Students in 6th and 7th grade will be moving to a temporary school next year during the renovation process. To commemorate their time here, students were challenged to create a portrait based on their learning experiences, feelings, and memories of their current school. These portraits will be hung up over the summer, transforming the walls of their new school into an art gallery.
Here are a few examples of some of my 7th grader’s finished shoe drawings. I am SO proud and impressed with their hard work. Observational drawing can be difficult, and these students put in a lot of effort.
7th graders have been working on an observational drawing of shoes. We discussed different ways that a composition can impact the meaning or message of a picture. Students worked individually or with a partner to create a composition of two shoes that describes a relationship or depicts a an action or expression. This lesson was inspired by a colleague of mine.
The seventh grader’s mugs have been glazed and are finished! Students had to transform their mug somehow and I love the variety of objects students chose and the ways that they created their handles, attached details, and layered glazes.
7th and 8th graders were challenged to design an Artist Trading Card for each of the 7 elements of art and principles of design. Each card has the definition of the word it illustrates glued to the back of it. The goal was to see how much students knew/remembered about the elements and principles and to let them experiment with different art materials.
My first year of teaching, I had each student make a sketchbook. Throughout the year, students used it to sketch, take notes, or draw in if they finished a project early. I love the idea of a sketchbook, but because I only see students once a week, I found it difficult to teach students how to use the sketchbook the way I wanted to. Last year I had all of my students make a folder to keep their smaller projects and in-process work in. I’m doing the same thing this year. The first lesson I do with students is about fonts and each student creates a name design on the cover of their folder. I give each student an assigned seat on the first day of class, and as they work, I label each folder with a piece of colored masking tape that matches the table they sit at.The kindergarteners focus on writing their name legibly and tracing their letters with Sharpie.
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders focused on designing their names using bubble or block letters.
I also tape a small pocket on the inside of the folder for students to keep scrap paper when they do collages.
At each table, there’s a folder of “Reference Images” that students can look at for ideas. For this lesson, I made photocopies of 8 different fonts that they could reference when designing their name.
The second lesson I did with the younger students was one explaining the artistic Habits of Mind. After showing students a slideshow that explains each habit, I had them assess the habits they already do well and the habits they want to improve. I stapled this into the back of their folder. (We’ll revisit it throughout the year.)
The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders have slightly different folders. On the first two days of art, they also created a name design for their folder. Their design had to meet three criteria: 1. Name written legibly. 2. Interesting font (bubble letters, block letters, graffiti, hand drawn…) 3. Image(s) that represent you. On the second day, I started class by leading a 5-minute “Quick Crit” of their in-process work. When they were done, I laminated their designs and they taped them to the front of the folder. On the inside of the folder, students store work that is “in-process” or “done.”