Top 5 themes kids use in their art work

  1. Sports–  Most students in grades 4th through 8th use sports as a theme in their artwork.
  2. Family–  Kindergarten students up to 2nd grade consistently draw their family as a choice of subject in free draw time.
  3. Pets – Students frequently include their pets somewhere in their artwork.
  4. Movies, music or television celebrities-  Upper level students often use characters, musicians or themes from the pop culture around them.
  5. Their house or bedroom– When given opportunities to draw or paint a place they like, they choose the outside of their home or their bedroom.
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Why teach art?

Occasionally I run into students or parents who ask me frankly “Why do we have art in school?”  It’s good to ask those questions especially in a day when finances are tight and stakes are so high.  I have thought about this quite a lot.  The more I dig, the more I reasons I find to have art in student’s life as a tool for learning.

Teaching art is an awesome way for kids to think creatively, which prepares them for the complex world that awaits them. Art provides opportunities to explore multiple answers to complex problems, develop problem solving skills and critical thinking. It is easy to see how much communication has become visual in nature. I believe it is important for kids to learn visual literacy and become discerning about what they see.

My goal is to teach art from a broad worldview. I realize that not all of us are artistically gifted, however, we can all learn and benefit from studying art history, creating art and learning to appreciate the beauty around us. My lessons will have a place for those who struggle and a place for those who are ready to move ahead. I believe that all of us are creative!

The Collage Workbook

The Collage Workbook

I have recently started to teach projects using multi-media.  Multi-media or Mixed Media is using several different types of art materials in a composition.  One resource that I have found to be innovative and educational, and all around just fun is a book called “The Collage Workbook”.  The author, Randel Plowman offers quick 5 minute starters to get your creativity going, plus numerous ideas for using mediums you might not think of using.  The results are personal, creative and always inspiring.  It’s a potential new way to spend time with your kids, or have an girls night out with friends!

 

Where is the art work?

One of the goals I have for all students at Chapel Hill is to take ownership of their work and learn how to manage their projects and time.  One way that students can learn these life skills is to have them take responsibility for their work by using an art portfolio.  Every student has a place to keep their art in the art room inside their own portfolio.  I have found that kids really enjoy having a special place for their work accumulated throughout the year.  Sometimes the portfolio becomes the artwork!  Another reason for the portfolio is that students are able to choose what they want to enter into the art show at the end of the year.  I upload most of their work to the online art gallery for students called Artsonia.  Parents and relatives are able to view their work online as well as purchase items such as t-shirts and jewelry with their students art printed on it.  At the end of the year, everyone brings their portfolio home to show their whole years’ worth of work in the art room.  I remember one mom telling me it was like Christmas in June for her to see the artwork come home all at one time!  Just in case you can’t wait that long, art is displayed all year long on the walls near the auditorium.

Wow… did he do that in 40 minutes?

Chapel Hill 7th graders were mesmerized by landscape artist David Goretski as he painted a composition for them in their class period this week.  David has come for the last 4 years to teach his tips and techniques of landscape painting to our students.  In junior high, students begin to learn about art criticism which is the process of evaluating art using the elements and principles of art.  It is basically learning how to talk about art and form opinions.  Prior to our in class demonstration, students learned about realistic and abstract painting styles.  After Mr. Goretski’s demonstation, 7th graders will begin their own landscapes using chalk pastels.  I am always delighted with the projects!

What are the elements of art anyway?

An element is defined as the most basic part of a whole. In science the elements are listed on the Periodic Chart as hydrogen, oxygen or sulfur. Complex chemicals are combinations of elements like H20. In art it is similar. The elements of art are color, shape, texture, line, value and form. I like to call them the ABC’s of art. All students at Chapel Hill Academy study the elements of art primarily in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade. Each lesson has an element that is focused on as the objective. In September, the element of color was our featured element. All students used color in their first project of the year. Probably one of the favorites of the students was the 2nd grade color wheel project. Students were given red, yellow and blue play dough. The objective was to create all 12 colors of the color wheel using just the primary colors and their fingers. Every student did a great job as they were able to draw from their prior fun play dough days in their preschool days. Some of the finished projects were works of art all on their own.

Welcome to Art

Teaching art is an awesome way for kids to think creatively, which prepares them for the complex world that awaits them. Art provides opportunities to explore multiple answers to complex problems, develop problem solving skills and critical thinking. It is easy to see how much communication has become visual in nature. I believe it is important for kids to learn visual literacy and become discerning about what they see.

My goal is to teach art from a broad worldview. I realize that not all of us are artistically gifted, however, we can all learn and benefit from studying art history, creating art and learning to appreciate the beauty around us. My lessons will have a place for those who struggle and a place for those who are ready to move ahead. I believe that all of us are creative!

Another goal I have is for the lessons to have clear instruction and assessment. I want to provide a student friendly instruction sheet and rubric so each student will understand what is required of them. The majority of the work will be done in class where instruction can be provided. Of course there will be times where a student will need to bring work home in the case of an absence or the need to have more time to complete their work.

I can always be reached with questions and concerns at sweeneyl@chapel-hill.org. I have an appetite for fun, so come hungry!

Blessings,
Lisa