Washington State Visual Art Standards

Friday, September 25, 2015

Textured Sketchbooks for 3rd & 4th grade

 I took a Summer institute class with Becky Friese for my visual art professional development and she had us make sketchbooks from card stock and chip board. She really encouraged us to try incorporate sketchbooks in our art rooms as a tool for student thinking, practice, and assessment. I thought to myself, "What a good idea! How can I make it work for me with recycled materials!?" Coincidentally, my absolute favorite art ed blogger Cassie Stephens posted about making sketchbooks with recycled file folders! How brilliant! She includes a tutorial video and provides examples of how her kids use their sketchbooks. I used most of her ideas but I didn't include the baseball card sleeve for "Artist Trading Cards" . I love the idea of these cards but want to learn more about how it works. Once I understand it better I'm thinking about adding in those sticky library book envelopes in the back cover later this year so we can try it out.



On the first day creating our sketch books I talked with the kids about how we could use paint to create textures. I demonstrated brush techniques as well as using texture combs (made from recycled plastic lids). We were experimenting with laying thick layers of paint on our folders (Shout out to Laura Roberts, secretary to Mike Sandner, Art Ed Director...by request, she sent me a big box of recycled file folders form the central office!). The students were asked to create a variety of textures using the brush and combs in a limited color paint palette. Once they dried, I added 20 sheets of sketch paper and stapled them.

 I really like how you can visually excavate the layers of color to reveal new colors. They remind me of the Abstract Expressionist movement in art history.




The second day we added the taped spine and name tags. I had given them the sketching prompt to fill their first page with zentangle patterns inside different size dots.  This was a response to reading the book "The Dot". I called them up one by one to check their sketches and add the finishing touches.




Here are some examples of 3rd & 4th grade completed sketchbooks.

I bought some roll-y bins from IKEA to store them in my room, one for each grade level with labeled dividers to keep the classes organized. 



I admit I was a little overwhelmed at the idea of sketchbooks at first but now that we did it, I realize how useful they are for the kids! So far we used them to brainstorm, take notes on my demonstrations, and practice new drawing skills! I plan to use this an assessment tool when it comes to grading too.

I look forward to seeing how they develop over the year! Thanks for reading!