Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gift Bags - With Watercolors and Out of Newspaper!

I decided to add my simple watercolor pictures to white gift bags as a way to showcase my art, make a practical item, and make a pretty bag to put in my art! I started with small white paper bags, glued on a few abstract paintings, then found some paper bags to reuse. These bags were in different colors so I had to make the art to go with the bag color. Then I purchased larger paper bags in forest green and purple and added more winter art for them. Here are some of my bags:

Here is a website for creating giftbags out of newspaper. Can't wait to try it out with my students!
How to Make Gift Bags Out of Newspaper 
I am hoping that the idea of recycling, and reusing can be combined with fine art. What do you think? Would you use a paper gift bag with a watercolor on it?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Help With Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy came upon us on a Monday, Oct. 29 when I was teaching Social Studies to grade 6's and 7's. We have time in a computer lab so everyone looked up images, videos and information on the impending Superstorm. Homework was to figure out "What Can We Do About It?" The students watched news, videos and looked on the internet and were eager to share the stories and pictures they saw. The homework was then looked at and they decided the best way to help was to donate money to help victims. Prayer for people was also suggested. So, having art class 2 days later, I was able to get students to make posters asking for help, showing some of the devastation they had viewed. The students wrote a prayer together, came up with a newsletter item, and also talked to the principal via the student leadership team about what they could do.
     Motivating the students to action was basically easy. You just have to give them awareness and the idea that they can do something about this. Facts were written down but the main question that I will ask them on the next test is " Why was it important to study Hurricane Sandy?" Was it really because we were studying trade in other countries?? Was it really because the U.S. is our neighbor? Was it really because it was current events day in class? They knew my husband is American, a teacher's aide had family in the New York/New Jersey area at the time, and that I had taught in New York on a teaching exchange. My reasons for having an interest in the U.S. were made known to them. But again I asked them why they thought we were studying about this current event. Was it really to make them aware of current events, or a better global citizen?? Hopefully, they can answer this why question.
     This also gives a chance, as a computer teacher to examine fake photographs portrayed on the internet. Look at the one below for a good topic opener:
or try this attempt at changing the reality:
I am hoping that the real image of this storm stays with them: