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I kept a supply of old catalogs and magazines, recycled paper from the
office copy machine, scraps from other projects,--some of that felt and
glitter!-- etc.--when finished with a project and waiting for others to
finish, they loved to just cut and paste and explore the materials.
I also kept a supply of children's books, especially those which had great
illustrations. I used these as time fillers, yes, but also as an
opportunity for discussion of others' art. sometimes we would look at a
book then do our own illustrations, or I would read the story without
showing them the pictures--"make pictures in your mind"--and then we would
draw and compare with the illustrators' work. Make a special book a
"continuing story" to fill in those "done but not time to go yet" minutes.
They also loved to draw in the air and make group illutrations ("can you two
make an "A"?) Sometimes, we would have someone move across the room and the
rest would make a line that moved the same way or they all "danced" and
then drew their dance. Music can also serve as a starting point. I pulled
heavily on my knowledge of basic creative movement skills--PE, dance, music,
drama and art are closely related--if you give them a chance.
We also looked at and discussed the changing displays of artwork from other
classes. This often happened spontaneously at the start of the class--and
sometimes I scrapped my whole lesson plan to use the neat ideas that
developed in this process. Sometimes we taped their work on the wall or
sat in a circle for their very own own "art show" and discussion.
Occasionally, we selected a couple pieces to take to the principal (she
loved this) on our way back to the classroom. We even took "field trips"
(read that "left the art room early for the art teacher's benefit") to look
at student work posted in the halls by classroom teachers or to discover
perspective as we walked down the hallway on our way back to the classroom.
They learned a great deal about discussing and evaluating art in this process.
I also took them outside to work as often as possible--blow soap bubbles,
hug a tree, look for bugs, draw class members on the monkey bars, collect
acorns, leaves, the first tiny spring flowers, look at clouds, spray paint
snow. We had almost no equipment--I collected wallpaper sample books and
used the heavy covers for drawing boards. I tried to keep these ready with
paper taped on, but they enjoyed getting their own ready, too.
For those last few minutes, we might have a "treasure hunt" for scraps on
They will keep you on their toes at this age, but you will all enjoy it!
Good luck and keep us posted...
At 07:56 PM 9/2/96 +0000, you wrote:
>I'm proud to let you know I've found a job! Better late than never! I'll
>be teaching k-8 art in a small (145 total students) public school very
>close to home. That's nice since I'd been expecting a long commute, living
>near almost nowhere as I do. I'm a brand new teacher made out of a
>slightly used artist person and I'm really happy to be here!
>However, the supply closets, nooks and crannies and the 'art cart' are in a
>huge mess of sagging boxes and sliding piles of assorted stuff. My initial
>inventory shows the supplys seem to be heavy in the yarn, felt, glitter and
>craft type stuff and very light in the classic medias such as quality white
>paper, good brushes, good pencils, charcoal, etc, and I've found almost no
>art history reference materials at all.
>There is a rumored curriculum, but I haven't seen it yet and classes start
>tomorrow. I suspect weaving is mentioned a lot in it. Meanwhile I'll be
>starting slow with simple crayons, markers, and pencils as I unpack the
>nooks and crannies they call storage here.
>I have few indications of what the students have been doing. I suspect
>they will need reenforcement of basic principles and elements of design, so
>my query is this: Do any of you use single period (40 min) assessment
>quizes on the principles and elements of design? Could you share them
>with ArtsEdNet (me?) as soon as possible (yesterday???????)? I figure the
>K-2 is in one classroom and will benifit from my introductory P & E lessons
>anyway, and I'm planning to have the 8th grade make P & E review books as
>Sidnie Miller suggested here last April. So I'm mostly interested in
>quizzes for use in the 3rd-7th grades.
>Another question is about how to manage time for one 70 minute K-2 class
>per week, and one 80 minute 3rd grade class per week. I'm having a hard
>time visualizing these young ones doing any one thing for that long.
>Should we sing a song or take a walk or something in the middle? Any art
>lessons out there which incorporate something physical in the middle??
>I can't wait to hear from you all!
> Mark Alexander, K-8 Art Teacher
> Lee H. Kellogg School
> Falls Village, CT 06031
> (Mark Alexander) mamjam
Lily Kerns (CWKerns)
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