Category Archives: Fine Art Fridays

Martin Luther King Jr. (plus a freebie)

There are few people I admire more than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was such a brave man and the essence of collaboration. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to get others to follow him, peacefully to stand up for what was right. He paid with his life and we owe him so much. One of my most favorite activities (of pretty much ALL TIME) is the collaboration group poster I create of him with my kids. I have two versions of this project–both are very fun!

The first version is really easy and requires that each student color a piece of their MLK poster according to a color provided to them. Each student has the important task of finishing their piece. photo 2 copyOnce all the pieces are finished the poster is put together and the final work is that of Martin Luther King Jr. Students see that through their individual efforts the entire poster comes together –it is essential that EVERY student does their part, or else the poster would not be complete! MLK image 1.001

Students that are more advanced or are in an art class will enjoy the second version of this poster. This is great for middle school and high school students.  In this option students each  draw their part of the poster. They have to work really closely with their “neighbors” on the poster to be sure their designs will line up. This poster doesn’t always look as good as the other one when it’s finished but it’s truly about the collaboration that goes into it–it’s VERY hard to make it look exactly like him when that many kids are working on it. However, the kids are always very impressed with their work in the end. These examples were created by two of my fourth grade classes–I’d LOVE to see some middle school or high school students do this project!

MLK.001I’ve had so many teacher who really “get it” when it comes to this poster and the deep meaning behind it. Many teachers leave me comments about how meaningful this project was to them and their students. I made sure the colors were all different to again represent the diversity in which MLK fought for. Rosa Parks is my next poster and it’s almost finished–I can’t wait to share it with my students!


I wanted to share something with you for taking the time to read my post and visit us at The Teaching 2 Step. If you click HERE or on the image below you can get a free worksheet that you can use on MLK day with your students. I let older students draw the image and younger students cut out and glue the pieces.

MLK_Unscramble drawing worksheet_artwithjennyk.001

Do me a favor…if you snagged a free copy of this woksheet please leave a comment below and share what grade level you plan to use this activity with…if I see there is a lot of interest I’ll try to provide more freebies like this in the future!

Debbie Clement is hosting a wonderful MLK linky party on her blog…so I’ve decided to link this article up to her site…she’s amazing…if you don’t already know about her check her out and you’ll find many other great resources in her link up! Click on the image below to see the other great MLK resources and link up. Blog Signature

Thanks for reading and for making art with your students!

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This post is written by Jenny K. If you enjoyed this post join Jenny K. on BloglovinFacebook, and/or Pinterest.


Monsters, haunted houses and more…

Halloween is fast approaching…but there is still time for some fun  art activities with your students. You won’t even need to spend a lot of money, because many of the things you need are already right there at your school (or free in my store)! Below you will see some of my monster related games and also some of my haunted house related lessons–you’ll never look at milk jugs the same! These ideas are from a larger blog post I wrote for my personal blog called, “10 Halloween Art Lessons for Kids” I hope you find some fun things to engage your students next week!

“Create a Creature” Group Project

Materials: 8.5″ x 11″ paper, pencils, crayons/markers/pencils, and Handouts download FREE lesson HERE

This lesson is an adaptation from the popular Exquisite Corpse game made popular by Surrealist artists like Salvador Dali. I for one, don’t like using that name with students so I’ve always done my own version called, “Create a Creature.” I’ve made an easy handout and directions so you can use this lesson as an “I’m done” activity, with a sub, or with your entire class. There is also a writing prompt included to give students more time to practice developing their writing skills. Your kids are going to L-A-U-G-H with this project!!! It’s a great group project.

Get your FREE handouts and directions to this lesson HERE.

exquisite corpse


Monster Matching and Memory Game

Materials: colored ink and printer, copy paper, laminator, scissors, envelopes.

