I can understand that you may feel that you are sacrificing the
instantaneous creativity of students when there is an expected outcome.
However, I don't think expected necessarily means contrived. It's the
same as an entire class having the correct answer to a question, but
expressing that answer in their own words. Isn't this
"interpretation?" When the lesson is aimed at teaching a particular
skill, isn't it necessary to look at the end product to determine if it
was successly learned --"the challenge met?"
Ann-on-y-mous, Susan in Long Island are experienced teachers and
accomplished artists, so I hardly think that an elementary art project
necessarily reflects their "comfort level or experience." One could
write a textbook from their wealth of experience and expertise! They
are teachers who go that extra mile in order to validate the importance
of art in our schools by incorporating and integrating all of the
subjects that are supposed to be taught in the regular classroom.
Fortunately for their students, they are experts at it. Fortunately for
us on this list, they choose to share their years of experience with us,
too, as well as, their spirit, humor, and ideas.
Personally, I disagree that this is cookie-cutter art. This is teaching
from the ground up, regardless of the level. This is building the
foundation for creating, understanding, and appreciation of art through
the introduction of different skills, medium, and examples. I don't
believe that starting at the beginning is sacrificing anything.