Oct 21, 2014

Music With Mr Hall


Australian Playground is a compilation album from the Putumayo Kids record label. It features Loose Change, a song I wrote and recorded way back when. It was well before I was a parent, when there seemed to be many more hours in the day! The song celebrates being a kid and the small but important, and very memorable ways we occupy ourselves in those special years : )

A percentage of sales goes to the Australian Children's Music Foundation. So if some diverse Aussie children songs sounds like your thing, the physical album's available from Putumayo (depending where abouts you are in the world), otherwise it's on iTunes as a download, and it's probably at good record stores too — remember those places?!

Oct 6, 2014

Serape Fiesta


Preparation for this lesson is nice and easy with the only requirements being coloured pencils and regular A4 paper. These colourful designs inspired by Mexican serapes were created by a composite year 2 and 3 class. Each pattern begins from a line of symmetry in the centre. To read more about serapes pop over to my previous year 5 and 6 post.


Sep 28, 2014

The Good Ship Endeavour


The HMS Endeavour was sailed to Australia by Captain James Cook and his crew well over 200 years ago now. The ship and the intercontinental mode of transport in general were featured in these year 4 students’ studies. Together we embarked on the challenge of sketching this tall ship. I initially lead a guided drawing lesson which the students then completed themselves and later embellished with some simple watercolour ocean and sky.


Sep 21, 2014

Unruly Mondrians


Year 1 made these wavy Mondrian-inspired abstractions with black oil pastels and watercolour paints. It's a straightforward lesson but the students enjoyed it, which has to remain a priority — not a lot of learning happens when there's no joy! I've previously tried more regular, ruled Mondrians with year 2 and recoloured Mondrians with Year 5.


Aug 21, 2014

Geometric Sculpture



This isn't exactly an 'art' post... it's more the genesis of an idea inspired by an exercise I did with a year 6 maths class. We were working on 3D shapes, and made these suspended sculptures using rolled up sheets of newspaper and masking tape. If time and chance allow, this idea could be extended to become an art lesson in itself—I'll let you know if I find the opportunity! But for the moment, here are some 'accidental' art pieces—rectangular, hexagonal and triangular pyramids.



Aug 6, 2014

Manly Men


Men with facial hair, as illustrated by year one students with charcoal. Some of the technical terms in this very cultured art lesson included beard, goatee and moustache.

This is the first time I can recall ever using or having students use charcoal... Gasps of shock horror from the real art teachers out there - Who is this impostor?! I'm just a regular classroom teacher who likes making art in class, keen but naive : ) So any sagely words of wisdom, must dos and don'ts or other secret tips that you know about using charcoal please let me know in the comments below!


Jul 28, 2014

Symmetrical Silhouettes


Year 4 were working on these stylised trees for a short time at the end of each maths class. Unfortunately only a few were completed in the time I was with them — I hope to see more of them fully realised when I get a chance to visit their class again.

Using grid paper printed from this very handy site, I asked the students to make a stylised but symmetrical tree. Working from the bottom and centre, they began by drawing in pencil, then traced this with black markers before finishing with brightly coloured backgrounds of their choosing. 

Most students only seem to enjoy this type of detailed art for a short time, so just doing a little bit each day seemed to work well. As you can see, some of the trees are very stylised — I'm not sure how many were secretly drawing something else... but at least they were busy! 


Jul 17, 2014

The Geometric Blues



Year 6 painted these "Geometric Blues" after watching a documentary with footage of scientists SCUBA diving underneath the ice in Antarctica. The colours were amazing. These were obviously inspired in more of an abstract than representational way.

Using lead pencils, the students began by dividing their paper into three equal segments. Next, they chose to fill each section with the same repeating shape (either squares, rectangles and most popularly, triangles). Finally, we used blue with black and white to mix and paint the various tints and shades within each shape.


They looked great together on the class wall and the blues were especially relevant with their Antarctic theme at the time, but I'm hoping to repeat the lesson some time soon and have each student choose their own colour to make tints and shades with — I'll keep you posted!


Jun 14, 2014

My Favourite Artists


I currently have two favourite artists. One has just celebrated his first birthday and the other will be three next week. You should see the way they can smear their breakfast across themselves, the table, the floor and anything else close at hand. And with such flair! In an effort to keep some gender balance, my third favourite artist is Katherine. She is slightly more restrained and tends to favour more traditional mediums : )

I've been finding it hard to post here very often this year. Here are some of Sam's "en plein air" print paintings from a warm Saturday in Autumn. I will endeavour to post some more art from school soon.



May 13, 2014

Kandinsky II


Some more pixel paintings inspired by Wassily Kandinsky's Farbstudie Quadrate from 1913. These are of course a collage of many students' work. The pieces immediately above and below are by year 5 and 6 students. Each student was responsible for six shapes. In the above collage, students made all their six shapes the same, whereas below each child used a selection of different shapes. Please click on the images to see the details more closely.



This second set was created by year one students. Each child was responsible for a single shape. The students featured above chose circular shapes like Kandinsky, while the children below used a variety of other shapes. For more information about the process and Mr Kandinsky, please see my previous post here.