Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Power of Siblings

Something I have been trying out recently is enlisting the help of older siblings of challenging students to help me understand and tame behavior issues. This is something that didn't work much at first for me, but as I have worked with the same community for three years the students are more respectful and responsive. I may ask a sibling a question like "What's your brother like at home?" or "Your brother was acting naughty yesterday in art, what's the best way to reach your parents?" By asking simple and general questions about the family and home life I can find out for example that "dad is tougher on discipline "or that "my parents are breaking up." Responsible older siblings can also help out when you cannot reach the parents.

Monday, April 28, 2008

RAFT Activities

Name: Liza Camhi

Grade Level & Content: 4th Grade Art

Title: Picasso vs. Matisse- The Showdown!

Power Standard(s)

(3)1.4 judge works of art, based on observed merits
a. share opinions
b. support opinions, points of view by citing artwork
(3)2.2 discuss materials, processes, purposes, e.g., learn how artist’s choices are
influenced by culture, time and place [NS 4.3.2]

Student will participate in a debate as to whether Cubist Pablo Picasso or Fauvist Henri Matisse created a stronger art style.

Kid-friendly Objectives/
Essential Questions:
Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso were always competing with their art. Who was the better artist? Which one invented a better style?

Type of Differentiation
(readiness, interest, learning style):
Differentiated based on interest.

Le Salon
Entice Parisian artists to participate in a self-portrait contest to prove that their unique style is the best!

Pablo Picasso
Lecture (written speech)
Convince the salon that cubism is better than fauvism by comparing/contrasting two works of art. One work should be a Picasso, one a Matisse, and both should be a self-portrait the artist created.

Henri Matisse
Lecture (written speech)
Convince the salon that fauvism is better than cubism by comparing/contrasting two works of art. One work should be a Picasso, one a Matisse, and both should be a self-portrait the artist created.

Persuade the world through your writing that either Cubism or Fauvism is the stronger art style. Use all five elements of art and your knowledge of the styles to support your decision.
Describe the opening reception for Le Salon’s art contest. Who on the contest and why? Who lost the contest and how did they react? Use your knowledge of both art styles and artists to support your findings.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Great Lesson for Paper Scraps!

I found this lesson online and thought it would be a fun end of the year or recycling project. Check it out:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Leonardo Da Vinci Think Tac Toe


Grade Level & Content: Grade 4 Art

Power Standard(s)
(5)1.2 analyze works of art, e.g., compare and contrast the application of elements and
principles of design, etc. [NS 5.5.1]
(5)2.3 discuss artistic styles, e.g., define characteristics in works of art that identify
individual artists, groups of artists, or cultures [NS 4.5.2


Student will use the elements of art and principals of design to critique (a) masterpiece(s) by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Student will classify works of art by Leonardo Da Vinci by their function (portrait, religious, science).
Student will list Da Vinci’s contributions to science, technology, and art.

Kid-friendly Objective(s) or Essential Question(s)

How did Leonardo use the elements of art and principal designs to create Mona Lisa and the Last Supper?
Leonardo had all sorts of purposes for creating art, how can I identify what the purpose of each artwork is?
I heard that Leonardo had a lot of ideas for art, science, and inventions. What were they?

Directions to Students: Based on what we read in The Genius of Leonardo by Guido Visconti and Bimba Landmann choose three activities to complete.
Use a circle map to share your knowledge of Da Vinci’s life, art, and inventions.

Design a bubble map using the six elements of art to critique the Mona Lisa.
Create a tree map that shows at least 10 of Da Vinci’s contributions to science, technology, and art.
Use a multi-flow map to show at least 3 ideas of inventions Da Vinci created and what modern day technologies are similar to his ideas.

Fill in a Frayer Diagram that lists the style/period of Leonardo’s artwork, the characteristics of the style/period, famous works of art, and his artistic inventions.
Make a flow chart to summarize at least 5 major events of Leonardo’s life.
Create a bubble map to explain the use of the all of the principals of design in analyze The Last Supper.

Create a tree map to classify at least 3 works of art by Leonardo Da Vinci as either portrait, religious, or scientific.
Design a double bubble map comparing/contrasting the use of the at least 3 elements of art in The Last Supper and Mona Lisa.


I have been doing some research on teaching art abroad, and while this is not traditional classrom teaching it is a terrific experience. Artists go to Central American countries and use arts as a means of social change. This program sends artists for 1 year abroad to empower communities to improve their social, health, and environmental conditions through art. You do need to be fluent in Spanish.


I am sorry i have not been posting due to illness and being off from work. I will put 2 new posts on today and hope it makes up for it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Gyotaku Fish Printing

By Liza Camhi
Grade Level & Content: 3rd Grade Art
Title:Gyotaku Fish Printing

Power Standard(s)
(5)2.1 examine historical/cultural context, e.g., categorize works of art according to culture, time or place [NS 4.5.2]
(5)2.2 discuss materials, processes, purposes, e.g., learn how artist’s choices are influenced by time and place [NS 4.5.2]
(5)4.12 create a work of art that shows the influence of a particular historical period or culture [NS 4.5.3]

Student will examine the reasons fish are an important subject matter in Japanese Art.
Student will create a Gyotaku print using similar methods to those of traditional Japanese prints.

