Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Picture File

I have organized a Picture File for the students to use when they needed to get a "real" picture of something specific. These are laminated calendar pictures that are organized into categories (dogs, cats, wild cats, ocean animals, sunsets, mountains, etc.) and they "stand up" in a computer paper box with matboard dividers. My wonderful parent volunteer made labels to stick up so that the kids could read them easily.
I had been disappointed in the quality of the paintings that the students were producing at the paint center. There were quite a few rainbows, grass with the universal tulips with the zig zag top (tulips don't even look like that!), American flag, etc. I believe the children were painting things that were safe and easy. For the last 2 weeks I have been teaching more paint techniques (that Topal book is great!) and also talking about how to use the picture file to improve the look of their work by concentrating on details. Because the pictures are laminated, I can paint right on them when I am doing my demo. I am so pleased with the marked improvement in the quality of the work since the Picture File has been intoduced. Some students are using the pictures to use in other centers too. A first grader brought a puppy picture to the puppet center and was working so diligently to create a bag puppet of a golden retriever. I am amazed at their work, especially with the first graders. I have included just a sample of some of their art. I hope you enjoy them.


Anonymous said...

I don't take credit for this idea, (a teacher I work with does this for her high school classes) but it also works great to put pictures in 3 ring binders that are separated into categories. I'm working on building my own picture reference library by cutting out pictures from magazines and gluing them on regular paper. Then I'm going to laminate them and put them in binders. For some reason, my students handle these with more care than they did when I had them in regular files

Heather H. (I teach art in Austin, TX)

Anonymous said...

Hey There. What is the Topal book that you reference in this post? I can't figure out how to put my google ID on here, so my email address is lpskeen AT . Thanks.