Saturday, February 28, 2015

Teaching Imagination and Story-Telling through Art

Reading the book "A Nightmare in My Closet" by Mercer Mayer brings up lots of emotions in children.

Talking to them about how the story makes them feel, scared or not scared and how they deal with being scared can lead to some great conversations and even better stories. I used this art lesson to stimulate their imaginations and to create suspenseful stories about the nightmares in their closets! What a fun and valuable lesson!

Here are the basics:
Here is a shortened version of the process:

Read or play the video of the book "A Nightmare in My Closet" by Mercer Mayer. Lead a discussion about how the books makes the children feel. Have they ever felt scared and hidden under their covers? What do they imagine their nightmare looks like? Students blow paint into a nightmare-like shape. They will create their closet doors from construction paper and chalk and add details to their monsters with Sharpie marker. Next students will sit in a circle and share the story of the nightmare in their closets! Teacher should facilitate the story-telling by commenting when students share good detail, interesting word choices and suspenseful stories. This helps inform the children who follow on how to add details and suspense into their own story. So much fun!

Here are some students working on their nightmares:

Blowing Paint: 

Create and glue on your doors:


Open them and there's your nightmare!

Final Student Work:

My students really enjoyed this project from the blowing of the paint, to the wonderful stories about thei nightmares in their closets.

Have fun with this one! Sabrina, A Space to Create!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Whoa! A surprise second day! Sweet!

Teachers are Superheroes: Super Secondary Celebrates YOU! 

What's new in my store? You may want to know and you may want to check them out during the sale, because everything in my store is discounted 20%!

New Secondary Lessons:

Need a substitute lesson, or even a lesson to give students who finish early? This one is for you:

These are fun and engaging lessons that students love to do and can be done with a substitute, or on their own! Perfect for those kids who finish early and need something to work on. Great ELA tie-in's on the Found Poetry and Dictionary Page Art lesson as well. Enjoy!

Looking for an art lesson with a math component? We all know that math and art are closely related, here's one for you:

If you want a show stopper, this is the one. In this lesson students learn to divide a circle into 12 sections using only a ruler and compass. I even did a video of the process for ease of teaching. Nothing can compare to the amazing results students get when they do this lesson. Simply a joy to teach!

And of course I can't forget my English Language Arts friends. This is a fun creative lesson to use in your ELA classroom. It introduces stream of consciousness narrative mode to your students:

This Hand Self-Portrait is so much fun for the students and a great way to learn about who they are and what is important to them. Students start with the sentence, "My name is..., I am the daughter/son of..." and then take it from there. Good way to build a positive culture in your classroom.
Have fun with this one!

Last, but not least for more traditional art eduction I have a new drawing unit that you should check out:

This drawing unit takes kids from observational drawing, through the basic proportions of the face, value building and finally grids to achieve fantastic results. If you are looking for a lesson to wow the administration this one is for you. Save those before portraits and compare the final drawings. Wow!


 We got together and collaborated for a TpT sale. Make your wish lists and empty your carts for this SECOND DAY super sale on February 26th. Most stores are discounted up to 20% off. Don't forget to use the promo code: HEROES. Enjoy! 
A Space to Create
Danielle Knight (Study All Knight)
The Classroom Sparrow

Michele Luck's Social Studies
Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy
Mad Science Lessons
Juggling ELA

Krystal Mills - Lessons From The Middle
Teaching High School Math
To the square inch- Kate Bing Coners
Charlene Tess
Pamela Kranz
The Creative Classroom
Kristin Lee
Mrs. Brosseau's Binder
James Whitaker's SophistThoughts

Darlene Anne
ELA Everyday
Lessons With Coffee
Teaching FSL
Room 213
Lindsay Perro
Liz's Lessons
21st Century Math Projects
The SuperHERO Teacher
Science Stuff
Kate's Classroom Cafe
Addie Williams
Created by MrHughes
Leah Cleary
Secondary Solutions
All Things Algebra

Tracee Orman


Live Love Math

Ruth S.

