Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Fresh Start.....Drawing

Here I am at the beginning of a new school year. Full of possibilities for the students and myself included. This will be the third year of doing a full choice program and I spend a lot of time wondering how to introduce the centers in a "fresh" way so it's not the "same old same old."
I start each year with drawing. I put magnets on the back of some art visuals (reproductions from calendars as well as photos) and categorized them and hung them on the whiteboard and we discussed what kind of art they are interested in making. (landscapes, portraits, animal portraits, still life, etc.) I also set out my collection of still life objects on a table and offered them to the students if they wanted to draw their own still life. My collection is basically made up of goodies I've purchased at yard sales...mainly toys. They love to draw them and after I preface my lesson with a schpeel about not actually playing with the toys but to draw them, they do quite well. It was nice to see everyone drawing for a change and I am reluctant to open another center next week. I find that when the new center is introduced (it would have been collage), the interest in drawing drops dramatically. There are some classes that will still be doing just drawing next week because there is about 90% of unfinished work that will not get done if there is another choice. Surprisingly, it's the younger classes that are ready for another center. The older students need more time to work on their drawings. Here are some examples from just today. This first drawing was done by a second grader that combined 5 toys in one drawing. Clever....he came up with that idea on his own.

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