Rotating Classes…A Way to Fit in More Content

Happy Sunday friends!! I hope that you are all having a fabulous Sunday Funday:)

I want to share with you one of my FAVORITE art projects that we have done to date!!

Let me start with a little background…

At my school, primary doesn’t get P.E. or music. We don’t have any art docents or anything extra. In fact, the only specialist we get is library and we only get that every other week because they cut or librarians to all half time. SO, how do we handle this? Over the last few, 8, years we have done rotations. This is where we switch classes amongst the grade level for one afternoon and all focus on a different content. This was started by one of my teammates years ago and some years have been super successful…some years not so much.

Well, we decided to try it again this year. We have a pretty short day, 8:50-2:30, so squeezing in content can be tricky. So, when we have half-day Fridays, which we do more often than not, we rotate between three classrooms, 30 minutes each. One teacher focuses on science, one on P.E. and one, me, on art. This may change later in the year so that we can try and fit in more social studies or music. This also does not mean that this is the ONLY time we teach these areas, but just a time we can focus on them specifically.

Now, back to our art project. I found this idea on Pinterest, of course. It comes from, and is awesome! It is Monet’s Water Lilies. They came out AMAZING and if you click the link above, they have the project broken down into steps which makes it SO easy.

Here’s how we did it.

First, we started with a little background on Claude Monet.

I only have each group of kiddos for thirty minutes, so I didn’t want to spend a bunch of time on the background but I did want them to know who we are learning about. I really want to focus on  an artist for our rotations and working with different mediums, instead of just doing craftivities. Another win for this project! The next screen I made, which of course I forgot to take a picture of, just focuses on Monet’s Water Lilies. I put up different examples of the painting so that the kiddos could see the different ways their paintings could look.

We started with crayons to make the lilies and the lily pads. Yellow for the lilies, orange for the middle of the lilies and green for the lily pads. I also made sure to tell them to color heavily so the paint will really resist the crayon. Then we painted green water color over the lily pad swirls. We also painted some green parts throughout the pond. Then we painted the rest of the pond blue. We talked a lot about how the paintings looked more realistic when there was dark parts of paint and lighter because that’s what ponds have.

We also talked about how we wanted to make it look like we had a big pond and we just took a picture of it. So the whole paper needed to be filled, and some of the kiddos made half-flowers on the edge so it looked like they were cut off in the picture. LOVE!

Here are some of the finished products!

I just LOVE, LOVE these paintings! They all turned out AMAZING! This lesson fit perfectly in the 30 minute time frame I had. They were all finished, except maybe one straggler per class, when time was up. It was great for different levels of artists in the room. They all turned out great!

If you are looking for a way to fit in more content, you should give rotations a try. We also do our Holidays Around the World studies the same way. Each teacher takes a country and the kids rotate through the teachers. But I will share more on that later:)

I hope you all have a fantastic week! We are down to two weeks left until break! Woohoo!!


  1. Storie
    December 7, 2015 / 1:58 am

    Those art pieces look fantastic! I think the rotations are a great way to tackle your lack of P.E., Art, and the other areas your students need (and want). I hope it continues to work!

    • 2 Literacy Teachers
      December 7, 2015 / 5:26 am

      Thank you Storie!!

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