Friday Art Feature: Name Spheres and 3D Pencil Crayons

27 September 2013
It's my first "Friday Art Feature" of the year!  :)

I LOVE teaching art, and I LOVE displaying my students' artwork in the classroom - it adds such a personal touch.  This year I'm trying something new with our art display.  I changed bulletin boards for our art, and I now have a HUGE bulletin board for our display.   For our first finished art, I displayed all 28 pieces.  When it came time to post our second pieces, I took all but 3 down (the top row) and displayed all new pieces under that.  When it comes time to complete and post our third piece, I will leave the first row up (our name spheres), the second row up (our 3D pencil crayons), and post our third piece on the third row and below, and so on.  This way, a sample of all our art will be on display.  I will take it all down at the end of our first term, and start over again for second term.  

For our first art projects of the year, I always like to do some sort of name art.  For this project, I gave each student a piece of 8.5 x 11 white paper, with a circle already drawn on it.  They had to write their names in block or bubble letters, filling the circle as completely as they could.  Each letter had to touch the top and bottom of the circle, as well as the letters beside it.  Once students had written their names, they got to color the letters any way they wished (most went for the rainbow theme).  Students then cut out their names and glued them to a piece of black construction paper (9 x 12).

We are just finishing up our second art projects of the year right now (about half of my students had them completed by the end of the week).  For this one, we looked at lines, shading, and color to create the illusion of 3D pencil crayons.  Students started with a focal point and then had to draw an even number of lines coming out of the focal point (with even spaces between the lines).  They then drew a larger circle around the focal point, and curved lines just a little further down.
They then had to shade between the lines (we used pencil crayons for the shading).  Heavy pressure on the outside of each "cone" (making the shadow for the 3D effect), medium pressure moving in from there, and the lightest pressure down the middle of each cone.  Students had to use a different color for each cone (pencil crayon), with the same color repeated in the middle of each cone (representing the wood part of the pencil crayon.  Most of the students opted to outline their cones with a fine tip black sharpie when they were done.

You can take a peek at my full lesson for this Pencil Crayon Op-Art here.  The lesson includes a full PDF as well as PowerPoint lesson with pictures and detailed step-by-step instructions for students, as well as a rubric for assessment and student reflection sheet.
That's about it for today!  Happy Friday!!!  Have a wonderful weekend.  :)


  1. LOVE both of these!!!! I wish I had the time to do some art with my kids! They would love it:) These are just great! Our Ivan (that we adopted ) came the other day:) Thanks for the idea:) Kids were so excited:))) Have a great weekend:)

    4th Grade Frolics

    1. Thanks, Tara! I'm SO glad art is part of our curriculum! :)
      I'll bet your students LOVE Ivan - he's a great little addition to our classroom.

  2. These are so cool! My kids have art this quarter, but these might be fun to do the other three quarters when they have their other exploratories! Definitely pinning :)


  3. Absolutely amazing. I have wanted to try the circle names, haven't yet. I have that on my to do list. Our school has an Art Fair every spring. I do some kind of art with each Language Arts story that we do, and often am able to throw in one or two with math, science and social studies. Thank you for sharing. Your students did a fantabulous job!! High five to their art teacher!



  4. I love seeing all your art projects! Such great ideas!

  5. Beautiful art projects! I love them both! Your display is lovely too!

  6. Great project... I also love implementing art in the classroom. It's such a soul soothing activity.

    Granny Goes to School

  7. Love the pencils! A great way to teach VALUE. I also love your display ideas. Thanks for sharing. --Becky

  8. I always love seeing all of your wonderful art projects. These are amazing.
    Fun in Room 4B

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  10. I'm sorry I'm so behind in reading your lovely, lovely blog Jen! I am always blown away by the artwork you create with your students and this is no exception. Your idea of showcasing all of the past artwork like that is so smart! I hope all is going great :) :)

  11. Your art projects are fantastic! I love to see what you've come up with. We do not have an art teacher any more so classroom teachers are expected to teach art. It's a challenge when one has no real art background & very little art ability. Your projects have become my savior! Thank so much for sharing!