As mentioned in my previous post I use a scrapbook as an art journal for my students from grades 1-6.
In the past I would hand the Grade 5 students an A4 sheet of paper with a grid of boxes already photocopied on it and ask the students to choose a colour and paint each box to show the colour value.
Once the paint was dry (week 2) they then glued this sheet onto their scrapbook cover and gave their book a large title and ensured their name and grade was easily readable.
I love how creatively these students completed their grade 5 art journal covers using scrap paper, pencils and textas.
This year I have changed the grade 5 journal cover completely after seeing this gem on Pinterest. This elements of art activity is by Michelle from Tiny Art Room, a wonderful art teacher’s blog. You can check out her step by step instructions by clicking on the link above.
It was a terrific way for the students to show me their understanding of the elements of art and decorate their journal cover at the same time!
Initially I showed the students a scribbly mock up I had done of what a finished cover COULD look like and then I demonstrated the simple ruling up of the different sections. The students DID NOT have to follow my layout though. As long as their cover demonstrated the seven elements of art and had a clearly readable title and their name and grade, they could use whatever layout they came up with.
I then asked one of my magnificent Art Ambassadors to come up with a grade 5 cover for me and Farheen did a fantastic job, in A3 size instead of A4, so it would be easy for the students to see after I clipped it onto the whiteboard. Brilliant! And of course, I forgot to photograph it! 🙁
I’ll update this post with a photo of it when I get back to school as we are on end of Term 1 holidays and won’t go back to school until after Easter. 🙂
I have found that I prefer to use student samples whenever I can. It makes a huuuuuge difference! It doesn’t matter how many times I tell the students that their artwork doesn’t have to look exactly like mine, and I give them plenty of options for choice, about 85% of artworks would look as close to my sample as possible. Always….. doesn’t matter what I say…… always!This is greatly reduced when I show a range of student created samples. This is one of the great benefits of photographing student artworks.
I was also surprised at how many students struggled with ruling up the cover that I demonstrated for them. And I did demonstrate it for them, once altogether and then at every table and then for many individuals that just weren’t getting it. They did not have to use my way of dividing up the A4 piece of paper to fit the elements of art in. They could do it any way they liked but few tried anything else, even though they were struggling to rule it up. They really couldn’t figure out how I ruled up the sections! It was like I was doing some amazing magic trick every time I demonstrated it!!!
These students are in Grade 5 and most of them had NO IDEA how to RULE A STRAIGHT LINE WITH A RULER! They didn’t even have to measure anything, just rule up straight lines diagonally from corner to corner. They actually had no idea how to put pressure on the ruler with the fingers of your hand without the pencil to hold the ruler still! I will use this video next time so I won’t need to be explaining it over and over and over again.
So this says to me that at Grade 5 level they had never done this before! How is that possible? Don’t they have to measure lengths in maths? Or rule up shapes? They certainly did the last time I taught maths and it wasn’t that long ago!
Well, ruler struggles aside, I will definitely be using this cover idea again for grade 5 as the students that persevered and finished their covers did a really fantastic job. These are artworks to be proud of! Thanks for looking and I know the students would love it if you left a comment!
For several years now I have been using a scrap book as a Visual Arts Journal for my students from grade 1-6. I know some art teachers prefer a fancier, more expensive, drawing book to use as an art journal but I have found a scrapbook that has almost cartridge quality paper in it for a scrapbook price, so that’s what I use.
I don’t send these Visual Arts journals home at the end of the year unless they are full. I only have my students now for one semester each year and they don’t get enough opportunity to use them and it is just a waste to send them home with only a few pages worked on. The students also like to look over old drafts and artworks and reflect, and giggle, about how much they have improved over time.
So at the start of each school year they work on a journal cover concept that is just for that year level and this makes the 800+ journals I store in the art room easily identifiable so they can be put away in the correct place if they get lost. The journal covers when complete are covered in clear contact (sticky backed plastic) to protect the student’s hard work. As they use the art journals for more than one year they just glue the new year cover on top of the old one.
This is the design brief for my grade 6 journal cover.
- choose an A5 photocopied artwork (this year I had 20 different artworks to choose from)
- choose an A4 piece of coloured cover paper for the background of your cover
- each grade 6 journal cover must include your name and grade. This MUST be easy to read as although you are creating an artistic cover it still has to function as a cover!
