Wednesday, March 23, 2011

sea stars and art shows and things that glow

Laura Fact: I teach art classes in my studio after school to kids in Pre-K through High School. I have 65 students this year and each spring we put on an art show.

It's hard to believe we are almost finished with another school year. Once we get into April it flies past so quickly. In my classes at the studio we have done quite a few projects centered around a coral reef theme. I have always loved the ocean and fish and aquariums and mermaids.....

This year my Student Art Show is going to have a black light coral reef exhibit. It's been fun to plan it with my students and the closer we get to May the more excited they are. My K-2 class on Tuesdays just finished their part of the exhibit.  Using Celluclay each student created a sea star ( star fish to you commoners who have not studied the coral reef). They were also given three sticks. Each student painted their sea stars and sticks with bright patterns in neon colored paint. The next step was to anchor the painted sticks in some plaster of Paris. The painted sticks are branch coral and are a means of displaying the sea stars.

Once the plaster dried the sea stars were hot glued into place ( This was a Laura only job since glue guns are not kid friendly!)  When my students came to class yesterday I had their projects lined up by the white board so they could see the finished project. I had drawn them a picture of what they would look like but reality didn't sink in until they actually SAW them! 

After much oohing and ahhing I asked them if they wanted to "SEE" them like they would be in the Coral Reef Exhibit. So I turned off the lights. Alek and Lincoln were the first ones to shout out.

"HEY! Nothing's happening!" 
" was working before... oh yes- I forgot my special light."

The looks on their faces were priceless. Big toothless grins...sounds of amazement and lots of questions about how that worked and when is the art show and can we make more stuff and will it glow in the dark if I put it in the bathroom where there aren't any windows and why is your t-shirt glowing and will people be able to see where they are going and how big will the room be and......

...and it was so much fun and made me realize why I love teaching.