Creating Okies

This art project started out with a social studies lesson courtesy of the Simcoe County Museum:

The Wendat believed that everything in the world around them, from trees to
lakes to rivers to animals, possessed a soul or spirit, called an oki. Different okies
could bring good or bad luck in different human activities, from travel to war to
hunting or fishing to farming to gambling to relationships.
• Wendat people enlisted help from a particular oki by carrying a charm dedicated
to them. These charms could be highly valued and could be passed on from one
generation to the next. Charms could be made or could be found in the woods,
where it was believed that they had been lost by the spirit that made them.
Charms could also be obtained through trade from the Algonquins, who were
such good hunters and fishermen that they were considered very lucky people.
• Wendat people carried their good luck charms around with them. If they needed
help from their charm’s oki, they would speak to the charm and offer it beads or
pieces of tobacco as presents. They could also hold feasts for their okies to
make them more powerful.
• These charms will be made from clay. Clay was one material that the Wendat
used often to make important items like pipes and pots. They could embellish
clay objects by drawing designs on them using wooden sticks.

Then it was on to creating our own okies! Students learned how to start with a ball and use a pinch method to form features. They learned how to use slip to repair/prevent cracks. Students discovered that while an artist may start with one idea for a sculpture the project may turn into something completely different as the clay starts to form.

These charms are wonderful!

Tumbling Silhouettes

Students combined their knowledge of colour, using water-colour paint, body shape and proportion to create this project. After having created foil sculptures students had some background in creating movement in a figure, thinking about body parts and joints.

The final projects are fantastic!







Tin Foil Sculptures

For this art project students explored:

Elements of Art:
Form: a three-dimensional object that has height, length, width, and depth.

Principles of Design
Balance: an equal distribution of weight through the sculpture. In this lesson it’s literal balance, in
which the sculpture has a solid base and won’t tip over.
Movement: the use of the elements of visual arts to draw a viewer’s eye from one point to another
in an artwork. In this lesson, it’s “implied” movement which draws a viewer’s eye from one point to
Positive/Negative space: the object and the area around it. In this lesson it’s the figure and the
space around it.
Proportion: the relationship of parts to the whole. In this lesson, it’s body parts in proportion to
the body

Students first watched a demonstration of how to turn a flat sheet of foil into a figure. The steps were written so students could follow the directions independently when creating their own project.  Students had to think about a sequence of steps. They used themselves as real-life models to explore the shape of body joints, using observation and connecting skills. Once the figures were formed, students used a flashlight to explore the shape of shadows and then drew and coloured a shadow of their figure as they considered point of view. They named their sculptures as a final step.

Pop Art Donuts

Students had a lot of fun with this “sweet” art project. It began with a look at the artist, “Wayne Thiebaud”. Students identified the subject of his paintings and discovered why he is called a Pop Artist. They looked closely at some of his paintings and identified the techniques he used – exaggerated colours, heavy shadows, and bold outlines.

The students started out with some read donuts for inspiration. They looked at them from different perspectives and had a go at sketching a bird’s eye view and a side view.

Next, they used oil pastels to colour both a wall and a table in large coloured sections. Then they painted over the pastel and used cardboard combs to pull through the paint and create texture. The next step was to create their donuts, thinking about a side perspective. They drew, coloured, glittered, and cut them out.

Everything was then assembled and some masterpieces were created!

A Perfect Day – Snow Angels

This art project began with the book, “A Perfect Day” by Carin Berger.

We enjoyed the story and then got to work examining the illustrations. We looked at how the artist created shadows using shading techniques. We looked at shapes and how the artist created movement.

Then it was time for students to begin creating themselves. They started with the background, creating a snow angel using white and blue paint. Then, they created a person.  They put the two together and added some paint splatters to mimic snow. The results are amazing!


Winter Mugs

Students continued to develop their skills working with pastels and water-colour paint.

First, students considered the idea of perspective and drew a horizon line to distinguish the wall from the tabletop. Then it was time to use lines and variety to design the background wall and the foreground table. After drawing first with pencil, then tracing over with oil pastels and adding a few more details it was time to put a paint wash over top. We talked about the idea of resist. We also looked at the colour wheel and examined the idea of complimentary colours.

Students designed a mug using the same technique with pastels and water-colour paint. Once the mugs were placed onto the tabletop a handle was added and a little “steam”.

Shaving Cream Evergreen Trees

This visual arts project started with a can of shaving cream and some food colouring!

First, students created a smooth triangle with shaving cream. Most enjoyed the sensory experience of moving the cream around. Then, they dripped some food colouring and used a wooden stick to pull the colour through the shaving cream, creating swirls and lines throughout the triangle.

Next, they pressed a sheet of paper on top, peeled it back, and used a thick ruler to scrape off the shaving cream. A beautiful evergreen tree was left on the paper!

The last step was to use pastels, chalk and oil, to create a background.  The finished projects are beautiful!


Santa Postage Stamps

Students followed a guided drawing process to create these fabulous Santas!

Collaborative Art Project – Poppy Wreath

In preparation for our Remembrance Day Assembly on Friday our class was charged with creating a wreath to present.

We started out with a plain, red circle.







Then all of the students created poppies and leaves to add.









The students added their poppies and leaves to the circle as one student took on the leadership role, guiding the placement.






The result is BEAUTIFUL!








A Poppy Is To Remember

We started our discussion about Remembrance Day with a shared reading of, “A Poppy Is To Remember”

Then, it was time to use our creativity to complete an art project using mixed media.

First, students used water-colour paint for the background. Then they used construction paper and tissue to make a collection of poppies. They thought about shape and texture as they created their poppies. Next, they used black paint to create stems and some leaves and glued the poppies to the background. Finally, they added a title. Students thought about the use of space as everything was added to their backgrounds.