With my beginning level classes I like to do an intro about me then play a game that allows us to learn about each other which is a grid of 28 squares that they go around the classroom getting a different kid to initial a square that applies to them. The squares have things like, went to a movie this summer, have a pet, like the artist Salvador Dali, have a license, have a brother, etc... We do a head count before and they look for ones that apply to them. I have the first who fills it to the correct number of boxes (who also wins a prize), bring it to me (actually the first three in case someone repeated) then we go through it one at a time talking about it- finding out those who also like Salvador Dali, or has a license, etc. You can have birthdays in the spring, summer, winter, fall, like to play video games, went swimming this summer, traveled, lived in another state. We get to know a bit about each other and they like it. I also have made copies of the Pictionary board game and groups play it using oil clay game pieces and dice that they make. Afterwards I talk about how even the simplest drawings communicate even to those who do not speak the same language. The next time they come to class I have them do a large drawing that requires them to draw five large shapes and fill each with the following; a childhood memory, a personal possession, an area of the art room, illustrate a favorite song, and make a design with their name. They then have to unify the drawing using the background/negative space. This idea came from another high school teacher in our district and the kids love it. I find out more about each student including where they are in their skills level.
At the upper levels, I also use pre-assessment type of projects that help them to review prior knowledge, show off their skills, and have fun at the same time. For Drawing and Painting we are going to cut up fruit and fresh vegis to draw and then eat. For Pottery and Sculpture we will use modeling clay to model animals/creatures, toys and tools, figures in action, and abstract feeling sculptures, they do them quickly and then we talk about how each interpreted the subjects differently in different styles etc..., then they do a final one in clay that I will fire.
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TEACHERARTEXCHANGE Digest for Friday, August 05, 2011.
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Subject: Re: teacherartexchange digest: August 04, 2011- new post
From: Heidi McElroy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 12:14:18 -0400
Is anyone out there heading back to school this week ? Would be interested
in how you start the year....some new icebreakers to get students excited
about the new year in art (high school level).
To start I will share what I did last year in Art 2....nautical name flags.
Looking at nautical flags used as signals, students made their name as small
flags (using colored chips from paint samples- colors were not true to
nautical flags). We hung these as mobiles in the front foyer of the school.
This was inspired by something I saw in the SAM (Seattle Arts Museum) gift
I like to start each class with an intriguing project which is successful
for everyone and is fun. Look forward to your ideas. Heidi in VA