While we are talking about group activities like the “Create a Creature,” let me share with you these fun monster games. I love having centers in my room so I can work individually with other groups of kids on clay and harder painting projects, so I like to have games like this one available in my room.  Classroom teachers could use this center for when they need to individually conference with students or to allow the kids some fun game time. For this lesson you, the teacher will print out and laminate the pieces to the game and then put all the pieces in large envelopes (all directions are included).

Both of these games are ones your students will recognize –  matching and memory games. I’ve just made them fun for Halloween by making the games with monster images.  You can get them HERE.

monster game

 Haunted House with Milk Cartons

Materials: empty milk cartons, construction paper, scissors, glue, masking tape. milk carton haunted house recycle

Have you ever been in the lunch room at the end of lunch to witness all the milk cartons that get thrown away (or maybe recycled)?

One year I decided that we should make little haunted houses with those empty milk cartons. Luckily I have a super cool custodian and he was kind enough to save the milk cartons for me. He even rinsed them out–what a guy!

To start this project I opened up all the tops of the milk cartons and rinsed them one more time.

Originally, I thought each kid would make a haunted house using one milk carton (like the house on the right up above), but you know how kids are–they have WAY better ideas then I ever do.  They of course, wanted to build multi-level haunted houses. I had a TON of milk cartons so that was a great idea! Students started building and designing their haunted house however they wanted to. They used masking tape to hold everything together as they were designing.haunted house with milk cartons

Once they had their house designed then they started covering their milk cartons–er, I mean haunted houses, with paper. I didn’t require them to do this any particular way, I was more interested in letting them “solve” the problem of how to cover the house. Not all kids were successful in creating a “perfect” haunted house–but so what, it’s a haunted house! I wanted them to think for themselves and not rely on me to tell them exactly how to cover their house. I also hoped they would work together to figure out the best way…many kids did!

Some students measured the house and measured paper and glued it on. Some wrapped the house in paper…all kids solved it their own way–perfect!

Once the house was covered then students added details like windows and doors from scrap construction paper. Students were completely engaged in this project and truly enjoyed taking something they use everyday, like their milk carton, and transforming it into something completely new. That’s the beauty of art!

 Haunted House with Brown Paper Bags

Materials: brown paper bags, mix of colored construction paper, scissors, glue, shredded paper, markers, crayons and pencils. 

brown bag haunted house

My second grade students love how easy and fun this project is. Each student got one brown paper bag and was asked to design a haunted house. I provided students with an assortment of construction paper and very little “how-to” so they would dream up their designs (just like on the milk carton haunted houses).  First students designed the front of their bag and then I showed them how to flip the bag over and fold the flap so they could design the back of the house (if you don’t show them they’ll draw on the flat, which later becomes the bottom of the house). Once windows and doors were glued on and any other decorations were added then we opened the bag and filled them with shredded paper. An easy place to get shredded paper is from your front office. They often shred materials and have more shredded paper then they know what to do with. You might give them a little heads up that you’d like them to save you the next bag of shredding. Use a piece of construction paper and staple it to the top to create the roof and to seal the bag. brown bag haunted house halloween

The kids loved the playfulness of this projects and so did I. However, the best part had to be the end when we lined up all the houses on the floor to see. I was amazed at the way the kids would sit by them and look at them. I felt like I was standing at an art gallery watching the people “experience” the art. My second graders would just come, sit down and “look” at all the work and notice all the fine details kids came  up with! halloween haunted house brown bags haunted house brown bags halloween

Variation: If students needed trick-or-treat bags you could leave off the roof and leave out the paper shredding and add strings to the bag so they could use them on Halloween to receive their goodies.

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“Monsters, haunted houses and more…” is a post written by Jenny K. If you enjoyed this post join Jenny K. on BloglovinFacebook, and Pinterest.

Breast Cancer Coloring Sheet

Yesterday I got the very good news that a friend of mine, whose 5 year old boy has been battling cancer for months on end was declared “Cancer FREE.”  In honor of this little boys fight with cancer I wanted to share this post with you from my personal blog..

