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Re: Sketchbooks for HS art classes-LONG!


Date: Sat Jul 24 2004 - 13:27:51 PDT

I teach High School in Jacksonville- just down the road from you! I
require all my students to purchase a SPIRAL sketchbook of 8 x 11 approximate size.
 The gummed ones don't last and the size requirement keeps it neat when they
are stacked in a pile for grading. The sketchbook is a MAJOR part of my
class. It counts for 30% of their grade. Each assignment is due on Mondays, and
I try and grade them and have them back the next day. Sometimes it relates
to what we are doing, other times it is an observation assignment to work on
drawing skills. As I do a short daily "warm-up" that involves
imagination/fantasy, (draw your innermost fear, that sort of stuff!) the sketchbook
assignments are always from observation. Sometimes I give an Internet assignment and
kids who don't have computers can use the computers in my room to access the
I start off with some incredible sketchbook sites. I focused on the
sketchbooks in a big way last year and saw such a change around in how the kids
treated their sketchbooks. (It actually became one of the units for my National
Boards!) You have to let them take 'ownership" of the books first. In other
words, they are more likely to do work and be encouraged to use their
sketchbooks if they LIKE their sketchbook and don't look at it as a curse! I have kids
bring in movie stubs, wrapping paper, drawings, any kind of paper they want,
photographs, etc, and they decorate the covers and develop a sense of pride
in their unique book.
_www.indigoskynet.com_ ( is an AWESOME
sketchbook site that I have all the kids visit as a first assignment, as well as many
others that I have collected.
I also have invested in a book called Artists Journals and Sketchbooks" and
another one called "Sketchbooks of Famous Artists". These have really helped
kids see HOW their sketchbooks should be used.
As for rubrics, I generally include a small rubric with points OR tell them
verbally. At the beginning of Art I for example I am ALWAYS talking about
composition and value, things we talk about in class. By Art II or the end of
Art I, they KNOW they have to "fill the page" and use a variety of value,
using the shading skills they have learned.
When someone says they cannot afford one, I have them either make one in
class. This year I actually ordered some extra ones from Sax.
I have lots more info if you want I can e-mail you..just let me know.