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Handmade Gifts vs.Bought

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ARTNSOUL12_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Apr 21 2002 - 08:01:18 PDT


In a message dated 04/21/2002 9:35:49 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
Melissasmi@aol.com writes:

> I always said, "I was taught to not do "holiday" projects...that's the
> regular class room teacher's choice." Tell them you did and planned this
> successful project specifically for your Spring Art Show.
>
In the original post, classroom teachers thought the art from the artroom was
so special, they wanted to send it home as a Mother's Day gift. I say that
an art teacher should be flattered by this, not cranky or angry. Sending
home art as a special gift promotes how special making art really is!
 
Melissa, I also stay away from "holiday art", but, to me this means Santa
Clauses and Menorahs, for examples. I think that if the art itself relates
directly to and has symbolic meaning for a holiday, it should be considered
"holiday art".

However, I kinda like the concept of gift giving handmade, homemade art. The
district in which I teach has financially enriched children, so teaching them
the value of giving something you can't buy is written into my art program as
part of teaching values. In my former district of financially deprived
children, my students were thrilled to make and have something at all to
give.

I'm also a big promoter of art education and believe in lots of public
relations. I think a mom on Mother's Day is most likely to cherish a unique
work of art from her child than a blouse or perfume. More importantly, she
might KEEP it forever. My fifth graders are glazing their original designs
(many with messages to their moms-get out the tissues- LOL) on 8"x8" ceramic
tiles to be used as trivets or hot plates as Mother's Day gifts. My 2nd
graders are making small pinch pots with covers out of clay. They will add a
message inside to their Mom. (Actually, I only suggest giving it to Mom- they
have the choice to give the gift to whomever they choose.) I only do one
project a year like this for each grade level in the school- usually
ceramics- Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza time: 3rd grade- picture frames, 4th does
leaf dishes in clay around Thanksgiving. All are based on the same theme-
GIVING!

Any thoughts, agreements or disagreements on this philosophy?
Susan on Long Island

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