Friday, September 10, 2010

Pinwheels for Peace

The first project each year is Pinwheels for Peace in honor of the International Day of Peace.  It is a great project to get the kids back in the swing of things as well as teaching them about an art installation. 

My school has 400 students.  Each child brings a new sharpened pencil to art.  We begin by brainstorming words that are associated with peace. Kids will then decorate on side of the pinwheel with words from the brainstorming session.  On the other side, they will decorate it with pictures/symbols that are associated with peace.  Then they cut out and assemble the pinwheel to the pencil top with a tack.

On September 21, we will all "plant" our pinwheels in the part across the street from the school.  I will put up pictures after the event.

More information on the International Day of Peace and Pinwheel template can be found at:

Art Classes in Philadelphia

University of the Art has art classes for kids on Saturdays.  Check them out at:

Moore College of Art has art classes for kids too.  Check them out at:

Local art centers that offer interesting art workshops:

Thursday, August 19, 2010


This is a link to my Classwish list.  It is a site where teachers can "wish" for items and wonderful donors can contribute a portion of the money needed to fulfill the wish. (they can even sponsor the whole wish)ShareThis

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Supplies needed in the Art Room


Each year we seem to collect odd bits in order to create our masterpieces.  This year I would like to request the following:

digital cameras (with the ability to either connect to a computer or that has an SD card)
wire hangers
black sharpie markers
small bits (not larger than 2" square - for collages)
tissues (can't have enough of these)
wipes can't have enough of these, too)

Basically, I will take almost anything.  Before you throw it out, please ask me if we can use it.  No item is too weird.  I am usually inspired by the things I get.  So, Spring clean and see what good stuff you can find for our creative kids.


Ms. McKinnon

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to School


Welcome back to school. I hope everyone had a fun and safe Summer.

I created this blog so that parents and students have the most up to date information about what is happening in the art room.

You will find goals, vocabulary, homework, and other fun things associated with the current art lesson. Please click on the appropriate link to the left and you will be directed to your grade level page.

Just like last year, we will start of by making our Pinwheel Project in honor of the International Day of Peace on September 21. Be sure to stop by the park across from the school to see this annual art installation on 9/21.

Best of luck for another successful school year.

Ms. McKinnon

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Science and Art- It Really POPS!

I found this lesson a few years ago while I taught at an art summer camp. One of the supplies I ordered that summer was a color theory kit from Sax Arts and Crafts. It includes directions, chromadepth 3D glasses, and art prints.

This year I decided to resurrect that unit to the whole school. I introduced the science portion to my kids by introducing them to Isaac Newton. I told them about how he let a beam of light pass through a shade, into a dark room, through a glass prism, and out the other side came the colors of the rainbow - or ROY G BIV to the students. (I have the actual power point that I showed the kids, just send me an email and I will happily share it with you.)

The color theory principle we all know is that warm colors advance while cool colors recede. When wearing the 3D glasses -the color red, advanced the most- followed by orange, yellow, green, purple, then blue. We called it "popping" All I heard for two straight weeks was "It pops, it really pops."

I actually did this lesson with the entire school (275 K-5 kids). I purchased the chromadepth glasses from using the proceeds from our Artsonia account to pay for it.

The kids absolutely loved it. God love the Kinders who didn't really get it. They would put the glasses, look at me, and say, "Ms. McKinnon, you really Pop!"

Special note, regular 3d glasses will not work. They must be the chromadepth brand.

Hello, Join me on a look back at this past school year.

Thanks for checking out my new blog. This past year was wonderful and the students at Planet Abacus Charter School in Philadelphia did an amazing job. I hope you enjoy thier work and come back in the fall for more lesson and ideas.