Here is a place to start to get students to find and put meaning into their
art. Start with their name. What does their name mean?
See if you can come up with a project for each grade level where they all do
something with their name. Maybe save ALL of them - just in case you have
that one child who gets nothing saved back for the art show. You will have
that child's name design to put in the show. Some of you do self portraits
and save all of them - that is a good one too. I know it is a LOT of work -
but every child must have their work in an art show sometime during their
elementary years. I had far too many who didn't coming to me. I had far too
many who never had their work displayed coming to me (At my middle school -
I made it a REQUIREMENT for them to have at least one project displayed - Of
course I displayed more than one of some kids' works. I had six bulletin
boards in the hallways - Two nice show cases in the commons - and two trophy
cases in the hallways to use). When I was in elementary, I kept track of
what project went on display - and could easily see who I still needed to
get up. Then when that child was working on the project I would tell them,
"I want this project from you for display so I want you to be sure it is
your very best"....and If a child showed special interest in the MESSAGES I
was trying to get across I would tell that child "I want this project from
you for the Art Show - so do our very best". That one year, I had every
child displayed at least twice. I only had two bulletin boards assigned to
me so I would glue the work to roll paper and mount that up in their hallway
at times. Occasionally, the fifth grade teachers would let me use the
bulletin board in their hallway. Let me tell you what a joy it was to have
my elementary kids when they came to the middle school. They all behaved for
me. I envy those of you who get to see the students year after year.
I know some of you middle school teachers do portfolios for the student
work - See Bunki's - making their name an interesting part of the design.
Find ways to make their name important and to be proud of their name.
Remember when we had fun talking about names on the Getty list a while back?
There are other ones out there - but I don't have time to evaluate them.
There is one name design project on the Sub Plans ...it is a common one.
Write name on folded 9 x 12 paper - cut out and turn into some kind of inset
or creature...Well, well, well. I just told a fib. I couldn't find it on the
Sub plans page - so it just must be an idea I saved. I will look for
it...Eureka- I found it! From Tami (Tammy? - she didn't sign her work ---
Here's an easy lesson which can fit into the substitute lesson plans
category as well as
elements/principles category (line/shape and balance/symmetry)...
For 3rd grade and above... Fold your paper in half the hot dog way.
Write your first name in cursive along the fold. Keep folded and cut
out. Open and turn it over so you don't see your pencil marks. Look
at the shape you created. Think of how you can turn it into a
creature. Use markers (or colored pencils) and glue to a sheet of
I am not an authority on art education ....and I know that....but maybe I
would have liked myself a whole lot better growing up if I liked my name
(smile). I hated Judith.
I post based on how I learned and what helped me learn.... I post based on
what I tried in the classroom and what worked and didn't work.... I post
based on what I did with my own child - and what worked.... I post based on
what I learned by talking with my students.....I don't read "the
research" -- I read enough of that when I was doing my masters research
project - I read research on all sorts of topics because I couldn't find any
research on what I really wanted to do.... I settled on combining motivation
of students with hypermedia (I used the web).
My maiden name was Richer.....my mother's maiden name was Webb....I am so
much Richer now for what I have learned from using the Web -- so I will
continue to use it (smile folks).