I think you have just answered the question, Jackie...elements and
principles don't apply to lives, they apply to art. Maybe shift the
focus away from E&P towards topics, subjects, media, techniques to grab
them. Make it fun first for a while. Have you asked them what they
would like to make art about? I am not much help here, as I teach in a
school on the other side of the socio economic scale. But kids are
kids. Focus mostly on what's fun. Does that help or apply, do you
think? I agree with whoever said you are an excellent teacher. You
are. We CAN tell.
Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.