What is the bedrock of your curriculum? Upon what foundations do you build your art program? No doubt these questions are on your mind with the start of a new school year. You may want to start with themes or Big Ideas, review past concepts, media, or techniques, or introduce unexpected or novel ideas. No matter what you choose to do, you want to capture and sustain your students’ attention and engagement. The lessons we share this month are chosen with those goals in mind.
Nancy at the Gallarus Oratory, one of the best-preserved early Christian chapels on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, possibly built in the 12th century. It is made from stones cut on every side to fit together perfectly. After all this time, its foundation and structure have remained intact.
I know that when I was teaching, I spent all summer reflecting on these issues and developing ways to better establish and deliver meaningful curriculum for my students.
I taught for ten years in my last elementary art position. My returning students knew what to expect from me, so I spent very little time going over rules and regulations. What I did do on the first day of class was jump right in with the art-making!
You may want to start with themes or Big Ideas, review past concepts, media, or techniques, or introduce unexpected or novel ideas. No matter what you choose to do, you want to capture and sustain your students’ attention and engagement.
The lessons we share this month are chosen with those goals in mind.
In This Issue
This month, we offer a lesson from Rama Hughes titled “Celebrating Inktober” (p. 36). Appropriate for all grade levels, the article will tell you all you need to know about Inktober, an annual art event during which artists all over the world create a new ink drawing every day in October. We are presenting this in the September issue so you’ll have some lead time for introducing the activity to your students in October.
For early childhood, Julia Hovanec shares “Tangled Shapes” (p. 38), in which children create shape mobiles inspired by the book Tangled by Anne Miranda. This lesson teaches students about geometric and organic shapes as well as collaboration—key concepts for young learners.
At the elementary level, Annette Trammell shares a lesson she introduces on the first day of every class, “Square Scavenger Hunt” (p. 20), which results in an art room overview and a collaborative artwork ready for display.
Michael Sacco introduces his middle-school students to “Repurposed Repoussé” (p. 17) using the unexpected material of tooling foil. Students create patterned relief designs that they adhere to the top and sides of cigar boxes.
At the high-school level, Kasmira Mohanty’s students use drawing tablets to create “Scribble Self-Portraits” (p. 22) in her Media Arts class. She begins with a presentation about the history of self-portraiture and shares the work of artists who have created portraits using only line.
How will you lay the groundwork for the school year to encourage students’ attention and engagement?
Capture students’ attention and engagement with lessons that lay the groundwork for a memorable school year! In this issue, students learn about art room procedures while participating in a scavenger hunt, identify key strengths and how they can use them, develop personal connections to drawing exercises through altered books, create abstract compositions during a virtual artist visit, and more.