October is breast cancer awareness month and to honor and support all those fighting this terrible cancer (and all other cancers as well) I have created a cancer ribbon interactive coloring sheet that is completely free to use with your classes. Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 7.08.41 PM

Use these ribbon coloring sheets to raise awareness of breast cancer and support those fighting it. I have created a fully interactive sheet for older students and a pattern filled sheet for younger students (along with additional activity for older students at the end of this post). Start the conversation with your students about what cancer is and let them talk about the people they know fighting this terrible disease. This packet was made for breast cancer using shades of pink but can be used for any cancer (or cause) simply by changing the colors you use. Think about this…the children we are teaching right now in our schools could possibly be the ones that will help find a cure for this terrible disease. Let’s inspire them to care about people fighting cancer and to honor them.

Interactive coloring Sheets: How-to

 1. Using the patterns in the five small boxes at the bottom of the page as suggestions, fill in the different parts of the picture with patterns. Every time you run into a black line you need to change the pattern. You don’t have to put patterns in all the areas, you can leave some blank. It’s okay to repeat the patterns in different sizes in different areas or make up your own.breast cancer ribbon coloring


breast cancer ribbon coloring

 The finished product might look something like this (computer generated example).

interactive coloring sheet breast cancer

Below is a “work in progress.” Notice how many shades of pink are being used. I pulled pinks, reds and light purples from boxes of crayons, markers, and colored pencils in order to create a variety of hues. By overlapping mediums, I was able to create texture and visual interest. This lesson is great for introducting the art concept of monochromatic (one-color). You could use these ribbons for any cause awareness and just change the colors accordingly. I included a few simple writing prompts in with these sheets as well.
interactive coloring sheet breast cancer

Here is a finished sheet.

breast cancer coloring sheet

This project could easily be adapted from 1st grade to high school. Since drawing in the patterns can be challenging, especially for the early grades, I have also created a coloring sheet (included in this packet and all my coloring sheet packets) that already has the patterns included in it. This way you so you can differentiate for younger or less advanced students. For older students I’ve used my interactive coloring book to have students first sketch out their ideas for a Pop Art image and then I have them create paintings from them.  Here you will see images of students working with the summer ice-cream cone to first design their image, then draw it on larger paper and then paint it.

coloring summer ice cream cone

ice cream cone pop art paintingI did these ice cream cones with 3rd graders and they looked amazing, can you imagine how great these would be with middle school and high school students???  (If you do them please tag me on Instagram (@artwithjennyk)  or send me an e-mail because I’d love to see this done with older students too). This variation can be done with any of my interactive coloring sheets. If done with the ribbbons there would be so many unique and beautiful images to share with your school community. Maybe you could even have kids do all different colors for all the different kinds of cancer.

To get these FREE breast cancer ribbon interactive coloring sheets please visit my TeachersPayTeachers store and download. If you like these, maybe you could “Follow Me” on TPT as well! Click on the photo below to go to my store and get the ribbon coloring sheets.

Why follow me? Every time I reach a new multiple of 500 followers I will be sending my followers (exclusively) an e-mail (from TPT) that will have a link in it to a FREE product. This product will be a new release item not yet available in my store and it will be FREE to all of my followers. The product will then be available in my store for sale. Please help me grow! Last time I gave my followers my “We Can Do it” group goal setting poster.

Cancer ribbon 1

I have many variations and themes of these interactive coloring sheets available in my online TPT store. My coloring book has over 80 images for all major holidays and season. You can view it HEREinteractive brain based coloring sheets art with jenny k

Thank you for all you do to motivate, teach and inspire our students all over the globe!.


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2 Easy and Fun Halloween Art Projects You Can Do Right Now!

This month for my “Fine Art Friday” posts I will be featuring various Halloween-themed art activities/lessons you can do with your students. The lessons I will be sharing come from a larger blog post from my personal blog. Come back each week while I break down all the different projects.

