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.