6th Grade · Art History · Elements of Design · end of year projects · line · pattern

Kusama inspired art installations

Yayoi Kusama is one of the coolest and most unique artists out there. She is a Japanese artist who uses large patterns like dots to fill an entire space (this is called installation art). She has a great passion for what she does, and I thought that her passion may spark an interest in my 6th graders.  So I rolled out the red butcher paper and had the students work in groups to create a pattern that they wanted to blow up to be huge! Each student was asked to create their own pattern and then the group would vote on their favorite one. Many groups chose dots, but some groups got a little more creative and did lines, or hearts. (I wish that I had taken more process photos, because the end result doesn’t do justice of how much work these students put in!) When all of the groups complete this artwork, our class will go out in the hallway and hang these pieces up, creating our own installation art.

** This project is part of a series called the “Art Olympics” which is a series of mini projects designed for the end of the school year. You can read about it here.

Power points:

Kusama project day 1

Principles poem powerpoint

Lesson plan: Coming soon

Project requirements:

  • Cover a piece of red butcher paper with a large scale pattern
  • Use three principles of design Unity, Pattern, and Contrast
  • Lines and shapes are neatly painted
  • only use black or white paint
  • Everyone in the group must participate

I even wrote a poem explaining what these different principles of design meant.

Two are new, and one is old. When we’re done you will know. And the art you will create, will be something awesome, cool and neat. And when the olympics** are through, goodbyes are said, and summer anew, you’ll be 7th graders, grown a foot or two. And it’ll be sun, surf and sky so blue. So now when we count to the end of school 13 more days till you’ll be in a pool. This is the end of my poem now, so please oh please don’t have a cow…. I’ll move on, starting now….


But pattern, pattern you may say. I know this one it’s quite easy.  Lines, dots and shapes it’s true, make these patterns meant to woo….

Chevron, smileys, and stripes, my oh my it’s all the hype.

Repeat a shape one or three then a pattern you will see.


This one tricky I’ll admit, but I promise if you’ll sit- unity’s meaning will come in view. And you’ll be able to use it too!

Unity is easy you’ll see, when everything comes together as family.

All the pieces big and small give sense of one picture after all.


Contrast is fun, it’s dark and light. It’s the difference between day and night.

And the difference between rough and soft, the difference between on the ground and in a loft.

Contrast my friend is everywhere, take note to see it and then share. Tell your friends both high and low, of this knowledge that you know.   

And now my friends tis the true end, and these projects we shall mend. With pattern, unity and contrast…. Onto the kusama project at last.

here is what my classroom has looked like the last week


RED everywhere!!!!


Here are some of what the groups have been working on…



Aren’t these cool!? I LOVE how every group is SO different! I can’t even choose a favorite. So when we are all finished we will hang these up in the hallway side by side to create a really crazy big red wall! Kusama would be proud!


6th Grade · Uncategorized

Georgia O’Keeffe Flowers

Now that it is spring time and the flowers are blooming it’s hard not to be inspired by what spring in idaho can offer. This project was designed to teach students how to blend colored pencils.

We looked at who Georgia O’Keeffe was and her artwork. We watched a few videos about her and then students chose flowers that they wanted to draw. I’ll admit this project definitely was on the harder side, but I was proud of what my students did!

Lesson Plan: coming soon

Student’s work:


Resource photos: flowers (I DO NOT own the rights to any of these photos, these are and should only be used in an educational setting)


6th Grade · backups

Surrealist Collage

Quick forward to this assignment, this was one of my student’s favorite projects, I think because we sometimes may have a hard time representing our ideas with the things we create so when we appropriate images from others and incorporate them in a collage it can help us express an idea.

How I made collages work at the middle school level

  1. Preview all of the magazines you may have in your classroom-remove any inappropriate images, National Geographics have several
  2. Put a bin/box for all cut scraps at each table
  3. Each student needs their own pair of scissors and glue stick
  4. Have them arrange their collage first before gluing down the pieces.

Here are my two examples, I had my students create two collages because it gave them practice at organizing space and creating a composition.


Here are my resources that I created:

Powerpoint: surrealist collage <- This is about what collages are

Day 2: Powerpoint 2 <- This is about project specifics

Back up: dali-worksheet







6th Grade · Texture · Uncategorized

Dragon Texture Group Project





This lesson plan is designed to teach students the difference between actual and implied texture. Inspired by Chinese New Year traditions.

Lesson Plan: ChineseDragonTextureLesson

Power Point: Actual vs. Implied texture



Mood Music




tumblr_nne5dw4YZB1s2wio8o1_500 (1)

This is a gif from Scooby Doo

Happy Chinese New Year!