This week let’s talk about Halloween shapes/symbols and colors. I’ve included some free resources for you in this post so be sure to download them to use with these lessons.

1. Exploring Halloween Shapes & Symbols Using Magazine Strips

Materials: magazine strips, glue, scissors, construction paper and FREE Halloween templates (click HERE).

Download the silhouette outlines of the Halloween symbols HERE. Cut out the templates and have the kids use them to trace onto thick construction paper (the kids can pass the templates around the room when they are done).

Then, depending on the age of your students you can either have them cut long strips from magazine pages OR you can pre-cut them and have them set out on the table for the start of this project. I like to pre-cut because I have a paper cutter and it’s much faster (and straighter) if I do it. The kids take a looonnnggg time when they look through the magazines because they get…ya know…distracted!Halloween art project with magazines

Students should then cut the magazine strips to fit into the Halloween shape they traced. They can play with the direction and texture as they place the strips within their Halloween shape. This is great for fine motor development. Students will enjoy looking through the box of magazine strips for various colors and little pictures they recognize. Once the shape is completely filled with magazine strips, the kids can then cut it out and and this will “trim” the edge that didn’t line up perfectly. Then glue the final work to different colors of construction paper and hang up for display. The final artwork will be full of texture, color and lines! halloween art project with magazine strips

2. Pumpkins with Tissue Paper

Materials: tissue paper, orange crayon, glue, scissors, paint brushes, permanent marker, construction paper and FREE pumpkin template (click HERE).

I like to use the glue “painting” technique in this lesson for all kinds of other projects–it’s a nice “trick” to have up your sleeve as a teacher.  Also, I love the way different warm colors of tissue paper like orange, yellow and red make new interesting shades of color. The final pumpkins are rich with color and texture. Kids get to work on cutting and gluing while strengthening their motor skills. Again, depending on your students either pre-cut the tissue paper, have them cut it our even let them tear pieces from larger pieces of tissue paper (whatever works best for your situations). construction paper pumpkins

1. Have students trace a pumpkin template onto a piece of construction paper and outline with a thick black marker (it needs to be a permanent marker or it will bleed when it gets wet from the glue). Download the free template HERE if you didn’t already.

2. Color the entire pumpkin with an orange crayon.

3. Put a few drops of glue down onto the pumpkin and then add the pieces of tissue paper. Cover the entire pumpkin and go over the edges with the tissue paper. Be sure to let pieces overlap so you create new shades of yellow, orange and red.

4. Put glue all over the top of the tissue papered pumpkin and “paint” the glue on the top to create a consistent layer all over the pumpkin–this is sort of like using modge-podge.

Here are the steps visually for you to see…

tissue paper pumpkin

5. Once the tissue paper and glue is dry then cut out along the outline of the pumpkin to reveal the final artwork. I like to glue to black backgrounds to get a strong contrast!tissue paper pumpkin

I hop you can get some use out of these projects. They are easy and fun enough to do right now with your kids! Just print the free handouts, gather your supplies and let’s make some art!

If you’d like to see all 10 activities you can view the full post HERE. Otherwise make sure to check back next week as I feature  a few more activities for Halloween. Don’t forget to pin us so you can find all of this information again when you need it!

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“2 Easy and Fun Halloween Art Projects You Can Do Right Now!” is a post written by Jenny K. If you enjoyed this post join Jenny K. on BloglovinFacebook, and Pinterest.


Clay in the Classroom Part III

Fine Art Friday with Jenny K.

This is the third post in a series of blog posts called “Clay in the Classroom.” If you would like to get caught up please check out Part I HERE & Part II HERE.

Clay necklaces with shoe prints

As promised in my last post, today I am going to show you an easy and fun clay project you can do with your kids using their shoes! This is one of those projects that has lots of “wow” factor but it’s REALLY easy!!! I have had older students who remember when they were in kindergarten and we made clay necklaces with the assitance of their shoes!

photo 51. Have students roll their clay into a ball (if you’ve been going in order from post to post then your kids are pretty good at this by now).

