Posts Tagged ‘Art’

The Masterful Paintings of a 3-Year-Old Autistic Girl

July 1, 2013



All I can say is WOW! I can’t believe that a 3-year-old could be responsible for this!






Click on the link to read Disabled Children: A Missed Opportunity for Us All

Click on the link to read my post on Meet the 14-Year-Old on his Way to Becoming a Nobel Prize Winner (Video)

Click on the link to read my post on Treatment of Autistic Children Says a Lot About Our Failing System

Click on the link to read Our Real Heroes are Not Celebrities or Athletes


Vivid Photographs Depicting Child Labour

April 9, 2013



These landmark photographs helped bring in laws protecting youngsters:







Click on the link to read My Heart Bleeds for Children Who Are Exploited

Click on the link to read The People Who “Liked” This Should be Struck Off Facebook

Click on the link to read How Giving Your Children a Bath Can Get You on a Sex Offender Registry

Click on the link to read Don’t Look for Rolemodels from Our Sporting Stars

Click on the link to read It is Shameful to Claim that Paedophilia is NOT a Crime

Click on the link to read Dad’s Letter to 13-Year Old Son after Discovering he had been Downloading from Porn Sites


Illustrator Quentin Blake Turns 80 and is Given a Knighthood

December 29, 2012


Recently I taught a unit on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I formed my wonderful Grade 3’s in a circle and we each took turns reading from this masterpiece. Using the novel as inspiration, we completed the following activities:

  1. I got the students to write and design their own Golden Tickets.
  2. I gave out a piece of bubble gum to each student and got them to blow bubbles. Then, in conjunction with our writing genre focus, procedural writing, the students wrote a procedure as to how to blow bubbles in step by step form.
  3. We watched both films and analysed the faithfulness of each adaptation.
  4. Again, in keeping with our procedural writing genre focus I got the students to look up a simple chocolate recipes. They wrote the recipe down using a procedural proforma and then cooked/baked their recipe for an end of year chocolate party. The recipes would then be collated as a cook book for the students to take home.

blake 3

Whilst Roald Dahl is to be acknowledged for providing joy to my students and many others worldwide, so too must his incredibly talented and distinctive illustrator, Quentin Blake who turns 80 years old.

Thank you on behalf of my class and all those who have had the good fortune to enjoy your fine illustrations. Happy Birthday Sir Quentin!

Click on the link to read Hilarious Menu Items Lost in Translation

Click on the link to read This is What Happens When You Rely on Spell Check

Click on the link to read The 15 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important

10 Art Related Games for the Classroom

October 8, 2012


Courtesy of Becca Swanson. Perfect for substitute teachers who haven’t been provided with work for the class:

1.) The Creativity Design Game – This art game, originally inspired from the book “Design Synectics” by Nicholas Rourkes, takes problem-solving to a new level. Students are asked to take two very different objects and create a drawing, combining these separate objects into one completely new invention.

In my classroom, I call this the “Creativity Game” and I made this activity more game-like by typing out hundreds of random nouns on slips of paper, and placing them in a bag. Two students then blindly reach in the bag and pull out a ‘mystery word’. The students are given one to two minutes to come up with an idea, sketch it out and name it. As they work, I observe their drawings and ask the most creative thinkers to share their ideas with the class when time is up.

2.) The Artwork Memory / Matching Game – Artwork memory games – inspired by the child’s matching game “Concentration” – can be perfect free-time activities for elementary art students. The “Art Memo” game comes with 72 artwork images and can be purchased for around $20 here at Amazon. However, if you have a color printer you can easily make your own Art Memory game by photographing student artwork or finding art online, printing out 2 of each image, then laminating the cards (or glue onto note cards).

3.) Art Jeopardy! – A great way to review art terms, art history information, processes or artists before a test – or simply as lesson closure – a teacher can plan an Art Jeopardy game by coming up with five or more categories, and five questions to go in each category. Depending on the art teacher’s time, A Jeopardy board can be drawn onto the chalkboard, made in PowerPoint, or can be assembled with fabric and ‘pockets’ for questions on note cards.

4.) Art Room “Win, Lose or Draw” – A great classroom reward, last-day activity or holiday treat, your classes can play the classic art game “Win, Lose or Draw” (or “Pictionary”). Simply put students in two teams, give the player a word to draw and have them try to draw it in a given amount of time with their teammates guessing correctly.

5.) Clay Wars” Game – When introducing students to ceramics — or as a way to practice recently learned skills — have students play a clay-based art game. All students will have an equal amount of clay, and compete to sculpt items, such as: the tallest structure without falling over, the most perfect sphere, the longest single rope coil, the best cube, the most realistic animal, the funniest face, etc. Students can be split into teams, or compete individually.

6.) Educational Art Novelties – When students have additional activity time in art class, they can play solo art games and puzzles by looking at hidden-picture art books (such as “Can You Find It Inside?” by the Metropolitan Museum of Art), using mosaic tiles to create pictures, working on art-based jigsaw puzzles, working on origami, and studying optical illusions. Students can easily create their own artwork novelties and games by designing tangrams (a Chinese puzzle, easily made with paper) or creating thaumatropes (a toy popular in the Victorian era).

