Saturday, September 28, 2013

Six Steps for Saturday

Hello Five for Friday! I'm going to have to do Six Steps for Saturday instead. I threw away my new camera's charger so there are no pictures from my week. Probably a blessing-I dressed up as Johnny Appleseed. Not my best look. I had no idea it was so hard to keep a pot on your head... This is a rather long winded set of directions for a favorite art project

I've never been afraid of a good mess. In fact, I think messes are a sign of fun things going on. I love the quote, "Excuse the mess, we're making memories." My other favorite is:

If you don't feel the same way, go no further! Consider this fair warning.
The apples/bowl project is done with chalk and that chalk ends up on everything! Mostly you. That's why I wear an apron every single day in kindergarten. Every. Single. Day.

1. You'll need to find: chalk, paper, paper towels, smocks and an old bath towel. Advil.

Cover everybody involved in large, daddy sized t-shirts, or paint smocks (the more surface area covered, the better). I wear a rain poncho. :) I usually do this project with groups of 5 or 6.

Before we begin, I show the kids shadows on apples and a bowl by setting up a lamp and turning out the lights.  Kindergarten is really young to think they could even grasp this concept, but I give it a good try. We move the lamp around, showing them where the shadow falls as it moves. I demonstrate the entire project ahead of the actual lesson. I've found that if I do the demonstration without talking they pay better attention. Go figure. I'm a blabber, so they probably love the silence. The oows and ahhhhhs are always fun and they're motivated to give it a try. Now it's their turn!

Get the old bath towel wet and squeeze out the extra water. Place somewhere close by. I usually just drape it over a chair within reach. This is for wiping hands so colors don't mix on the paper and they can begin each new color with clean, dry hands.

Have paper towels and the trash can near by. The paper towels are for blending the chalk, the trash can is to keep things sort of organized, the clean-as-you-go thing.

Take two Advil.

2. I demonstrate each step again as we move through the project. They can choose their own colors, but I want to teach them how to use this medium so that the next time we do a chalk project (HA) they'll know how to go about it correctly.

Our chalks are old and well loved, so sometimes they'll be dirty and it's hard to see the real color underneath. I always give them a scrap piece of paper to rub the chalks on to clean them up. This is a great time to teach them to either have their chalk "tree way or bush way" (upright or on it's side ). Use the towel to wipe hands when done.

Once the chalks and hands are cleaned, we're ready to begin. Things will move quickly now.

3. Have paper ready and have them situate it "bush way." Next, they'll draw a pencil line across the middle of the paper, horizontally. This will be the division of the table and wall. Show them how to place the chalk on its side and rub the chalk all the way across the paper repeatedly until covered, moving in the same direction (horizontally). Do the table first (bottom portion). Smear with paper towels. Wipe face with dirty hands or pat your buddy on the head. Whoops, just joking. It will happen though. Make sure the camera is near by!  Next comes the wall color. Do the same procedure as with the table. Smear with a clean paper towel. Place the paper to the side. Clean as you go, folks. Trust me! Throw away those used paper towels and clean hands. Now.

4. Using another piece of paper placed "bush way," have the kids draw a smile with the chalk on its side. Draw the upper and then the lower portion of the smile and fill in with chalk (this is the bowl). Smear. Give Mrs. Welch a hug. Whoops, just joking again but it will happen and now your apron has proven its worth.

Next, and this is where things get dark (haha) because out comes the black chalk. NOW you should be nervous. This is how I look as I introduce the dreaded black chalk... EVERYBODY. FREEZE.

Laying the chalk on its side, show them how to rub the chalk down the left hand side of the bowl ( See picture). Smear with fingers in a dramatic swooping motion towards the middle of the bowl. Wipe hands on your nice clothes or put your hair behind your ear, or better yet, give yourself a mustache (all these things have happened to me). Just joking again, use those paper towels. Cut the bowl out and place on the background paper, gluing only the bottom portion so that you can place apples in the bowl later.

5. Apples are next. Clean hands.

I run off paper that has 6 or 7 drawn circles on it. We look at real apples and determine which color they want in their bowl: red, yellow or green or a combination. Always do yellow first if they want all three colors. Trust me on this one. If they do red or green first, it will somehow magically contaminate the yellow. With chalk on it's side, have them fill in the apples, one color at a time. These need to be colored in well. Smear with a clean paper towel.

Take the black chalk (on its side) again and show them how to follow along the edge of the left hand side of the apple, making a "c" shape. Smear with swooping motion towards the middle of the apple. Immediately, clean hands or black will smear onto places you won't want it. Black is the WORST at making a mess.

Cut the apples out.

To make the indentation for the stem, show them how to make a small smile line with the black. Take the brown and make a sightly curved stem coming up from the smile.

To make the shiny spot, take a small piece of white chalk and rub a curve of white to the right side of apple. Don't smear. Now, make sure those hands are clean AGAIN!

6. Have them glue the apples in the bowl and maybe a few sitting outside the bowl. The black has to be on the left side of the apple.

Voila! Apples in a bowl. I don't bother with the shadow under the bowl because, frankly, I just can't handle one more thing by this time.

Take stock of how dirty everyone is; it's hilarious! Don't forget to wash your face before you go to bank, grocery store or out to eat. Take off the dirty apron too. It's embarrassing. Trust me.

6. Here's a pear that my second graders did last year.

I found this on Pinterest. It's really fun to watch. Way too hard for kinders!!!!

Finally, and on a completely different subject, for kindergarden graduation last year we sang "Home" by Edward Sharpe. We had to change some of the words to make it kindergarten appropriate but it was really neat.

Oh my gosh I love this song and this makes it better...
what a cutie :)
This year, I'd like to teach them "When I'm Gone." It has a word or two that needs to be kinder-ized as well. I found this on Pinterest and had fun watching "The Complete Guide to the Cup Song" and thought others would like it too. Enjoy! Happy weekend!



  1. Wow! You are so talented :) Love Edward husband and I saw them last year at a music festival here in Nashville.
    Kickin' it in Kindergarten

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I'm grateful you stopped by! I'll have to post our finished product. Parents love them but I sort of dread the project ! Can you tell? Your house looks amazing. I read your post and I'm so excited for you both!

    2. Sandy, those apples are truly amazing. WOW! That is really something to treasure- not just a little project. I love the "take 2 advil" part. :) I feel like I need to see the pot on your head... ;)
      Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    3. Thank goodness the camera wasn't working. It would have been used for blackmail material!!! The apple bowl is definitely one of the "biggies" for our art projects. Shadows are developmentally not something a kinder understands so it's extra tough. Thank you as always for commenting!