2. Now have them “squish” the clay flat like a pancake. Have students use the palm of their hands to flatten the ball into a flat circle. Sometimes I give the kids wax paper to work on depending on how wet the clay is and it helps immensely with clean up!

3. Have your students take off one of their shoes and use the texture on the bottom to print into the clay.  Give the kids a little time to laugh on this step because they think it’s REALLY funny for a teacher to ask them to take their shoe off and press it into the clay. clay with shoes

Depending on the shoe design the kids can just press one time or they can print a few times to create layered texture. Each clay piece will be unique like the shoes on the kids feet. Every teacher knows that kids LOVE their shoes. This project will capture their shoes forever and will leave a last “impression” — (sorry I couldn’t resist).

photo 44. If you would like to make these prints into necklaces then use a skewer or pencil and poke a hole in the top. Write the students initials on the back of the clay. If you are using kiln fire clay then you will want to let these dry and then fire them in the kiln. If you are using air dry clay let the clay dry per instructions on the package.

clay necklaces

I have four table colors in my room (red, yellow, blue and green) and when I store artwork I organize it by table color so I can easily get it back to students. I also load it into the kiln on shelves and I write notes about which shelf has which table color. This makes giving back the clay MUCH easier and faster.

5. To paint the clay pieces you can use acrylic paint on the kiln clay or the airdry clay. Don’t use tempera or watercolor paint. You can buy cheap acrylic craft paint at any craft store if you don’t have any. You won’t need very much paint.  If you are an art teacher or have access to one of those nifty art teachers then you could glaze the clay pieces. If you have a kiln you probably know how to run it so I’m not going to go into those details here 🙂 But of course if you ever have questions you can e-mail me at artwithjennyk (at)

6. When your clay necklaces are finished then string them on some yarn  and hang them on your students’ necks. They will LOVE them. They are unique, textured and colorful.

clay necklaces foot prints

Aren’t they beautiful?!?! ( I wish I could show you the cute kid faces…but the sweet necklaces will have to do).

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Clay in the classroom Part III is a post written by Jenny K. If you enjoyed this post join Jenny K. on BloglovinFacebook, and Pinterest.

Clay in the Classroom Part II

Thanks for joining me for Part II of using clay in the classroom (not just the art room!). If you missed Part I of this topic please click HERE to get caught up.

In Part I,  I discussed about 3 reasons why it’s  important to let kids use clay in the classroom; motor skills, therapy and play.  If you are teaching children ages 5 and above you are going to encounter their desire to make the clay “look like something.” It’s in their nature to do so. Once children have had time to “play” with the material and experience it then try this fun activity.

You won’t need a fine art degree to use this lesson in your classroom.   Let’s get started…

Clay beads necklace:  shapes and color 


-Kiln firing clay (if you have access to a kiln or art teacher who has one) or air dry clay.

-Skewers or pencils

-Acrylic paints (red, yellow, blue and white)



Let students play with the clay to get started.

Then ask students to make a “ball” out of their clay.  Decide on a number of beads you’d like and then ask students to start by breaking their big ball of clay in “1/2” and then again into as many pieces as you want. Students will then want to make small balls or other 3D shapes from the pieces of clay they have.

Encourage students to make different shaped beads. You can ask them to create cubes as well as balls and poke holes in them. Also feel free to let students completely come up with their own clay bead designs. Kids always impress and fascinate me. Just when I think I have a good idea, they have a better one. Trust them!

Using a pencil or skewer have students poke a hole in the beads large enough for whatever material you’d like to use for the necklace.  Clay shrinks when it dries and nothing is more frustrating then trying to string a bunch of beads with small holes, so do yourself a favor and check all of the beads after the kids are done and before the clay dries to make sure the holes are big enough and are clean all the way through.

