Colorful Chameleons

First grade started their unit in color! After reading the book A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, I showed the class how to draw chameleons step by step (weird voices help – and letting them put their own twist on them like a mad face, etc.)


Next was the fun part – painting! I kind of let them go wild here. My only suggestion – draw out six circles on a plate and only give them the primary colors so they have to practice mixing. The circles prevent a giant mud mess, seen in the red plate below.


Oh one last thing – the kids will explode with excitement if you show them this video of a chameleon changing colors as an intro or wrap up.



Everglades and Art Competitions


Student using a viewfinder to draw the details of a butterfly native to the Florida Everglades

Art competitions are a controversial subject among teachers. Do you risk getting a student’s hopes up? Who’s judging these things anyway? And isn’t is about the process not the product?

With these thoughts in mind, I made the decision take part in a juried art exhibit called Literacy Through Art at the Hart Memorial Library. The theme of the show was Florida history and culture – and what’s more exciting about Florida than the Everglades?!


Students adding details to their Everglade animals


Look at that Egret!

As a class we read the book Everglades by Jean Craighead George, which has spectacular illustrations. To bring the book to life, we closed our eyes and listened to sounds of the Everglades (I also played this while they were working). Students created a sawgrass background with watercolors and then chose an animal native to the Everglades to draw. Lastly, they created a collage using their animal and thin strips of their background. The results were phenomenal and one of my first graders


This talented first grader won Best in Show!!

won best in show!!


Gluing “sawgrass” on top of an egret



Our artwork at the library

Proud teacher and ecstatic students

Proud teacher and students SO ecstatic I had to hide their faces