Memoirs of Mr. Turtle

Wow, it has been a long slow road.  But I finally came to the finish line with the applause of Mr. Moose.  Let me tell you how it all started…..

There I was just an idea of Mrs. Berry this past summer.  She had this crazy notion of having students draw turtles after seeing a dead one that was hit by a boat.  Mrs. Berry wanted to keep the shell but it smelt so terrible she put it under a rock by the shore waiting for natural decay and bugs to eat away the inside and leave her the shell.  That night a raccoon or some other animal tore the shell apart to get to the tasty turtle meat. Needless, to say there was no shell after that.  So Mrs. Berry hit a setback, but that’s ok, she found other ways to create me.

As the students were ready for their lesson she showed this amazing video of how she made me.  Please watch it below.

While students worked on their lesson they listen to stories about turtles.  My personal favorite was when the tortoise won the race against the jackrabbit.  Mrs. Berry reminded the students that when they are coloring to go slow like a turtle on roller-skates.  That’s her go to phrase she created.  What the phrase means is that students are to color slowly to be neat, but not so slow that they never finish in a reasonable time.  That is why the turtle has roller skates.  After reading the story she asked the students if they want to be like the jackrabbit and scribble scrabble, or to be like the tortoise and go slow and color neatly but keep working. The students picked going slow like a turtle on roller-skates.

After a few days she did something so turtleriffic.  She had her students critique one another before they finished.  This is what she did.  She had a student come up to the front with their artwork (with their permission of course). She demonstrated how to critique artwork in a kind way.

  • She said, “I like how you ….. (she inserted specific feedback -like colored neatly, used several patterns, used more than one type of material-).”
  • She then explained that they then were to give a specific example of what still needed to be done.  She said, “Something that you could do is…. (she inserted specific examples- finish coloring the background, add more designs, use more materials).”
  • Finally she explained that they needed to finish it with a positive note again.  “I like how you…. (she inserted specific example).
  • She said it was like making a verbal sandwich which needed to be filled with specific meat examples and with kind words.

The students were fantastic and used positive words of encouragement to help each other. Afterwards, students finished their artwork and made artist cards.

I suggested to her that Mr. Moose needed to be taken off of the walls because they finished their artwork with quality and all of my cousins needed to be put on wall for moms and dads to see.  That is what she did.

If you want a copy of her lesson of making me please travel to teachers pay teacher by clicking on the link: Turtle Patterns.  Below is her description of the lesson plan.

This lesson is a lesson that has students use a variety of drawing media to create a turtle with patterns.

The digital file includes:
• A Material List
• Michigan Benchmarks and Standards
• Assessment
• Book List
• Other Resources: video link
• Step by Step Drawing Worksheet for Students
• Teacher Examples
• Art Vocabulary Crossword in a Turtle Shape
• Daily Instruction

Students loved creating their own turtles with designs. After this lesson students started drawing turtles in their spare time. My students loved working on the crossword after the project. They became excited when they found some of the art words. They also loved the stories associated with this lesson and giving each other feedback during the critique. This is a lesson is simple and fun for students while they are learning about different drawing materials and the artistic process.

Now, I must go and eat my yummy lunch.


Mr. Turtle

How to Bling out a Peacock Lesson Plan

Have you ever what goes into an art lesson? Well, let me tell you. First there is the gizmo, a few do-dads, sparkles of color, some of this, and a whole lot of that. Oh, and don’t forget the whatchamacallits. Of course, there is the fun factor.

What don’t believe me? Well, I suppose, I might have exaggerated the bit about do-dads. You really only need two. Just in case you need further prof of what I say is true, explore one of my Prezi lessons for the up and coming projects on Peacocks with Pattern and Bling.

Mrs. Berry's Peacock with Bling II

Inside my Prezi Lesson you will find:

  • Teacher Examples
  • Videos to use
  • Non-Fiction books about peacocks
  • Step by step instructions
  • Common Core Standards
  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  • Math
  • Michigan Benchmarks
  • Science
  • Art
  • Grading Scale based on benchmarks
  • Artwork examples that have pattern

I was inspired by this blog post called Peacocks With Shimmer and Bling from Phyl. I changed the lesson a bit to match what supplies I have in my classroom.

Something extra that I have in my classroom are actual peacock feathers for the students to touch and feel. Please enjoy these two videos that I created.


Mrs. Berry

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