There is so much creative build up with Halloween. It is undoubtedly my favorite holiday. I start decorating around my house right after Labor Day. Usually, the ghouls and really scary stuff have to wait until the end of September, but it takes all my will power not to put everything out right away.
The same goes for school. The students are finishing up Square One Art in mid-October, and I am beyond ready to dive into some leafy, Octobery (is that a word?) projects- there is just too much good stuff to pick from here.
For kindergarten, we make some very traditional fall leaves to adorn the classrooms. This is a very old school project using tissue paper and mod podge- simple, creative, and a one day starter project.
For first grade, we typically begin with a fall leaf print project, a la Deep Space Sparkle- this project yields beautiful results and allows the students to explore texture, printing, and color mixing all at once. Here is the link to this fabulous project: www.deepspacesparkle.com/2015/10/01/fall-leaves/
Since I have so many kindergarten & first grade classes, I like to mix up projects and throw some new ones in there for a little variety. This year, I stumbled upon a similar project to try out, which incorporated spiderweb stencils.
That black stencil that you see above was purchased at Marshall's! Oh, how I love Marshall's! I have found so many cool and random art supplies there... among other things.
I decided to have the students use the stencil to create a repetitive web background for their eventual spider collage. The first class was devoted on making this painted paper background.
We started with a dark ground (black or blue worked best) and stamped with wide brushes- purple and gold- no brush washing needed! I encouraged students to just lightly dip the brush into the paint to dry brush the background in a swishing, stamping motion.
Then, we switched over to white paint (their brushes are already gold from the color order in which we painted) and placed the stencils down and lightly stamped in the holes.
As we were stamping, the students were crazy satisfied with themselves! This project is a real confidence builder for students that have challenges with fine motor skills. It was also equally relaxing, as most students were standing during the process, and able to release some energy while art making.
The next week, I began art with a story. Since we were making a spider collage, I read a really wonderful book on spiders. This was both interesting for young audiences and had a ton of science connections.
Once we finished the story, I briefly went over how to begin the collage. I had already pre-cut a ton of different squares, rectangles, and strips of solid/patterned paper for various spider bodies. It was up to them to round edges, and put their spiders together. I gave them some direction that their spider needed to have a head, body, eight legs, eyes (some of them made them scientifically correct!), and most of all... add some of their own creativity to it.
Overall, I am a little sad that October is almost over, but I am gearing up for November, which is usually the month where I do some literacy focused art projects- more to come on that later! Until next time... happy Halloween! 👻