Fifth Grade Animal Drawings and Prints 2014

Jake STeddy BTeddy B drawingTeddy B printTeddy B foamJake S drawing
Jake SJake S foamMichelle SMichelle S drawingMichelle S printMichelle S foam
Simone SSimone S drawingSimone S printSimone S foamJoey KJoey K drawing
Joey K printJoey K foamJack YJack Y drawingJack Y printJack Y foam
Via Flickr:
Fifth Graders used iPads as viewfinders to compose their initial drawings for these printmaking projects. After setting up a still-life with plastic model animals, they photographed their subjects on iPads. Then, they made a drawing from the iPad screen. Next, they transferred the drawings to a piece of printing foam. After printing the image, they washed and dried the foam. Finally, they colored the foam with oil pastel and mounted all three components on a construction paper color of their choice. I am so proud of the way these students embraced abstraction and began to recognize the importance of negative shapes, line, color, and composition.

Kindergarten Leaping Animals 2014

Ella RSantana VRuby JDrew LAmelia EAriana H
Parker HWill WGrace WLila TLuke GShaya C
Wyatt KGraham WVivi GBeau CEmily EOlivia B
Aubrey GMishka ASloane WeinsteinBryce CRyan HAubrey G
Via Flickr:
We looked at German Expressionist, Franz Marc, for inspiration. After seeing images of Marc's soulful animal paintings, we made our own leaping animals.  Specifically, we looked at Yellow Cow, The Large Blue Horses, and Three Cats. Students did a directed draw with ovals to break down the body parts of the animals.  Then, each student was able to customize the face and feet to make an animal of their choosing. 

First Grade Snow Globes 2013

Alexa PJonah NAva LLily GBayley BCharlie C
Kingsley SShelby RNoah KPeter DBrighton FBella N
Naia GReese JKiana GEli ELiam G
Cameron JRowan BGable NTyler AWill BMarin M

First Grade Snow Globes 2013, a set on Flickr.
First, students looked at my Pinterest Snow Globe collection at Then we discussed what characteristics made the snow globes appear 3D. The reflection on the glass was the aspect that students most wanted to replicate, so I taught them how to create a graphite ground and then erase out the reflections. We also erased out the falling snow. Happy Holidays!  Here are some larger images to enjoy:

See more of these on our Flickr page at

Fifth Grade Miniature Bakery

Kate BKate BLexi RLyla R.
Gavi WMatty P
Eve M
Fifth Grade Miniature Bakery, a set on Flickr.
Fifth Grade started the year learning how to sculpt with polymer clay. Using Sculpey, a brand of polymer clay, students made miniature baked goods such as cupcakes, jelly rolls, cakes, pies, and croissants. We spent many weeks learning how to manipulate Sculpey to make the swirls in jelly rolls, miniature lemons, and other techniques to make the bakery items look realistic. We even learned how to combine the clay with liquid Sculpey to make realistic frosting. Throughout our study of polymer clay, we used many YouTube videos, such as the two I will embed in this blogpost below.

After each student made countless baked items, they combined their sculptures into a display case made from foam core and acetate. Some of the miniature bakeries can be seen on our Flickr page at

Fifth Grade Tree Silhouettes 2013

Liam MMichelle SJoey KKate BLexi R
Matty PHaley GLandon AJake SDani L
Kole NKyle ZKate VLauren GCarly MWarner H
Bernhardt AAvi RMaddie FJackson DFiona KSimone S
Fifth Graders learned about negative space and how to draw trees by observing the shapes between branches and leaves rather than drawing the tree itself. By arranging the negative spaces appropriately, students created tree silhouettes on their papers. Each student filled in their negative spaces with opaque oil pastels, making sure to create smooth fades from one color to the next. When their oil pastel spaces were filled in, they painted the tree silhouettes with black paint. To see more of these beautiful Tree Silhouettes and other art projects, visit the Levin+Shapiro Flickr sets.

The Emporer's Robes

Third Graders learned about the "Twelve Symbols" used on the emperor's robes, which were present every imperial dynasty from the Han (206 BC-AD 220) to the Ming (AD 1368-1644). The Ch'ing or Qing Dynasty(AD1644-1911), also known as the "Dragon Throne", elevated the symbol of a dragon, which was part of the "Twelve Symbols" as the main symbol used on imperial robes. Symbols were copied from lesson plans found at The students' favorite symbols to feature on their robes were the axe, the dragon, the pheasant, the fu, and the geometric and water themed designs on the borders.  To see these robes and more student work, visit our Flickr Sets at