DSC_2440If you are using air dry clay then let it dry overnight or per the directions on the container. If you are using kiln fire clay, talk to your art teacher and see when she/he can fire the beads for you. They will need to  dry for a few days before they are fired in a kiln.DSC_0865

After your beads are dry/fired then have students paint them. Use an acrylic paint to paint the beads. You can buy inexpensive acrylic paint at any craft store, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. You can let students paint the old fashion way with a brush and get nice dirty fingers OR you can mix it up a little bit. Try this…

clay in the classroomPut a small amount of a primary color (red, yellow, blue) into a small zip lock bag.





Clay in the classroom


Then have your students drop one of their beads into the bag, zip it up and then squish it all around until it’s covered in paint. Have students drop that bead out of the bag onto a tray.




clay in the classroomThen ask students to drop in another bead and go around and put a small amount of another primary paint color. This will then create a secondary color (green, purple, orange) for your students to cover their next bead.IMG_2653









Print out this poster to use in your classroom as a quick reference for primary colors and secondary colors (click on image to download).

primary colors secondary colors mixing poster

Primary color cheat sheet

red + yellow = orange

red + blue = purple

yellow + blue = green




For the third bead, go around and add a little bit of white to the bags of paint. This will then create a tint of whatever secondary color was just in the bag. So, for example, if on the first bead you added yellow, then you added blue you would have a variation of green. If on the third bead you added white you would then have a light green painted bead. If you are doing more than three beads then you could switch bags with other tables who might have had other colors to play with. Plan according to how many beads your students will be making.

clay in the classroom

When all the clay beads are made you will have a tray full of color.

DSC_0865Once the beads are dry from whatever paint you used then you can thread them on yarn, string or whatever resource you are using to make these beads into necklaces. Kids love wearing their clay necklaces when they are complete! DSC_2434

Next week I will share with you another fun and easy clay project using your students shoes!Art with Jenny K Round Logo




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Clay in the classroom Part II  is a post written by Jenny K. If you enjoyed this post join Jenny K. on BloglovinFacebook, and Pinterest.


3 Reasons to use clay in the classroom: Part I

clay in classroomClay isn’t just for the art room. In fact, clay serves three very important roles that are universal to all classrooms. These roles are  therapy, motor skills and play.

photo 2 copy 

Therapeutic Medium

A healthy, happy, child doesn’t necessarily need “therapy” however everyone needs quiet mindful moments like clay can provide. We live in the 21st century and our world is buzzing around us a million miles a minute. Children are inundated by TV shows, movies, video games, etc. (don’t worry this isn’t a TV bashing post!). All of the fast-paced media children encounter can over stimulate them and wind them up. Clay’s therapeutic ways wind children “down.”

Clay is a natural resource just like water and sand are. When children get their hands on clay they naturally calm down and focus on the “clay in hand.” It’s much like watching children play in the sand or move water around — it’s instantly calming to them.

The classroom of the 21st century can also be a fast paced buzzing place and providing clay time in the classroom can also provide “therapy” for the teacher as well as the student (who doesn’t want that?).  Use clay to calm a class or even one student that is having a rough day. It might not be therapeutic for you to do clay with an entire class because the logistics of setting up and cleaning up might make your more stressed, so I recommend introducing clay in centers, stations or small groups. Apart from providing the experience for your students (which is huge on the teachers part) there isn’t really anything the teacher needs to do when kids are playing with clay except let them be.

Motor Skills—fine and gross.

Clay is a 3-dimensional medium that requires fine and gross motor skills to manipulate. Most of your students will probably have been using play-doh since they were young and have benefited from the motor skills it takes to play with this medium. Take a big ball of clay in your hand and squeeze it—notice all the muscles it take to do this. Students will build strength in their hands by playing with clay which will help with their handwriting and other fine motor skill development.  By providing students with clay (earth) they feel the natural textures instead of the synthetic plastic feeling of play-doh. Ask students what they notice about clay.

photo 1 copy

Here are some questions you can ask…How does it feel? What does it smell like? Is it cold? Is it wet? What happens when you put a little water on it? What happens when you play with it for a long time? Is it heavy or light?

