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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Spring Art - Senior Classes

Spring art ideas for senior classes

Strands : Drawing, Paint & Colour, Fabric & Fibre 

Still life - Vincent Van Gogh 'Irises' or a painting of your choice. Look at and discuss the painting. Bring in a a bunch of spring flowers and arrange in a vase (on folds of a table cloth to add interest)
Look at how the light and shadows fall etc.
Allow children to choose drawing materials and to experiment. 

Collaborative Drawing (4/5 per group)

Use old wall paper, gift wrap, roll of paper, or stick sheets of paper together. Give each group a topic ( first signs of spring, spring animals, spring flowers, spring weather, birds/trees during spring, etc) and allow them draw based on their topic (oil pastels, makers, pencils, chalk) 

Grid Painting 

Choose a famous spring themed painting. Divide it into sections, give each child a section (grid reference and mark top & bottom of the page on which they will draw) to create their own version in their own style using paints, oil pastels, chalk etc. Once completed put the sections together to form the image. 

Click on the link for instructions on grid painting.


Look at the work of Canadian artist Maud Lewis (Folk Art).

Create painting of a spring scene in a similar style to Maud. 

Paper Collage

Matisse paper cutting, look at  'Snowflower' for inspiration. Brain storm things to do with spring. Cut paper shapes and glue on card to create spring inspired image. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Art ideas for substitute teachers

Are you subbing? Sometimes a teacher will ask you to do some art with the class or they may suggest you do a lesson of your choice. So it is handy to have a few go to art lessons that can be completed in an hour.

Of the six strands I think "Looking and Responding" or "Drawing" are the easiest to approach when subbing. Trying to find paints and organise supplies in a room you don't know isn't ideal! 

1. Save a few images of famous paintings by an artist or of a similar theme to a usb and you have an art lesson ready to go. Have the children draw their own version of the painting and if you want to tie in literacy have them write a poem or story in response to the painting. 

2. For older classes one point perspective is very effective. 

Or foreshortening

3. I love a lesson that can be used with any class and the next is one of those. Where would you take Mona Lisa to make her smile? Print out a a few sheets of the famous Mona Lisa. Kids stick the image wherever they want and draw the place they would bring her. I've used this with senior infants and it was great fun. 

Don't forget to give Da Vinci a mention! 

There are lots of videos on YouTube

4. Continuous line drawings

There are lots of continuous line drawings. The owl or fish is one I'd try with older classes and I think the loopy fish would be more appropriate for younger classes.

5. Or these coloured circles. Circles are decorated, then cut into quarters and glued to a white square in any direction. They look lovely displayed together. 

6. Draw a Story
A very quick lesson!

Best of luck subbing and don't forget to share your art with us on Facebook (PrimaryArt) :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Primary Bloggers Workshop

Hi everyone,

Myself, Infant Teaching Ideas (Lorraine) and Irish Primary Teacher (Niamh) have decided to team up and will be presenting a workshop together on 19th March.

This workshop will cover many areas of teaching including planning and preparation, classroom management, organisation, station teaching, Aistear and Visual Art.

Each person will present on their topics and there will be plenty of time for any questions/answers afterwards. Many educational suppliers have agreed to sponsor ‘spot prizes’ and ‘goodie bags’ for the day.

There are two different sessions available – one in the morning (10-1pm) and the seond in the afternoon (2 – 5pm). Each will last 3 hours and you will leave with lots of practical ideas, tips and advice.

The workshop will be held in Blackrock Education Centre on Saturday 19th March.

Tickets are available now for 15 euro per person and available from 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

First Confession

I was asked for some art ideas for First Confession. I had a search through my own photos but unfortunately my photo taking can be haphazard and I couldn't find any! 

I have created a Pinterest board 'First Confession' with lots or ideas, colouring pages and templates. 

Here are some of my favourite ideas.

One of the stories that best illustrates God’s love for each one of us is The Lost Sheep. The images of the sheep and shepherds are often used in the Bible. Sheep need to be cared for, protected and looked after by the shepherd. The Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Good Shepherd inspires many displays for First Confession.

Top Left - Sheep Rocks to place on the altar.
Top Right - Paper Quill Sheep
Bottom Left - Wolly Sheep 
Bottom Right - Crayon Resist Art

Top - Paper Doilly Sheep
Bottom Left - Paper Plate Sheep Scene
Bottom Middle - Doilly Sheep
Bottom Right- Wool Wrapped Sheep

Negative Printing

This is an easy printing lesson. Sheep shapes are cut from paper. Wet the paper and place on the sheet. A box wrapped in elastic bands is dipped in green paint and printed on the page. Once dry the shapes are removed and the details are added in crayon. 

Crosses can be decorated with the words 'sorry' and coloured in brightly. 

I thought you'd like this board on Pinterest...

Check out the Pinterest board to see displays from other schools. 

If you would like to share your ideas with others, please email me or contact me on Facebook. 


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Whatever the Weather - 5th & 6th

I was asked for ideas for 5th & 6th on the theme of weather. Some of the weather ideas I posted last week could be used with more senior classes but here are a few more suitable for 5th & 6th.

