Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Two Pins, One Lesson. Fourth Grade Zentangles.

Part 1 of the inspiration found on Pinterest and from Painted Daisies

Part 2 of Inspiration for Fourth Grade Zentangle Leaves
Sometimes one pin just isn't enough.  Thank goodness we can organize with boards on Pinterest because it was two pins on the same board that sparked an idea for my fourth grade students.  A couple of years ago my student teacher introduced zentangles to our high school classes.  It was so successful that we (and by we I mean WE because this relationship was the most awesome collaboration of lesson planning for the both of us!) decided to try zentangles with our fourth graders.  Mrs. S came up with the idea to have the kids do zentangles inside of a leaf outline. The students were in the middle of a Nature unit, so it fit the curriculum perfectly.

Just after we completed the high school lesson,  I saw the pin with the zentangle on brown craft paper with the white and was instantly taken by it.  The artist is Teri Casper.  I wrote a note to include it in my high school art school lesson the next year.  I never got the chance, as the next year I became full time elementary.  No complaints here though. (Although I love high school students too!)  Next came the leaf pin, and I immediately thought of the 4th grade zentangle leaf lesson.  For the first year, the students had drawn them on white paper and used a sharpie for the zentangles.  These two images really inspired me to take the project to a new level.  I have basically morphed together the two images to form a new lesson for fourth grade students, and they love it.  You know those days when the kids stop talking completely on their own because they're so absorbed with the lesson?  That's what happens here.

I've collected a lot of good materials over the years, which definitely makes a difference.  The kids use the micron pens and that helps them be successful at such little and detailed lines.  I have 10 packs of black and it was an investment, but they have lasted two years and the kids do a great job of taking care of them.  I tell them if they use professional supplies they have to treat them like a professional artist.  For the metallic coloring the kids use Sargent Liquid Metals which have lasted well and are very reasonably priced per wear.  I got a free pack of the Crayola brand, and I'm impressed with those too.  I had to really keep an eye on the kids that they didn't completely cover their zentangles with the markers.  We talked about how artists have to be good editors and make choices, even though the materials are fun to use! 

After mounting the leaf zentangles, students decorated the black background will gel pens, which they also could use on the leafs.  I am super excited about the results, and it's even cooler to look back on my Pinterest board and now see the end result of what started as a pin and idea.  


  1. Love these leaves!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

  2. Your students' leaves turned out really well. Thanks for sharing the pics and how you came up with the lesson.