Middle School Chalk Drawings

I saw a project on Pinterest that was for an art club chalk project, where the students had an entire day to create large scale drawings in chalk of famous artworks. I decided that I wanted to challenge my 7th graders and give them a little bit of art history by having them do something similar.

To begin the assignment I decided to select various Artists that had bright colors, bold designs, and would be challenging yet do-able for students in chalk. I created a project where each of the students had to research one of the Artists that I decided on, they included Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Romero Britto, James Rizzi, and Peter Max.

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I gave each student a worksheet that had the Artist’s name and one of the Artist’s artwork, that I selected and printed out in color for them. The worksheet had several questions to answer about the Artist and the Artwork. Once they completed the worksheet, they had to do a practice drawing in full color before they moved out doors for the assignment. I had them practice in full color so that if anything were to happen while they were working on their final design outside I could still give them a grade for their work!

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We went over the grid technique and how to enlarge drawings using that technique. Once they understood that process they were sent outdoors. They created their grids on the sidewalk with white chalk so they could go over them with the other colors better.

I had them working on the project over several days so students would have to hope the weather held out and that no one trampled their work. They worked hard on their outside pieces and it added a great element to the school. Many people saw them in process and loved how they added color and design around the building! I loved the final pieces and so did the students!

Here is a post to my Artsonia gallery of this project: http://www.artsonia.com/museum/gallery.asp?project=975627

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Gingerbread Houses


I have been challenging my High School students to look at Art in different ways and find where the talents, that they possess, can be used. One way that I have them seeing Art in everything is through a unit on creating Gingerbread houses, which is food art! How can someone go wrong with food Art! For the past couple years I have had the students create Gingerbread houses before winter break. The students love creating with food and gives them a chance to create unique pieces!


I have had the students creating these houses for the past couple years during their exam time. Thankfully I am not forced to create a written test to challenge them during that time frame which allows us a longer class period to create these large scale works.


Before the day of, the students have many things they have to do to prepare for this event. First we work on designs. The students practice drawing what they want their houses to look like, they also decide on if they want to create the piece by themselves or if they want to work in teams. They have to decide on what types of candy they would like to incorporate in their designs and figure out what each of them are bringing! If they are working in a group they are also have to get the base for their creation.DSCN5021IMG_1951

For the project I provided each table with a box of graham crackers, paper plates and a bag of icing that they would need. I bring my mixer with me to make the icing as the students are working as need be. I make a royal icing that can hold up to the candy and the kids crazy creations!!

Lucky enough for us as well, the school’s head Chef is also an amazing cake decorator and she comes in to the classroom and shows off her tricks of the trade! DSCN5020The students have come up with some very interesting designs, they have also brought in so many unique supplies and worked well by sharing the goodies across the room! By far it is one of the things that my classes look forward to each year!



Several years ago I decided that I wanted the entire school to create a project that would hang in an area they could all see it complete. I had seen online, a collaborative assignment where a class created a rainbow by coloring 4×6 cards with their portraits on it, using one color for each card. I decided to go large scale and have every person within the school, including support staff, the teachers, the students, and anyone I could find to fill the space.

It was a great success. I was able to go over drawing portraits with every class and allowing them to learn facial proportions, including some of the staff who were not as confident in drawing. To help ensure lots of color, I also had the students fill the cards with their interests, their hobbies, and things that they enjoy with the color. I went through the classes for that year and decided which class/grade used which color. I started with the DK and K classes and gave them pink, then moved up through the senior class by giving them purple. I didn’t specifically assign the staff a color, I just let them choose their own and I filled them in wherever I could. It worked out well.


Once I collected all of the drawings from each of the students I had to go through the colors and lay them out in a fashion that would seamlessly transition through the rainbow and fill the grid that I planned out. To complete the project I taped all of the pictures on a large roll of paper. Once I had figured out where they all fit in and transitioned the colors as smoothly as possible, I ran the entire thing into the lamination machine to ensure they stayed together. It was a long process and I had only one unfortunate case where when the paper was going through the machine one of the pictures folded and was laminated that way.


The rainbow hung in the school cafeteria for several years, parts of it would fall from time to time and I would have to re-hangĀ  it until it had run its course. To keep the hard work of the students and staff alive, once I removed the entire rainbow from its hanging place, I cut out each of the images that were created and compiled them into a binder that is accessible to everyone.

IMG_20100930_181440It is so fun to have students go through the binder and reminisce about the project. Students of all ages have looked through to see their drawings as well as their friends and siblings. It is a great community to challenge creatively!

Teacher Projects: Legos

For the past couple years I have decided that I wanted the other teachers in my school to take part in spreading art throughout the building as well as getting the students connected to it in other areas.

Last year I had the teachers decorate a Dalmatian puppy in order to spread the 101 Dalmatians throughout the school. This school year I am doing video games and I decided to have the teachers create themselves as Lego characters. I figured there are several different Lego video games out with various characters and they are pretty recognizable for students and staff alike so it was going to be a fun project for all!

Many of the teachers have taken part in the fun activity and displayed their creations outside of their classrooms so the students can see their work! I love to get the teachers creating new and exciting things as well as the students. Here are a few of their characters: