Back into the swing of things!

After weeks of snow and holidays (…and then more snow…) we finally finished our first FULL week of school in 2018!


Kindergarten artists are preparing for their upcoming PTA program all about PETS!  We read a beautiful book called “They All Saw a Cat” about how a variety of animals interact with a pet cat.  We were introduced to the lovely work of Japanese painter Miroco Machiko, an artist who loves to paint her cat as well as other animals.

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Painter Miroco Machiko in her studio and a painting by the artist.


After discussing the difference between WILD and TAME animals we had the opportunity to paint a pet of our own.  I was blown away by the variety of pets our kindergarten artists imagined!  Next week we will color our pictures with oil pastels to bring them to life!






First grade

First graders started a super fun lesson with VCU student teacher Ms. Mull!  She introduced the class to the mixed up creatures of Pokemon world!  Students will be creating their OWN unique mixed-up creature using clay.  This week, students began their project with a pinch pot and worked on small sketches of the creature they’d like to create next week.  To close the lesson Ms. Mull shared “The Mixed Up Chameleon” by Eric Carle, a story of a chameleon who wishes he had qualities of all kinds of different animals.  He ends up very mixed-up!

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Our first graders are pinch pot masters!  Ask your first grader how they “chomp chomp chomp” like an alligator to make the perfect pinch pot.

Second Grade

Second grade students have been learning about warm and cool colors.  We learned that artists use a tool called a color wheel to help them understand how colors work together.

One side of the color wheel has warm colors: Red, Orange and Yellow.  The opposite side of the color wheel has cool colors: Blue, Green and Purple.  Artists can make color choices to help them express feelings.  Warm colors tend to make us feel happy and excited while cool colors tend to make us feel calm or sad.  Students selected either warm OR colors and experimented with a variety of lines to create a winter collage.


Third Grade

Third grade artists are also preparing for a PTA program – the theme is JAZZ!  The students were introduced to the work of American artist Romare Bearden.  He was not only a painter and collage artist but also a musician!  He was inspired by the art, music and literature of the Harlem Renaissance and made many works of art illustrating jazz musicians.

Students made sketches of a variety of jazz instruments and then selected one to create using collage techniques.  We are experimenting with line, shape, color and paper techniques.  We listened to Miles Davis and John Coltrane while working!   They look fabulous!



Fourth Grade

Fourth grade artists learned about South African painter Esther Mahlangu.  Her work reflects her Ndebele culture and has evolved in new, exciting ways!  She is the first African artist to be asked by the BMW company to participate in their art car series.  She was also the first woman AND the first artist to be invited back to do it again!


Painter, Esther Mahlangu

In 2014 she was invited by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to paint several murals on the gallery walls.  We watched this wonderful timelapse video of her painting at the VMFA!


We used black paint to create symmetrical designs by folding and rubbing our paper as our designs grew and grew.  We added color with chalk pastels which are SUPER messy but make gorgeous colors.  Our last step was to imagine where we would like to see our designs go… on a shirt… on our school… on a plane!  There were lots of great ideas!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade artists are working on their pet projects inspired by the Henrico Humane Society.  They are having so much fun working with these sweet pets!


Fifth graders listened to a cool NPR produced podcast called Wow in the World while they worked.  It is a weekly kid-friendly podcast that explores a variety of science themes.  This week’s episode was about the benefits of RECESS!






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