Thursday, March 29, 2018

2nd Grade Animations 2018

2nd graders have completed their alien animations. Students had an opportunity to practice figure drawing and drawing in profile while using the Doink Animation App on the iPads to create a running alien in four poses. Find the lesson description here. Everyone in second grade is finished with their Aliens running loose in the art room animation. Not only did the make one movie, but two movies! The second movie used their alien running on a background that the students drew in the app animation. I moved their videos to iMovie, added some sound effects and music, and labeled each student's alien with his/her name.  All four movies are now uploaded to YouTube and you can find the links below. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did making them!

2A Animations

2D Animations

2B Animations

2C Animations

For the last two weeks, 2nd graders have been experimenting with animation in the art room. The first project focused on flip books creating a ball bouncing. Now, students recently finished using the Doink Animation App on the iPads to create a running alien in four poses. The idea for this project is not originally mine, but from Tricia Fuglestad, an elementary art teacher at Dryden Elementary in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Tricia Fuglestad's blog, Dryden Elementary Art Website

 File provided by Tricia Fuglestad on her blog.
Using the Doink iPad Animation App, 2nd graders drew an original alien in four sequential poses to create the illusion that it is running. Once completed with four poses, students added the alien to a composition of a photo from the art room to give the illusion that the alien is entering from the left and exiting to the right of the photo and running rampant within our art room!
Composition directions for Alien running loose in the Art Room.
Once students finished composing their alien running in the art room, they made a 2nd composition within DOINK by drawing a background for their alien to run such as the alien's home planet, spaceship, or imaginary world. If students finish composition two, they may play in the "cloud" by adding images or animations from online contributors to their 2nd composition. This video was not added to the final video submitted to YouTube.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Superhero Staff

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird….it’s a plane….no – it’s West Central Hartford Elementary Staff!

First grade students have been working on a comic book character theme in art, drawing faces and body proportions. Each student was assigned a staff person from Hartford Elementary as well as transportation employees throughout the district. 
We talked about how the staff at West Central Hartford Elementary had superhero powers and how those superhero powers help students everyday at school. 

Students looked closely at the photo of their assigned staff person and drew comic book facial features. Students, then added a superhero body with cape and details to the background to give clues to the staff person's job. The comic superhero portraits will be shared with staff and hang on display in the lunch room.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky was born on December 4, 1866, in Moscow, Russia. The young Kandinsky drew, wrote poems, and played the piano and cello. After graduating from school, he became a law teacher. Kandinsky began painting at the age of 30. He felt that painting possessed the same power as music and that sign, line, and color ought to correspond to the vibrations of the human soul. Many art historians believe that Kandinsky had a form of synesthesia, where sounds were linked to colors. Essentially, he could hear color and see music. The kindergarten students listened to "The Noisy Paint Box" written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mary Grandpre'. In the book, the author tells the fascinating story of Kandinsky and how he experienced colors as sounds.

Wassily Kandinsky, Bright Picture, 1913
During art class, students pretended to by Kandinsky and listened to three composers introduced throughout the year during Mrs. Meirose's music class; Johann Sebastian Bach, Camille Saint-Saens, and John Philip Sousa. By listening to the sounds and rhythm of the music, each student determined how that sound should look in his/her drawing/painting as if they could also see the music and hear the colors like Kandinsky. For more information about Kandinsky and synesthesia, visit the following websites:,, and

“I saw all the colors in my mind; they stood before my eyes. Wild, almost crazy lines were sketched in front of me.” 

-Wassily Kandinsky  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Artsonia and Baseline Portfolio Drawings

The first two to three weeks of school for all grades allows for much practice of the art room rules and procedures. Each day students come to the art room, we quickly review the art room rules, procedures, and expectations, how to receive punches in individual Art "buck" punch cards and gain points for Rainbow Club as a class. A new activity I created to make the explanation of procedures and rules more exciting was an art room scavenger hunt. Second grade students, working with their table groups, were given a list of items to seek and find in the art room ranging from Art Jobs and Staplers to scrap paper drawers and sign language signs. First and kindergarten students were shown pictures from the art room in a keynote presentation and together as a class pointed to the found items in the room.

The first two weeks also allow me to gain valuable information about students' current skill levels in drawing and name writing. I call these drawings baseline portfolio drawings. Each year kindergarten through second grade, students will draw a self portrait and "My House" drawing without guidance on 9”x12” drawing paper and with a #2 pencil. These drawings usually take 2-3 days and students will add color with crayons (kindergarten) or colored pencils (first and second grades). For those students who finish early, we talk about adding "details" to give the viewer more information. For example, within the background of their self portraits, I tell them to draw items that tell me more about their hobbies and interests.
Artsonia, West Central K12 digital portfolio for Art.

Once students complete their self portrait and house drawings, the images are photographed and uploaded to our Artsonia accounts. Each child has an Artsonia account that follows him or her from building to building within our district. This is our K12 digital portfolio for the art room. It's a free, safe, educational program designed to connect parents and families with their child's creative activities at West Central School grades K-12. Kindergarten parents and new students have already received their permission forms to participate in this program. If you have any questions about Artsonia, please, feel free to contact me through email at or call 528-3215 x1333 for more information.

Second grade students this week will also list items to add to this year's Rainbow Club Chart and as a group VOTE FOR the ACTIVITIES they like best TO ADD to the RAINBOW CLUB chart.

Anchor Standard 1 (K-2): Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard 2 (K-2): Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard 10 (K-2): Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to create art.