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Anyway, I've got two brilliant ideas. One I posted a few months back and
I'll tell you 'bout it a little later. The first one....At the beginning of
the semester, I give students a list of subject matter to find. They, in
turn, must go to the pile of magazines and find examples of these things to
put into their folder. We use these as "jumping off" pieces for ideas for
projects and extra credit ideas.
I teach middle school and if I let them do "whatever", they wind up doing
mighty morphin rangers, etc., houses on a hill with flowers, you know, the
same old junk. With these magazine pictures, they have lots of ideas to
choose from. I also talk with them about cropping pictures to make these
ideas more original.
Now, for the list, they must find at least one each of:
1. a large flower
5. large face
6. something unique
7. something they REALLY like
9. something that isn't really REAL (like a flying baked potato)
10. pictures of eyes
11. ears, noses
14. add your own!
With all these ideas under their belt, they can't help but have something
to work on....you decide the medium to be used.
My next brilliant idea actually came from my having the same problem as
you...kids finishing early and nothing definite to work on. I had started
making up some extra credit idea sheets but, at the same time, stumbled
onto a really neat packet of ideas designed by Jay Conley. I have two boxes
in my room marked EXTRA CREDIT. In it I have suggestions for projects to do
which need no further explaination from me and are short and sweet. To get
credit, they must use the goals set in each and make a FINISHED composition
in any medium available. "Credit" meaning a point added to their final
semester grade up to 5 total compositions. I have a sample up on a wall
showing one done correctly and one done incorrectly so they know what's
acceptable. Jay's packet runs $29.95 and it consist of things like shading,
texture, drawing spaceships, cars, cartoons, haunted houses, animals,
trees, perspective...tons of things for all grade levels. I make about 8-9
copies of several I like and put into the extra credit boxes. Kids can pull
out anything that meets their fancy AFTER they finish main project. The
packet is called....
ADVENTURES IN DRAWING
145 So. 9th Avenue
ARTventure publications (yes, it's capitalized correctly!)
Brighton, Co 80601
It has worked successfully for me for two years and it has entirely
eliminated the "I'm finished...What do I do now?" whine! The packet is
worth 4-times its price!!!! Someone earlier this summer called and got the
number but I don't know where it is at the moment. Try "information" and
I'm sure they could find it and you could order it by phone.
I've tried many other methods and THIS ONE WORKS!!!!!!