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Lesson Plans

Re: kids that destroy their work

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Maggie White (mwhite)
Mon, 02 Mar 1998 16:46:45 -0800

Lynda Brothers Matthew <brosart> wrote:

> I have a question. I have recently had several kids work very diligently on
> an art lesson in class, and then in the end scrible over a good work and
> sometimes go so far as to crumple the work up and throw it away. What to
> do? Also, do you let kids make mistakes and then go for another piece of
> paper several times? I keep trying to get them to use their mistake
> creatively, but they totally loose interest if they conceive something as a
> mistake, and stop being creative, won't work anymore on anything. (This is
> for K-5).

I teach HS and see the same thing. I'm able to limit the destruction of
2D work-in-progress by handing out only one sheet of paper at a time, and
reminding the students that every sheet has TWO sides; if they "mess up"
one side, turn it over, and there's a fresh sheet! It also helps to have
them work on thumbnail sketches in order to plan their work (and again, they
only get one sheet to do several sketches on). While working on the graded
assignment, if they feel they've ruined it, they are supposed to call me over
to help analyze the situation. We study the thumbnails and decide whether it's
salvageable or not.

For 3D work, especially for carving, detailed sketches are mandatory: once you
carve it off, you can't put it back on!

The thing that bothers me the most is when returned artwork, even good stuff,
is tossed in the trash before it ever makes it home. So now I save all work for
parent conferences and hand it directly to them. If they don't come in, I hand
it over to the kids. Some things I ask them to leave with me if they don't want
it--especially canvas panels and ceramics. The panels get gessoed over with flat
latex wall paint and reused, and the ceramics are bashed up and used in the bottom
of my planters.

In your case, Lynda, it sounds as though there are other issues involved.
The student(s) seem to be acting out problems or frustrations. If they won't
talk candidly with you, check with their classroom teacher(s) or counselor and
see if there's something going on in other areas of their lives.

Maggie**remove x in address to reply