Primary Color Tiki Tiki Masks

The longer I teach the more interested I become in the process of mask making. Each group of students has a different view of what the purpose of a mask can be. Halloween is always a really popular reason for masks, but by the time they reach 5th grade they can give me some more well thought out answers for example “Expressing one’s emotions” or “Hiding identities”.

African masks are a very popular subject matter, but I wanted to try to vary up the style a bit. This project studied Polynesian/Hawaiian style Tiki Masks.


Rage Tiki.

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Class Up that Trash Can!

Our schools have a surplus of boring storage. Green is great and all… but blah!

A co-worker of mine had the brilliant idea of making our rather boring wheeled fellows look a bit more exciting. I was given free reign and no money. So my solution was to buy up some cheep acrylic paints at Hobby Lobby and round up some capable 4th and 5th graders.

The goal was to cover as much of the can as possible and emphasizing that this was a RECYCLE bin. Not for trash, please!

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Our first set of cans was inspired by Keith Haring. It began as a light spray paint base. Then we painted body figures in a variety of poses around the can. Our goal was graffiti. I think this fit the bill.

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Our second can was Van Gogh Starry Night inspired. This was all cheap acrylic paint you can get from any craft store. The key to this can was making sure it consisted of many lines much like the style of Van Gogh.


Our last can was my favorite. We were inspired by Wassily Kandinsky. I think this can turned out most successfully because we were able to completely cover ALL of the original can color. The wheels even got a color treatment.

Each of these cans has been placed in a hallway for our white paper recycling program. Wouldn’t it be fun to see one out on your curb on pick up day?

Irrational Fears: Chalk Pastels

I have experienced an irrational fear of chalk pastels. They are dusty. Children end up with all sorts of odd colors in their noses, mouths, ears, etc. Messy messy messy. Plus, I never used them before myself in my many years of art classes in public school or college. It was a foreign object to me.

However, I put on some big girl undies this school year and gave them a try. Chalk pastels won a student of mine a first place award in a system-wide competition and I was converted.


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Color-full Bird Masks

I’ve found Artsonia to be my new favorite go-to site when at work. It has a plethora of ideas right at your finger tips. I started using it for inspiration then eventually began our own school gallery. It has been a real treat to utilize a more worldly venue that allows family from any corner of the globe to view a child’s art work. This particular project was inspired from a mask I saw on Artsonia.


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Collaborative Circle Art

This end of the school year dragged until the last week where things flew by in a flash. The last couple of weeks I try to put away a lot of supplies for the summer, so the challenge becomes… what can we do that will minimize the supplies I need out?

At my primary school my all time favorite activity is Circle Paintings. I got this idea from the blog Deep Space Sparkle. I found its a great way to get my students to collaborate and work together.


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Keep Calm…

Hi there. I’m Amanda. I teach Prek – 5th graders Visual Arts in Alabama.  I just finished my 11th year teaching and I could not be more excited to start my summer. I blogged a few years ago, but ran out of steam. Hopefully I can get back into the swing again and share some of the exciting stuff we like to create in my art room.