My adaptive art kids like to do calming art projects- beading, sewing, clay...stuff to really keep their hands busy. I found this idea on Pinterest, I just simplified it a little bit for my kiddos. I pre-cut all the leaves out of felt and then also cut two slits in each leaf. I used jumbo yarn for the string and tied/taped a pencil to one end as their "needle". They strung them together great, and have a festive fall project to hang up at home now! (I sent them home the same day, and forgot to take pictures of their actual work, but you get the idea:)
2nd grade also learned about Day of the Dead. We drew skulls together as a class. Then I gave them some ideas for small details they could add to their skulls and the background behind them. We glued them to black paper, and made paper marigold flowers for each of the corners of the frame.
4th graders looked at images of the very detailed art skulls found in Day of the Dead celebrations. They then drew a skull on Shrinky Dink plastic and colored it in with colored pencil. I really emphasized to them that they should be very detailed. After they finished coloring, they cut out the skull shape, then I shrunk them in a toaster oven. They had the choice to either turn their skull into a necklace or pin. (If you do shrinky dink necklaces, make sure you punch the hole to string the chain or thread through before they go into the oven).
I try to keep the first few art projects I do with first grade pretty abstract. I don't want anyone to feel defeated because their artwork doesn't "look right". Sonia Delaunay is a Ukrainian-French abstract painter. She is noted for using strong color choices and geometric shapes. First graders drew circles with oil pastels, we then painted with water color over the circles. Next we used stamping techniques using only the primary colors and again only circles. Lastly we talked about how to create emphasis in our artwork. We did this by outlining some of our circles in black tempera paint. I do this project every year at the beginning of the year, it is one of my favorites because they all turn out so beautiful and they make such a great display in the hall all hung up together!
3rd graders learned about the celebration El Dia de los Muertos or The Day of the Dead. We watched two videos on the celebration that takes place in Mexico every year on November 2. We talked about the differences between the Day of the Dead and Halloween, since they often get confused. We looked at images of skeletons and skeletons used in Day of the Dead. Students drew their skeletons with white colored pencil, added festive clothing and instruments. Lastly, we added marigold flowers because that is the flower used most often in the Day of the Dead celebrations.
Of course I had to include Blue Dog in my Art Dog Unit. Third graders read Why Is Blue Dog Blue? and also viewed a Power Point of all the different types of Blue Dog paintings that George Rodrigue painted. I also found an interview with Rodrigue from CBS's Morning Show on You Tube to show the kids as well. It was perfect actually, because he showed a Blue Dog Painting that he did right after Sept. 11, 2001, and we were doing our project right around then. It had a powerful impact on the students. Shout out to Artolazzi's Blog, got the painting idea from her blog:)