2 Peas and a Dog
FisherReyna Education
Rachel Friedrich
Linda Jennifer
For the Love of Teaching Math
The Career Ready Teacher
 Enjoy the sale! You are all Super Heroes! Always remember that!

Sabrina Wingren
A Space to Create

Watercolor Technique Landscapes

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Watercolor Technique Landscapes

I've been trying to find a lesson that incorporates watercolor techniques in a fun, exciting lesson that is easy for beginning artists to create a successful painting. Well, I couldn't find it. So I created one.

This same technique can be applied to more than just landscapes. I'm excited to try it as animals, or floral paintings as well!

Here are the basics:
  • Medium -Watercolor
  • Project Length - 2-3 weeks
  • Grade - 5-12
  • Objective - Explore color theory, composition, atmospheric perspective and unity.
  • Materials - Watercolor Paint, Watercolor Brushes, Water, Watercolor paper, palettes, Sharpie Markers, copy paper, Plastic cups with lids, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, masking fluid or tape, salt, sponges, sand paper, watercolor pencils (optional), eye droppers and anything else that you may think to use. Some of my students used burlap and plastic wrap.
  • Technique: We start by creating a technique grid of about 24 different watercolor techniques. I then have students look up reference for their landscape, trace the basic shapes and then start to scale thumbnails. I explain the rule of thirds with examples in my powerpoint and show examples of student work. I have them start thumbnails by finding the upper third of the thumbnail and begin with the horizon, adding shapes as they move down their drawing. Shapes get larger as them come into the foreground. They then start to explore the techniques that they will use on their final paintings as well as come up with a color plan. We talk about complementary colors and warm/cool colors. Next they draw their final landscapes in Sharpie onto stretched watercolor paper. They then start filling in shapes using the techniques that they mastered.
  • Link to the Presentation Lesson Plan and Student Self-Evaluation
Here is a shortened version of the process:

Here are some student samples.


Final Painting:

Final painting in process:

Final Painting

Color Plan (Small Scale)

Final Painting

Technique Practice:

 Final Painting

More Final Paintings

My students really enjoyed this project and they have a beautiful stained glass quality when they are done. They are so bright and colorful and make a beautiful spring display by our library! Have fun with this one! Sabrina, A Space to Create!

Illuminated Letters

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Illuminated Letters

My students thoroughly enjoyed making these illuminated letters, and their work turned out so beautifully!

Medium: Ink and Pearlescent Watercolor
Time: 7-10 days

Grade: 6-12
Objective: TSWBAT: 
-Create Emphasis in their Illuminated Letter
-Create Unity through the use of images and color schemes
- Understand the use of illuminated letters in ancient manuscripts
- Create a Balance in their illuminated letter through a balance of positive and negative space.
Materials: Parchment Paper (Or other paper that will stand up to colored ink, Colored inks, either pearlescent watercolors, or pearlescent acrylic paint, brushes, water and black sharpies.

This lesson is available for purchase on my Teachers Pay Teachers store: {click here}

We started by created thumbnails of letters that we were interested in using as our Illuminated letter.

Next we enlarged our letters onto a piece of 8.5" x 11" Parchment Paper. I showed students how to center their letters based on the size of the square or rectangle.
The students found reference for decorative elements, and began to fill in the space surrounding their letters with versions of that reference. We talked about positive and negative space and to balance the two to create interesting and dynamic letters. We created our designs in pencil first.

Then we outlined the design with thin permanent markers, and began filling in the background with ink.

We continued to add color. I asked the students to create some value in their designs, light, medium and darker tones of the same colors. Here are some pictures of the process:

Here are some of the final results. I think they came out great!

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Have you done Illuminated Letters with your students? How did the process differ from ours?

Enjoy the Superbowl tomorrow! It looks like some of us Secondary folks are having a sale on Sunday! So be sure to check our my store A A Space to Create - everything will be 20% Off!

Sabrina - A Space to Create



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