Kid-friendly Objective(s) or Essential Question(s)
1. Why are their so many underwater and fish pictures in Japanese art?
2. If I were a Japanese fisherman, what fish would I catch and make prints of?

KWLH chart. Students will share what they know, would like to know, think they know, and hypothesize about Japan, fish, and printmaking.

Final Assessment- Product: Gyotaku print completed

Whole Class Activities
1st Day: Student will examine the visual display of Gyotaku prints. Student will fill in the “What I already know ”and “What I think I know” sections of his/her KWLH chart. Student will answer the question “How do you think these pictures were made” in the “What I hypothesize section. Student will listen to the first half of the book Kogi's Mysterious Journey by Elizabeth Partridge. Student will fill further fill in the section “What I think I know” and create another hypothesis in their third column of his KWLH chart. The hypothesis should be an idea as to why fish are so important in Japanese art and culture based on reading the book.
2nd Day: Student will review previous knowledge about the use of fish in Japanese art from reading the book Kogi’s Mysterious Journey by Elizabeth Partridge. Student will listen to the second half of the book Kogi’s Mysterious Journey by Elizabeth Partridge. Student will listen to both a description of Gyotaku printing and watch a demonstration. Student will listen to an explanation of why fish are important to Japanese culture. Student will fill in “What I have learned” section further. Six students at a time will go to the red table and print their Gyotaku fish using ink and rubber fish model. Each student will bring an assistant to help them print. If he is not printing he can be a paint or sink helper.
3rd Day: Student will review the story Kogi’s Mysterious Journey by Elizabeth Partridge and the process/purpose of Gyotaku printing. Student will use oil pastels to color in the ocean and sky of their print. Student may add details of the fish with oil pastel. When student has completed coloring he may use a brush and glue to paint areas where he will add glitter.

Tiered Questions:
Who created these works of art- what job did they have and what was their nationality?
What is the purpose of the Gyotaku prints?
When did the Japanese begin making Gyotaku prints?
Where did the Japanese fisherman make their prints?
Analytic (Higher-level thinking) questions
How would you record your catch of the day other than by printing?
Why are fish so important in Japanese art and culture?
Should we use real animals or animal parts in art projects?

Task 2: Question(s) for each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy:
Remembering – What do Japanese fishermen use to make Gyotaku prints?
Understanding- Why do Japanese fisherman make Gyotaku prints?
Applying – If you were to record an object that you collect by printing it, what would it be?
Analyzing- Gyotaku prints are simple stamps of fish on white paper. As an artist what background and foreground elements would you add to make the print a narrative?
Evaluating- Gyotaku prints are meant to be useful, can they still be art?
Creating- As an artist how can you take a simple Gyotaku print and make it more visually dynamic?

Task 3: Divergent Question(s)
Fluency- How many uses can prints have? What would you print that may be useful?
Flexibility- How would you feel if you were a Buddhist monk that is a vegetarian and you were looking at this art? Would your beliefs allow you to accept the art or would you be against it for using a dead animal?
Involvement- How would you feel if you were the fish being used to make this art?
Reorganization (Provocative)- Since Japan is an Island surrounded by water, fish is a main source of food. If Japan were not an island, what type of land would it be? (arctic, desert, jungle) Based on your answer what animals and other ingredients from the land might they use to make food?

Whole Class Culminating/Sharing Activities
4th Day: Student will share his Gyotaku print with the class in a critique.

Procedures Used for Questioning
· Indicate the different ways you will use these questioning strategies to differentiate instruction. Several of the questions asked pertain to science and naturalist ways of thinking with regards to whether or not it is acceptable to use fish (and other animals) in art. Some of my questions are completely literal and rely on the students listening and reading skills. There are quite a few that ask the student what they would feel as a fish or a vegetarian and they are intrapersonal. Other intrapersonal questions have to do with what the student would collect and print other than fish. There is also an organizational/mathematical element in terms of using these prints to record and that is discussed in the questions. Only two questions rely on visual/spatial learning in terms of make the prints more visually dynamic and stylized.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Interesting Multicultural Lesson

I really liked the way this mandala is constructed using simple materials. It can also be used for a dreamcatcher project or a medicine wheel.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Heads Down, Mouths Quiet

I don't know about you, but my students have spring fever. They are chatty, moving around, pinching eachother, tossing art supplies around, bascially my room has been mayhem coming back from spring break. The first week it was like this, I took the materials away and told my students to put their heads down and not talk for the rest of the period. This helped immensely, by the second week back they were beginning to straighten up. Another trick I pulled was telling each class when they came in how naughty the other classes had been and how they lost their priveledges. Try this out next full moon.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Check out the Trayola by Crayola markers and crayons. They come with their own case, so you jest set them out as is. They do the organizing for you!

A Financial Tip

I recently read Suze Orman's book "Fabulous, Young, and Broke" and the main lesson I learned is to invest in real estate. I am a single woman under 30, but the housing market is a buyer's market right now. It's a good time to invest. As a teacher, it's smart to take advantage of these opportunities.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Directions Flow Chart

In art sometimes there are several steps to a project. Yes we can try to break it up, but if the steps are small already you can ask your students to make a directions flow chart to keep at their seat. This way they have both gone over the directions by hearing them, writing them, and seeing them. This gives students more independence.