Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

First Week Activities

♠ Posted by ArtMuse at 4:59 AM

After giving this much deliberation and changing my idea oh, about 100 times, I settled in on a sculpture challenge.  This year I am staring off the year with all clay projects...say WHA?!!! (Yup, I'm feeling particularly saucy this year!) and so,  I wanted something that would tie into sculpture in some way.

Initially I was thinking of doing a drawing challenge based on a workshop I took at the NAEA convention a few years back.  It's basically a challenge where the students draw a dot on their paper and then turn it into something. I wrote a post on it HeRe

The challenge went something like this: I began the period by going over some rules for the art room. Specifically, hand raising, staying in seats unless you raise ypur hand and ask to get up, and how to respond to the chime I use as my class signal.  I generally don't go over procedures like handwashing and handling materials until we are actually doing/using them, otherwise I feel like it's not quite relevant.  I also spent a moment going over my new table labels and cooperative group numbers.

After the rules, I introduced the releveant vocabulary which will connect to their first project.  We discussed 3-dimensional, sculpture, abstract, representational, and assemblage.  This activity was done with grades 2-5 grade and so the last 3 vocab words were tiered as the geade level increased.

The Challene was basically to build something. I encourage them not to think of anything specific, but to simply start building and see what came of it. It was interesting to watch, as some of the students really thrive with the freedom to create anything they want, while others struggled because of that same freedom. 

Overall, the activity was a success. It got the kids creative muscles working and forced them to think in ways that they normally don't.  Interestingly it was pretty much equally successful on every grade.  It also worked well as a way to introduce the vocabulary for their first full project.