The first couple of weeks just get them to follow directions, stay in
their seats, and use the materials properly. Lessons are 5 - 10 minutes with
participation, exploring materials for 20 minutes, and clean up. I usually
have them stack my chairs and wash tables because its at the end of the day.
Their attention span can only last 30 minutes, so the rest of the time I have
them cleaning, or sitting down to listen to a story.
Your gonna get a lot of kids that can't even hold a pencil, hold
scissors the right way, or peel the paper off a crayon. Get them to draw in
the first couple of weeks: draw themselves, draw their school, draw their
homes, even draw themselves brushing their teeth. Vary the materials.
Have them cut squares, triangles, circles, and spirals showing them
how to hold scissors. Have them cut stripes to make cut paper flowers.
Elaborate the construction paper projects with chalk. Show them how to cut a
symmetrical vase for the flowers. Show them how to use glue.
After a month, teach them how to watercolor. Paint their house with
stars in the sky a la Van Gogh. Paint an interior of their living room with
their favorite relative sitting there a la Matisse. Paint a king and a queen
with beautiful robes such as Gustave Klimt. Have them draw with crayons and
then paint dragons and castles in watercolor.
Children at that age are very magical. An imaginary abstract portrait
might be similar to Paul Klee's work. Teach them how to use tempera paint by
exploring how to mix many shades of greens to make a long green snake.
Have them make imaginary machines exploring colored pencils. Give
them a lot of pencils, because they tend to pencil sharpen more than drawing.
They are only allowed to sharpen two pencils! That cuts down socialization at
the bus stop (pencil sharpener).
Have them make glowing black cats and pumpkins for Halloween, cut
construction Christmas decorations (help them with the glitter), and have
them construct cut paper Easter baskets. ( Its basically a box spread open
like a cross and they have to fold and glue the sides together.)
All these projects reinforce good listening skills which should be
the main emphasis of your program. Kids that need help I ask that they raise
their hand and I'll come to their table. Good artists are encouraged to help
the slower ones. I've been giving them treats (broken chalk) for admirable
I hope that this helps for a start.