 Play—Process not product

If you send kids outside to play basketball you don’t expect them to have anything to actually “show” for their efforts in the end. The process of playing and the benefits from it are enough. Playing with art mediums should be thought of in the same way. Kids will want to connect to something they know by making their clay look like something recognizable but encourage them to just “play” with the clay instead. Roll balls, coils, slabs, etc. Clay is cheap. You can visit a local ceramic shop and get 25 lbs for about $10 but it’s heavy so team lift!

photo 5

You can get air dry clay from your local craft store. If you don’t have a kiln don’t worry about it. You don’t have to actually make anything from the clay, the benefits of playing with it are enough. It’s refreshing for students not to have the pressure of making their art look like something but instead simply enjoy the process of playing with the clay. It’s important to remember that using clay in the classroom should often be about the process more than the product. I recommend you provide clay as a center/station in your room for early finishers or for kids who might be having a rough day and could benefits from the therapy of clay.

Here are some things you can do with clay… (but you’ll see that your kids will figure this stuff out on their own).

-Roll a ball

-Roll a coil (snake)photo 1

-Roll clay into a ball and punch a hole out in the middle to make a donut shape

-Roll clay like a ball and push in the middle to make a little pot (pinch pot).

-Roll clay in a ball and then flatten it like a pancake (slab).photo 4 copy

-Roll coils and then put them on top of each other.

I’ve made a poster with the things I just on the image to download the poster and share it with your students. This is great if you are creating a clay center/station so you can just have the poster hanging up at the center.

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Clay is just dirt so once it gets dry you can add it to a bag and put some water in it, the clay will absorb the water and become soft again. Depending on how much clay you have and how dry it is will depend on how much water you need to add. Just play around with it.

photo 4

Check out Part II of this blog post by clicking HERE.

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Clay in the classroom Part I  is a post written by Jenny K. If you enjoyed this post join Jenny K. on BloglovinFacebook, and Pinterest.

Apple Print Arrays–Festive, Fall Art Integration

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Materials: You will need: apples (cut in 1/2), trays for putting paint on, tempera or acrylic paint, paper cut to desired size (larger paper = larger arrays), small paint brushes, cups of water.

Step #1: Before your students arrive cut all of the apples in half.  Set out trays for the paint, cups of water, small paint brushes and apples.  Go around with the bottle of paint and put some in the middle of each tray. You will add more later as your students run out. Don’t put too much paint on the tray to start with.DSCN5162

Step #2: You will want to explain what arrays are to your students. They need to be aware of working in rows and columns. This will not work if the apple prints are randomly all over the page. Demonstrate with your students exactly how you want them to start. Have them first put their apple in the paint and then do a “test” print on the tray. If students are happy with the amount of paint on their apple they can then print onto the paper. I would have students start in the top left corner of their page and make one even row across the top. Then have them make another row under the first row. This step varies depending on what size array you are trying to make. For the first time I would just let students get used to printing the apples. Then ask them to make a very specific size array. For example, “Students please print a 3 x 6 array.”


Step #3: Once you have explained what an array is to your class and you have practiced then students can make their own arrays. You can also assign different arrays to different groups of students so that when you are done you will have several different kinds of arrays to use as practice in math. You could have your array size written on a card and you could pass out those cards to students and ask them to make the size array that is on their card.DSCN5179

For example, student A draws a card that says 5 x 6, Students would make an array that looks like this;DSCN5558

You would then ask your students, “What does 5 x 6 equal?” They will answer 30. You will then ask them to check to be sure they are correct, “Great answer, now count the apples to see if you are correct.” Using the array, they can count each apple to see if it comes to 30. The only thing limiting the size of the array is the size of the paper. Therefore plan to make your paper the size of your largest array. You can also use things like cereal boxes, old cardboard boxes, etc to print your apples.

