Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In the Art Room: Sketching Art History

Hello, party people! I'm excited to share with y'all today some things that are goin' down in the art room...namely, just how my students are using their sketchbooks! I see my third and fourth grade students for an hour (my other classes are 30 minutes in length). For that reason, I decided to introduce them to sketchbooks this year. We created our own sketchbook covers on the very first day of art and had a big time doing so. 
Here's a blog post explaining how they are created. We did these a couple of years ago...and while the kids loved making them and sketching...I dropped the ball. I wasn't super sure how I wanted the kids to use their sketchbooks. Here was my initial thought a couple of years ago:
This time around, I decided to make some changes to how we use our books. Here's the plan:

* We will be taking a journey through art history with our sketchbooks! Every other week, my students will sketch in their books. We will do this every other week so as to not eat into regularly scheduled creative time. To make this process of distributing and collecting sketchbooks easier (because I have two classes at once and things can take a little longer/get a little hairy if I don't have a solid system), I created this video with the help of my awesome co-workers. My kids FLIPPED when they saw their teachers cutting up for the cause. Here's the Do's and Don't's of Sketchbookin':
* On sketchbook days, my students will watch two 1-minute videos. The first one will be a Hot Minute of History (which I've shared here before) and the other will be a sketchbook prompt based on that history. Here's our first installment!
* As they view the videos, students are to silently take their sketchbook from the bin and pass the bin. They did this beautifully. Here's their sketching prompt video:
I made my rules very clear: Silent Sketch Time and One Page at a Time. I then set my timer for 7 minutes and the kids went to work. I was so loving their first sketches! I thought I'd share...
 We used texture plates and fabric for the rubbing. I did end up swapping out the vine charcoal for black oil pastels as the charcoal did not work very well on the oil pastels. 
 I had one student say they had "messed up" and that they wanted to start again on another sheet. I said, "If you were a cave artist, you wouldn't ask for another cave wall...you would make that drawing work!" And they did. It was a fun lesson on beautiful oops'ing!
One of the main reasons I thought it would be good to sketch through Art History is that it is one area that I often fail to teach. There are SO MANY THINGS TO TEACH IN ART that I find I have to squeeze in as much as I can. This is one way I hope to do that. 
 I introduced A Hot Minute of Art History before (more details here) but then it was just me chatting...and I tend to be long winded. Not only that but it didn't really resonate with the kids as they didn't have a creating-connection. So, hopefully, this will help. I am showing the one minute videos to my first through second grade students...they just don't do the sketching portion. 
 I also created a song to go along with this journey. You can find the song here (it's a work in progress). Here's a clip of me teaching it to a group of third graders a couple of years ago:
We still get up and sing the song...but now we do it with a before video and a sketching intro!
 I was so excited by the sketchbook drawings and I know the kids were too. I can't wait to share our next Art History video with them!
 I also loved the variety of drawings. I did do a quick google search of cave paintings and placed a couple of simple sheets on each table for inspiration. My students are used to these Idea Sheets, as we call them. I know that I work best when I have some inspiration so I always provide that for my students. 
  As I create the lyrics to the song, I've been working on paintings myself. Here's my take on Cave Painting:
These paintings will later become posters to hold the lyrics of our Rockin' Art History song!
You can find the pdf for this here if you are interested! Feel free to use in your art room. All I ask is that you share your source when other's ask. I would rather not post what I share to TPT...I would like to continue sharing. However, it is sometimes sad to see folks not give credit where it is due...especially when they got the information for free. So I ask politely and say thank you!
 Getting back into sketchbooks with the kids meant finding a place to store them. Earlier this year, I found this great bookcase that was in an abandoned classroom. After a little bit of paint, I was happy with the result.
 My bins from Target are the perfect fit! It really helps to have the folders divided by class and gender as that makes passing the sketchbooks our much faster and easier.
 I'll be sure to share our sketchbook adventures as they continue!
Until then, have a super week!
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4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your organizational tips! On a separate note I love the "Masterpiece Gallery" Could you please tell me how you attach the gold frames to the painted cinder block wall? I have the same walls and struggle to find ways to stick things to it! Thanks! Traci

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  2. Sketching your way through art history-PURE GENIUS! I feel as if I lack art history in my classroom because like you mentioned there is just so much to cover! I think this is a great way to give them a glimpse and strike an interest in those young budding artists!

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  3. Thank you Cassie!
    Every time I watch or read your blog I learn a lot!!! You are great inspiration!!!

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  4. I hope you make more of these fun videos! I am doing this with my 1st - 4th graders! We have an "extra art day" (because we don't have a librarian on Thursdays so we have to rotate between the other 3 special areas). I'm thinking it will be Throwback Thursdays! Learning about art history!

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)