Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Green

Meeting date: Wednesday, November 8

2:30 to 4pm

Ms. Green’s Introduction:

“My teaching style is upside down and backwards. I’m often teaching a project for the first time.”

Interactive art journal:

  • Observational drawings
  • Handouts about what it means to be an artist
  • Art vocabulary
  • Blind contour drawing of a string
  • Helps to reveal how organized or disorganized a student is
  • Compare and contrast the styles of two artists
  • Journals include the principals of art and design

Class Structure:

  • 2 projects per marking period
  • Projects are designed to be done by students in all grades and special ed. students
  • Oakland Tech has a reputation for rigorous academics and sometimes attracts private school students, but has an enormous range of student backgrounds
  • One hallmark of Green’s projects is that she wants all students to feel successful

Featured Project: Mandala with Geometric Shapes

Materials needed: 12″ x 18″ sheet of paper, pencil, ruler, oil pastels and watercolor.

Sequence: Day 1: Pencil, Day 2: Oil Pastel, Day 3: Watercolor

  1. Fold paper into a triangle and then rip off extra using a ruler. (You should end up with a square sheet of paper)
  2. Create diagonal “X” folds to create 4 divisions
  3. Fold into a rectangle
  4. Open up paper and up with 6 equal triangles
  5. In the center of your page, begin with geometric shapes
  6. On the “T” fold, draw a shape that repeats around the center to express radial symmetry
  7. Now, focus on repeating shapes around the “X” fold.
  8. Connect shapes with a line
    1. Tip: Narrate what you’re doing while demonstrating to students. For example: “Draw a line from circle to oval.”
  9. Once you’ve completed your design with contour lines, go over lines with oil pastels
  10. After oil pastels, fill in negative spaces with watercolors
  11. Wrap up project with a gallery walk share out.
    1. Go beyond: This project could be combined with a Zentangle-style design

Applications and Lessons Learned:

  • Donna: Symmetrical design engraving in clay
  • Jamie: Reminded me the importance of narrating my thought process during a demonstration
  • Nathan: Interested in exploring ways to do a mandala in a digital format
  • Shanti: I appreciated the variety of art styles and approaches in the mandalas.  It reminds me that we can have some rules and guidelines, but also a lot of freedom.
  • Audrey: I appreciated the idea of using one art medium each day as a way to create a sequence
  • John: I teach ELD students, and this project incorporates some valuable geometric shape vocabulary.
  • Jin: Narrating out loud has a calming effect for students
  • Tom: I appreciated seeing the art journal practice. It reminds me of an assignment from college called “Dada Books.” Maybe as a way to do warm-ups with students who feel they can’t draw? I like the conjunction of physical and virtual methods
  • Michelle: I did the mandala project with my K-5th graders as a way to learn radial symmetry from the center out.
  • Ana: We were working with color theory and color samples, and we created a complimentary color design inspired by Native American art.  The project generated a lot of excitement.
  • Gabe: I enjoyed the folding stage, and I realized my students would enjoy the sensory stimulation and opportunity for positive interactions
  • Deborah: Another way to do this is we could draw a shape and pass the paper to collaborate



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