Family Responsibilities Narrative Drawings

Inspired by Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout by Shel Silverstein, first graders illustrated their family responsibilities. We brainstormed a list of chores and other helpful things students do at home that help their families. I modeled drawing a figure from head to toe, then students were encouraged to add details that showed what chore they do in their own homes. Students completed their drawings the following wee by adding additional details and coloring the background.


Global Influences Abstract Self Portrait Drawings

Here are my fifth grade students finishing up their global influences self-portrait drawings. On the last day of this unit, some students are working to complete their self portrait drawings, while others who have already finished using iPads to photograph their finished work and upload to Google Drive, while others are logging into Google Classroom via laptop to submit their completed work and complete their artist statements. IMG_0055

I originally saw this idea on NCHS Art-Elmore, Ms. Brown’s Art,  Lessons from the K-12 Art Room.  I thought this would be a great fit for my fifth graders as an introduction to our grade level big idea of Globalization. We spent some time talking about where artists get their inspiration, and how artists symbolize these influences in their work. We viewed and discussed artwork by Giuseppe Arcimboldo and Octavio Ocampo, as well as contemporary artists Nikki Rosatto, and Pat Perry. Students brainstormed categories of influence, selected five categories that were relevant to themselves, then sketched objects or ideas that fit into each of their personally selected categories.5th global influences profile portrait 2015165th global influences profile portrait 201516Next I photographed students in profile so that they could trace their basic profile outline from a photograph printed in black and white on 11×17 paper on the copier. I also demonstrate a variety of marker drawing techniques including layering colors, hatching, crosshatching, and stippling to create value.5th global influences profile portrait 2015165th global influences profile portrait 201516Students worked on their drawings for three one-hour class periods. Some of my favorite solutions to this artmaking challenge included students who chose an original profile pose that added to the expressive quality of their drawing, revealing even more about their personalities than the more traditional silhouette poses. I love that this lesson gives students the framework and confidence to  create a self portrait drawing while leaving room for students to express themselves in original ways. Each of the drawings turns out unique and is a great illustration of the student who created it.5th global influences profile portrait 2015165th global influences profile portrait 201516

2nd Grade-People at Work Part 2

My second graders finished their community worker collages last week. A few of these are the completed version of the backgrounds In my last post, but I’ve included a few extras because I love them so much. 

Second graders are really starting to understand the concept of overlapping now that they have built their artwork in two separate layers. I was proud to see how many students used overlapping in the backgrounds of their collages before we even added the figure. 

Art Teacher


PE Teacher

Crossing Guard

Music Teacher


Soccer Coach

Postal Service Worker



Mrs. Brooks-art teacher!

Art of Ed Now Summer Conference 2016

Attended the Art of Ed Now Summer Conference online today from 11am-4pm. So much information available in such a short time. 15-20 minute presentations that spanned topics including getting messy, cultivating creativity, staying inspired, and mastering management. 

Highlights of the day included Tim Bogatz’s presentation on finding your passion and purpose as an art educator, Nic Hahn’s flipped classroom, Danny Gregory’s sketchbook scavenger hunt, Abby Schukei’s Emoji portrait lesson, and excellent classroom management advice from Michael Linsin. I can’t wait to dive into the After Pass for even more inspiring content. Who can resist a box of art supply swag and PD in your PJs? Thanks ArtofEd!

Where has WonderBrooks gone?

I know that most of the hits on this blog are currently coming from links to older posts via Pinterest. I want to make sure my art ed PLN knows, I am still here, churning out artwork with my kiddos and documenting the process, only I have transitioned over to tumblr. I love having the ability to quickly post without needing to sit down and write an entire article. If you are interested in following my more recent art making and goings-on in my classroom, check out my tumblr here:

You can also see what I am up to on instagram here:

I will be updating this site occasionally, but I post most frequently to my tumblr and instagram.