Pop Art Crayons for Classroom


Back in the day when I taught elementary art I would put these large size crayons I made above each group of students’ table. I had 4 students to teach table. That way I could do my seating chart. I no longer teach elementary school, but wanted to share how I made these. The end of the crayon is just a styrofoam cup that I got for free from the lovely lunchroom ladies. The body of the crayon is just a piece of poster board wrapped into a cylinder. I stuffed the cylinder with old newspaper so that it would hold it shape. Then I glued the cup and the body together using hot glue. I would make the cylinder slightly smaller then the opening of the cup so it would fit tight. Then I would close the end off by hot gluing on a poster board circle at the bottom. Then I would paint the crayons, and use construction paper for a wrapper. The color names I made those in Adobe Indesign. I’m including a PDF to download if you would like to use them. I really think it helped me with the volume of student in elementary to have a seating chart for attendance and for behavior. I placed my son’s guitar next to it so you could get a sense of the size.


I really think more art education programs focused on classroom management. Though lessons are important, but if you don’t have good management nothing is going to get taught. It’s really about having protocol. People in general do better when they know what to expect and how things are run.

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To download click crayon_colorsNEW copy

Broadway Boogie Woogie


I think every art teacher has a version of this lesson. I got mine from when I student taught. My cooperative teacher did this with 1st grade. It’s too much fun with boogie woogie music, NYC, primary colors, and Piet Mondrain. I have a slide show that we watch and move around the room like NYC traffic. It’s one of those lessons I teach every year. Never gets old.

I made a video for students to watch and move around the room. Here is a link to the Broadway Boogie Woogie Video.

False Mirror Surrealism

Surrealism and Magritte’s False Eye are a great combination for an intro for 3rd. We talked about neutral colors and surrealism art movement. What are the parts of the eye: sclera, pupil, iris, eyelid. Students often get hung up on having that perfect circle so I had them use a CD to trace the inside and the outside for the pupil and iris. It does help to make the kids feel more confident about what they are doing. I had the students think about what they would want to see in their False Eye?





O’Keefe Skulls

I know many art teachers do O’Keefe’s flowers, but I really find her skulls to be visually striking. I had the students paint the background using tempera and create implied textures using plastic cards that had different notches cut off of them. I saw this tip from Painted Paper blog. Then on a new sheet we drew a deer skull from observation. Talked about values, shadows, and proportion. Below is a student example.

Symmetrical Aliens 2nd Grade





This lesson came from Arts and Activities. My second graders really enjoy creating all kinds of variations on these aliens. I have them fold a sheet of construction paper in half. Then draw half their alien away from the fold. Kids will often draw their alien along the side that opens up. This can cause unhappy results when they cut. Then the kids have to cut through both layers of the paper.

I also created a youtube video students would watch about the planets and I would tell a story about blasting off into space. Here is the video Warm & Cool Aliens. Here is a vide of me giving some of the instructions for the Symmetrical Aliens art lesson.

Self Portraits Frida Kahlo

This is a lesson from my student teaching experience. My cooperative teacher taught it with Kinders. Frida Kahlo is well know for her self portraits. I show this particular self portrait because of all the details she includes. I have students think about what she might be feeling. They make their own self portraits with feelings. If you don’t have multicultural construction paper have your students paint the paper their skin color. I had several skin color choices and it worked out great. Here are the results.

Keith Haring People Dancing

This is a Keith Haring lesson I found off of another art teacher’s blog. I can’t remember who. I ended changing the materials that were used. They mix colors by using oil pastels. I hear oohs, and ahhs from this. This lesson ties in mixing primary colors to make secondary colors. Keith Haring was inspired by hip hop music. We listen and dance away to some hip hop violin. The students think about their families and draw them dancing.

I also made a youtube video that students would watch and dance to in class.
Lots of fun!
Keith Haring Hip Hop