Since writing is a big part of our school improvement plan, I have my students in my 7th grade Exploring Art classes, and the 8th and 9th graders in the Introduction to Art classes journal weekly. I post a series of questions that cover a full quarter (7th grade) or semester (8th&9th grade) and students have a copy. They are to be turned in on a weekly basis, and are very open-ended (such as "Do you prefer 2-D or 3-D art, and why?, "Why do you think Mrs. Taylor became an art teacher?", "If you could erect a sculpture in front of the school, what would it look like ?", etc.). I require a minimum of 50 words, and offer extra credit for 100 words or over. My school is identified as an at-risk school, and so for some of my students (lots of ESL), 50 words is a big deal.
I love reading their responses- they are so revealing !
Oregon Trail Junior High
----- Original Message -----
From: Lea, Robin
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 7:41 AM
Subject: RE: journaling in sketchbooks
Hey gang, I've had a very eventful week. I asked my 8th grade students to not only sketch their ideas in their sketchbooks but to actually write in them. I thought that I was going to have a revolt. Our project that we were starting was a memory box, using Joseph Cornell as an example. I asked the students to write a memory, (imagine that). Anyway, I guess what I'm asking is for input about writing/journaling in the art classroom. What types of writings do you ask you kids to do, how long are they, how do you get them to do the writing, and how do you grade it? I could tell by their writing, (which was poor), that I'm going to make this part of my curriculum next year.