Step #4 : For this step let your students decorate the apples. Give them some brown paint to add the stems and seeds. Give them some green paint to add a leaf on each apple.


Step #5: When it’s time to use these array to practice math students can use large strips of paper to hide some of the rows and columns to make new arrays. You can ask your student to show you a 2×3 array and they can use the strips of paper to cover up the other apples to show you they know what a 2×2 is. You can have the entire class do this for all different arrays that you would like to see. Students will get to practice their math times tables this way.


Pop Art Bonus: Not only will the students have fun learning some math concepts, but when they are through, they will have a great piece of Pop Art a la Andy Warhol!

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Click on the image to see the You Tube Video I made for this lesson.

The pdf of this lesson and video file is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store and it is FREE. Please click here to download.

Speaking of Pop Art…

Here is another FREE item for you if you like Apples (and what teacher doesn’t?) Click on the image to see my free Interactive Apple
Pop Art coloring sheet. This is great for back-to-school or for the fall.

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Thanks for reading!

Art with Jenny K. Logo:button

Imaginary Playgrounds: Helping children remain creative


Recently I saw this quote online and it inspired this blog post topic.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the TED talk by Sir. Ken Robinson “How schools kill creativity” …and if you haven’t then it’s a must for all teachers. Check it out here:Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 10.36.03 PM

One of the famous things Ken states is that we “…teach creativity out of children.” I bet you are wondering how that could possibly be.  Well, when children are always told they are “wrong” they start to be afraid to think for themselves and before you know it they no longer feel safe to be creative. Ken Robinson says it better than I ever could.


After all it takes bravery to be wrong.  All children are born artists, you’ve heard that saying from Picasso probably a million times.


It is our job as educators to keep our students from “growing up” when it comes to creative thinking and problem solving. We don’t know what the world will look like when our students are adults but we do know that creative thinking and problem solving skills will always be essential to their survival.  We must provide our students with creative moments where it doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong, it doesn’t matter what their test score says and it doesn’t matter what others think. We must provide our students with moments that inspire them and moments that allow them to feel safe to create without judgement or fear of being wrong. IMG_2682

I created a lesson that is great for this very thing. It’s called “Imaginary Playground” I provide students with a variety of paper strips that are anywhere from 1/4″ to 1″ thick and as long as I want them to be. I provide these strips in all different colors to the students. I also provide a “base” for the playground that is usually 6″ x 18″ (but you can use any size you want).  I task students to “Design an imaginary playground” I don’t tell them much more than that. To watch children with this project is fascinating–they go crazy dreaming up the coolest playground they can imagine. All children love to play and this project connects to something they care about, know about and allows them to use their imaginations.



As students are creating you will see them solve design problems like how to fold the paper, scrunch it, curl it, etc. Students always have a story to tell about their playgrounds. They can tell you exactly what every piece of paper is and how they all work together. Often times they even include a bench for their mom to sit on and watch them play. Children are so creative–let’s not take this away from them, instead let’s feed their creativity!

Of course i’m not going to tell you all of this and then leave you stranded and thinking, “That’s all very nice Jenny but when would I possibly find the time to do all this?”  Well that is where I come in..

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My Teachers Pay Teacher store is designed to make art integration EASY for teachers and FUN for kids. I have many free items and all my products are designed  for you! My lessons are for classroom teachers and art teachers alike. I know time is precious so i’ve integrated art with writing and math (even science) whenever possible.

Here is my most recent free product…Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.14.31 PM.

…and my most recent “popular” product…Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.15.27 PM

I also have a new free item available only on my personal blog and it’s great for the really little kids!

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Thanks for all your do!


 ~ Jenny K.

I’d like to leave you with one last quote Graham