1. Looking & Responding 

Don't forget that you can include this in a lesson or have a stand alone lesson on it. A search in Google images will bring up a plethora of famous artworks on your topic. 

The topic here is weather and here are the paintings I found. 

The Liffey Swim by Jack B. Yeats. (Top)

Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son, by Claude Monet. (Bottom Left)

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. (Bottom, Middle)

The Umbrellas (French: Les Parapluies) by Pierre- Auguste Renoir. (Bottom Right)

Responding can simply be a discussion about the painting, it can be a written piece such as a poem, or it can be creating a piece inspired by the artwork. 

This is a wax resist that appears to be inspired by ' The Umbrellas' by Renoir. 

2. Diorama 

I love dioramas! I used make these as a child with my Aunt. I used to make a hole in each side of the box and put a straw through. Then cut out people or animals and stick them to the straw to create a miniature theatre. Dioramas work for nearly any topic and allow for lots of creativity.  

They are a nice project to work on over a number of weeks and can be linked with other subject areas. 

How about creating a diorama to show the water cycle? 

3. Mixed media

A mixed media city scape in greys and blacks with some coloured rain. Newspaper, painted paper, magazines, coloured paper and card is used to create the buildings in shades of grey. 

The cloud is made by painting card with a thick layer of grey paint. A fork was used to make wavy lines to create texture. A sheet of white paper was laid on top to create a print. Once dry a cloud shape was cut out.  

4. One Point Perspective 

Deep Space Sparkle has a great lesson on one point perspective. This is suited to 5th or 6th class. Children can be given a selection of weather situations to be depicted in their picture.

5. Expand an image

Print out images from the web, use photographs or cut images from magazines which show a variety of weather types. Each child chooses one image and glues it to a white page. They then expand the images using paint, oil pastels, colouring pencils, etc.

6. Illustrate a poem

Illustrate a poem or a passage based on your chosen theme. I think this magazine collage on a cereal box perfectly represents a sunny day. 

7. Turkish Sun Catcher

From Prim Ed's Awesome Art & Craft (Book 3). This resource book has lots of nice ideas suitable for older classes. 

These sun catchers are made from plastic bottles. Coloured tissue is glued inside and designs are drawn on the outside in black permanent marker. 

A few more ideas that could work with your topic of weather are,

- Lighthouse Construction (make circuit for science integration)
- Brid house /feeder ( science/ geography)
- weather vane (science/geography)

I hope I have given you some inspirationšŸ˜Š 

Friday, 8 January 2016

Whatever the weather!!

On Thursday it rained, hailed and snowed here! It can be hard to keep up with our very changeable Irish weather. Not to mention the devastating damage left by the recent flooding.

Being Irish weather is always a topic of conversation and so I've gathered some nice art ideas on the topic. 

I love a good crayon resist and the rainy rainbow is very striking (top left)

Blow painting rain in black and blue is a nice lesson for infants. Just remind them to blow the paint and not suck it! (Top right)

Lightning strikes over a black paper town. Painting the sky is a nice introduction to tint. Start by painting a strip of black and add a little white as you work down the page. Add lightening in white paint or chalk. (Bottom left)

Mixed media storm, I think this could be easily adapted to show a flooded scene. Lots of paper scraps, tin foil and glue! (Bottom right)

These are more suitable for younger classes. 

These crayon resists are so sweet. Umbrellas, wellies and puddles. Water colours were used here but you can use a mix of water and blue paint. Try sprinkling salt on your wet paint and see what happens!! (Left)

I love the stormy cloud and these would look great cut out and displayed together. Paint grey clouds and add raindrops and lightening when the paint dries. (Top right)

The rainy window is a nice introduction to printing. Mix a little water with blue paint or use blue food colouring. Use an acetate or the back of a baking tray, lightly cover in paint. Place a white page on top, press lightly and remove. Cut into 4 equal sections and mount on black paper so it looks like a window. Or glue strips of black paper onto the rainy page to look like a window frame. (Bottom right)

Have a good weekend :)

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New Year - New Art

I hope everyone has had a lovely break and is ready for a new year. :)

I've really enjoyed the holidays and am spending the last day of them snuggled on the sofa with my little one. As of tomorrow it will be back to planning lots of art lessons, but for now I've had a browse on Pinterest and pulled together a few ideas for New Year art. 

One of my favourite ideas is the scratch art night scene. Firstly cover one page in yellow crayon and a second page in lots of colours. It is important to lay the crayon on thickly. Paint both pages with black paint. 

Once dry use a lollipop stick to scratch building outlines and windows on the page with yellow crayon.

On the second page use a lollipop stick to scratch fireworks. Cut around the fireworks and stick above the buildings.

Tah Dah!

Alternatively draw fireworks using crayon on an A4/A3 page. Cover with a wash (paint watered down) of dark blue or black. Once dry cut out building in black paper and glue along the bottom of the page. Cut out windows in yellow paper and glue these onto the buildings so it appears that some lights are still on (who's up watching the fireworks?). 

Check out my Pinterest page @IrishPrimaryArt for links and more inspiration. 

Happy New Year :)