Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Toy Design

A couple days ago I gave a filler assignment to kids who were already finished with the final project. The assignment was to design a new toy. Below is my favorite:

21st Century Army Knife

Complete With:
  • Knife
  • Can Opener
  • Screw Driver
  • Rusty Scissors
  • Flame Thrower
  • Cork Screw
  • Pepper Spray
  • Saw
  • Miniature Fist
  • Miniature Spear
  • Grapple Hook
Then: Fold it up and place it in the child-proof bottle and it makes a perfect rattle!

I LOVE teaching middle school!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Art of Parody

Let me start by saying that I love parody of all kinds, so assigning my Drawing 1 students to create a parody of a famous painting is one of my favorite times of the school year.

I choose 10 famous paintings and allow the students to choose their favorite to create a parody of. Some students also choose to combine two or more into one parody.

Below are a few of my favorites from this year:

The Old Guitarist by Picasso

The Spongey Guitarist

The Scream by Edvard Munch

Add ImageDJ Scream

American Gothic by Grant Wood

Inner City Gothic

Bikini Bottom Gothic

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Tangled Night

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And the winner is . . .

In January my Drawing 1 students designed posters for the annual Utah Labor Commission "Take Safety Seriously" poster contest. A few weeks ago I received an e-mail that one one my students was a semi-finalist. Out of 1700 entries the judges narrowed it down to 37 posters with plans to narrow it even further to 12 posters that would appear in a 2012 calendar. Yesterday afternoon I finally got the news that my semi-finalist had received an honorable mention and will be featured in the calendar- yay! I was so excited that I immediately wrote it up for morning announcements and had Ian print a color picture of the poster so I could proudly display it in my hallway display case. The student will be receiving a cash prize and I will receive matching money along with the $300.00 promised to all schools participating to use for supplies. It doesn't get much more exciting than this (in middle school education, anyway).

And the winner is:

I had a feeling this one would go far.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Up and Coming Comic Artists

My Drawing classes just finished with one of my favorite units of the year: Comic Art. I love this unit because it gives students a lot of experience with project work. There are a lot of steps that require attention to detail and each step builds on the previous one, giving me the ability to use a hot education buzz-word- scaffolding. I also love this unit because I get to read dozens of hilarious comics created by middle school kids. The Sunday paper has nothing on these kids:

"The Adventures of Lulu"
Lulu's superpower is an extra-sensory ability to find cookies and cream ice cream, which she does effortlessly in the above comic strip.

"Lizard Man"
The creator of "Lizard Man" has a love/ hate relationship with me as a teacher. The day he wrote the above story must have been one of those "hate" days because he has depicted me as a bank robber who gets caught in the act by Lizard Man.

I love what comes out of the minds of brilliant honor students who are model citizens. Even they need to be a little bit bad sometimes, even if it's just as a comic book character created in the Drawing class in which they have 102% and perfect attendance.

""Douglas Duck: The Alpha Terminator"
This is one of my favorites of the year because the main character, who happens to be evil, uses super farts to fly fast, enabling him to break into jewelry stores and steal priceless gems. It doesn't get any better than this.