Mother's Day Flower Paintings

Hello Friends,

One of my favorite Mother's Day gifts to do with my students is to have them create a still life flower picture based on a famous artist.   They do not take much time, can be accomplished on a limited budget, and are super pretty when completed! I am not going to claim that these are my original ideas, but we have been doing them for so long, they seem like ours!

One of our famous artists is Vincent Van Gogh. We discuss his still life flowers in a vase. We look at his paintings and notice that many of his flower vases are painted on a table, but we usually cannot see the whole table. We look at the droop of the flowers and the different sizes of leaves. I actually place vases of flowers at the tables for the kids to look at, but tell them that they can draw flowers however they wish!

First they draw a table line and then they draw their vase. They must use their pencil  to sketch first. After they have completed their pencil drawing, they use black marker to trace over their pencil lines. Then they use colored chalk to color their pictures. I show them how to use their "finger tool" to smear the chalk. When the drawing is complete, we staple the corners onto black construction paper and spray with hairspray to set the chalk.

Our second famous artist is Claude Monet. Of course, we base this project upon his water lilies! The children use watercolors to create a watery background. Then they use watercolors to paint a water lily. The water lily is a coffee filter cut to resemble the petals of a flower. The flower is glued upon the water.

Our third project is based on Pablo Picasso's "Hand With Flowers." The children trace their hands onto skin colored construction paper and glue onto white paper. Then they make stems from green construction paper. They sponge paint their flowers above the stems.

One of my student's parents told me today that when her 3rd grade daughter was in kindergarten, she took these paintings and framed them! That is pretty cool!

Until next time!


Easy Spring Writing Activity for Kindergarten - Freebie

Hello Friends,
I thought that I would share with you this EASY writing activity for you to use with your students. It requires little prep and makes a colorful display.

Simply cut a 12" x 12" piece of white paper. Students sketch and paint a spring picture.

When they are finished, they write about how they feel about spring.  Easy peasey!

If you would like this easy spring writing activity, click HERE. I have given you a few choices as to the writing paper to use.
(Please note: Some school systems do not allow downloads that are outside their network. If you experience difficulties downloading this freebie, try downloading it at home. The sharing settings are for "PUBLIC - anyone may download.")

Happy Spring, my friends!

Until next time,

Backyard Birds for Kindergarten Drawing

Hello Friends,

I am an amateur bird watcher. There is something about watching birds that brings me much joy. I live in a suburban neighborhood so wildlife in my backyard is limited, but birds can be found anywhere which makes them a great animal to study and observe.

I have a bird feeder very close to my back patio that is visited often by various birds such as cardinals and of course, sparrows.

I get super excited when I see the shy Goldfinch stop by!

In my classroom, I like to share my love of birds with my students. I bring in Bird identification books and discuss how to use them to identify the birds in our backyards. My students have so much fun looking out our classroom window and finding birds that they can identify. They then use drawing techniques to draw and label birds that they see and birds that they HOPE to see one day.

I do our bird unit in the spring so that when my kiddos are home for the summer, they might remember to look out their window and perhaps see a bird that we studied in school. I have had students come back to me in the fall telling me that they used their field guide to identify birds in their backyard. To me, this is a successful unit - when students come back months later to tell you what they did with the knowledge that they learned earlier!

If you are interested in my BACKYARD BIRDS resource, click the image below.
Until next time!


Farm Kindergarten Unit - Where Does Our Food Come From?

 Hello Friends,
We are in our Farm unit - one of my favorite themes to teach!

Since I am the wife of a farmer, I have pretty strong opinions about how this unit should be taught! First of all, most modern day farmers do NOT wear straw hats and wear overalls! My husband goes to work each morning in jeans and a button shirt and the only hat he wears is a ball cap when the sun is really strong! He also is a college graduate so he is a very smart man as well! Anyway.............  I then start to discuss the concept of where our food comes from. When I asked this question last week "Who knows where our food comes from?", my kiddos said "The grocery store!" This, of course, IS true, but then I asked "Where did the grocery store get their food?" My kiddos really did not know and when I said "the farm", one of my little guys said "Not all our food, though." I asked him, "Hmmm, where else do you think it comes from?" He said, "The food in the boxes doesn't come from the farm." Okay........ we have some work to do here, I am thinking!! :)

So............ last week we discussed the fact that not all farms have animals that live on them - some farms just grow crops.  Here in central Illinois, we grow corn and soybeans and a few farms grow wheat. So we talked about the plants, how they grow, and what products are produced from the plants after they are processed.  We have been using some big vocabulary words in this unit! We also discussed the differences between a tractor and a combine and their uses. This week we are discussing some of the animals that live on a farm and the products that they produce. I do not, however, discuss the use of animals for meat. Rather we discuss how we get milk products from dairy cattle, eggs from chickens, and wool from sheep.

  Last year, one of my wonderful co-teachers, Lisa, created a dairy cow from a saw horse. Here is a picture of it! She covered the legs with felt and made a felt head. She covered the saw horse with a plastic table cloth and glued on felt spots. To create the udder, she used latex gloves and inserted a pin into one of the fingers to make a small hole. Then she filled the gloves with water and attached to the bottom of the saw horse. We put a bucket under the udder and then asked our students to milk the cow! This picture shows one of my students milking our cow, Betsy! :) Fun! We haven't decided if we will be doing this project this year - it IS rather ambitious and we aren't sure if we are up for it this late in the school year!

We hatch chicken eggs during our Farm unit.... My kiddos are thrilled when the eggs hatch into little balls of fluff!

If you are interested in my Farm unit, click the photo below to take you to my TPT store.

Until next time!