Elementary School Teaching

The following are examples of my student work from 2022/23 as the art teacher of a K-5 public school. To read my mission statement as an art educator click here.


Yayoi Kusama Pattern Flowers

Students learned about Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and her love of dots and bright patterns. Inspired by her various 2D and 3D flower series they were challenged to create many different patterns in their compositions using repetitions of dots, squiggles, dashes and many other types of lines they learned earlier in the year. They added further variety to their bouquets using collage and cutting techniques and texture plate rubbings.

Yayoi Kusama artworks they were inspired by!

Kindergarten Pinch Pots

Aurora Borealis Mixed Media Collages

Fall texture trees

Primary colors and line studies- tempera paint

Line and secondary color mixing studies- tempera paint

Bird sculptures- Model magic, sculpture materials, markers. This was a fun end-of-year project.

Matisse Color and Geometric/Organic shape Collage unit- cut paper

Geometric Shape Paintings- stencils, pencil, tempera


1st Grade

Scenes from “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats. Watercolors and collage materials. They loved reading this book, talking about the illustrations, and recreating the scenes!

1st Grade Figure Drawing Unit- Self Portraits- pencil, sharpie, oil pastel. 1st graders received an in depth unit on the human figure and proportions.

Keith Haring Gesture Figure Disco Parties- paper, sharpie

Organic Shape “Monsters”. Around Halloween, students created organic shapes using yarn circles and enjoyed reading “Jeremy Draws a Monster” by Peter McCarty.

2nd Grade

2nd graders learned about Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai and his paintings, drawings and woodblock prints, specifically his 36 views of Mount Fuji. Students created their own “views” of Mount Fuji using crayon resist, watercolors, oil pastels and collage blossoms and birds.

After the Hokusai unit, 2nd graders learned some Origami and were thrilled to showcase their beautiful origami butterflies for our art show! They have all mastered the “waterbomb base” which is the foundation for many origami designs. They also enjoyed learning how to make other animals like frogs, swans and birds, crabs and fish.

Compositions inspired by Otomi embroidery of Central Mexico. Pencil, marker and collage. This unit focused on drawing animals, expressive use of line, repeating pattern and color.

2nd graders practiced drawing sea creatures and experimented with liquid watercolors and neon oil pastels in these underwater worlds.

A new word was learned: Silhouette! After reading the fun, spooky book: “The Ghost-eye Tree”, students created their own spooky tree silhouettes against moon-lit skies.

3rd Grade

2nd Grade explorations students. In Art Explorations for grades 3-5, students experiment with a variety of media then create self-guided projects

Birch Tree Watercolor paintings. Students were introduced to the beech tree forest paintings of Gustav Klimt, then created these Birch Tree paintings using tape resist, watercolor paints and sharpie for the tree textures. They learned the concepts of horizon line, texture, light source, core shadow and cast shadow.

A self-guided mixed-media collage from 3rd grade Art Explorations

A self- guided artwork from 3rd grade Art Explorations.

Bird Prints- washable marker, scratch foam and dampened paper. Students learned about naturalist illustrators of the 1700’s and 1800’s, specifically the work of John James Audubon, Elizabeth Gould and others. They learned about the importance of printmaking, and scientific journals to people eager to learn about animals and plants from around the world. Using a simple printmaking method using scratch foam, washable markers, and photos as references, students created these illustrations of birds.


3D Wampanoag landscapes- cardboard layers with spacers and acrylics. 3rd grade students learned about the Mashpee Wampanoag artist Robert Peters and his scenes of Wampanoag life from long ago and today. I collaborated with classroom teachers to align this project with their social studies unit about the Pilgrims and Plymouth. It was a great vehicle for them to learn about foreground, middle ground and background, color theory and how to use acrylic paint.

4th Grade

4th graders learned about the Sican culture of Northern Peru in a time before the Incas. They learned about cinnabar, gold-smithing and the gold and alloy treasures that were found in ancient tombs. Inspired by this Lambayeque funerary mask below from 900-1100 AD, students created their own engraved versions out of foam, tin foil and paint. They learned some skills in symmetry and relief, and how to build out the faces using layers.

Rollercoaster names- a beginning of the year way to learn everyone’s names, and get them to play around with distortion, color, pattern and positive/negative space. pencil, marker, oil pastels.

Self-guided artwork from Art Explorations

Self-guided artwork from Art Explorations

Bestiary Creatures! 4th graders loved learning about this popular form of medieval entertainment and looked at and wondered about many examples. They were then prompted to invent their own mythical creatures by creating hybrids of either real or fictitious animals, and then writing about its features, abilities and backstories, as you would see in an illuminated manuscript.




5th Grade

5th graders created value charcoal still-life drawings on grey paper with black and white charcoal. They learned concepts such as value scale, core shadow, cast shadow, and how to plan a composition with thumbnail sketches.

Kehinde Wiley Inspired Self Portraits- In this involved unit students learned about contemporary artist portrait artist Kehinde Wiley,  how he references classical art, and how his rich, complex backgrounds reveal the identity of the sitter. Students learned the proportions of the face, value, directional lines and were prompted to create backgrounds that provided clues to their own identities.


Abstract Expressionism Unit. Students learned all about early abstract artists who paved the way for Abstract Expressionist artists of the 1940’s and after. They looked at the work of Joan Miro, Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner.

2 self-guided paintings from 5th Grade Art Explorations