I just LOVE how this penguin project turned out! I love the variation in each penguin's facial expression and body language. I can not take credit for this project, so I will point you to Patty Palmer's site, Deep Space Sparkle. It is an amazing resource for art ideas for your classroom.
I added my own variation on the directions she gave. I was drawn to the bright colored paints she let her students use. We used 5-6 colors of tempura paint, full strength. I did this with 6 students at a time. As each student made a stripe of paint across their paper, they passed the paint cup to the next student and painted stripes down their paper until the paper was covered. I like that it meant that the colors were in different order for each paper so that when they were hung up, the backgrounds didn't all match exactly.
We added a textured look to the painted background by taking two paper towels and laying them over the painted paper as soon as the student was finished painted. They patted the paper towel down and slowly peeled it off the paper, leaving a cool textured look to the paper. The other positive outcome of this added step was that excess paint was removed and the paper dried fairly quickly.
On the next day, students took Q tips and painted white tempura paint snow balls onto the dried colorful background. I let them mix in silver glitter tempura paint to give the "snow" a shimmery look. We then sprinkled silver glitter onto the paint. I had the student return to their seats to paint more white with silver drops onto the background so that the paper had some white and some glittered snow balls.
We then created the penguins out of construction paper. I had the students cut a penguin body out of black construction paper by explaining that they cut a "mountain" out of the paper. They then did the same thing on a smaller piece of white paper for the penguin tummy. They used the white paper scraps to cut out large eyes. I had them cut out any shape feet out of orange paper. They also used the orange paper to cut out a triangle beak. Some of them wanted to just cut out a triangle while others preferred to fold a square piece at the corners to make a 3D triangle beak.
I included the closeup because I love how it really shows the variety in the facial expressions of the faces. I also think it was cool to see how the way students placed their wings changed the penguin's demeanor. The penguin on the left looks pensive while the one in the middle looks mad. In the picture above, the penguin with the 3D bent beak looks like he got caught doing something wrong. These turned out so fun!
One of the final parts of this project called for creating an iceberg piece out of white construction paper and a blue oil pastel and Q tip.
The students drew a rectangle. They added a line at the bottom of the rectangle and colored it in dark with the oil pastel. They then used the Q tip to "push" the color up from the dark blue rectangle. They then also did it inward from the lines on the sides and downward from the line at the top. They were so impressed with this part of the project, I could have done only this part of the project and I could have made their whole day. One student exclaimed, "Wow, this is WAY better than getting a pet puppy for a present!" I had to laugh out loud at that!
They then glued the penguin onto the iceberg and then glued those to the painted background. I thought these looked great, but wanted a more "finished" look, so I matted them on black paper to make the color "pop" more and to put a focus on the black penguin in the middle. These made for a beautiful bulletin board and a fantastic art project with a multitude of art mediums for my students. Thanks to Patty Palmer at Deep Space Sparkle for the fabulous idea!!