Monday, January 11, 2010

Polar Bears Update

I did the Polar Bear project with Grade 1 today and we modified it a bit.

We just painted the sky purple and lifted out a moon using a plastic cup wrapped with a piece of kleenex.

We painted the ground blue and added the plastic wrap.

I simplified the colors so the polar bears would stand out more.


  1. I still really really love this and am planning on doing this version with my 3 and 5 yos tomorrow.

  2. For real? First Grade! I am impressed. Did you have stencils pre-cut for them of the polar bears? It's a great lesson I may borrow some of your ideas with a slightly altered project this week with my 5th graders. I had two questions- What type of contact paper works best to mask off white areas? I was thinking of using painters tape but its narrow'ness limits it. 2.Have you ever tried using lemon juice to lift area of watercolor? Perhaps using a q-tip to create snowflakes?
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love it but I'm struggling to figure out how you did the bears with the young ones. How many classes periods did it take? Did you have the bear stencils pre-made and cut?

  4. Thanks Bran Flakes!
    Christine and Apples Love Oranges: I did have the polar bears pre cut with lots of cardboard around the shape in case they pounced with the brush a little too wildly.
    The sky was painted first, moon lifted and then salted to try and capture some snow flakes.
    They then painted the blue ground and we added the cling wrap. The only new technique for them was the cling wrap otherwise they have done these techniques before (even in kindergarten).
    I had each do a practice bear...the stencil is taped down with painter's masking tape on top of the now dried background to stop it from moving...I helped each one individually with the bear part.
    Christine: the contact paper is just the regular stuff from the hardware store but it says "now repositionable" on the label.
    I have never tried lemon juice for lifting I'll have to give it a try. Thanks!

  5. Here's a link to our attempt! These turned out great!
    We love your blog and do a lot of your projects!

  6. I am so impressed with all of your ideas and activities. It makes me wish my kids had art at school. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Wow! These are so pretty. You come up with the most innovative ideas! I saw your tutorial and have to admit, it seemed hard, even for me. But I love your results. I'm definitely going to try this with some of my students.
    Thanks, Gail.

  8. You are an inspiring artist. I am always looking for ways to bring out the artist in my students. Thank You so much, Sharon

  9. You must be the bestest art teacher EVER! Seeing kiddos do such beautiful work only makes me want to get out there and paint!

  10. These turned out well for me too.. thanks so much! I used transparencies to trace your template and then cut them out (and taped the entry cut) to use as stencils. That worked really well and will do that again! My problem was the moon-lift with the kleenex. It didn't really work for me. I used card-stock (our school doesn't have any watercolour paper) because construction paper REALLY didn't work well. Is it the paper? My technique? Thanks again, I'll be back frequently!

  11. I love site as well, and appreciate you sharing and including so many details! For someone new to Art, you have been a huge help and inspiration! I just put this project in my plans for next week. I'll try to post some pics if the are a success. :)
    Thanks! Allison

  12. These polar bears are so pretty! I'd rather try it myself first, before doing this in the classroom.

  13. I made the updated version of the polar bears with my first grade class and they turned out nice. Some pointers--you MUST use watercolor paper. Construction paper does not turn out as nice. Also, I had a problem with my gesso--it looked translucent when it dried. A fellow teacher told me that I must not have shaken the gesso bottle enough. We had to go over my bears with acrylic paint in order for them to be white. Other than that, they are stunning!

    Thank you for the great lesson!