- each grade 6 journal cover must include an easy to read title, eg: Art/Art Journal/Art Book
- the A5 colour photocopied art work must be altered in some way as part of your overall cover design, eg: cut it, tear it, draw on it, collage with it, etc
Why were there 20 artworks to choose from this year? Every year the choice grows as I add the current artist that we are looking at, this year it was MC Escher, and if any student asks for a particular artwork, I also add that to the list of those available. These were the choices for 2019.
- Ghost Gums, Central Australia Albert Namatjira
- Slumbering Sea, Mentone 1887 Tom Roberts
- Shearing the rams 1890 Tom Roberts
- Angel 1988 Deborah Halpern
- Ship of fools 2011 Deborah Halpern
- Wings of life 2014 Dave Behrens
- Self Portrait 2013 Dave Behrens
- Broadway Boogie Woogie 1942-43 Piet Mondrian
- The parakeet and the mermaid 1952 Matisse
- Mona Lisa Leonardo da Vinci
- The arrival of Spring in Woldgate 2011 David Hockney
- Child with a dove 1901 Pablo Picasso
- Weeping Woman 1937 Pablo Picasso
- The Scream 1893 Edvard Munch
- Sinbad the Sailor 1928 Paul Klee
- Castle and sun 1928 Paul Klee
- Sky and water 1 1938 MC Escher
- Miradauro 1958 MC Escher
- The Starry Night 1889 Vincent Van Gogh
- The Church at Auvers 1890 Vincent Van Gogh
I am always blown away by the ideas the students come up with.
What do you think of these?
The students finish off with a self assessment rubric. They also assess the cover of a peer using the same rubric. If you would like a copy of this rubric please email me and I will send it to you.
Thanks for looking and a comment would be appreciated.
First we looked at Kelsey Montague‘s gorgeous wings from Nashville in Tennessee, USA.
Then we looked at feathers and wings that were created by Cassie Stephens and her talented students, again from Nashville, Tennessee.
And after that we looked at the feathers and wings from elementaryartfun.blogspot.com
And if that wasn’t enough to get us inspired, we also found that Kelsey Montague had created a pair of wings in Melbourne, which is our capital city. They are at Melbourne Central, which is a shopping centre right in the heart of Melbourne. They are on level 2 next to Plantation Coffee, if you want to go and look at them.
Somebody said to me that they thought Kelsey Montague had done another set of wings at Flinders Street Station but try as I might I couldn’t find an image for those wings.
One of my Grade 6 Art Ambassadors, Amber, asked her Nanna, who was heading into town on Monday, if she could see if she could find Kelsey Montague’s wings at Flinders Street Station, if she had the time, to prove they were actually there. And they are! 🙂 But she didn’t take a photo. 🙁 I love my Art Ambassadors!
So there are two pairs of Kelsey Montague wings in Melbourne. The next time I am travelling through Flinders Street Station I will make sure I take a photo of those wings to share with all the students.
So after all that inspiration this is what the students did to create their feather.
- chose which sort of paper they would use – plain white, coloured or patterned
- traced a feather shape from an assortment of cardboard templates
- added colour to their paper – paint, textas, oil pastels, coloured pencils, watercolour pencils, etc
- students chose how they would apply their colour to their feather – just a strip of red oil pastel across the middle, sponge cool colours of paint on for an ombre effect, create a rainbow of colour with watercolour pencils over the whole feather, etc
- students then designed/practised 5 patterns on a small 5 box photocopied strip of paper to get their brains moving from thinking about colour to pattern. Lots of pattern charts/images were available for inspiration
- added pattern/s onto their feather selecting the material they wished to use after considering how they would get the best contrast so their detailed patterns would really stand out- metallic textas, metallic pencils, black or white fineliners, etc
- and finally, cut out their feather carefully!
So here are some more wings photos and even a few individual feathers as well as some of the students posing in front of the wings. Over the next week or so I plan on taking all the students photos at the wings.
And did I mention that the only way I can actually photograph the students at the wings in the main hallway is to open up the hallway window and run outside and stick my head in through the window to take the photo as I can’t stand back far enough to take the photo otherwise.
The students all think this is hilarious!
Thanks for visiting my blog! I would love it, and so would the students, if you would leave a comment.