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[teacherartexchange] First Projects / Beginning of year compilation


From: Carol K. (artcek_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 20 2006 - 15:56:00 PDT

  Hi everyone. I had said that I would post any first projects of
the year that might come my way. I found a bunch of stuff in the
archives & I have the links below. I apologize for not getting these
out sooner.

These were the ideas I had already heard about:
a preassessment drawing (a self portrait, a shoe...) to save for
comparison/growth at the end of the year
designing your portfolio (to contain artwork all year)
various name design projects
For Pre-K: coloring in a circle, square, & triangle & cutting them
out in the first 1-2 days

 From Susan Johnson:
last year the first project i did was school wide self portraits. i
introduced the project by asking students if they had someone take a
photograph of them on the first day of school etc, what did people do
to capture what someone looked like at a certain time before the
invention of the camera, we looked at some famous portraits and then
each student was given a self portrait mirror and completed a self
portrait using either color pencils, markers, or crayons or a
combination. I kept the size small (4"x6") so the project could be
completed in a single period. I also gave each teacher in the school
the same size paper in their mailbox and asked them to complete a
self portrait or have a student draw their portrait. i hung all the
portraits on the hallway bulletin boards and called it How we look
today-West Amwell Elementary School- sept 2006. it created a great
bulletin board and almost all the teachers added their portraits. it
was a great way to start the year and get the bulletin boards filled.

 From Carol Karn:
My first project with k-2 is to have them write their name, copy
their teacher's name off the board and draw a person. By second
grade the person is a picture of themselves doing something they
like. When I taught upper grades I asked for more: a landscape, a
building, an object of some sort. I may ask them to write a sentece
or two to tell about the picture. I keep these for reference and
comparison throughout the year. I learn which kids can write their
names, which have emotional problems (sometimes before the classroom
teachers figure it out), which are developmentally immature and may
need extra help, which one has and uncle who is a pimp, and other
surprising bits of info. It took two class periods to discover that
a child had been bumped from prekindergarten to first grade. Her
vocabulary was so advanced and her drawings so immature that I knew
to inquire of her classroom teacher. There is so much to be learned
from this type of drawing and it gives you a chance to ask questions
and learn about your kids.
Next I usually do a "no way to fail" project as a confidence
builder: For example drawing fish or buildings using basic shapes
and unreal colors. Have them add patterns to shapes to expand the
lesson. These can be washed with blue paint as a crayon resist when
I teach painting procedures. They almost always look great and the
kids are impressed with what they have done.

Teacher Art Exchange Archives / Kindergarten:

Teacher Art Exchange Archives:


Name Designs:
Self Portraits:

Art Night/First Week Ideas

Education World 1st day activities

K-1st grade assessments-Fold paper in 4 sections draw tree, person,
house, simple sentence in ea. section.

  General First Day Ideas

First Days of School/Icebreakers:

Idea to make Bookmarks laminate & hand back on day 2: http://

5th grade art survey:


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