About Lori

Lori VanEtta has a passion for teaching and the arts. She is state certified, K -12, with an endorsement in Visual Arts. She paints, draws, and collages in her free time. Lori currently teaches after school art classes through BAAY’s EduArts program and teaches summer art camps at her home. Lori integrates art projects that will bring any subject to life. She infuses the spark that helps students understand and remember intended learning goals. Students happily revisit and reconsider ideas through the arts to enhance enduring learning. Lori is also a competitive rower and rows several mornings a week.

Teaching Experience

Lori has worked with elementary aged students for over thirty years in both public and private schools. She has worked as an art specialist, a classroom teacher, a tutor, and as an artist in residence. She recently organized a school wide Young Artist Conference where students attended art, music, drama, and dance workshops. She has organized group art projects that culminated with theme based murals. She has also taught English as a Second Language adult classes.

Teaching Philosophy

Lori believes that the arts provide a way for students to develop a deeper understanding of any subject. At Learning and the Brain Conferences she found many studies that supported this belief. She knows that all students learn differently and the arts celebrate these differences. She meets students at their level and encourages them to move beyond their comfort zone. Students take creative risks in a nurturing and organized environment. She teaches her students to support and learn from each other. She continues to be excited and surprised by the unique artistic style and perspective of all learners.

Lesson Plans

3 Hour Lesson Plans (For Grades 1-5)

Aboriginal Art Inspirations: Students learn about the fascinating Aboriginal culture of Australia and the importance of art for expressing shared knowledge. Students explore symbols used in Aboriginal art and create a drawing that tells about a personal story. First, students learn basic Aboriginal history, then they think about a personal event, create their own unique symbols, and finally draw a “Dreamtime” Drawing” in the style of Aboriginal Art.

Watercolor Paintings, Oil Pastel Drawings, Black and White Drawings: Students focus on a subject of study or theme of the teacher’s choice and then create drawings, paintings or oil pastel illustrations related to the subject. Lori models drawing, watercolor or oil pastel techniques and tips. Students start their illustrations by sketching them in pencil and then add details to make the illustrations come alive.

Poetry Tableau Dramas: Tableau dramas are an excellent way to reinforce understanding of a theme or subject of study. Students work in groups of 3 or 4 to create a frozen group poses to go with a given subject of study. They practice the poses and transitions between the poses to create a performance for each other on the third day.

Decorated Paper Collage: Students create fantastic papers by using paint rollers with rubber bands, printing with sponges, painting dots, blowing paint bubbles, and more. It is a fun, hands on way to create interesting color designs and textures. After students create the papers, they will cut them up and make collages in the style of Eric Carle and Louise Elhert. The possibilities are endless.   We can do an abstract, a landscape, an animal, or a theme of your choice.

Mural, Mural on the Wall: Students create a mural of our state, community, or any given theme in the style of Diego Rivera.

Printmaking with Scratch-Foam Board: Students draw on scratch-foam pieces and incise details using a pencil. They cut out the foam pieces and glue them on to a sheet of cardboard. Then, they print their designs using tempera paints. After the prints are dried, they are glued on to another sheet of construction paper.

Black Glue and Watercolor Illustrations: Students use black glue (a mixture of glue and black acrylic paint) to outline a drawing and then paint it with watercolors. This gives an awesome stained-glass effect. Lori will mount and return the art to school.

12 Hour Lesson Plans (For 5th Grades Only)

All About Me: Students explore their identity through the past and by making future predictions. Family heritage is also explored through research, writing and related creative projects. For example, students paint themselves as they think they will be at 33 years old.

Goals for a Better World:  Students create personal goals to improve their interactions with others, improve the community and environment, and specific pet peeve world view fixes. This project will be done through related writing and drawing and painting projects. Drama could also be introduced. This ties in with discussions about what makes an ethical citizen.

All School Projects

Students create a mural of our state, community, or any given theme in the style of Diego Rivera. My goals are to integrate art and creativity with learning and thinking. This integration enhances and stretches the learner. I personally want to develop my connections to the Bellingham community, schools and the arts. I hope to learn along with the students.