Hand-Lettered Secrets

This is just one of the many wonderful lessons I came home with from this year’s National Art Education Conference:

Students in sixth through eighth grade wrote a secret on a card, folded it, and dropped it into a bowl. Then each student picked a secret out of the bowl and created a text based work of art considering font and page layout.

To aid in the craftsmanship of the finished work, we used the app Whitelines, which allows students to work on a gridded paper. You then hold your phone over the finished artwork, and the app removes the grid and ups the contrast. Color can be added before this step, but I found the app had a harder time recognizing color so we added color after printing the first version.


Stop Motion Animation

As the first session of stop motion animation comes to a close, I am thrilled to share some of the projects we have worked on over the past 10 weeks.

We started by making what is arguably the most simple kind of animation, a flip book.

Week two, we made our own zoetropes. The first, a template, based off of Eadweard Muybridge’s famous horse images. The second, a design of each student’s choosing.


Week three, we used our iPads and the app “Stop Motion Studio,” to create our first animations. Students worked in two groups to create films about breakfast, using cut paper.

And here are some other highlights from the class:



Middle School Collaborative Day



Barnesville’s Middle School dedicates one full day each month to “Collaborative Days,” built around cross-curricular projects, hands-on learning, or field studies. October’s Collaborative Day combined hiking, art, and service on nearby Sugarloaf Mountain.


Before leaving campus, students viewed a portion of the documentary Rivers and Tides, which showcases the work of Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy is a British artist who curates natural materials within the landscape, creating ephemeral works of art known as earth art. As students hiked up Sugarloaf, they looked for opportunities to create similar works of art, which were then photographed by each teacher.

At the top of the mountain, students worked in their advisory groups to create a collaborative panoramic sketch. Sitting in a circle, with their backs facing inwards, each student drew what they saw so when the drawings are pieced together, they create a 360-degree view.