CTE/ Graphic Design Board Games

My students have spent the last month designing and creating board games. First, they had to develop a concept, use Adobe Illustrator to make it, and Tinker cad to create dice and tokens. Today we tested out the games!


Pencil Surrealist Drawing

EQ: What makes Surrealism so Surreal?

TSWAT identify a piece of Surreal art.
TSWBAT analyze, evaluate, and interpret a Surrealist Art Piece.
TSWBAT modify, transform, scale, and distort a pencil to fit the contour of a selected image.

Scale: Changing an object’s scale, or relative size.
Levitation: Floating objects that don’t normally float
Juxtaposition: Joining two images together in 
impossible combinations
Dislocation: Taking an object form its usual environment and placing it in an unfamiliar
Transparency: Making objects transparent that are 
not usually transparent
Metamorphosis: Changing objects in unusual way
Natural Laws Reversed: The laws of nature are reversed, as in people walking dogs.
Repetition: An object repeated multiple times.

After learning about the Surrealist art movement, students used two of the key ideas of Surrealism (transformation and repetition) to create their spin on Surrealism using a No. 2 pencil.

6th Grade Optical Art


The student will: 

– Identify and create artwork based on the elements of art and on the principles of art. 
– Demonstrate through their artwork how to use the elements of art to show movement and express feelings. 
– Recognize, compare and use different media to create their artwork. 
– Develop respect and appreciation for the artwork of artists, including classmates’ art. 
– Recognize and compare differences in several art mediums. 
– Create representational and abstract art. 
– Learn to create proper shading and blending. 
– Communicate thoughts, feelings, and experiences to others through art. 
– Understand terms that are basic to art media, procedures, techniques, and art appreciation. 

Enduring Understandings:
6th Grade students will develop an understanding of how generating ideas and planning can lead to expressive creations. Students will also have a better understanding of how color theory influences artists. Artists will communicate meaning through the visual arts. 

Essential Questions:

How did Op Art change the Art world?
What is composition?
What are the elements and principles of design?
How can artists use the line and patterns to create kinetic art?

Texture Monsters

My 12-week exploratory class made the above examples.

We began the class by reading Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” Then we reread the book through the eyes of an illustrator and noted all the rich textures. Finally, I had my students fill out a worksheet with some of the various textures they saw.

Then we created our monsters. Today the kids made their first monster with no texture. Tomorrow they will reproduce their monsters four times and apply a different texture to each one.

Educating for Careers

Presenting at the Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento, March 2019.

I had the fantastic opportunity to present with our CTE team at the Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento. We discussed how we grew our CTE middle school program from 1 CTE course to 5.
We now offer courses in Robotics, Coding, Health, Engineering, and, my favorite, Digital Design.
I also had the opportunity to attend some fantastic sessions, meet other educators, and even pick up some swag.

Word Art – Digital Design Class/CTE

After looking at professional logo designs that used words to create images, students chose nouns to turn into literal word art.

Students began first with an exploration of thumbnails. Then, they collaborated to refine, modify and edit their designs.

Students took photos of their designs using Photo Booth, imported them into Adobe AI, and placed them on their layer with a transparency of 50%. They then created a new layer and used the pen and pathfinder tools to make their words.

One Point Perspective Rooms – CTE Graphic Design

Creating a Dream Bedroom is one of the very first things we do in our Graphic Design class after becoming familiar with Photoshop and how to import and download images.

What’s nice about this project is that the students already understand how to create one-point perspective from their beginning art course.

This lesson focused on: Importing a photo, creating layers, creating a layer mask, and using the transform, warp, and perspective tools.

One-Point Perspective Names

One point perspective can be a challenge to teach. The vocabulary can be daunting, and interest soon fades. I found grid paper a great way to help calm the anxieties of drawing a straight line. Also, names are naturally engaging.

One point perspective can be a challenge to teach. The vocabulary can be daunting, and interest soon fades.I found grid paper a great way to help calm the anxieties of drawing a straight line. Also, names are naturally engaging.