Welcome to my art teaching blog! It’s called Wow Art Project because, before I started teaching art, I thought (naively!) that all you needed was an amazing art project and every student would eagerly tear into it. Now that I’ve been teaching since 2012, that ideal still guides my search, but it doesn’t end there.
My goal is to search high and low for art projects that are tons of fun. And…while they’re having fun making art…I’m also:
- introducing students to new techniques
- introducing art history, famous artists, and different cultures in a fun, engaging way
- introducing cross-curricular projects where we learn about science, math, reading, and music in a backdoor way through various art projects (Aurora Borealis chalk pastel, lizard chalk pastel, parabolic drawing and the science of adding water to permanent vs. non-permanent markers, black out poetry, Zentangled blackout poetry, engraved musical instruments, etc.)
- helping the students unleash their imaginations every time they come to art
- helping the students take risks in a protected environment
And…my favorite one and a real biggie in (and out of) the art room…
- helping them learn how to problem-solve creatively!
I’ve learned and am still learning how to customize (differentiate) the projects for students who learn in lots of different ways, students who come into the project when we’re already halfway through a big project, and students who have sensory reactions to certain materials.
I try to engage the kinesthetic learners as they work on their projects, and introduce movement as much as we can in a traditionally non-movement class. We have a school-wide long-jump reviews at the beginning of most classes. We also regularly “gallery walk” if students finish part of their projects early and want to get up and walk around as they look and see what their classmates are up to for the same project. Sometimes we gallery walk as a class at the end of a project to see the different approaches and solutions to the same project, and other times we go on a “walking field trip” to the display boards in the main hallway to talk about the art.
We listen to music while we work when it enhances (instead of distracting) their creativity. I try to match the music to the project. We’ve listened to traditional French music as we worked on our Eiffel Tower paintings and Gothic Cathedrals, African drumming as we wove and painted our kente cloths, etc. As I reviewed past projects, I realized that we could also listen to country music as we work on our Alamo clay projects and Alamo watercolors. And sometimes…we listen to Kids Bop when the majority of the class votes yes. 🙂
Let’s go make some art!
I’m thrilled to be a part of McKinney ISD. Not only do they say they value art as an important part of education, but they back up their talk with action. MISD has mandatory art classes for all elementary schools and elective art classes in middle and high school.
This video clip does a really great job of explaining how everything you learn in art is so important to all humans in every profession. Art power!