Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grinch Day 2014....Gettin' Techie!

I LOVE Grinch Day!

This year we took it up a notch and worked some techie elements into our day!
First, we discussed synonyms for the word smile....
we found a whopping 3 in our thesaurus...
...smirk...really???? That word alone sparked a 10 minute discussion on what a smirk looks like....when do we smirk...what did the Grinch look like when he was smirking...where in the story would the Grinch be the the the end...

Then came the discussion about "How to make the Grinch Smile....or Grin....or Smirk...or Beam!
We wrote out our thoughts in our journals and were ready to begin the 
non-techie portion of the day...
drawing the Grinch...
Here's the steps I used to do the directed draw...I'm not an artist...but I do like to dabble and try to use wording that will help the kids create the objects that we're discussing in their portraits...
First and foremost....
That's right....NO ERASING AT ALL during our drawing!  It's's terrifying....
but it's also freeing!  If I allowed erasers, I would seriously have students that spent the entire lesson erasing something they've already drawn in an effort to perfect it....we got too much to do to be erasing and we can always work through our's a learning curve :)

We started with a half sheet of drawing paper. Put our pointer finger at the bottom for a guide and drew up the sides to create the neck of our Grinch.
 Then we created a hill to go behind our neck to form the Grinch's Santa suit.
 We put a cloud around the neck and didn't worry about the pencil marks showing through....we're going to add cotton to the end project so they'll be covered up...
 Next, we added a very wide U with a pointy part on top of the neck to create the bottom of the Grinch's face. We almost touched the sides. When I do a directed draw, it's all about the listening as well as the I talk it through while I'm showing it on the screen and then I give them a code GO or Grinch It...when I say the code word, then they draw the step the just saw me draw on the board. (or under the projector)...I use an iPevo for directed draws...shows up clear and can be adjusted to get closer so they can see....
 Next is the j shape added to the wide U to create the cheeks of the Grinch.  We put our hands under our chin and then curve our fingers up and around our cheeks to feel the shape before we try to draw the shapes...I also talk about forward and backward shapes.
 To the cheeks, we add a forward and backward....stretched out....c shape to form the forehead of the Grinch....again....we feel for the part of our face that's between our cheeks and our hair.
 A cloud of fluff is added to the top of the forehead we just drew to create the brim of the Santa hat. We don't worry about the pencil marks, these will be covered with cotton as if they dip down and into the face a problem.
 Next is the wide triangular shape that almost touches the top of the paper and spreads out to fit on the cloud we just drew for the brim.
 Then we add two lines to create the part of the hat that flops down.
 Add a fluff ball to the end of this ....we're going to add cotton to this so lines don't matter.
 To add detail to the Grinch's face, we talk about the shape of a mushroom and then draw a mushroom between the cheek area of the Grinch's face.
 We added a V shaped smile with slight c shapes to the ends.
 Then a curve line from under the mushroom nose to the point of the V.
 The eyes are next with a forward and backward L that are linked together with a curve line.
 Two ovals for pupils are put inside the eye shape.
 The last details are the curved lines for eyebrows and eyelashes.

Then the coloring begins....we used crayons to color as dark as we could. 
I wanted to talk about the word we talked about the wax in the crayons and how water doesn't stick well to wax....the harder and more crayon wax you put on the picture, the better it will "resist" the watercolor paint that you're going to wash over the Grinch to get the background.
We talked about starting with the lightest color first....yes...the white has to be colored...
then the yellow for the eyes...then the green for the for suit...and black for pupils and the outlining of the completed Grinch.
Then 2 by 2...cause I only had 2 paintbrushes that were big enough...we painted a wash of blue color over our Grinches....and AUGHHHHHHH!!!!
Acrylic paint mixed with water doesn't exactly repel the waxy crayons....either that or we didn't press hard enough....quick....get the paper towels and blot them dry....WHEW!!!!!
That worked! See...told you I wasn't an artist! An artist would have probably said to use watercolors!
But me, the wanna be, didn't have watercolors...I had acrylics.....just saying... :)

Let the Grinches dry and then add the cotton .... yes... ONE cotton ball per student was all it took to create the adorable embellishments needed for the brim, tassel ball, and collar... 
Add a black background paper and we're ready for the techie part....

We used the app
It's a $2.99 app, but has a ton of useful ways to be used!  
Besides....I bought it last year and haven't used it yet this this was a perfect way to get the kids used to a different way of creating and allowed them to use more tools like pens and color changing in their work.  So...I gave up a cup of coffee from Starbucks and purchased the app... well...okay...let's be honest...I'll STILL get a cup of coffee from Starbucks, but it sounds better when I tell myself I'm getting something that's longer lasting than my coffee for the kids.

The kids then opened the app, took a picture of their adorable Grinch, manipulated the picture to be the size and shape they wanted and then added text for how they would make the Grinch smile...or grin...or beam...or smirk... Lastly, they signed their work with the pen portion of the app and saved a picture to the camera roll on the iPad.

Now....I'm in the process of creating a book with our project using another app called
There's a free version of this app that will allow you to create one book....but since I have been using it, I took the plunge and purchased the full fledge app for ..... gulp....$4.99....and NO, I am NOT in the habit of spending that much money on an app...I mean...that's like TWO cups of Starbucks....but totally find this app to be worth it as each student can create as many books as they want AND I've recently discovered that we can publish our books on iTunes for free downloads to iBooks...or send it through EPUB files so that parents can read on adobe readers...
too cool, but a totally different post...

....back to the techie project....
I'm uploading their finished pictures to the Book Creator app to complete a book for publishing on iTunes as a finished project.

They can also publish their pictures on their blog posts using KidBlog
which is another free app as well as a free website service for creating kid blogs for students to update throughout the year.
You can checkout our blogs 

Hope you're having a fabulous holiday season!
I'll post when our book becomes available on iTunes so you can see our final production.!
I love the Grinch and how he works into our Techie scheme this year!

I'm linking up with Meg over at ...."Loved That Lesson"
Hop over and see some of the cool ideas HERE...


  1. I bet the kids HAD A BLAST! Too cute--and love the tech connection! Thanks for linking up this month!

  2. Such a fun directed draw!!! Thanks for such a detailed post.

  3. You made it look so easy (but I appreciate you talking about the mistakes, too!) These are adorable. Thanks for sharing!!