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Friday, December 22, 2017

December Break at the MFA!!!

I'l be taking my own kids to the MFA for vacation week!  They have so many great activities for kids during vacation weeks.  Get more info here: 
 The following is from the museum website about what they will have to offer this year:
Theme: New Years Around the World
Delight in the season and learn about how the New Year is celebrated around the world. Look at and make art. Enjoy free activities all week long.

Art-Making Activities

10 am–4 pm (to 8 pm on Wednesday)

Daruma Doll

Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 159
Daruma is said to have brought Zen Buddhism to Japan. Look at Takashi Murakami’s painting of Daruma in the Gund Gallery, LG31. In Japan people may get a Daruma doll during the New Year when they want to achieve a goal. They color in one eye of the doll at the beginning of the year, and when they have achieved the goal, they color in the other eye. Head to Room 159 to make a Daruma doll and set your goal for the year!

A New Year Feast

Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 160
In Europe it is traditional to eat oysters on New Year’s Eve. Go to Gallery 243 and take a look at Osias Beert’s Still Life with Oysters, Sweetmeats, and Dried Fruit in a Stone Niche (1609). Look closely at the oysters and other food. What special meal or food do you eat for the New Year? Head downstairs to Room 160 to create your own three-dimensional collage of a New Year feast!


Gallery 280
Tako-age is a kite-flying game played when the New Year is celebrated in Japan. These Japanese kites are often decorated with animals. Look in Gallery 280 to see how many animals you can find. Choose a favorite animal and decorate your own New Year kite.

Ancient Egyptian New Year

Shapiro Family Courtyard
Ancient Egyptians celebrated the New Year in July when the Nile River flooded. Their festival was known as Wepet Renpet, which means “opening of the year,” and honored the birth of the sun god Ra-Horakhty on this day. In Gallery 109, see if you can find Ra-Horakhty. He has a man’s body and the head of a hawk and can be seen in many different places. Walk over to Shapiro Family Courtyard to draw your own oil pastel sun god in celebration of the New Year.

Always Available

Art Connections Activity Cards

Sharf Visitor Center
Pick up an Art Connections Activity Card and explore bugs, birds, chocolate, and other themes throughout the Museum. Recommended for all ages. Available in English and Spanish.
Made possible by Arthur R. Hilsinger and Barbara J. Janson.

A Guide to Family Fun at the MFA

Sharf Visitor Center
Available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Pick up one of our free pocket-sized informational guides on visiting and exploring the Museum with kids. Includes tips, gallery games, and ideas for looking at and discussing art together.

MFA Guide: Kids’ Tour

Available at any ticket desks and Sharf Visitor Center.
The Kids’ mobile tour introduces young visitors ages 6 to 10 to the Art of the Americas collections. The galleries are brought to life with the help of three quirky characters: Lucia, a high school reporter; Steve, an adventurous 10-year-old; and Malone, an art detective. Together they help kids look at art in new, creative ways.
Members $5; nonmembers $6; kids 17 and under $4; free for visitors who are Deaf or blind.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Kindergarten Kandinsky

Kindergarten students explored the work of Wassily Kandinsky.  We learned what it means for art to be abstract (not to look like anything real) and identified different lines and shapes within his work.  Next we set out to create our own abstract art.  Using cardboard tubes and cut up pieces of cardboard we stamped black lines and shapes onto our paper.  Once the paint was dry we added color with tempera cakes

Recycled art

Fifth graders discussed the work of a variety of artists  who work with the same theme- using recycled materials in their art. Linda Evola-Smidt melts down guns in order to use the metal to create angels of hope, Michelle reader recycled household trash in sculptures of people, artist team Tim Noble and Sue Weber illuminate trash to create realistic images out of the shadows on the wall, and Didier Triglia uses crushed soda cans to create creative faces.
After looking at and discussing these artists we decided to make some recycled art of our own.  Students crushed their own aluminum can and used mixed media to create their own face.  For further inspiration we looked at examples of portraits from Cubism.

 Stay tuned because we will be adding more to these creations in the weeks to come!


Second graders discussed the portraits of Modigliani.  Modigliani is known for his pictures that include elongated faces, long noses, small mouths, slouchy shoulders and mask like eyes.  I introduced the artist by looking at some of his art and then showing them another video from the series Mati and Dada series (which I love!)
After the video we looked at Modigliani's work compared to other portraits like the Mona Lisa and discussed how artists normally try to make faces look real by paying attention to the rules of proportion.  For this project we wanted our portraits to resemble Modigliani's so we folded the paper to help guide us to create stretched proportions.  Students used chalk pastels to add color to their art and black charcoal to add emphasis.

Safari Day!!

Every year the first grade goes on safari around the school.  In their classrooms they discuss different animals of the grasslands, including elephants, cheetahs, zebra, giraffe and lions.  For safari day I transform our hallways into a jungle, and this year we created some artworks inspired by the animals they study!
In this class we discussed the importance of recycling and discussed different examples of recycled art.  We used cardboard boxes and tubes to create our zebra as a class.

This class worked together to create painted papers for our mural.  We discussed texture and the other elements of art to create our animals.

The zebra didn't last too long before he fell apart- but he looked cute relaxing here...

Kindergarten Monsters of Creativity

Kindergarten students looked at the art of street artist Phetus as inspiration for this project.
We began with a review of lines and discussed how lines could be used to create patterns.  Students used 3 different lines to divide the space of their paper and created different patterns in each space using either warm or cool colors.  Once the patterns were complete we discussed how to trace and cut shapes to use for collage.  Finally, we outlined our shapes with oil crayon for emphasis.

Vocabulary Day

I love dressing up!  Each year I try to choose an art vocabulary word to personify for our Vocabulary Day!  This year I went as texture-- I think it was my favorite so far!


Dot Day is based on the story The Dot.  On this day we celebrate the main ideas from the story: bravery, creativity and making your mark.  This year we started out year by reading the story You Be You by Linda Krantz.  In the story the little fish Adri notices that all the fish in the sea are different and have something different to share.  The pages are filled with fish (painted stones) that bring the message of opposites, diversity and acceptance.  You be You encourages us to always be ourselves.  After listening to the story and discussing its message students designed their own fish to represent their own amazing self! Their paper fish our currently on display throughout the building!

After their paper fish were complete we reread the story The Dot, reviewed what Dot Day is about and created our dot on stones- similar to the illustrations in You Be You.  Students used their paper fish as the plan for their painted rock.

We celebrated Dot Day on November 16th so that everyone would have time to complete their projects before the big day. 

On this day parents were invited to celebrate creativity with their child during their specialist time.  All the specialists were stationed in the lobby and grade levels met us downstairs.  Originally the plan was to place our rocks outside our school building so the students could truly leave their mark on our school and community but I recieved some bad news a few daysbefore the event that this would no longer be allowed.  I am in the process of working on finding an alternate location for our stones (stay tuned!) but in the meantime