Here's an idea of how you might arrange your time:
Begin class in a circle, kids sitting on floor if possible. Take attendence
if required. Approximate time to settle down, etc, 8 min.
Immediately after that ask if anyone of them had an art experience since
the last lesson. Let them talk about it. Move on to other related topics,
but try to get them to open up. Pass around a talking stick, (Native
Americans used this, make one of a thick weathered branch, add leather,
beads, feathers, etc.) to get them to take turns and be good listeners.
(Naturally,before you set this in motion, you have to introduce them to the
language, definitions, ie, what you mean by an art experience, why you
think its important for them to dissuss what ever the topic you choose for
the circle. even why you are sitting in a circle, ex. we become brothers
and sisters, no hierarchy among classmates, whatever you feel your reason
would be). Approximate time 12 min.
Next, share one of your art experiences, link it to the activities planned
for the class session. Approximate time 3 min.
Then introduce the lesson, demonstrate right there on the floor if
possible. Put newspapers down to protect the floor if necessary.
Approximate time 7 min.
Send students to work areas. Begin the lesson. Approximate time 20 min.
After this, stop the lesson and take a break. If you can hand out an
animal cracker and a small cup of water do so. You have to maintain a
suitable class atmosphere, this can be tricky, but if you have the space
bring them back to the circle area for the time out. Play some soft music.
Approx. time 5 min.
After 5 min. Students go back to task. Put out some inexpensive copy paper
and crayons or markers for those who finish early. After 15 min students
stop lesson and begin to clean up. This should bring you to dismissal time.
You will have to plan two part lessons in some cases. Work large. For
example, use one of those pizza boxes everyone's been chatting about
lately. Design a disk jacket. Start lesson off with permanent marker
drawings. After break, use watercolor wash to complete design.
I hope this helps. I know what you're facing. It's really unfair to the
students in my opinion to have such a long art session, as much as I love
art. I myself am an exhibiting artist and there are times my own attention
span is as short as some of my students, even when I'doing what I love
best. Good luck, keep in touch.
Sincerely, Diane L.