Author Archives: thompsone

About thompsone

I teach 7th and 8th grade students at West Stanly Middle School in Stanly County, NC.

West Stanly Middle School


Well for the past eight years, I have taught the majority of my time in K-8 schools.  This year, I will be teaching at West Stanly Middle School.  I am thrilled at this opportunity and can’t wait to get started!  I will be changing some information on my blog and will update projects once school gets started.


Mosaic Tile Letters


I love first graders!  They had so much fun learning about mosaic tiles.  We talked about how many sides a square has, where you would see mosaic tiles, etc.  Students had to create a border around their paper with colorful paper.  Then they had to draw the letter of their first name in the middle.  We discussed cutting squares that are similar in size and gluing them so they didn’t touch.

Picasso’s Faces


I have been discussing Pablo Picasso in most of my 4th and 5th grade classes.  Students love looking at Picasso’s many faces and learning about cubism.  They love how you don’t have to draw realistic and the faces look distorted.  We started by drawing the profile drawing first.  They have to look at someone they sit with to understand how you see someone from the side.  Then we draw the other half of the face from the front.  We add the facial details and discuss how you would see hair from the front and side of a person.  They have to add lines and create pattern in the background.  Students trace all pencil lines with a black marker and then color the entire project in oil pastel.  Oil pastel allows the students to mix and blend colors along with keeping the colors bold.  These are so much fun to look at in the hallway.

Contour Guitars


I got this project idea from Artsonia when I was looking for guitar projects to do for heritage day.  I LOVE the way this project turned out and can’t wait to do it again next year.  I completed this project with both second and third grade.  Each student got a 12×18 sheet of paper and as a class, they had to draw an acoustic guitar.  The guitar needs to be smaller than the paper.  We then started drawing contour lines around the guitar following the lines that we had previously drawn.  Each time they drew a contour line, they had to trace it in a different color marker.  Once the lines touched the sides of the paper, they were able to draw designs/symbols on the actual guitar and color with marker.  After cutting and gluing, students could use scrap paper to make other designs in the background.  We tried to keep the colors bright and bold.

Kindergarten is Buggin Out!


Kindergarten just completed their bug jars.  I normally do this project with second grade; however, a Kindergarten teacher saw my example and requested that I do this project with her class.  I gave the students a jar template and they traced it on grey paper.  After cutting out the jar, we added a lid with holes for our bugs to breathe.  We talked about different objects outside that we can drop into our jar and what bug/insects we can add to that environment.  I try to have them take up as much space inside the jar as possible.  We have bugs that crawl and fly.  We traced all pencil lines with a black crayola marker and colored with construction paper crayons, which is one of my favorite medias to use.  They turn out so bright and cheerful!  The kids love making a big list on the board of all the bugs and insects we can name.

Picasso’s Guitar


Our guitar project was inspired from the artist, Pablo Picasso.  During a two year period, he made one guitar sculpture, but incorporated guitars into many of his other pieces of artwork.  This was during the cubism style where collage and forms were used.  I got the idea for this project from Hicksville Elmentary School on Artsonia. This project discusses symmetry, texture and geometric shapes.  We started with a brown sheet of paper, used a texture plate underneath the paper and rubbed with brown crayon to give it the “wood” look of an acoustic guitar.  We then folded our paper hotdog style and the students had to draw half of a guitar.  We cut it out and then punched holes in our guitar and added yarn for the strings.  Each student was given a copy of some bluegrass music and they were to incorporate it into their background.  They could cut it apart or cut out shapes.  Lastly, students could add additional musical notes, etc to form a collage.

Cheeseburger in Paradise…I like mine with lettuce and tomato


The first grade has been talking about texture.  Each year we make cheeseburgers (or in some cases, veggie burgers) with french fried potatoes.  We discuss the shape of our hamburger buns, hamburger meat, cheese and toppings.  They have to make sure they understand the difference between a geometric and organic shape.  Then we move onto  texture and how we can make it out of construction paper.  We keep the paper smooth for the cheese, tomato and onion, rip and crumble up the paper for the lettuce and hamburger meat, cut a spiral line for the onion and fold the paper like a zig zag line to make crinkled french fried potatoes.  I save the mustard and ketchup for last.  We mix yellow and red paint to make orange.  This project always makes us hungry!