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At one conference I went to, they gave us a "sub lesson" already written
out with an example drawn at the top. I use it every year. Send me
your school street address (if I need it) and your zip code and I'll put
you a copy in the mail.
Something else that I do...is set up a still life and have students draw
this. I usually leave instructions for sub to put on the board to
remind them of good composition, drawing large, overlapping, using value
in coloring, etc. I have some supplies that I always leave out for
their use...colored pencils (the old ones), crayons, and (old)
markers...I ask students to bring markers, even though I have some
there, also. If I can not set the still life up ahead of time, I ask
the sub or another teacher to do this...and give them a list of things
in the room they can use.
I also have an OBJECT box in the room with LOTS of small objects...Use
12x18 paper...fold haphazardly about 5 or 6 times (uneven)...draw light
pencil guide lines on fold lines to create odd shaped spaces. Tell them
to select one object. In each space, draw the object in a different
view and touch at least three sides...try to touch all four sides of the
space. Then in the background of each space they can fill with straight
line striped pattern using ruler. I suggest that they change the
direction of the lines in each space. Then they outline with black
marker and add color...markers, colored pencils, crayons, etc. I keep a
folder with small examples of how this is done. Sub can easily
demonstrate folding the paper to show them how it is done.
I have a list of "idioms" that I leave sometimes for students to draw.
They can divide their paper and draw several. After they draw them,
others try to guess which idiom they are representing. This probably
would not last 80 minutes unless they had to completely finish a scene.
I have used this when I would have to keep another class along with
mine. I can put a copy of this in the mail also if you would like or
send them by email after I bring a copy home from school...here are
Money burns a hole in your pocket
She bawled her eyes out
I've got a frog in my throat
Sitting on top of the world
and there are others....
My students do not enjoy videos as a substitute for a lesson. They
would rather draw (and some hate to draw) ANYTHING...so many of the
other teachers at our school leave videos and show them over and over.
I find that the attention span of my students watching a video (middle
school) is about 15 to 20 minutes. I have watched them and I usually
cut off a video at that time and show the other part later if I need to
BUT...I would love to have some GOOD, interesting videos and not some of
the dry, boring ones. If they bore me, I sure DON'T leave them for my
students. I wrote down the video titles you mentioned. Did you get
GATE TO THE MIND'S EYE and BEYOND THE MIND'S EYE from the library, also?
Another thing I have considered doing is to have someone video me
demonstrating and explaining a lesson and leaving this for the sub.
I just purchased ART SYNECTICS and have found some ideas in here to use
for sub lessons or when students finish their lesson early. They are
also good for "creative thinking exercises".
E. B. Frink Middle School
La Grange NC