7.) Paint Wars” Game – Similar to “Clay Wars”, this paint-based art game is also a way to practice recently-learned processes and theory. Students can compete as teams or individuals, and will try to do the following: best match their skin tone using only primaries and neutrals, most closely match the color of a flower, paint the most realistic piece of food, the scariest monster, and other ideas.

8.) Art Book / Internet Scavenger Hunts– This fun art game is going to be more effective with older students, and requires either a large assortment of art books or the internet in your library or classroom. You can either compile a list of items that students will need to search for, perhaps with a worksheet to write them down on, or give one item at a time for students to search for as a timed competition. Your scavenger hunts can be customized to whatever your students have been learning about lately (find an Impressionist painting with a dog in it, find a sculpture made in France, etc.).

9.) Art Vocabulary Word Searches / Puzzles – Word searches, crosswords and other puzzles can be an effective and fun way to review art class vocabulary. Try making your own customized art puzzles here at Discovery Education Puzzlemaker.

10.) Online Art Games – There are thousands of online art games and activities that are safe for students to play in school (some more so than others, so be sure to check them out beforehand). These can be a great educational activity for students who finish their work early. Check out the Incredible Art Department’s list of Online Art Activities for Kids for a huge list of online art games and resources.


Click on the link to read Do Kids Need A Classroom Pet (The Four-Legged Variety)?

Click on the link to read 5 Rules for Rewarding Students

Click on the link to read Tips for Engaging the Struggling Learner

Click on the link to read the Phonics debate.

The Humiliation of Standing Up in Front of the Class

October 19, 2011

Critics of the way our generation of parents rear children tell us that we spoil kids senseless.  They say that we go out of our way to protect our children from failure.  They admonish us for not allowing children to deal with disappointment, a crucial life skill in the real world.

But as much as I agree with these critics, I can’t help but sympathise for children that are not ready for the battering that can come about from being singled out amongst their peers.

When I was studying to become a teacher, my Art lecturer made us do a sketch of a fellow classmate, who was made to pose leaning against a ladder.  I can’t draw for my life.  Even my stick figures look shabby!  At the end of the activity, the students wandered from drawing to drawing, inspecting the works of art that our creative class had accomplished.  Then there was mine.  An absolutely horrendous, ghastly mess, that looked nothing like the poor subject.  I wanted to crawl into the art supplies cupboard and remain there for at least thirty years!

When we were expecting our first child, we attended parenting classes.  On one of our weekly lessons, the instructor got all the fathers up in front of the class to do a demonstration of how cloth nappies/diapers are applied to a newborn.  We were each given a cloth nappy and a doll and were given quick instructions before being put to work.  I have never been great with verbal instructions.  I am a visual person, relying on generous amounts of time and clear descriptive pictures before I can follow even the simplest of instructions.  Needless to say, my nappy ended up looking more like a paper airplane.

And I’m an adult with relatively good self-esteem.  Imagine how kids feel?

Imagine how uncoordinated and unfit children feel during physical education classes.  Imagine how traumatic it is for a child who finds maths difficult to demonstrate an answer on the board in front of the class.

I totally agree that these are problems children should be able to deal with, as they are problems that exist in the real world.

I’m just not sure I’m emotionally ready to teach it to them.

Talk About an Overreaction!

May 27, 2011

A school teacher expects her students to clean after themselves if they urinate on the toilet seat and is forced to take administrative leave!  It turns out that the child was allergic to bleach.  This story should have stayed in-house.  It is certainly not front page news, and even if you were of the belief that the teacher acted negligently, you would have to wonder how this story caused a media sensation and triggered emergency PTO meetings.

An elementary school teacher has been suspended and is being investigated by authorities after allegedly forcing children to scrub the school toilets with bleach.

For two years, Catherine Saur, from Hartford, Connecticut, would make any student who used the bathroom thoroughly clean the room after they were done, parents claim.

Some mothers and fathers said their children would wet themselves during the day to avoid the chore, while one eighth-grader had his hands seriously burned after suffering an allergic reaction to the bleach.

Last night’s emergency school meeting was called after principal Peter Dart sent a letter to parents to inform them the art teacher had been reported to authorities.

Principal Dart said he did not endorse or know about the practice until it came to his attention last week.

He said: ‘It is imperative that we pause, that we take stock in what we are doing. That we learn from this and that we move forward.’

Newsflash: Teacher’s make mistakes.  Some may consider this one to be a bigger one than I do, but for goodness sake, how unfair is it to this poor teacher to have her reputation muddied over what is fairly honest intentions.  Teacher’s should get their students to take an active and responsible approach to cleaning up after themselves from a young age.  Perhaps this teacher took the message a little too far, but she did not deserve the media frenzy she got.  Emergency PTO meetings?  Are you serious?  Seriously burnt?  That’s not what the mother says in the video?  Kids wetting themselves to avoid cleaning after themselves? C’mon media! Get your act together!

And Principal Dart, why don’t you come to the defence of your teacher?  By trying to minimise the negative PR of your school, you seem to be leaving your art teacher out in the cold.  I should be reading about how dedicated this teacher is and how she has a great rapport with her students and a genuine passion for teaching.  I should be reading about how she regrets her actions, has learnt from them and looks forward to resuming the job she loves so much.

Surely a statement like that will have raised the confidence of the public and helped to kill the story in the process.

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