I've been thinking about motivation and middle school kids because of the alternative project thread. I'm wondering what tried and true themes, projects, topics do you find middle school kids have a lot of motivation to do?
Some of my kid's motivators are:
Logos: a short project, but kids loved to make a symbol for themselves or for their pretend company. We talked a little about graphic designers.
Animals: kids loved the animal painting project we did (choosing an animal picture from a book or photo to paint). I showed them how to make it look more realistic by using the fan brushes to create textured fur or feathers. We also made animal clay sculptures in the style of Pre-Columbian animal vessels.
CD covers: always a good sub project
Op-Art: the 8th graders loved the op-art designs of Bridget Riley and we made our own.
Funky Fish paper mache puppets: the 8th graders made an imaginative, unusual fish puppet sculptures. They especially liked using the paint markers to make patterns and designs on their fish.
Toys and flowers: I just started a still life project with my 7th grade class. I had a box of stuff they could pick from and drawing toys seemed to be a hit! My brother had a bunch of old action figures and other toys that the boys enjoyed drawing. Many of the girls picked the plastic flowers to draw. We are going to start painting them with watercolor tomorrow.
I seem to be using the same ideas a lot though, what other themes/subjects are motivating?
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