The kindergarteners of McKinley sure know how to make their mark! They may be some of the youngest artists at our school, but that didn’t stop them from going all in and working hard with their minds and their hearts to create these wonderful works of art!


We kicked off the year with a lesson inspired by Kandinsky, creating pastel concentric circle “tiles” that will form a larger mural to be installed at McKinley. We talked about how even something as simple as as circle can have symbolism–even more so when color is added– and each ring on the work became an element of the student. These individual circle “symbolic self portraits” come together to create a larger piece that represents the community at McKinley.


In Kindergarten, students learn about what it means to celebrate! It turns out, they are very good at celebrating, and love learning about how people have celebrations and holidays around the world. These henna hand paintings are a great example of the body decorations that are a big part of celebrations like Diwali in India and the Middle East. We learned about warm colors, floral design, and used oil pastel, water color, and metallic tempera to make these beautiful hand paintings.


In January, students learned about the art of Alexander Calder and his kinetic sculptures and mobiles. They also learned he liked to create quirky paintings and prints–often using primary colors! They were challenged to create their own Calder-style painting utilizing the mark on their papers that the Squiggle Monster left.


All McKinley student artists learned about the Quilts of Gee’s Bend in February. The quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama create colorful, abstractly-designed quilts utilizing recycled materials and created memorable “scrapbooks” of sorts along the way. Students learned about the history of the people of Gee’s Bend, who were once slaves, and how non-verbal traditions can be passed along through many generations. They learned how their practical quilts became recognized in the 1990’s for their artistry, and can now be seen in museums. Students also learned how important it is to recognize and honor the voices and visions of artists, artisans, and people from all walks of life.

Let’s talk about it!! You can learn more about the Quilts of Gee’s Bend by reading this website and viewing my lesson here. Why did the people of Gee’s Bend have such limited supplies? Why did they use quilts to tell their stories and record their memories? What colors and shapes would you pick to represent your family story?

Want to have your own copy of your class quilt? Click here to buy a print or sticker!


This project required a lot of muscle, but luckily we have some strong kindergarteners and McKinley and some great helpers, too! Inspired by the prints of Pop Artist Andy Warhol, we made these editions of flower prints to celebrate Spring! Student tried out different color combinations, and learned the basics of printmaking.