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Lesson Plans

RE: Displaying elementary artwork: long, sorry

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Stephanie Ignazio (smi)
Fri, 19 Feb 1999 11:51:47 -0500

I will speak of my individual situation: In regards to the displaying of my
students work..I try to put up as much as possible..because unfortunately in
my building I sometimes get the "quizzical look" of "what do they actually
do in art class???" And this helps deflate the notion that art is just
fluff. Art has become the subject that noone wants to "take time" out of
"what they have to teach in their curriculum". Because they are "so busy, so
busy, have so much to do, etc." It is really a focus of mine to let the
children see what they have achieved in class as well as what the other
grade levels have done. Because I no longer have a room it is truly
important that the work goes up. Otherwise I am just a teacher with a cart
roaming the halls. It is important for the children's self-esteem at this
young age to be encouraged. There is no doubt about that. However, if a
child puts forth little or no effort we have usually discussed perhaps ways
of working through what I call an "artists block". There are those children
out there that no matter what I do..standing on my head included..will not
enjoy art. Some have other priorities. I try to let the students explore as
much as possible so that at least they try different things. My response to
them at certain times.."if you don't try it how do you know you won't like
it". I think my mother said that about food when I was younger. The
important thing at this early age is to get them willing to participate and
have fun. Many "horror" stories that older people have about their lack of
ability come from a negative vibe they received at this age. God sakes, the
person I replaced used to make the Kindergarten children cry..because they
didn't want to go to art. (!!!) It is important to foster creativity. I tell
my students that art class and life are all about effort. If you put no
effort into shows..and you lose out on what could have been a
great experience. There are children out there that have different types of
creativity..and we discuss that..someone might be a better writer, runner,
etc...I try to let them know that there isn't one right way to do something
and I reflect that in my display of the kids work. So I display as much as I
can because I am proud of their approaches and I want everyone to know that
art can be extremely fun. It gives me a great feeling when one of my younger
kids will say "when do we get to do that???" or recently when one of my
older kids came up to me and said.." we didn't do that last year..why do
they get to do that??" and I explain that we did an alternative project to
that ..and he says "Oh yeah, that was fun!" It's all about having fun and
sharing it with others.