May 17, 2010

I Can Be A REAL Teacher Now!

Well, it's all happening (to quote my favorite movie). I graduated on Thursday with my BFA in Illustration, and my LQ 95 Visual Arts Endorsement for my Visual Arts Teaching Certification K-12. Now, I am on a journey to find a new career in a new town. The past 5 years have been amazing, and I wouldn't have traded one moment for anything else.

I want to get back into the blog now that I have a slight amount of free time on my hands. I was fortunate enough to see some of my good friends last night and they all inspired me to log in today and finally make an entry! Thanks you guys, you are all truly wonderful people.

I'd like to post an entry for each lesson that I did with my student teaching experience. I hope that some of my entries and the results will inspire people as much as these kids have inspired me with all of their talent and enthusiasm. I'll start from the lowest grade, and work my way up :)


While I was student teaching at the elementary level, I was traveling back and forth between 2 schools. I would go to Angus Elementary in the morning until 11 am, and I would then travel to Jefferson Elementary for the afternoon, giving me the chance to work with even more kids and get to know two different schools in the Warren Consolidated district. I did essentially the same projects in both schools for each grade level, but I got to know a lot more Kindergarten students at Jefferson.

The premise for this lesson was for each student to look at and think about the monsters in the story, and take inspiration from that in addition to using their crazy 5-year old imaginations and create a monster of their own. They could use flourescent crayons and construction paper crayons (which, if you haven't seen or tried these before, DO IT! Trust me, you don't have to be in elementary school to appreciate Crayola Construction Paper Crayons) to draw and color in their monster. Their monster could have as many heads, eyes, arms, legs, fur, claws, horns, noses or teeth as they wanted, but EVERY space or feature had to be filled with color. Sounds like an easy concept, but 5-year olds get excited and expect to be done quick, so they always need a little extra reminder that "no Mr. White can show on the paper!" When their monster is completed, I helped to cut each monster out for them. They received a large piece of dark green paper, leaf rubbing plates, and short crayons, and they had to fill their green paper with crayon rubbings that would overlap to create a "jungle," just like what Max's room turned into in the story. I also provided them with lime green and darker green construction paper. They tore strips of the paper and pasted them to their green paper to create vines and grass in the jungle. Finally, they could glue their monster in their jungle and the final touch was me running around gluing "googly eyes" to each monster. There was a limit of 2 googly eyes, since some kids had 100 eyes on their monster and I only have 2 hands, 1 glue bottle, and 30 kids in a class.

I began by reading each Kindergarten class the story Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, an all-time classic in children's literature and illustration (but you already knew that I'm sure). The kids were so energetic and excited about the illustrations that I got a rush each time I flipped the book around to show all of the kids on the carpet. Being an illustrator and a teacher, I just loved seeing the expressions on their faces in response to the illustrations and the connections that they could make when they created their own monster. I reminded them of what the monsters looked like while they were working by walking around the room, showing them pages from the story. Even though they were inspired by Maurice's monsters, I had very creative children and these are some of the monsters they came up with...

This is the paper I made to hang in the hallway with their projects


  1. Dude, this is an amazing post! I am so thrilled you posted it and WHAT a fun assignment! Even I'm excited by it and I'm 23 (yikes!) but congratulations on your achievements. You have put in so much time, hard work, and effort, and I'm so proud of you. It's always great seeing you. You really are such a lovely person and you're always so fun to be around (despite tragic circumstances).

    Well, that was about as real as it gets; WHOMP!

  2. That means so much to me Chelsea, you are one in a billion. It is people like you with contagious positive energy that inspire others to do their best :) Whomp. THERE IT IS!