Friday, January 18, 2013

celebrating Dr. King with positive/negative art [out of the files]

it is no surprise that I do A LOT of art with my classrooms, and many times I re-use and tweak art lessons to fit any of my classrooms.  However, one of my favorite art projects of all time is one that I have only had the opportunity to do ONCE with my own students.  So, seeing as how it is that time of the year again [happy birthday Dr. King] and once again I have no chance to do this art project with my own students, I'm sharing it here so hopefully many kids out there will get to experience the awesomeness of the project!
I have shared this lesson on this blog twice now [here & here].  I have only taught this lesson with my 5th grade students, but I would say that it is very doable with 4th graders on up.  If you teach 2nd or 3rd and your students have been introduced to many art projects, are fairly proficient with scissors, then go for it.  When I taught my 2/3 combination I was really my students first introducer into the world of art, so we skipped this project for the year [they would have been able to do something of this level by the end of the year, so you just have to judge your own class].

Now yes, I know that it is the Friday before the holiday for Dr. King, but it is not too late to do something with your classes to celebrate his birthday.  In fact, a four day week sounds like a perfect time to fit in some Dr. King art and writing.  I am guilty of being an inspiration only teaching blog, and I'm not one to add linkable resources for the projects I do here [sorry, that's probably not going to change].  However, Nicole over at Teaching with Style is one of those awesome teacher bloggers who includes the goods with her posts!  So, Nicole was inspired by this lesson, did it with her 2nd graders, and linked up some freebies to do the lesson with your own kids.

If you haven't done positive/negative art before, I suggest looking at the Blick lesson plan to help you out [it was the only one that made sense to me, and Nicole used it too, so it must be helpful].  I would also make sure to make your own Dr. King example [probably a few to make sure you really have it]before starting this with your class, or disaster may strike!

This lesson will really challenge your kids with following directions, something that all our kids need practice with!  Also, I was lucky enough to have a document camera [ELMO] to use while doing this project with my kids.  It is a STEP BY STEP project.  Because you need ALL the paper you are cutting, having kids go off on their own can turn out problematic.  Also, make sure your kiddos have clean hands before starting this project because once you get glue stick, dirty ball wall hands, and white construction paper together you can kiss those squeeky clean projects goodbye!  I love baby wipes to get this done quick and easy by the way.

I paired this art with some "I Have a Dream" poetry writing with my kids, but you could really take the writing portion anywhere that works for your kids.  Good luck and if you try this project out, I would love to hear how it goes [and see a picture if possible].


  1. I love this one. I hope that someone will be able to use this lesson.

    1. me too, it is really a great one, and the kids love how they turn out!!!


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