First Week of Art Class!

Wow, we have had a spectacular week! We are right into choice based art, and it is going amazingly well.

At both schools, we introduced the drawing center by doing a “draw around the room” activity. Each table had a different art supply or supplies for students to try, as well as some ideas for different techniques. Older students also watched a video explaining some of the changes in the art room, as well as introducing the activity.

Exploring colored pencils and color sticks.

After each large poster was drawn on and colored in, we peeled off the tape to discover some important messages.

The younger students were not left out! Though they had fewer drawing supplies (5 year olds are not quite ready for chalk pastels!), they still did some great materials explorations.

I am sure now, more than ever, that this switch to choice was the right one. I am so excited for this year!


Artist Trading Cards!

Artist trading cards, or ATCs, are small pieces of art that are fun to collect and trade. We started this unit by looking at examples from Mini Matisse, such as this one, which third and fourth graders were excited to debate about:

Image from Mini Matisse

Students voted with sign language for the one they thought was the most successful, then defended their choices in a lively discussion.

Students then used their sketchbooks to plan their artist trading cards. They wrote lists of themes:IMG_3034


played with different art media to find ones that worked for their ideas:

Just a bit of an in-progress crit going on, no big deal.


and did thumbnail sketches:


before starting on their actual cards.



When we were finished, students thought again about quality before choosing their best work to mat and label for the art show, and either trading or keeping the rest.