I have done sketchbooks for elementary for many years. They started out merely as a predictable way to start the class each day, which helped the kids to settle down (somewhat). I had 5 min between classes and needed a little more time to transition from one group to the next. The kids walked in, got paper and a pencil and sat down at their tables. I gave the assignment which was to illustrate an art term, or explore an artist's style. Now I can't imagine not using sketchbooks, and I have 15 min. between classes at this school. The students use them for everything from our sketching to those wonderful free-draw moments to writing down the steps to do an assignment.
From: Judith Decker [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 1:04 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Advocacy for Sketchbooks - Video
Every year someone posts with questions about
sketchbooks in elementary - How useful are they? And
what proof do you have they are beneficial? Not too
long ago, I did a web search to find research on using
sketchbooks. Most of what I found (ERIC documents)was
the benefit to CORE subjects - which is a plus for
Anyone who is trying to "sell" the idea of sketchbooks
to your parent organization - or administrator should
sit them down in front of this video:
Sketchbooks: How Artists Use Them"
This is one you can get for FREE from Art Video World
(Buy three - get one free - 1-800-644-3429 - video
#8690 - only $29.95 - page 7 - Buy it yourself and
include this in your tax deduction for 2004)
The video interviews three artists and shows them
using their sketchbooks. It also shows ways to use
sketchbooks to integrate art with literacy, math and
science I can certainly see social studies, too. It
is really enjoyable to see the elementary students
talk about how useful their sketchbooks are to them.
The video is 20 minutes long. This is not a video you
would pop in and have your classes watch from
beginning to end - but you might want to show segments
of it. You can decide after you get the video. It is
definitely a must if you have an administrator that
just doesn't want to buy into the purchase of
sketchbooks -when you know they are needed. Sometimes
it is best to just shell out the $$ yourself when you
need a resource.
Maybe this would make a good research topic for you?
-(Those elementary teachers who are planning on
getting your masters degree). Come up with a topic
that is narrowed down to art/elementary students (you
decide what grade level to introduce them). Then you
can make your own video to convince the school board
to continue funding the books. Sketchbooks CAN
motivate learning in all subjects. What if you worked
closely with Math and Science teachers and used the
same sketchbook? Art lessons would utilize drawings
done in math and science, too....just a thought.
I will be adding a "blurb" about this video on IAD.
P.S. You are never out $$$ when you buy from Art Video
World or Crystal Productions - they guarantee
satisfaction. Customer service associates are
wonderful to work with. Same goes for Sax. If you ever
get a video you do not like and can not use - just
return it! (within 30 days) Remember as I view them -
I am reviewing through the eyes of kids....and will
post my opinions on how I would use the videos with
that in mind.