto a sheet of paper. That’s the step we’ll be going into this week, which will bring us to the final product.


5th Grade: Drawing by Observation

I’m very excited to have my fourth graders back for a brand new year in the fifth grade! They started the year off right with a quick review of the basics (colors, lines, vocabulary) and then got started on our first project. Since we will be drawing animals, we did a few practice drawings with reference pictures to get warmed up, and then everyone got to pick out their animal of choice for the project. Next week, we will be starting the real drawings and talking about how to do a value color wheel in the shape of stripes or spots.

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5th Grade: Styrofoam Sculptures

The Fifth Grade class has been working diligently on a set of sculptures inspired by the Shaw Memorial. The sculptures are made of Styrofoam, so they give just enough resistance to make for a good challenge. We started by sketching a horse out on the Styrofoam block, and then I offered the students a variety of tools for carving their art. The idea is to carve an outline to the section you want to remove with your tool and then pop the piece out with your hands. It was very loud, but also quite effective. I did my example with a spoon, so I let them try that method first. They also tried using Popsicle sticks and set of actual carving tools. Each student had their own preference, but in the long run we all reached the same conclusion: it’s a cool process but it’s a lot of work and a lot of mess. Despite the negatives, I still had a couple of students asking where to find Styrofoam blocks so they could do more at home. The finished horses were then painted in bronze paint to help set the pieces of Styrofoam that kept flaking off, and also to give it a more finished sculptural appearance.

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