Monday, January 31, 2011


Here's one I did with my 4th graders last year. If I do it again I will NOTchoose oil pastels. A bad choice on my part since the images are so graphic and bold. I really don't know why I didn't switch media after one class...

That said, the students came up with some interesting combinations of visual and textual information.

We looked at the work of Shepard Fairey. Very current and fresh with his Obama poster that many of the students had seen. They thought it was cool that he was working in San Diego for a bit before moving up to the big time in L.A.

We looked at how he combines a strong visual image with a strong textual statement. We discussed how much impact words have when they are presented in a very bold way. Big block letters give you a much different feeling than cursive lettering.

We also looked at how, even in Shepard's graphic images, he creates a sense of implied volume by using a couple colors to create light and shadow.

Before students started creating their own images, we also talked about analogous color schemes and how they can create a certain mood or feeling that can add another element to the overall reading of an image.

1. students sketch numerous hand positions
2. students list words that could go with their hand images
3. on good paper students lightly separate hand area from text area
4. students draw hand and outline where shadows will be
5. students add text to bottom
6. students add color using an analogous color scheme


  1. Drawing hands is hard for kids… anyone really… Cool project!

    You asked a couple of things of me on my blog. My Japan Trade was organized by our cultural staff member. She works with several schools, is from Japan and happens to be a friend. I have traded with Australia, Cayman Islands and several other states just by requesting trades on my blog. Are you interested in a small format (2 1/2 by 3 1/2) ATC (Artist Trading Card)? I could have about 100 snowman prints send to you ASAP…

    Square 1 is great if you have help. They send you a great packet of paper for ever student (and then some), a folder for every class, rules and suggestions of subject and medium and you just 'make the art'. The thing that made this project so great for me was that my parent group did all the 'other' stuff. I handed them the finished Art (give yourself about three class periods with a 1 to 1 1/2 class period project). That way you will get everyone. Then they mailed the work out, when the packets came back in they got it to every class. The packets have their art work already on a product like stickers. The family can either order other products or they can simply keep the stickers. The orders come back to my parent group… They add up all the funds send it back. When the product comes in… you guessed it… They deliver it.

    If you are going to do this I would get a team to help you with all the money and orders. I always give whatever this fundraiser makes to my parent group. So far they can distribute it how ever they like. I know if I ever had a request for something big… I have a better chance of having them back me. Also, I never want to start fundraising for my subject… It is just as important as any other subject and should be finically supported by the school… not my extra efforts.

    Wow this 'post' got away from me. If you want to continue this conversation or inquire about other thing please email me at

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Perhap you could use silk screen or introduce it more of a punk way and go stencil and spray paint? I love how you do not teach down to your students. There is so much great street artwork and the the majority of it is socially positive. Good work- Power to the people (the little people)

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  4. The article discusses a 4th grade art project with students, highlighting challenges and learnings. It highlights the importance of adaptability and continuous learning, and incorporates Shepard Fairey's work into the curriculum. The step-by-step approach is practical, but could benefit from visual aids. Overall, a valuable resource for fostering creativity and critical thinking. flyoke